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Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Tuesday 12 January [Ukrainian sources]

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:12 am
TUESDAY

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News -
Putin hits Ukraine 35 times yesterday, including use of prohibited 120 mm mortars.
Luckily, 0 dead, 0 injured amongst the Ukrainian people.

Weather -
Raining in Kiev today. +3. And very very slushy. Water and slush everywhere.
Quite difficult getting around, to be honest. Metro is fine, but getting on and off buses - marschrutes - is a nightmare.
Trams are slightly better. Perhaps flatter ground. The capital has had a lot of snow, which is now melting. The same with many Ukrainian cities today.
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The Hutsuls: Ukraine's native tribe keeping traditions alive in Carpathians

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:15 am
Ukrainians who live life on the wild side - that's how some call ethnic Hutsuls in the Carpathian Mountains. Their crafts, music, religious rituals and work in the highlands have endured oppressive regimes for hundreds of years. And the holidays like the Orthodox Christmas are when this community shows off its proud history.

It's here at this 17th century church high upon the mountain slopes the native population converges. The ceremony is unique. After blessings by Father Ivan, eight groups of Hutsul carolers circle the church - playing traditional wind and string instruments and wielding shepherd's axes. Then they disperse across the village, playing to every household. Virlana Tkacz is a New York-based theatre director who has taken these local traditions and rituals to the big stage. She explains why the songs are so important:

"They stand outside at first and ask, will you let us in? And then they have songs for all the people in the house – a special long song for each person. It's almost imagining the future year for that person – they kind of amalgamate songs, they will take a little bit here, a little bit there for that particular person and it's their wellbeing they're working for."....................

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Russia is trying to return the Donbass in the Ukraine - expert

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:17 am
Boris Gryzlov's visit to Kiev shows that Russia is looking for ways to return the Donbass in the Ukraine on its own terms, the journalist Denis Kazan. About this, he said on the air "Channel 5"

"At the same time visit Gryzlov interesting events occur in the Donbas. That is, we know that there were liquidated several warlords in recent days - a former commander of Gorlovka Boytsman and Eugene Conan, nicknamed "The Cat", who was killed by a sniper in Donetsk "- said Kazansky.

According to the expert, there is a sweep that recognize and Russian experts, "and there are some battalions surrounded by now, that is - are now smooth out those who do not manage to obey the bad Zakharchenko - it concerns Donetsk. This process occurs in Lugansk. "

"It seems that Russia is still trying to push back Ukraine in the occupied territories of Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Russia is beneficial such a scenario to Donbass remained part of Ukraine, because it's a large mass of people who vote the way it should be Russian. In addition, Russia is beneficial to the Donbass had special status and Kiev could not control it completely. This is what happens, in my opinion, right now, "- said Kazansky.

Recall military operations in the east of Ukraine began in the spring of 2014. According to statistics, in the meantime died about nine thousand. People. Occupiers eastern regions are formed by the two self-proclaimed and internationally unrecognized republics of the international community - the so-called "DNR" and "LC".

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Due to the deterioration of the situation in the Donbas Russia is trying to get dividends, - General Staff of Armed Forces of Ukraine

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:22 am
Through simulation of aggravation of the situation in the Donbass Russia is trying to gain political dividends, according to an officer of the General Staff Anatoly Kravchuk APU. About this, he said on the air "Channel 5".

"Now there is a transition in a slightly different phase. If earlier it was a power phase, and now they are trying to, I mean Russian, go to the political plane. There aggravation? It is not worsening, is an active imitation of a problem that has yet to be resolved politically. That is, the situation is forcing to, as always, by political means, then you can negotiate the maximum dividends, "- said Kravchuk.

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Putin: we do not take on the role of a superpower

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:39 am
Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with the German edition Bild commented on the words of Barack Obama, who called Russia "a regional power."

According to him, he does not take these words seriously, and every politician or government has the right to their own opinion.

In addition, the President was asked whether Russian superpower.

