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Join date : 2015-05-29

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News -
Putin's terrorists fire 50 times at the Ukrainian people yesterday.
Sadly one soldier killed, three wounded.

Weather -
Rain and rain and rain.... +2 at the moment. Likely to stay there all day. (0900 wet snow)
A day for staying inside, if you can, and watching footie - or a good film.
I guess the tail end of an Atlantic low pressure system!

Last edited by Nelson on Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:08 am; edited 2 times in total
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on Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:28 amNelson
Russia’s chief military prosecutor has refused to investigate the death of 159 Russian soldiers who are believed to have been killed in Russia’s undeclared war against Ukraine. The prosecutor’s office asserts that checks were carried out into all deaths from the beginning of 2014 to mid-2015, and no infringements were found.

This view was categorically not shared by Sergei Krivenko and other members of the President’s Human Rights Council. On Dec 8, 2015, they formally demanded an official answer as to the circumstances in which 159 Russian soldiers had been killed. The human rights activists pointed out also that there had been a sharp increase in such unexplained deaths during the second half of 2014. This coincided with the first publicized reports of soldiers’ deaths in Donbas, as well as a major escalation in Russia’s direct military involvement in eastern Ukraine.

Russia does not make it easy, with no official information on military deaths having been published since 2010. It is known that the increase in number of contract soldiers, as opposed to conscripts, has had a positive impact on the number of suicides, murders and fatal accidents. That, however, only accentuates the dramatic increase in deaths during the second half of 2014.

According to Krivenko, there were 108 reports of soldiers’ deaths from July to December 2014, with the region where the person died named in only 28. In 80 cases there is no mention of cause of death. In 72 there was mystery over the region. In only 38% of the cases was there any indication that the prosecutor had initiated an inquiry.

Krivenko says that he asked for information about each specific soldier. Instead he received vague assurances that checks had been carried out, that all was fine and that no criminal investigations had been launched.

They will be able to investigate the deaths of specific soldiers only if the soldiers’ families agree to this..............

To read further go to this link:
After days of downturn, some of Ukraine’s top stocks managed substantial recovery in Wednesday trading. Concorde Capital provides more in today’s market comment:

Ukrainian agrifood equities drew much interest abroad on Wednesday, Feb. 10. The WIG-Ukraine Index of Warsaw-traded stocks gained 0.8%, fueled by spectacular gains from dairy firm Milkiland (MLK PW, + 29.1%) and farmers Agroton (AGT PW, +22.1%) and KSG Agro (KSG PW, +13.9%). The index’s biggest component, sunflower oil producer Kernel (KER PW), rose 0.8%. In London, Ukraine’s biggest poultry producer MHP (MHPC LI) gained 10.3%. The Ukrainian Exchange (UX) Index of Kyiv-traded stocks declined 0.8%, due to poor performance by steel makers Azovstal (AZST UK), which fell -3.4%, or 9.5% in two days, and Yenakiyeve Steel (ENMZ UK, -4.8%).

Ukrainian Eurobonds lost 1.5-2.0% at midday, after negative statements from the IMF's Managing Director. However, they recovered closer to the day's end and finished their session nearly flat. Ukrainian currency was becoming weaker during the day as the interbank hryvnia rate showed another 11-month low of almost UAH 26.0/USD.................
Hundreds of schools have been destroyed during the war in eastern Ukraine, including many that were used for military purposes by both sides in the conflict, Human Rights Watch (HRW) says in a new report.

Schools that have survived the war operate in dangerous and often overcrowded conditions, while many children have been forced to stop attending school altogether, says the report titled Studying Under Fire: Attacks On Schools, Military Use Of Schools During the Armed Conflict In Eastern Ukraine.

It urges the sides in the conflict between government forces and Russia-backed separatists to take steps to protect children's safety and access to education and to prevent the use of schools for military purposes.

"All parties to the conflict have a responsibility to protect children and to make sure that their hostilities don't cause further harm to their safety and education," New York-based HRW says in the report released on February 11.

During visits to 41 schools and kindergartens and interviews with 62 students, teachers, principals, and witnesses, HRW documented attacks on schools located in both government-controlled and separatist-held areas.

Yulia Gorbunova, Ukraine researcher at HRW, told RFE/RL that both sides have used schools for military activities, deploying forces and armaments in and near schools.

"Using those schools for military purposes led to them basically turning into legitimate military targets and increasing the possibility of them being attacked and destroyed," Gorbunova said.

Other schools damaged during the conflict were not occupied or used by the fighting forces, and therefore did not appear to be "legitimate" military targets.

