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Join date : 2015-05-29

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News -
Attacks around Marinka, and also Mariupol areas.
No figure given again today for the number of attacks.
Update - two soldiers injured - Marinka area.

Weather -
Warm. Unreal. +10 this morning. Cloudy. A touch of sun.
Forecast for the next week actually looks quite good. Warmer than average.
N.B. Ukraine's gas consumption down 50% on the same week one year ago. That's how warm it is.

Last edited by Nelson on Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:48 am; edited 2 times in total
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The Ukrainian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade anticipates GDP growth to speed up to 1% in 1H16, after a near 10% decline in 2015, Concorde Capital informed clients today, based on an Interfax news agency report of Feb. 22.

The revival will be driven by a low statistical base as well resumed industrial growth in the east of the country, strengthened internal demand caused by increased wages, and reduced production costs after a payroll tax cut, as mentioned in the ministry’s statement. At the same time, the ministry points out the risks of a further decline in global commodity prices and extra trade restrictions from Russia.

Previously UkrStat reported that Ukraine’s GDP decline slowed down to -1.2% yoy in 4Q15, compared to -7.2% yoy in 3Q15, -14.6% yoy in 2Q15 and -17.2% yoy in 1Q15.

Importantly, the state budget for 2016 was drafted based on a 2.0% GDP growth assumption.................
Prices for iron ore fines with 62% grade in Chinese ports advanced 13% to USD 51.5/t on Feb.22, after the Chinese New Year holidays ended, Concorde Capital informed clients in an online advisory, indicating that prices have recovered to the level seen last October.

Fresh orders from Chinese steelmakers for iron ore have driven up its price, according to Metal Bulletin. Seeing such an increase, certain suppliers of iron ore have taken a wait-and-see approach, betting on even higher prices in March. The recovery may be short-lived, traders commented to Reuters, as the fundamental factors of oversupply and lack of final demand continue to pressure the market.

Pellet prices (65% grade) were more stable at USD 59.6/t as of Feb. 19, having increased USD 4-5/t from the bottom reached in mid-December and maintained through mid-February.

Steel products prices experienced steady revival across the board after the Chinese holidays, as Chinese steelmakers led the market with price increases. Steel exporters from the CIS region participated in this price hike too. Offers prices for steel slab in the Black Sea region, FOB, ranged around USD 225-240/t, according to Metal Courier, up USD 10-20/t from the level seen in December-January, and reached November 2015 levels. HRC prices added 10/t to USD 255-265/t compared to beginning of the year, though being USD 5-20/t lower than November’s range. Rebar prices also advanced USD 10/t to USD 280-295/t, and also have yet to rebound to the USD 290-300/t seen in November. The price-increase mood is driven by suppliers, who aim to continue the trend in March, according to Metal-Courier.

Concorde analyst Roman Topolyuk added: “The slight price recovery is a positive development for Ukrainian steel and iron ore producers, including Metinvest (METINV) and Ferrexpo (FXPOLN, FXPO LN). Metinvest generated a negative EBITDA of USD 4 mln in November, and might have gone deeper into the red in December-January (Metinvest’s monthly report for December, expected this week, might confirm our expectations)......................

To read further go to this link:
The Donbas rebels used large-caliber artillery to shell Ukraine army outposts near Avdijyvka. In Avdijyvka, car alarm systems went off and chandeliers in homes teetered because of artillery salvos, locals said.

According to the former army spokesman Olexy Dmytrashkivsky, the shelling started at 17.00.

 “Heavy fighting is going on near Avdijyvka. The rebels are using large-caliber artillery. As heavy shells explode, window panes shatter, chandeliers teeter and car alarms systems go off. Ukraine servicemen return fire using merely small arms. The imp[ression is that the separatists have started an offensive,” one of the locals said.

Recent intelligence reports from Donbas indicate that the rebels are pulling tanks and Grad missiles closer to the neutral zone. From Horlivka, reports say that local hospitals are signing out patients without serious problems – to make room for new patients. Doctors from Donetsk were ordered to move to Horlivka.
on Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:23 pmAdmin
Feb. 21, Antonov Corporation president and Saudi Arabia’s Taqnia Aeronautics Co. signed an agreement on cooperation to start the joint assembly of An-132 planes in Saudi Arabia.