"No, we do not take on the role of a superpower. It's too expensive and it's not necessary, "- said Putin.

He added that Russia remains one of the leading economies in the world, and has recommended to look at the world map, where on the one hand the country is adjacent to Europe, on the other - with Japan and the United States. Anyone who wants to play down the significance of Russia in the world, makes a mistake, the president added.

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The price of Russian Urals oil dropped below $ 30 a barrel

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:43 am
The cost of Urals oil dropped to 29.2 dollars, according to "Vedomosti", with reference to Thomson Reuters on Monday, 11 of January.

According to Thomson Reuters, it is the first recorded decline since June 2004.

As the newspaper writes, the fall in world oil prices triggered by the collapse of stock prices in China, which has a negative impact on stock market indices around the world and led to the sale of shares and commodities.

The cost of the February futures for Brent crude also fell to 4.05 per cent to 31.96 dollars per barrel. WTI crude oil for delivery in February contract fell by 2.77 percent and traded at 32.24 dollars per barrel.

Previously, because of the collapse of quotations were suspended trading on the Chinese stock market. Experts attribute the drop in stocks with poor growth of high performance industrial China.

Oil Urals - Russian brand export oil blend. The main producers - "Rosneft", "Bashneft", "Lukoil", "Surgutneftegas", "Gazprom oil", "TNK-BP» and "Tatneft".

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Netflix officially arrives in Ukraine

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:35 am
Netflix, the world's leading Internet television network with over 70 million members, has launched its service globally, simultaneously bringing its Internet TV network to more than 130 new countries around the world, including Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan, India, and Vietnam.


Netflix arrives in Ukraine!
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No losses yesterday, despite escalation - Staff

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:05 am
http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2016/01/12/7095120/
Tuesday, January 12, 2016, 12:50
The last day in the area of ​​anti-terrorist operation passed without loss.
This at a traditional briefing on Tuesday, spokesman for the presidential administration Alexander Motuzyanyk ATO.
"Today the situation in the east had a tendency to escalate. The enemy used the heavy weapons on several fronts. However, despite this, for the last day of hostilities any Ukrainian soldier was killed and was not injured," - said the colonel.


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Last edited by Nelson on Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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Staff: The situation in the ATO area deteriorated - there was a fighting clash

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:09 am
http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2016/01/12/7095086/
The situation in the area of ​​ATU deteriorated again - over the past day 35 times the militants violated the truce along the boundary line.
In the district of Donetsk militants with small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns fired at Pisky, Opitnoe, Avdeevka, Verhnotoretske. Marinka Ukrainian position against terrorists fired anti-tank hand grenade. In the area of ​​Krasnogorovka area occupied Staromykhailivka "worked" Sniper militants.
"Using small arms, grenade launchers and heavy machine guns, the occupiers tried to provoke our defenders to open fire in response in the region of Novgorod, Zaitsev and Mayorska located north Gorlovki", - the headquarters.
Nearby Svetlodarsk recorded use of heavy machine guns militants in the region of Luhansk beat snipers.
On the same site, near Semyhir'ya, there was a clash of combat.
"As a result a short battle using firearms rejected our fighters attacking the source line", - reported the press-center of Staff TU.
Nearby Trinity, on the border of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, militants prystrilyuvaly 82 mm mortar.
In Luhansk late on strongholds of the Ukrainian units in the vicinity of the Crimean terrorists opened fire with rocket-propelled grenades and mortars caliber 120mm, the use of which is prohibited by the Minsk agreements.
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In six cities [activists] blocked the work of the Russian tobacco company

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:22 am
http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2016/01/12/7095123/
In Kiev, Lviv, Lutsk, Rivne, Ternopil, Kovel and blocked the warehouses of the company "Megapolis-Ukraine" because of its affiliation Russian group of companies Igor Kesaeva...
"Today at 5 am in the campaign to clean up Ukraine from occupation business, hundreds of activists from a dozen volunteers, veterans and community organizations blocked the warehouse of the company" Megapolis-Ukraine...
According to him, the company "Megapolis-Ukraine" founded the Russian company "Megapolis" and the family of former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych. According to authorities she became a monopoly of the distribution of cigarettes in Ukraine....