"We've found cases which we documented in the report also very clearly showing indiscriminate attacks, which is a very common [occurrence] in this conflict where the combatants did not distinguish between military and civilian targets," Gorbunova said.......................

To read further go to this link:
MOSCOW -- NATO’s insistence that it is a defensive alliance has always received short shrift in Russia. So when the alliance approved plans to deter Russian aggression by bolstering its eastern flank, the icy reaction of the Russian media came as no surprise.

The tone of the outrage varied greatly, but the opposition was largely uniform across mainstream TV, radio, and print media after NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg announced that a multinational NATO force will be rotated through the countries of Eastern Europe to deter Russian aggression.

Pro-Kremlin news and commentary website Vzglyad cast the plans as the building blocks of a NATO “beachhead” on Russia’s doorstep that would “fracture the foundations” of European security.

Vzglyad characterized NATO’s announcement of rotations and regular exercises -- rather than a permanent base -- as a “sneaky” way to get around a promise, in the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, to defend itself without “additional permanent stationing of substantial combat forces” near Russia “in the current and foreseeable security environment.”

“The tactic of ‘getting around’ rather than once and for all tearing up [the Founding Act] is most likely being conducted because of pressure from a range of Western European countries, primarily Germany, which are not interested in unnecessarily provoking a Russian response,” Vzglyad wrote.

The tone on TV, radio, and social media was more vitriolic.

And state TV tried to turn NATO’s assurances that it poses no threat to Russia on their head, calling any notion of Russian aggression a "myth."

“The NATO secretary-general is in no hurry to ease relations,” watchers of the Vesti evening news program were told on February 10, not long after Stoltenberg spoke. “On the contrary, while frightening the world about the myth of Russian aggression, he intends to increase the military presence in Eastern Europe.”

The number of troops to be involved in the NATO exercises will be decided at an alliance summit in Warsaw in June. The plans may help allay fears, particularly among NATO's easternmost member states, sparked by Russia’s 2014 takeover of Crimea and its backing for separatists in a conflict that has killed more than 9,000 people in eastern Ukraine. Russia denies it has sent regular troops into eastern Ukraine, despite mounting evidence.

Aleksei Pushkov, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, took the idea of NATO promulgating the "myth" of a Russian threat to social media.

“The NATO secretary-general says that the alliance is not going to fight [Islamic State]. Understood. That’s not NATO’s role. Its main task is confrontation with Russia amid commotion over the Russian threat.”................

To read further go to this link:
Ukrainian pianist Yevhenii Khmara performed "The glory and the freedom of Ukraine has not yet died!" at one of the stations of the French capital.

As reported by Censor.NET, the pianist came to the city to play at a meeting in the Ukrainian embassy. He stopped halfway when he saw the instrument. A few people gathered around the musician, while the video of the impromptu performance posted on the Internet has been watched by tens of thousands of people. In Russian
on Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:48 pmAdmin
A renowned Russian writer, Vladimir Sorokin, told Germania-Online that Pres Putin had revived the past monsters, Apostrof reports Feb. 11.

Regretfully, the latest developments in Russia have indicated that the Soviet past and Russia’s imperial aspirations based on lies and violence continue to dominate in modern Russia, he said.

This is the last imperial surge, reminding a convulsion. At the backdrop of the dying economy, political repression, and plummeting living standards we hear imperial rhetoric and saber-rattling, Sorokin said.

This has been the essence of Russia’s politics for the past 16 years – to restore the empire. The restoration carries a price – human lives. Referring to millions that perished to impose the Soviet rule, Stalin once put it like this – ‘You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.’

While Germany after WWII exposed Nazi crimes and buried its past, Russia did not condemn Stalin.

Now, Stalin, like a Zombie, is back in Russia, the writes said.
.@PavloKlimkin: #Ukraine will never accept proposals on federalisation,especially those proposed byRussia#CHEvents
One day in ATU killed one soldier, three wounded
February 11, 2016, 12:54
9 times the enemy applied heavy weapons.
Over the past day in the fighting in the Donbas one Ukrainian soldier was killed and three were wounded.
This was announced at a press briefing Speaker ATO Alexander Motuzyanik.
In Lugansk direction yesterday was quiet.
In Donetsk, the situation remains complicated. 9 times the enemy applied heavy weapons - 82-mm and 120-mm mortars. enemy attacks do not stop along the whole front of the Trinity to the pisky. Designated the most intense fighting - Zaitseva and Mayorsk. Statistics show that the militants are activated in the afternoon, and the largest number of attacks on the forces ATO position falls on the evening....

