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News -
Putin shells Ukraine 53 times yesterday. The number of attacks getting higher again.
Update at 1230 - 6 soldiers injured.

Weather -
Absolutely miserable. Zero. Rain mixed with snow. But the roads are clear.
A day to stay in and cook some fresh bread, except I have to go into the centre of Kiev today - meet a friend.
Weather in Kiev was yucky. Mokri sneg - "wet snow"... but nothing settling. But cold. +1 maybe.

Possible New PM today? -
Will the Rada decide on a new PM today? Supposedly a meeting, but - Jaresko, or Groisman, or Tymoshenko?
Yes - I saw her name mentioned in the press also this morning. Can they get 226 votes?
Samopomich said they will support Jaresko. But the Rada bandits certainly won't want her.
Update - 1700. Nothing new yet. Various names being banded about. Groisman PM, Parubuy Speaker...
Next meeting tomorrow at 10 am, according to Liashko.

Last edited by Nelson on Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:52 am; edited 5 times in total
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on Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:32 amNelson
This thread, now continued for Friday 25 March, at

or go to
and select Ukraine news.

Will Ukraine get a new PM today? And a new coalition? 50-50...
on Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:19 pmAdmin
Despite the possible cooperation with Russia in the fight against terrorism, NATO will stick to their line on the crisis in Ukraine. This was stated by NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow on Thursday, March 24 during his visit to Lithuania, reports DW.

According to him, the North Atlantic Alliance does not intend to abandon the additional security measures in the eastern territories for possible support in the fight against terrorism.

"We do not go to any deal," - said Vershbow.

According to him, Russia's aggression against Ukraine undermined the basic principles of the European security system. "Even if we can cooperate more actively in the fight against terrorism, we will not give a strong response to this aggression on the illegal annexation of Crimea", - said Vershbow. In Russian/русский
Specialists of Veterinary Medicine documented case of death of the pigs in the village Nadlymanske Ovidiopol district of Odessa region as a result of infection with African swine fever virus. This was reported in the Department of Veterinary Medicine of the Odessa Regional State Administration.

"In the study of the samples of biological material in the State research institute on laboratory diagnostics and veterinary-sanitary examination of the diagnosis: African swine fever. To coordinate actions to localize and eliminate the outbreak held a meeting of the Emergency Committee at Antiepizootic Ovidiopol district administration, the decision which approved the liquidation plan of ASF, defined the boundaries of epizootic outbreak, the protection and surveillance zone ", - said the acting head of the regional department of veterinary medicine Sergey Gavura.

According to the district veterinary service, the owners of private farms village Nadlymanske contained 147 pigs. Measures have been taken to prevent the spread of ASF pathogen.

As specified in the Regional Administration, this is the second outbreak of African swine fever for March 17-23 in the Odessa region. A few days ago the DNA of the virus has also been found in a private farm village Mirolyubovka Rozdilna neighboring district. Local veterinarians and employees of the State Service for Emergency Situations shall take measures to prevent the spread of the disease. In Russian/русский
Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash, whose extradition from Austria require US appealed to the Constitutional Court of Austria.
It is reported by Deutsche Welle .

The newspaper said Firtash claims to be unconstitutional extradition treaty between Austria and the USA.

DW also with reference to the High Regional Court of Vienna reported that on March 24 the appellate court received the complaint from prosecutors in the trial court's refusal to extradite to the US Firtash.

However, consideration of the appeal postponed indefinitely - until the Constitutional Court decision on the appeal Firtash.
The US accused Firtash that he was using bribes totaling 18.5 million dollars in would get permission to mine titanium in India. The oligarchs threatened up to 50 years in prison and confiscation of assets.

The trial court last spring forbade extradition Firtash , pointing to the inability to exclude political motives Ukrainian request for extradition from the US. In September, the Vienna public prosecutor's office appealed the decision.  In Ukrainian/український
54% of Russians believe that Joseph Stalin played a positive role in history.

This follows from the survey, "Levada Center", the results which writes the Russian newspaper " Vedomosti ".

Approximately the same number of respondents believe Stalin's wise leader who led the Soviet Union to prosperity. However, most respondents - 60% - would not want to live with such a head of state. However, their number is declining - in 2008 the figure was 74%.

Tyrant, guilty of the deaths of millions, Stalin believed two-thirds of respondents, and positive feelings for him said 23%. Nearly half of respondents believe Stalin's repressions crime, but more of those who believe that they were a political necessity. A positive attitude to Stalin in the poll was to prevail over the negative in March 2014, the newspaper reminds.
"Stalin, according to the Russians was the appropriate figure to lead the country during the war at a critical time when needed hard hand. And now it is more appropriate figure. At the same time live in such times, the Russians do not want" - said Deputy Director "Levada center" Alexei Grazhdankin.