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OSCE installed surveillance cameras in Shyrokyno

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:33 am
http://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2016/01/12/7095150/
===
Good idea. I wonder if Lavrov or one of his obnoxious sidekicks, like Cherkin at the UN, will come up with the idea that it infringes peoples' human rights, or something like that! Quite likely. Dropping bombs on people is fine for Hitler and Putin, but cameras...
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Dutch voters overwhelmingly reject agreement with Ukraine: poll

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:44 am
http://www.politico.eu/article/poll-netherlands-ratification-association-agreement-ukraine/
A majority of Dutch voters is opposed to the Netherlands’ ratification of the European Union’s association agreement with Ukraine, a new poll ahead of an April 6 referendum on the issue showed Saturday.
The poll, conducted by the Dutch public broadcaster’s program EenVandaag, is the first barometer on the April 6 vote. It found that over 50 percent of voters “are certain” to reject the Ukraine agreement, while another quarter of respondents said they’ll “likely” reject the deal....

===
Not good news. Unfortunately a strong anti-immigration tide running throughout Europe at the moment. Last paragraph -

It is unclear what a “No” vote in the referendum would mean for Dutch policy, as both the government and the country’s other leading parties have said they plan to campaign in favor of the association agreement. The referendum result has to be considered by the government, but isn’t binding on it.

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Coal output in Ukraine 37.5% down in 2015 [Engl]

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:57 am
http://www.unian.info/economics/1233805-coal-output-in-ukraine-375-down-in-2015.html
...Ukraine began to experience an acute shortage of coal in the summer of 2014, when, as a result of hostilities, the government had completely lost control of part of Donbas, where the majority of the mines were located....
Ukrainian authorities decided to import anthracite coal from South Africa to ensure the stable operations of the country's power system.

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Ukraine's public debt shrinks by $4.6 bln [Engl]

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:02 am
http://www.unian.info/economics/1234056-ukraines-public-debt-shrinks-by-46-bln.html
==
I assume that is good news.

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Ukrtransgaz restores depressurized gas pipeline in Lviv region [Engl]

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:09 am
http://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/316814.html
===
Good work. In less than 48 hours.
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Shcool classes to be cut at Crimean schools as power shortage persists [Engl]

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:14 am
http://en.censor.net.ua/news/368646/shcool_classes_to_be_cut_at_crimean_schools_as_power_shortage_persists
===
What a great headline. Shcool. I thought maybe "Skool", but "Shcool" is really cool!
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Pig flu claimed lives of 15 people in Odessa over three weeks [engl]

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:17 am
http://en.censor.net.ua/news/368634/pig_flu_claimed_lives_of_15_people_in_odesa_over_three_weeks
...According to him, 11 people died directly of the flu. Most of them were 40-55 years-old males, who started seeking medical attention far too late. There were no children among the deceased. ....
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Russia wants to return Donbas to Ukraine – Kazansky

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:25 am
The visit of Boris Gryzlov to Kyiv indicates that Russia is looking for the ways to reinstate Donbas as a part of Ukraine on its terms, journalist Denis Kazansky said on Kanal 5 Jan. 12.

“Simultaneously with Gryzlov’s visit, new developments have happened in Donbas. Several rebel field commanders have been recently liquidated by FSB hitmen.

Some rebel battalions are surrounded by pro-Russian troops, and their unruly commanders are being purged in both Donetsk and Luhansk, Kazansky said.

Russia stands to gain from returning Donbas to Ukraine. Its residents will vote the way Russia wants. Also, Russia is pushing for a special status for Donbas that will make it impossible for Kyiv to control the territory, the journalist said.