If I understand correctly, death was a result of a landmine.
Reserves are gradually falling, but the weather is very warm, relatively speaking. And gas will be yet cheaper in April. 7 weeks' away.
18+. Another plan to save Putin funds?
on Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:51 amNelson

Note some firing further south, near Mariupol - Putin's planned corridor to occupied Crimea.
The major part of the “LPR” forces is on high alert. The leader of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” has signed the "order No.16" on intensification of assaults on the Ukrainian forces’ positions at several sections of the front, where the militants’ detachments of the "1st Army Corps of the “DPR” operate.
Verkhovna Rada Deputy from People's Front faction, Information Resistance group coordinator Dmytro Tymchuk wrote ...
Arrived from Istanbul. No further info.
Control of coal shipments by rail to Russia.
...“LPR” members continue to prevent the SMM from monitoring many areas alongside the border in parts of Luhansk region not controlled by the Government....
....Brett McGurk, the Obama administration's point-man for defeating Isis, said Russia's Aleppo offensive was having the perverse effect of helping the extremists by drawing local fighters away from the battle against IS and to the war against Syria's government.
“What Russia's doing is directly enabling Isil,” McGurk told the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington. ...
on Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:00 amNelson
Funding for Putin's war machine must be coming under increasing pressure, and indeed will his tactics of self-distruction - IF there is anybody with a brain left in a position of responsibility in the Kremlin.
Today -
Crude Oil & Natural Gas
WTI Crude Oil (Nymex)
USD/bbl. 26.65 -0.80 -2.91% Mar 2016 3:24 AM
Brent Crude (ICE)
USD/bbl. 30.32 -0.52 -1.69% Apr 2016 3:23 AM
Natural Gas (Nymex)
USD/MMBtu 2.05 +0.01 +0.29% Mar 2016 3:22 AM
WTI down almost 3% . Urals must be trading at about 28 dollars today.
....Many of the volunteer members are accused of espionage, while others aren't given a specific reason and instead just told to leave within 24 hours. Menendez says the separatists have begun a crackdown in an effort to control all aspects of everyday life. ....
The road to North Korea.
...Dmytro Kuleba, a top Ukrainian diplomat, said there will likely be serious debate in Europe when the sanctions come up for renewal again at midyear.
“There are nations that are keen to make Russia abide by the Minsk agreements, but there are European nations that are desperate to lift the sanctions,” he said. “We will have a serious battle in June.”...

No chance of any deal with Russia, in my opinion. Putin is a total nutcase. And besides, now it is the oil price, not sanctions that are having the real impact on Russian imperialist designs.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko had a phone conversation with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.
The Head of State emphasized that Ukraine would continue reforms despite the crisis in relations between the Government and the parliamentary coalition. The President highlighted the necessity of refreshing the Cabinet of Ministers without early parliamentary elections that will only deepen the political crisis and deteriorate the conditions for reforms.
Petro Poroshenko stressed his willingness to carry out decisive actions to ensure political and financial stability in the state.
The parties agreed to elaborate a roadmap of the top-priority reforms that will give a boost to the Ukraine-IMF relations. They also agreed on the necessity of urgent adoption of all reformist laws by the Parliament.

"refreshing the Cabinet of Ministers" - not the greatest of translations - but we get the gist.
So looks like some changes will be made. But no early elections.
Tymoshenko wants to be president. And the more unstable things are, the better for her, for sure. The same with Putin.
Liashko and his joke party, on the other hand, would be toast.
on Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:31 amNelson
In Ukraine, on February 11 announced a storm warning...
"February 11 is expected gusts of 15-20 m / s at night in the Carpathians heavy wet snow in the morning and afternoon in the central and northern regions of sometimes heavy rain.
In the Kiev region - wind gusts of 15-20 m / s in places in the morning and afternoon rain "- referred to in the message.
In addition, in the highlands of Ivano-Frankivsk and Zakarpattia regions of possible avalanches. Also because rain is expected Increase of water levels.

extreme south-west of Ukraine mostly, but some winds in other places also.
Last night it was quite windy - and rainy.
Plus and minus. Brings in warmer air than usual. But wow - everywhere is very very wet. And still raining. 12 hours on maybe.
Racial harassment - just like the nazis.
Who will go next to Crimea and say how nice it is there? Corbyn and Milne? Quite possible, if they are in need of political funding.
It's either the extreme right wing, or extreme left wing. Both love a dictator - Hitler, or Stalin.
...Mikhail Karpenko, a lawyer in the Urals, has helped Naryshkin’s group by giving free legal advice. “In our region at least, Chelyabinsk Oblast, the population is heavily in debt. People just fall into a black hole of debt, and can’t get out,” Karpenko says. “In my opinion, we need to remove the entire institution of collectors.”
But Sergei has little hope that the situation will improve. “Laws to help oligarchs are passed in the space of a week, while laws for people take years to pass,” he says. “These draft bills are probably just PR.”...