According to him, changing perceptions of Stalin is related to how his leadership style corresponds to the current era.
"This wave of anxiety that was in 2014, is declining, and if no new stimuli for public opinion appears if the external environment and financial situation will not deteriorate, then the attitude to it and this type of leader will gradually change "- said Grazhdankin.

Recall that a similar poll was conducted 5-16 February 2016 in Ukraine .

Since 17% have a positive attitude to Stalin compared to 23% in 2012. It does not matter to Stalin are 26%, negative - 38%, 19% refused to answer.

This fascination with Stalin to put 1% of respondents with respect - 13%, with sympathy - 3%. Hostile to it are 13%, with the fear - 8%, with disgust, hatred - 17%. Do not know who Stalin, 1% of respondents.   In Ukrainian/український
US Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States insist on the return of Ukrainian sovereignty over Crimea and called for the release Ukrainian pilots Hope Savchenko.

He said this at a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin after four hours of talks in Moscow.

"The US remains committed to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, which includes the Crimea", - said Kerry.

He called on Minsk to perform the agreement fully and without delay, including removing it concerns all arms in the Donbas and Ukraine restore control over the Ukrainian-Russian border.

"I repeated President Obama's promise that the sanctions would be lifted if all the points of the Minsk agreements are met, including the withdrawal of all troops and weapons and return of sovereignty to the Ukrainian border", - said the Secretary of State.

Kerry also urged Putin to release Hope Savchenko.

"I also mentioned about Hope Savchenko and that she should be allowed to return to Ukraine It is a question of a humanitarian character, it should be resolved immediately." - Kerry said

As reported, "Apostrophe" on March 24 visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry in Russia .

Before the meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested that in a suitcase , which is arriving in Moscow Kerry did not let out of the hands, he brought money for trading with Russia, however, in response to the US Secretary of State said that there is a surprise that appeals to the Russian leader. In Russian/русский
on Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:34 pmAdmin
US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the contents of the suitcase with which he has arrived in Moscow on March 24 will remain secret.

He said at the final press conference after four hours of talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The question of the Russian journalist asked a suitcase. First, Kerry left it unattended, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov insisted that he answered the question.

"It's a secret, but I know that President Putin," - said Kerry.

As reported, "Apostrophe" on March 24 visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry in Russia .

Before the meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested that in a suitcase , which is arriving in Moscow Kerry did not let out of the hands, he brought money for trading with Russia, however, in response to the US Secretary of State said that there is a surprise that appeals to the Russian leader. In Russian/русский
Social network users are discussing an incident that occurred in Ekaterinburg: bus driver threw the grandmother of the interior, because it does not pay the fare.

Video of the incident appeared on YouTube.

"From it smelled bad, she swore and gives us discomfort" - lead the local media quoted eyewitnesses of the incident.

"If a person is behaving inappropriately leads, then the situation may be different: we try to make passengers feel comfortable ride in our transport, but if there is a similar incident, the driver is obliged to contact the main supervisor and report it - and decide on what should be. do have to take the main manager we like call today was not recorded, "-. explains the representative of the carrier.

Video comments wave caused in the network. In Russian/русский
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the West himself provoked the outbreak of terrorism in the world.

He stated this on the results of the visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry to Russia, answering the question of a foreign journalist about the cynical reaction of officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on the tragic terrorist attacks in Belgium this week.

From Lavrov's response it was clear that he shares the position of his subordinates.

"I do not even know what is there to argue there are many analysts and political figures, including the United States, which recognize that terrorism was largely triggered by erroneous actions of the West in the region." - Said the Minister.

He accused the West of the formation of Al-Qaeda and LIH.

"So there is no question of that we have someone try something to blame But these solutions, once again, are considered to be gross errors, including many US politicians now in force." - Lavrov said.

As reported, "Apostrophe", in the morning, 22 March, two explosions took place in Brussels 'Zaventem' at the airport, and then, a series of explosions on the city's underground station "Malbec". The attacks killed more than 30 people.

The reaction of the Russian Foreign Ministry has caused indignation of the public. In particular, the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova Speaker He said that the EU itself to blame for the terrorist attacks, as took the Ukrainian side in the conflict in Donbas.

D eputat State Duma, head of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party Vladimir Zhirinovsky also made ​​very strong statement. "It is beneficial when Europe blow up! Let die!". It is the vice-speaker of the State Duma. Went scum ", - he commented on the terrorist attacks in Belgium. In Russian/русский
Status Russia is much worse than the one in which it was before the aggression against Ukraine , so the United States and Europe should not treat it as an equal player on the world stage.

This writes the Director of International Market Analysis Ariel Cohen, in his article in Newsweek edition, the "Channel 24 ".

Author emphasized that Russia's military adventures in Ukraine and Syria were trying to manipulate the perception of the world, because the Kremlin is trying to demonstrate that it is on the same level with the United States that it is ready to cooperate in the fight against "Islamic state", but at the same time can be a military threat US allies - Turkey, Ukraine and the Syrian opposition.