Under the agreement, Ukraine will transfer technology and train Saudi personnel.

Antonov will also provide maintenance of its An-132, An-148 and An-178 models.

The agreement is a road map for the future cooperation between Ukraine and Saudi Arabia, Antonov officials say.
The Russian Federation has invited Ukraine to mutually lift restrictions on the transit of freight transport.

Censor.NET reports citing UNIAN quoting Head of the Association of International Road Carriers of Ukraine Leonid Kostiuchenko.

"We hope that tomorrow they will agree [on lifting mutual transit restrictions imposed by Ukraine and Russia - ed].

"Russia has already sent a letter with a proposal to remove these restrictions, the minister [Andrii Pyvovarskyi - ed.] has this letter. Now we have to consider this issue at a Cabinet meeting tomorrow. If they decide positively, then the transit will be unblocked," he said. In Russian

Either they're showing that they're hurting in more ways than one economically, or they're trying to show the world they're trying to be the nice guy.

They must not want to be so isolated from the rest of Europe.
on Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:33 pmNelson
By Brian Whitmore
February 23, 2016
It's hard not to admire Ilya Yashin's bravery.
It's hard not to respect Yashin's willingness to challenge Ramzan Kadyrov even as the Chechen strongman openly threatens him and other opposition figures.
It's hard not to be impressed by Yashin's willingness to publicly take on a man widely believed to have a license to kill from the Kremlin -- and widely suspected of being behind the assassination of Boris Nemtsov nearly one year ago this week....

@Nelson wrote:12:11
Alternative headline -
"I want to be President. We need new elections. Then I will be President. Dismiss everbody. I want to be President. I will be President. Execute the traitors. Execute Yatseniuk. I want to be President. I will be President. My income is 10 dollars a day. I am poor. That is all. Right, now, where is my Mercedes parked? "

Today's TOP POST!

MOSCOW -- At a press conference that was repeatedly interrupted by a bomb threat, police with bullhorns, and hecklers, liberal opposition politician Ilya Yashin has presented a report condemning Chechen Republic leader Ramzan Kadyrov and calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to dismiss him...
Yashin's 65-page report asserts that Kadyrov is ruling over his own "Chechen caliphate" in which he "bathes in luxury, elevates elements of Shar'ia law over Russian law, and is building up his own military might."......
As Yashin answered questions, a police officer with a bullhorn entered the hall and ordered the room cleared....

Russia today.

Last edited by Nelson on Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
...The SMM observed a total of 794 ceasefire violations in Donetsk region, considerably higher than on previous days.[1] Of note, positioned in city-centre Donetsk between 16:00 and 07:00hrs on 21/22 February, the SMM recorded 312 undetermined explosions 7-10km to the west and north-west....

Observers special monitoring mission of the OSCE reported that a shell found on reactive systems "Smerch" near the settlement Lisichansk. This is stated in the report of the OSCE, the news sends Press Ukraine . "According to observers, it was a rocket 9K58" Smerch ", which was released earlier. Element projectile was found in the ground on the side, 15 meters from the road. Near Marinka observers found six anti-tank mines, "- noted in the mission. Earlier we reported that the militants of the terrorist organization "DNR" MSF staff refused to let in the occupied settlements Sahanka and Primorsk.


Very very nasty Russian rocket system, far worse than Grad.
Observers blocked from entering some areas. Putin, as always, not complying with agreements. Lies and lies and lies. Putin and Lavrov and Cherkin.
on Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:51 amNelson
2 minutes ago
Hryvnia for one dollar / one euro / one pound
Inverse: 27.2359 30.0117 38.3284

The dollar very strong again. The British pound falling towards 1.40.
27 hryvnia to a dollar. Amazing. Remember when it used to be 8?!
I was waiting for somebody outside the post office. I saw an apartment (admittedly small) for sale for 14,000 euros. Not bad.
And a small house in the country for 30k. And I'm sure you could negotiate the price down maybe 20% or more!