Quite a substantial article. Balmforth for RFERL. But in the Guardian.
...Others dubbed the destruction the Night Of The Long Excavator Scoops, a darkly humorous reference to the Night Of Long Knives -- a critical moment in 1934 when Nazi thugs killed numerous opponents as part of an effort to consolidate power....
according to Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, who said in a post on the Russian social networking site Vkontakte that they were dangerous and that some had been around since the 1990s. ....

dangerous - around since the 1990s... You could say the same about Putin in Moscow also.

Russia is “paranoid” about NATO and is likely to continue “aggressive” actions this year to support its claim to great power status, U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper said in Senate testimony Tuesday.

In a report on “Worldwide Threat Assessment” that Clapper presented to the Senate, Russia topped a list of “leading threat actors,” followed by China, Iran and North Korea.

“Russia is assuming a more assertive cyber posture based on its willingness to target critical infrastructure systems and conduct espionage operations even when detected and under increased public scrutiny,” Clapper said in the report.

“Russian cyber operations are likely to target U.S. interests to support several strategic objectives: intelligence gathering to support Russian decision-making in the Ukraine and Syrian crises, influence operations to support military and political objectives, and continuing preparation of the cyber environment for future contingencies.”

Concerned about cyber threats, U.S. President Barack Obama has asked for $19 billion for cyber security in his fiscal 2017 budget proposal, an increase of $5 billion over this year.

“I think the Russians fundamentally are paranoid about — about NATO,” Clapped testified in the Senate. “They are greatly concerned about being contained. And, of course, very, very concerned about missile defense, which would serve to neuter what is the essence of their claim to great power status — which is their nuclear arsenal.”................

Can't disagree with that.
on Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:06 amNelson
...Russian authorities are choosing to address an economic crisis largely of their own making by bulldozing small business rather than nurturing them. They also are showing the investors who are sticking out the slump that private property rights aren't guaranteed. Muscovites are swallowing all this without protest....
Two thoughts -
1. New officials get make new money by allowing new buildings where the old ones were.
2. Big business is behind this move of removing the smaller shops. They will gain the most.
You can expect opposition to this from those who currently see lots of state money passing through their hands...
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha....
That's like asking rats to act like human beings.
....The discussions are a measure of the plight facing the Russian budget. It could face an additional shortfall of up to 2.5 trillion roubles ($31.7 billion) this year if crude prices stay at around $30 per barrel, putting at risk the target of keeping the deficit at 3 percent of gross domestic product.

The steps now being considered by officials to fill the gap are unorthodox - illustrating how Moscow has run out of easy fixes after crude's plunge from a peak of around $115 in June 2014, and is scraping the barrel to keep the budget on track....
Obviously deputies who have "friends" in charge of state enterprises, who have been siphoning off millions every year don't want to let their positions go, or for their companies to be privatised. They will try and block any progress.
Prosecutor General's Office and Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin feel the strong support of Parliament in the number of people's deputies over constitutional structure. This live "112 Ukraine" said Assistant Attorney General Vladislav Kutsenko.
"That, more than 300 votes support us today," - said Kutsenko.
Earlier, he said that the prosecutor's office are not afraid of open competition for the post of Attorney General.
President Petro Poroshenko said that Ukraine continues systematic reform of the Prosecutor General, and soon will no matter who heads it....

I think there is a difference between supporting a bill in parliament, and supporting Shokina.

Last edited by Nelson on Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:47 am; edited 1 time in total
Over the past day militants fired 50 times Ukrainian military positions in the Donbas - the press center ATO...
"The most tense situation prevailed in the suburbs of Donetsk and Gorlovka," - said in a statement.
From rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns the enemy was firing at positions of ATU forces iat Pisky, Opitnoe, Avdeevka and Butovka mine.
Seven times small-arms and rocket-propelled grenades fired Marinka.
In the district of Gorlovka gunmen used mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns. Ukrainian strongholds in the Trinity and Novgorod were fired from grenade launchers of various systems and the fortifications Mayorsk and Zaytsevo enemy opened fire from 82-mm and 120-mm mortars.
Also mortar bombardment forces ATO position in Krasnogorovka.
Grenade launchers and small arms militants used strong points ATU forces Starognatovki and Novogrigorevki.
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