"Russian military adventures against Ukraine began plummeting to the bottom, however, the Kremlin continues to do everything possible to overthrow the pro-Western government in Kiev and replace it with their puppets," - says Cohen.

The author contends that Russia has failed to diversify its economy, and because foreign professionals fleeing the country en masse.

"Russia has not yet become North Korea's nuclear arsenal, but it is now just less happy place than it was even during the financial crisis in 2008-2009," - summed Cohen.

As reported, "Apostrophe", former US Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer says Washington is not enough of the active position on the Ukraine . In Russian/русский
Against the Kursk Regional Duma deputy, journalist Olga Lee, who previously called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to resign , a criminal case.

She spoke about it in the comments, "Radio Liberty".

According to the journalist, about the criminal case against it learned on Thursday at a meeting of deputies of the Kursk Regional Duma first deputy prosecutor Nikolai Studenikina Kursk region. She said that at the end of the hearing the deputies "United Russia", "Communist Party" and "Liberal Democratic Party" openly expressed their dissatisfaction with it. "

As reported, "Apostrophe", previously Olga distinguish whether a video message to Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of supporting prosecutorial arbitrariness in the region . Also, the journalist claims that the real Putin's approval rating is 25%. In Russian/русский
Early parliamentary elections only delay necessary reforms and create further instability.

This was stated by US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt, reports the press service of the embassy.

Pyatt believes that it is time for Ukrainian leaders at all levels to take difficult decisions and move forward with reforms. Thus, as noted Payyett need to reform the GPU and continue judicial reform. At the same time, Parliament must continue to represent the people, not the vested interests of individual members or oligarchic clans.

"Let me emphasize, especially now, state institutions of Ukraine, Administration of the President, Prime Minister, Cabinet and Parliament have come together to work for the good of the country as people on Maidan demanding two years ago, not play political games or pursue their own interests. in this regard, I believe that early elections only delay necessary reforms and create more instability, when you have so much to do, "- said in a statement.

Recall that the dissolution of the parliament and holding early elections support over 52% of Ukrainian, against - 31.5%.   In Ukrainian/український

Very true. Something Tymoshenko obsessively wants.
Border guards Kharkiv squad found a large amount of money in one of the tank cars for checkpoint "Goptovka," the press service of the State Border Service of Ukraine .

"Along with the vehicle inspection noticed the excitement of the driver. Border guards began checking cars. Notice to uncharacteristic sounds at prostukivaniem tank. Inside found wrapped in a plastic bag of money. According to the owner, there were about 150 million rubles. Law enforcement officials have counted 148 million, - stated in the message. "

"Now going further inspection of the vehicle design and procedural violations. Details exposing large amounts of money will be announced later," - added the press service.   In Ukrainian/український
Vladimir Putin received in the Kremlin the Secretary of State of the United States of America John Kerry. US Secretary of State arrived at the meeting with the head of the Russian state after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Vladimir Putin: Mr Secretary of State! Dear colleagues! Let all of you a warm welcome.

We always welcome your visit, because they are always in a very businesslike atmosphere and give a chance to progress in solving serious problems.

Today, when I saw you walk down from the plane and carries her things, I'm a little upset. On the one hand, it is very democratic, on the other hand - I think, quite evidently bad business in the United States, Secretary of State, no one to help carry the suitcase. But like everything in the economy is good, no big cuts. Then he thought: maybe in this case it was something that you could not trust anyone, something of value - perhaps the money brought to bargain better on key issues.

But seriously, we're really happy to see you, because I was without jokes saying now, as a rule, we have been able to achieve, to find some common ground and leaning on it, to move forward in resolving bilateral issues and international issues .


D.Kerri (as translated): Thank you, Mr. President.

When can we talk to you face to face, I will show you what's in my portfolio - I think it will surprise you, it will be a pleasant surprise.

Mr. President, let me start by saying that I would like to express condolences on behalf of President Obama and the American people about the crash in Rostov-on-Don. I understand that from our team on the Transportation Security Administration is ready to to go to the scene of the accident and provide the necessary assistance. And we also are willing to do the same.

Mr President, I want to thank you for taking the time to meet with us. I know that you have a very busy schedule today, however, we are very excited about this opportunity to talk seriously about serious things.

Mr President, I think it would be fair to say that our serious approach and the cooperation that has taken place between the two countries within the framework of this approach, really led to serious results, serious results, particularly in regard to the life of the Syrian population, and in respect of the progress in advancing motions thereto.

And, by the way, many observers believed that the cessation of hostilities - is something that can not be achieved. However, thanks to our cooperation, both military and political, was applied a lot of effort to such co-operation has taken place.