Bureau de Change today I saw something like 26.7 / 27.3 and 29.6 / 30.2 for dollar and euro respectively.
on Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:45 amNelson
2 minutes ago
Crude Oil & Natural Gas
WTI Crude Oil (Nymex)
USD/bbl. 31.72 -1.67 -5.00% Apr 2016 11:10 AM
Brent Crude (ICE)
USD/bbl. 33.19 -1.50 -4.32% Apr 2016 11:10 AM
Moving back towards 30 dollars. The price had been rising slightly this week, but now falling back again.
Warm winter throughout Europe and the US will reduce demand further, I suspect.
“…I turned my face toward the attackers. I said: ‘First shoot me, and then - my guys whom I came to protect. These are my military servicemen; they belong to our Ukrainian army. And let the whole world see how you shoot the Orthodox bishop,’ he said.”

SIMFEROPOL, Feb 19, 2016 (UBO) - Archbishop Klyment of Simferopol and Crimea (Ukrainian Orthodox Church - Kyiv Patriarchate) will not leave the Crimean peninsula and will manage the diocese of the UOC KP until his death. He stated this in the video podcast “Unbreakable” of the media project “Voice of Crimea.”

“I had no intention to move to the mainland, and I banish such thoughts. For if I make a step toward mainland Ukraine - it will be a betrayal of God. The Lord through the laying on of hands of His Holiness Patriarch Filaret and my brother bishops made me the hierarch of the Crimean see, and I was appointed to the Crimean see. And under the apostolic rules, regulations of the Ecumenical Councils, no matter if I want it or not, no matter how difficult or easy it was, I have to remain in this see until death. If I leave the see before I die, I am a traitor of God,” Archbishop Klyment said................
on Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:48 amAdmin
Dmitry Sadovnik, a former officer with the Berkut riot police squad, who is suspected of killing Euromaidan protesters on February 20, 2014, is hiding in occupied Crimea, QHA reports.

That is what Dergey Gorbatyuk, Chief of the Special Investigations Department of Ukraine’s Prosecutor Office, said in an interview aired by the ICTV channel.

“Our intelligence reports suggest that he is now in Simferopol,” said Gorbatyuk.

According to Gorbatyuk, the majority of former Berkut policemen, who are suspected of killing protesters in 2014, are now hiding in Russia and occupied Crimea.
on Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:27 amAdmin
Commentary by Leonid Bershidsky for Bloomberg View, Feb 22, 2016:

President Vladimir Putin has boasted that Russia took over Crimea "without a single shot being fired." There's even a propaganda movie that presents the operation as the result of brilliant Kremlin planning and seamless execution. A document published on Monday shed new light on why the annexation was bloodless -- and on the limits of Putin's aggressiveness.

The news site has published the transcript of a meeting of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council that took place Feb. 28, 2014. The previous day, Russian troops without identifying insignia helped pro-Moscow activists take over Crimea's parliament and government. The following day, the Russian parliament authorized Putin to start military operations in Ukraine.

The meeting's attendees, officials swept into power by Ukraine's "Revolution of Dignity," vainly sought to prevent the loss of Crimea to Russia, but effectively decided to give up the peninsula, believing the alternative would be worse.

Oleksandr Turchynov, the acting president and parliament speaker, raised the possibility of fighting back. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk -- who still is in office, unlike many others who came to power directly after the February 2014 revolution -- opposed a counteroffensive.

"We're talking about declaring war on Russia," he said, according to the transcript. "Right after we do this, there will be a Russian statement 'On defending Russian citizens and Russian speakers who have ethnic ties with Russia.' That is the script the Russians have written, and we're playing to that script.".................