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"F#cking neighbor":- journalists hunted out house of Yanukovych in luxurious gated community in Rostov-on-Don. VIDEO [Engl]

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:26 am
http://en.censor.net.ua/video_news/368597/fcking_neighbor_journalists_hunted_out_house_of_yanukovych_in_luxurious_gated_community_in_rostovondon
... The locals call this community a village for VIPs while Yanukovych himself is called the "f#cking neighbor." "We don't need that Yanukovych! We have plenty of our own here," the residents of Rostov say....
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The Daily Vertical: Putin Was Born In The Wrong Century

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:50 am
Excellent 2 minute report here by Whitmore, rferl



====
For more on Whitmore, and an American fruitcake "journalist", by the name of James M. Carden, who attacked his "Daily Vertical" articles in writing this week, see our
"Journalists reporting on Ukraine" sticky.
Carden - it appears - is a known writer for Russian government journals - and former US State Department advisor, believe it, or not! Where do they get these muppets from?
http://ukraine-english-news.forumotion.com/t1118-journalists-reporting-on-ukraine-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly
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Oil price collapses to 30 dollars a barrel

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:21 pm
www.bloomberg.com/energy/

Crude Oil & Natural Gas
INDEX UNITS PRICE CHANGE %CHANGE CONTRACT TIME ET 2 DAY
WTI Crude Oil (Nymex)
USD/bbl. 30.12 -1.29 -4.11% FEB 16 11:45:39
Brent Crude (ICE)
USD/bbl. 30.50 -1.05 -3.33% FEB 16 11:45:48
Crude Oil (Tokyo)
JPY/kl 22,500.00 -290.00 -1.27% JUN 16 11:45:41
Natural Gas (Nymex)
USD/MMBtu 2.27 -0.12 -5.09% FEB 16 11:45:15
===
I must admit, I did not expect this.
This should help reduce the gas price for Ukraine in the coming year.
When the price fell below 40 I thought it would probably hang around there. I did not expect 30... or even lower - I am sure now - to come.
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Ukraine to receive US military aid in near future, - Ambassador Chalyi

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:33 pm
U.S. military aid supplies are likely to start soon.

Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States Valerii Chalyi said on air of Voice of America, Censor.NET reports referring to Interfax-Ukraine.

"658 million dollars contained in the budget [the amount of U.S. aid to Ukraine in 2016 - ed.] is an achievement. ...The new bills make it possible to use these funds. It means there are items that need additional legislative regulation. For example, things that are necessary for the Ukrainian army but not being in service with the U.S. army. These bills are intended to get those common policies on military and security assistance realized in concrete supplies," the ambassador said.

"I think soon, just in a short term, a few months, we will have and speak about such supplies in Ukraine publicly," Chalyi predicted.

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Russia playing dove-of-peace game, looking miserably

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:40 pm
Commenting on the arrival in Kyiv of a Kremlin heavyweight Boris Gryzlov, political expert Serhy Taran says Gryzlov came to Kyiv not to meet with Pres Poroshenko (who was not in the capital that day).

Gryzlov came to appease Obama and Merkel.

The anti-Russian economic sanctions are hinged on the implementation by the Kremlin of the Minsk agreements. Aware of the imminent economic collapse, Moscow will now demonstrate its adhesion to the cause of peace in Ukraine, Taran writes in Facebook Jan. 12.

“That is why the Russian part of the Minsk group negotiators was strengthened by Gryzlov, the dove in the Russian politics. And that is why Gryzlov’s demonstrative presence in Kyiv was needed (although modern means of communications make it optional).

Russia is not going to pull out its troops from Donbas. However, it will try to present itself as a bird of peace, which certainly looks ridiculous.

Yet, Russia doesn’t have many options left, Serhy Taran writes.

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Prosecutors suspected of accepting $150,000 bribe remanded on bail

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:05 pm
Former prosecutor of the Podil district of Kyiv Serhii Nechyporenko and the incumbent deputy prosecutor of the same district, suspected of receiving a $150,000 bribe, have put up more than 3 million hryvnias ($116,730) each and been released from custody.