I want to say that this Sunday marks a month since the beginning of the truce. And, by the way, the Syrian population, the region's population as a result of these efforts could literally taste and feel, hear, smell, so to speak, the opportunities that are associated with this ceasefire. We are talking about a very substantial reduction in the level of violence and an increase in humanitarian aid.

Mr. President, I know that you have certain thoughts, certain ideas, and you have already taken a very serious decision concerning the withdrawal of a large portion of your troops from Syria. And we also have certain thoughts, certain ideas on how to more effectively engage in negotiations in Geneva, and other issues. So now, really, it's time to start serious work, it's really hard work associated with the transition period.

Mr President, we, too, there are certain ideas that relate to, firstly, how to make progress with regard to Ukraine soon. I know that you are also looking to pursue other opportunities waiting for serious problems. And I look forward to the opportunity today to talk seriously about important matters relating to moving forward on this subject, on these issues and see what we could do in order to restore and strengthen the relationship between the United States and Russia by showing that we seriously can together solve serious problems.

Vladimir Putin: Mr Secretary of State! We realize that what we have done on the Syrian track, could only be achieved thanks to the position of the top political leadership of the United States, President Obama's position.

I hope that your visit will allow us to bring closer the positions on further settlement and Syrian subjects, and, as you said, in Ukrainian.

VIDEO OF MEETING: In Russian/русский
on Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:09 pmAdmin
Russian President Vladimir Putin's conversation with US Secretary of State John Kerry lasted four hours, reports "TASS" .

The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov.

Opening the meeting with Kerry, Putin said that Russia and the US, as a rule, can not find common ground and work on bilateral and international issues.

In turn, the American diplomat offered to discuss a number of US ideas for the speedy resolution of the situation in Ukraine.

After brief greetings, Putin and Kerry meeting was held behind closed doors. In Russian/русский
In the near future they will be announced the names directly to the customer murder of journalist Georgy Gongadze.
This Deputy Prosecutor General Yury Stolyarchuk said in an interview to "RBK-Ukraine".

"These days, completed a set of investigative activities that will allow us to prosecute the crime of customers. We will do it, I'm sure. It's about a real family names, the real punishment. And, believe me, it will not continue for decades. We can say, at the finish line ", - he said.

According Stolyarchuk, in the course of the investigation there are many new facts and details, including about former Interior Minister Yuri Kravchenko. He also said that now there are a lot of questions to Major Melnichenko.

"Against him criminal proceedings carried out four According to my information, he lives in the US Melnichenko announced an international search In the near future it will be announced on the procedural decision the Major still ahead....", - Said the prosecutor.

Recall that the official term for the murder of Gongadze was only the former head of the Department of external surveillance Anatoly Pukach.

However Pukach defense appealed the sentence (pozhiznennnoe conclusion) and is seeking re-examination of the case - too much is still unclear. According Pukach, the crime involved the former president Leonid Kuchma and the head of his administration, Vladimir Litvin.

He also claims that incriminated himself under the pressure of the investigation in many ways .
Thus, customers Gongadze's murder still be at large. In Russian/русский
Russia has committed itself to put pressure on the so-called terrorists DNR and LC for the speedy implementation of the Minsk agreements.

This was after talks Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State John Kerry said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, reports RIA Novosti .

"Moscow has pledged to press the" DNR "and" LNR "fulfillment of obligations under the Minsk agreements," - Lavrov said.

"Moscow and Washington agree that there is no alternative to the implementation of the Minsk agreements as a way to resolve the conflict in Donbas. Despite some nuances, we have no differences in regard to the implementation of the Minsk agreements, including through direct Kyiv dialogue with the Donetsk and Lugansk" - the Foreign Minister added.

Recall that Kerry after four-hour talks Putin said that with anktsii with Russia could be lifted only after a 100% implementation of the Minsk agreements. In Russian/русский
The prosecutor's office called the accusations groundless Deputy Prosecutor General David Sakvarelidze, the dismissal of investigators who worked on the case of so-called "diamond prosecutors."

This was during the briefing said the prosecutor of the Prosecutor General Vladislav Kutsenko, reports "Interfax-Ukraine"

"I must say that this information is not true", - said Kutsenko.

He noted that to date, the prosecutor's office launched the reform process, which provides for the reorganization of the prosecutors.

"Fired no one has been and will not be today", - said Kutsenko. He stated that the withdrawal of the employee from the state is not a dismissal, and is associated with the reform process.

As you know, earlier Sakvarelidze said that the prosecutor's office continues dismissal of investigators who conducted business, "diamond" prosecutors.

Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin refused to explain why there are these layoffs.

Sakvarelidze and several civic organizations announced the action of protest against the dismissal of the GPU under their command.

Moreover, Sakvarelidze said business relations Prosecutor General Viktor Shokina and "diamond" prosecutors. In Russian/русский

Now after it war reported earlier today that Shokin relieved him of duty, they do a 360? If the turnarounds the case, then they found out it was a major mistake they initially made.
on Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:34 pmAdmin
US Secretary of State John Kerry said the aviator Hope Savchenko convicted in Russia should return to Ukraine, reports "Interfax".