To read further go to this link:
I was watching the !!2 news channel at 1300 today.
They held a telephone poll asking people whether they preferred
a) the politicians to talk further and come to an agreement, or
b) new elections
3000 votes. Result was 70% for a) and 30% for b)
Not very scientific but... I think that reflects the mood in the country. People don't want yet more elections at the moment.
Time for those in the Rada to do some real honest work.
Avdivka area.
..."Confirmed ordinary losses among Russian servicemen, acting as part of sabotage and reconnaissance groups. February 22 this year during clashes in areas Krasnogorovka and Donetsk airport killing four servicemen of the Armed Forces, another seven were wounded, "- said in a statement .....
Alternative headline -
"I want to be President. We need new elections. Then I will be President. Dismiss everbody. I want to be President. I will be President. Execute the traitors. Execute Yatseniuk. I want to be President. I will be President. My income is 10 dollars a day. I am poor. That is all. Right, now, where is my Mercedes parked? "
Politics is dangerous in Ukraine.
Starobelsk - Lugansk oblast, about 30 miles north north west of Lugansk. I would think it is in free Ukraine.
Assassination - clinical. Head and neck. Like the Russian snipers at Maidan.
18:18 22.02.2016
Gas stocks exceed last year's stocks 2.1 bcm – Naftogaz
Stocks of natural gas in underground storage facilities as of February 21, 2016 reached 10.3 billion cubic meters, which is 2.1 billion cubic meters up year-over-year, Naftogaz Ukrainy reported on Monday.
According to the company, last week only 200 million cubic meters were used, while 400 million cubic meters were used a year ago....

I've been saying that it is warm.
Last February was ok. Not much snow, but cold. Today my thermometer reads 12C. PLUS 12!!!!
And the forecast for the end of the week is now looking better also.
Putin will not freeze Ukraine into submission this winter, that is for sure.
Gas usage last week at HALF the level of a year ago!!! 50% less. Wow... El nino year...
"We were discussing three candidates within the faction in order to recommend them to the president, the People's Front, and other partners in the coalition, when we were still its part. Two of these candidates were foreigners, and the third one was Mikheil Saakashvili, who had already been granted Ukrainian citizenship," he said. ...
Two are foreigners!
I consider Sakashvili to be a foreigner also. !
"I think we will take decisive steps taken on 3 March. Jean-Marc Ayrault invited us to Paris. We will meet there. I think it will not only speak three foreign ministers, but all the people in Ukraine, Europe and the world that await success, progress on security, "- he said....

"I think that during the meeting in Paris we will achieve some necessary compromises, and we agree on a common position and be able to overcome all the ditches that we still share," - said Steinmeier....

Also Earlier, Foreign Minister of France, Jean-Marc Ayrault has announced that a new meeting of foreign ministers "Norman Quartet" (Germany, France, Russia, Ukraine) to resolve the conflict Ukraine will be held March 3 in Paris.
...The head of the faction "Fatherland" [Batkivshina] Yulia Tymoshenko said the TV channel "112".
"There is no sensation here, except that it is, in my view, a crime. Published the transcript of a closed meeting of the National Security Council. Sooner or later it will be considered criminal manner. In any other country, these people immediately would be prosecuted responsibility ", - said Tymoshenko....

Of course, Tymoshenko ever the expert - after the event.
And what about her destruction of the Orange revolution by making an agreement with Yanukovich?!
As a direct result of which a second revolution was needed in which at least 10,000 people have died. Is that a crime too?
Occupied areas - Donbass, Crimea - are in light blue.
The larger the circle, the larger the number of resettled people.
Obviously a lot still in Lugansk and Donetsk free areas.
But many also in Kiev, Odessa, Vinnitsa, Lviv.

Looks to me like people have simply gone to live with relatives - most still in free Donetsk, free Lugansk, also Kharkiv, Zaporozhia - nearby. But free from Putin's tyranny.
From @leonidragozin
"Responsible citizens" - very dangerous organisation! Donbass doesn't need anybody showing responsibility for other human beings.
Putin is a nutcase. Completely lost his marbles.

Last edited by Nelson on Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:37 am; edited 1 time in total
Headquarters: Militants fired mortars from the ATO forces and grenade launchers
Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 7:46
The situation in the area of ​​ATO remains tense but under control.
The press center ATO headquarters said on Facebook.
"For Ukrainian military positions near Vodianoy in Mariupol toward gang of Russian mercenaries fired 82 mm mortars, grenade launchers of various systems and small arms," ​​- said in a statement.
At midnight recorded sniper fire Ukrainian base of operations in the area of ​​Marinka. There militants using small arms.
Also, gunmen fired on the position of the Supreme Court with small arms near Avdeevki and Novgorod.

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