An informed source told Ukrainski Novyny, Censor.NET reports.

"The bail has been posted, there are no reasons to change the measure of restraint," the source said.

According to the source, the suspects are fulfilling all court's rulings.

Pre-trial investigation is underway.

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Pro-Russian Activist Falls On Hard Times In Annexed Crimea

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:22 pm
Once a prominent pro-Russian activist, Podyachy, 48, had tirelessly lobbied for the peninsula to break away from Ukraine and return to Russia's fold.

Life under Russian rule, however, has not been kind to him.

Instead of earning him accolades, his past activism has cost him his university teaching job and his only source of income.

Before the annexation, Podyachy headed a pro-Russian group called the Popular Front that pushed for Kyiv to lease the entire peninsula to Russia in exchange for the cancellation of Ukraine's debts to Moscow.

While the group stopped short of calling for full secession from Ukraine, Podyachy was found guilty of "encroaching on Ukraine's territorial integrity and inviolability" in February 2011.

A Crimean court handed him a three-year suspended sentence, including one year on probation.

When the Academy of Life and Environment Sciences where he taught applied mathematics at the Crimean Federal University in Simferopol announced last November that lecturers needed to reapply to their teaching posts, Podyachy found himself automatically disqualified due to his criminal record.

Under Russian law, all decisions delivered by Ukrainian courts in Crimea up to its annexation remain valid.

Podyachy was forced to leave the university and is now unemployed.

Contacted by RFE/RL, he declined to discuss the incident.

"I've already said everything I needed to say," he said.

Asking whether he intended to appeal his effective sacking, he said he was a "law-abiding citizen" and would not challenge the decision.

"I will wait to be rehabilitated," he added.

Podyachy's misfortunes have sparked dismay among his comrades-in-arms from the Popular Front.

To them, his treatment is highly hypocritical, given the pride Russian officials from President Vladimir Putin on down have displayed about the annexation of Crimea, which poisoned ties with the West and led to U.S. and EU sanctions against Moscow.................

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Putin's Enemies List

on Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:32 pm
Say you are the president of a country plunged into economic crisis, failing policies and rampant corruption. What do you do to maintain public support without addressing these problems Russian President Vladimir Putin, who seems genuinely popular at home despite these challenges, appears to have the answer: Create a narrative of being surrounded by enemies, us against them, while regularly refreshing and updating the list of rivals.

The juxtaposition of us against them is possible only by identifying who the others are (if sometimes vaguely). They can be both domestic and international actors. Given the dormant aggression which sociologists have discovered among the Russian public, this strategy seems likely to be effective. At the same time, constantly updating the list of them seems important, given the public's short attention span and the possible de-escalation or re-escalation of conflicts.

Over the course of the past decade, them included Georgians, domestic protestors orchestrated by the West and dubbed a fifth column, Ukrainians, terrorists (not that they needed additional notoriety) and most recently, Turks. Yet, while the attention given to one or the other has fluctuated, both in the official rhetoric and in state-controlled media, the animosity towards the United States and NATO has been present and cultivated through any given narrative as the constant rival to Russia's national interests.

Here are a few examples

Wary of color revolutions, which toppled the presidents in neighboring Georgia and Ukraine in the mid-2000s, the Kremlin framed the December 2011 anti-government protests in Moscow as a Western plot to undermine Russia's position in world politics. Putin further invoked the label of the fifth column for these domestic opponents, while launching an offensive against so-called foreign agents, which he accused of encouraging instability and meddling into Russia's domestic affairs. As a result, such organizations as the American Councils for International Education, the National Endowment for Democracy and the U.S. Agency for International Development were expelled from Russia, while prominent Russian political and cultural figures were labeled the sixth column....

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on Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:36 am
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Re: Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Tuesday 12 January [Ukrainian sources]

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