"I also mentioned about Hope Savchenko and that she should be allowed to return to Ukraine", - said Kerry at a news conference following talks in Moscow.

He added that the question of "humanitarian" and "it must be solved immediately." In Russian/русский
US ready to lift sanctions against Russia with the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, US Secretary of State John Kerry said.

"President Obama is ready to lift the sanctions, if all provisions of the Minsk agreements will be fully implemented, including the diversion of weapons and military and closing the southern border of Ukraine", - said John Kerry at a press conference after talks with Russian leaders in Moscow. In Russian/русский

So the agreement still stands, with no alterations. That includes the border. The "southern border" I take it is Russia's border with Ukraine. Very glad to see nothing was changed. So it seems the US knows it's backed Putin in a corner financially and the only way out is to reverse Putin's intrusion into Ukraine. So it's a no-win for Putin, if he wants the collar to be loosened around his neck.
US Secretary of State John Kerry at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Washington has ideas on how to achieve progress in resolving the situation in Ukraine, reports RIA "Novosti".

"We also have some ideas that relate to, first, as soon as progress with regard to Ukraine", - he said.

According to the Secretary of State, he is looking forward to "a serious talk about important matters relating to moving forward on this subject, on these issues."

He would also like to see "what we (Russia and the United States -. Ed.) Could do to restore to strengthen relations between the US and Russia by showing that we are serious we can work together to address a serious problem." In Russian/русский
In Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine's Security Service in cooperation with the military prosecutor's office and the police detained on bribe the chief of one of the municipal government departments of Justice and two state registrars. This was reported by the press service of the SBU.

"Extortioners demanded 5100 dollars (the equivalent of USD 135.6) from two locals for the state registration of property rights to several garages and gardens of houses in Dnepropetrovsk.", - Said in a statement.

As reported, the law enforcers arrested two extortionists in the workplace during the production of 42 thousand. UAH and US $ 400.

"Subsequently, the city was detained by the third member of the US team during the preparation of 2,3 thousand dollars..", - The report says.

Open criminal proceedings in h. 3 tbsp. 368 (receipt of undue benefits) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Continued operational-investigative actions. In Russian/русский
on Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:11 pmAdmin
Foreign armed actors in Donbas range from volunteers to paid-service men and women, and from independent militants to professional militaries, according to preliminary findings by the United Nations Working Group on mercenaries.

"The Working Group was informed by the authorities of Ukraine of at least 176 identified foreigners serving in armed groups of the self-proclaimed 'Donetsk People's Republic' and the self-proclaimed 'Luhansk People's Republic.' These reportedly include large numbers from the Russian Federation, Serbia, Belarus, France, and Italy, among others," the report says.

The Working Group also received data that foreign women have also been combatants in the armed conflict, in much smaller numbers.

"What is particularly concerning is that with the diverse array of foreign armed actors who joined the conflict, reports on human rights violations by these individuals have not been properly investigated or brought to justice," Group delegate, human rights expert Patricia Arias said.

In her words, foreign fighters have been prosecuted for various crimes including terrorist-related offences, but no prosecutions have been in relation to the human rights violations that took place..............
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin has officially instructed prosecutors not to transfer criminal cases to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, according to head of the board of the Anti-Corruption Action Center (AntAC), a Ukrainian civil society organization, Vitaliy Shabunin.

"The [Prosecutor General's] Office (PGO) has sent out clear instructions to the PGO divisions – the cases requested by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office should not be handed over," he wrote in his blog on Ukrainian online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda's website.

According to Shabunin, the PGO lists 10 reasons why the anti-corruption agencies are not authorized to submit requests for such cases and investigate them.

"The Prosecutor General's instructions list 10 clauses mentioning laws which should be cited by the prosecutors to officially deny the transfer of cases to the bureau or the specialized prosecutor's office. The reasons are suited to prosecutors' every fancy – from distortion to a sophisticated manipulation," he wrote...............

To read further go to this link:

This nightmare might just spell the end of Poroshenko's accomplishments. He must be dealt with immediately, if Poroshenko wants to continue with his goals and plans. Shokin will ruin him and his administration. Why in hell is the administration giving him free rein of one of the most important offices in Ukraine that is suppose to be fighting corruption? This will explode in Poroshenko's face very soon.

Seems during his recent vacation, he must've had meetings with Ukraine's opposition bloc, in order to bring Poroshenko's administration down. And with the way he's doing things, it won't be much longer. The west is definitely not going to like what's going on.

Russian crude oil export in January declined by 13.4% as compared to the previous month, and by 2.3% when comparing with January 2015, the Russian economic news agency PRIME reported with reference to the Russian Federal Statistics Service Rosstat.

The decline in crude oil exports in January is attributed to a relatively mild winter in Europe and continuing modest economic growth in the region.

It is noted that even more drastic fluctuations in export indicators were observed in the past, they exceeded 10% in annual terms, according to Director of the Ernst & Young Oil & Gas Center in Moscow Dmitry Dzyuba.

"Analyzing the January figures, we should take into account record high export levels in December, which exceeded 22 million tonnes," he said........................

To read further go to this link:
Ukrainian Sea Port Authority and M.V. Cargo have signed an agreement on the realization of two partnership projects on building a grain terminal at the Yuzhny seaport.

The authority said in a press release that Sea Port Authority Director Andriy Amelin and M.V. Cargo Head Oleksandr Prymak signed the document. Director General of Cargill AT LLC Martin Schuldt, Director General of TIS LLC Andriy Stavnitser, Head of the Yuzhny port's administration Maksym Shyrokov and Grain and Oilseeds Business Head at Cargill Europe Andreas Rickmers and Vice President of Cargill International Rodger Janson also took part in the signing ceremony.

M.V. Cargo acts as a developer and undertakes liabilities to build a marine grain handling terminal and berth 25 at the Yuzhny port. A capacity of the first phase of the terminal will be up to 5 million tonnes. The capacity will be increased by two or four million tonnes during the second project phase.

Sea Port Authority will help to create the navigable operating area of berth 25 and the navigable canal leading to berth 25. Sixteen meters deep dredging work will be carried out...............

To read further go to this link:
1 minute ago

Crude Oil & Natural Gas
WTI Crude Oil (Nymex)
USD/bbl. 38.76 -1.03 -2.59% May 2016 11:22 AM
Brent Crude (ICE)
USD/bbl. 39.77 -0.70 -1.73% May 2016 11:22 AM

Natural Gas (Nymex)
USD/MMBtu 1.80 +0.01 +0.50% Apr 2016 11:22 AM
1 minute ago
Hryvnia to one dollar / one euro / one pound
Inverse: 26.1999 29.2539 37.0560
"People's Front ready to nominate Parubii for post of Rada Speaker,” – lawmaker Siumar
The People's Front faction is willing to nominate First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Andrii Parubii for the post of the parliamentary speaker. ...

Parubii. I think currently he is deputy speaker.
He has about as much charisma as a dead fish. Not a great choice. Yatseniuk would be much much better, but not acceptable to the thieving hordes (Ukrainian deputies).
Who else? Can't think of anybody else with a functioning brain amongst the MPs...
UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic has announced a United Nations updated report on victims of the Donbas war

More than 9,000 had been killed and more than 21,000 injured during the Donbas conflict, he said in Geneva at the 31st session of the UN Council on Human Rights.

About 1,000 unidentified bodies are in Ukrainian morgues. In recent months, the number of civilian deaths has insignificantly declined, but people still die in artillery shelling and blasts of unexploded ordnance along the contact line, he said.

"The truce announced on September 1, 2015, and reinforced on December 23, 2015, by the full ceasefire regime is in jeopardy now," he said.

Simonovic said that the implementation of the Minsk agreements is the only real strategy for restoring peace in the east of Ukraine. Retaking full and effective control by the Ukrainian authorities over the border with the Russian Federation would help to stop the flow of weapons and fighters from Russia, he added.

Speaking about the grave humanitarian consequences of the conflict, the UN Assistant Secretary-General said that the Ukrainian authorities had already registered 1.6 million internally displaced persons.

Simonovic urged the Ukrainian authorities and the militants of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic to exchange information on the identification of the remains and any information about missing persons.........
Groisman on Friday as the Prime Minister presents his program (
The current parliament speaker Vladimir Groisman on Friday, March 25, will present his program.
This was after a meeting of heads of factions, said the head of the Radical Party, Oleg Lyashko.
"We agreed that tomorrow at 10 am, representatives of the four parties begin work on preparing the new coalition agreement. And at 14 o'clock Groisman as a candidate in the premiere presents its program", - said Lyashko.
He stressed that the presentation of the program chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers shall be made public.
"The program of the new government needs to know Ukrainian society, Ukrainian citizens. I hope that it will" - said the head of the Radical Party....

According to Liashko.
Lots of politicians talking about other politicians. Political games, as always in Ukrainian politics. Kindergarten. Populism gone mad. Makes me puke.
Batkivshina have said - no surprise - that they will not put forward the own candidate for PM - i.e. Tymoshenko doesn't want this job - at the moment!
It is a "kiss of death" job, that is for sure. As Yatseniuk found out, to his cost.
Found this about Batkiv -
"Batkivshina" refused to nominate a candidate for the post of prime minister (Charter'97)
And why - so they can blame everybody else. As clear as crystal. Scumballs, all of them - and yes, I know some of them! Filthy rich, and want yet more.
Britain's membership of the European Union helps secure the country's energy supply from any possible threat by Vladimir Putin's Russia to restrict gas flows, according to UK energy minister Amber Rudd, Reuters reported.

"We have seen how countries such as Putin's Russia use their gas supplies as a tool of foreign policy, threatening to cut off supplies or drastically increase prices," Rudd said, according to Reuters.

Her comments are part of the government's campaign to persuade Britons to vote to stay inside the EU at a June 23 referendum and were immediately criticized by rival campaigners who want to leave the bloc as scaremongering..........
Fractions of parliament will meet on Friday, March 25, to make additions to the text of the coalition agreement.
This was after a meeting of heads of factions representative of the "Batkivshina" Sergey Sobolev.
"Country sixth day lives threatened to call early parliamentary elections at any time. In fact, today was first announced no personnel, and specific proposals from factions which are the requirements to stage started a new coalition agreement.
That is why tomorrow at 10 am will gather representatives of the factions in order to supplement the coalition agreement ", - said Sobolev.
He recalled previously announced requirements of the faction "Fatherland": ban the sale of agricultural land and direct budgetary support to the agricultural sector, termination corrupt connection between the oligarchs and the government, an immediate decision on economically justified tariffs, indexation of salaries and pensions, as well as direct support for small and medium businesses....

Speculation. Will all the other parties agree to this?!
The Poroshenko Bloc has nominated Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Groysman for prime minister, Viktoria Siumar, the deputy chairperson of the parliamentary faction of the People's Front led by incumbent Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, told reporters on Thursday afternoon.
In her words, the meeting of the parliamentary factions' leaders is still under way...
on Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:40 amNelson

I must admit that when Lavrov accused the west of "geopolitical games"- I had the same thought. That's exactly what the Kremlin is doing.
Just the same when it accuses Ukrainians of being fascist. Russia itself is the fascist controlled state. Putin is the dictator. ..
quote from Whitmore -

...Putin's regime has unleashed an unprecedented campaign of destabilization, chaos, confusion, and disruption.
They've used duplicity, diversion, and distraction.
They've done this in Ukraine. They've done it in Syria. And they've done it in Europe itself.
And now they're trying to force the West to team up with Russia to fix the mess they themselves have nurtured and exploited.
This week should give us some idea of how much they have succeeded.

on Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:21 amNelson
...Malaysia, the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine have been exploring alternative options, including trials in international and national courts, after Russia vetoed a United Nations bid last July to form a tribunal....
On March 30 – April 2, 2016, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko will make a working visit to the United States.
In the framework of the visit, Petro Poroshenko will take part in the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington at the invitation of President of the United States Barack Obama.
The agenda of the visit provides for negotiations with the U.S. leaders and bilateral meetings with the state leaders-participants of the Summit.

Will Obama visit Ukraine?
Unlikely. He hasn't been there yet. Poro goes on to Japan on 05 April.
U.S. oil falls after big jump in stockpiles
...The U.S. government's Energy Information Administration said crude stockpiles climbed by 9.4 million barrels last week - three times the 3.1 million barrels build forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.
Read more on UNIAN:
I reworded the headline. Not the best of translations by somebody.
Oil prices falling. Good news again for Ukraine.
Incidentally, I did notice, going to Kiev centre today, that Okko petrol (gas) prices have gone up a little in the past week.
Their 95 premium octane now 23 uah. Was 22.
The Prosecutor General’s Office keeps dismissing its members investigating the case of ‘diamond prosecutors’ Korniiets and Shapakin.

Censor.NET journalist Serhii Ivanov wrote on Facebook.

"About 10 PGO investigators and prosecutors involved in investigation of the case of the 'diamond prosecutors' have been served notice of dismissal half an hour ago. The notices have been served by the former employee of the HR department of the Luhansk Regional Prosecutor's Office. It is very symbolic," Ivanov wrote.

It should be reminded that Deputy Prosecutor General, Head of the Odesa Regional Prosecutor's Office Davit Sakvarelidze announced that two members of his team were served notice of dismissal yesterday, March 23. He said that members of his team continued being dismissed today.

"The rest of our guys who have been directly involved in the inquiry into 'diamond prosecutors' continue being served notices of dismissal one by one," Sakvarelidze said.   In Ukrainian/український

Now PGO workers are leaving. This is increasing this major issue, once Shokin returned. This MUST be addressed immediately by Poroshenko, or else corruption is going to set back what has been accomplished against the fight to minimize it.
The war in eastern Ukraine led to severe humanitarian consequences.

Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović said speaking at the 31st session of the UN Council on Human Rights in Geneva, Censor.NET reports citing the official website of the UN.

According to assistant secretary-general, 30,346 people fell victims to the war in the east of Ukraine: over 9,000 were killed and more than 21,000 received injuries. There are about a thousand unidentified bodies in Ukrainian morgues. The number of civilian casualties has slightly decreased in recent months, but people in the area of the contact line still die due to shelling and unexploded ordnance.

Šimonović stressed that the implementation of the Minsk agreements was the only real strategy for peace in the east of Ukraine. He added that the restoration of full and efficient Ukrainian government's control over the section of the border with the Russian Federation would help stop the flow of weapons and militants from Russia.

"The people who live in the territories under armed groups' control are particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses. We hear firsthand accounts of arbitrary and incommunicado detention and torture by armed groups," Šimonović said.   In Ukrainian/український
Thursday, March 24, 2016, 15:06
Faction "Fatherland" is not meant to positions in government ...
This was said Thursday the deputy head of the faction Serhiy Sobolev.
He listed five conditions "homeland" to return to the coalition.
"An immediate decision to ban the sale of agricultural land and direct budgetary support and tax the agricultural sector, the second - to break the link between corruption and the oligarchs that Government, and which led to political and governmental crisis," - he said.
The third condition for a coalition and vote for the prime minister called Sobolev decision on economically justified tariffs on a background of falling prices for oil and gas in the world.
"Also for us is a must - it is indexed to inflation of salaries and pensions and removing any tax on pension," - he said.
"And, of course, a direct support for small and medium businesses," - said Sobolev.
However, he avoided answering the question who faction "Motherland" inclined to support the post of prime minister.
Don't want a position in government?
Could be true. I know from Tymoshenko's meetings with her top brass - she has one aim, her party has one aim, Tymoshenko must become President.
Everything else will be built around discrediting the government, and Poroshenko. Paving the way for Yulia to become President.

Last edited by Nelson on Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:57 am; edited 1 time in total
Dismissal of the pre-trial proceedings supervisor during the trial against ‘diamond prosecutors’ is direct pressure upon the results of the legal proceedings.

Censor.NET Chief Editor Yurii Butusov wrote in his article (in Russian).

"Vitalii Opanasenko is the supervisor of pre-trial proceedings in the case of the 'diamond prosecutors.' He makes all of the procedural decisions on the case and he bears all the responsibility. Today, he was informed of being dismissed. He and all of his employees. Vitalii is 27. He used to work in a district prosecutor's office, but when the war started, he moved to the military prosecution and left for the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) area. He was in the group that had investigated the most high-profile cases.

"The most well-known case he investigated was the Ilovaisk tragedy, crash of the Il-76 in Luhansk airport, the "Tornado" investigation. The group announced suspicion to ATO Chief of Staff General Major Nazarov, who is now being tried. The same group prepared suspicion to Chief of General Staff Viktor Muzhenko for criminal omission, failure to fulfill his responsibilities, and absence from his command center on Aug. 24-25, 2014 during the offensive of the Russian army," the journalist wrote.

According to Butusov, Opanasenko applied to the General Inspection of PGO for fighting corruption in summer 2015, and was accepted. Upon receiving documents that indicated possible involvement of deputy prosecutor of the Kyiv region Oleksandr Korniiets and deputy head of the Main Investigation Department of PGO Volodymyr Shapakin in corrupt activities, Opanasenko organized an operation to apprehend them. He was the one who also made the decision to search their homes and offices, the journalist noted.

"During investigation, it turned out that Shapakin and Korniiets were acting with impunity because of being friends and trustees of Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. However, [deputy Prosecutor General - ed.] Sakvarelidze and Hrytsak received an approval for actions directly from President Petro Poroshenko," Butusov wrote.

See more: Inquiry into diamond prosecutors' case speaks for corruption in PGO, Deputy Prosecutor General Kasko says

At the final stage of the investigation, when the trial against 'diamond prosecutors' started, head of the Main Directorate for Fighting Corruption Trepak was dismissed, Deputy Prosecutor General Kasko resigned, Sakvarelidze transferred to Odesa. The entire group that started the investigation is being dismissed from the PGO.

"Two cases for professional misconduct were opened against Opanasenko due to the 'diamond prosecutors' investigation. Shokin is demonstrating that anyone threatening his interests would be fired," Butusov stressed.

"Dismissal during the trial is direct pressure upon the result of the legal proceedings. … There could be no more cynicism and abuse of justice and PGO operations. I believe that Shokin has committed a corruptive crime by directly influencing the results of the trial," the journalist stated.  In Ukrainian/український

This guy's a ticking time-bomb for Poroshenko. Suddenly he returns and allowed to continue? This scourge is going to setback quite a bit what Poroshenko started. He must be removed before it gets worse, as it's already too late with the damage this person's caused. Poroshenko must do something NOW.
During attempts to attack the industrial area in Avdiyivka March 22-23 killed six Russian soldiers, five were wounded.
This was reported by the Department intelligence.
"The enemy continues to maintain tension in the Donetsk area. In areas n.p.Avdiyivka, Yasinuvata is a high intensity of shelling positions forces ATO, including using grenade launchers, 82 and 120 mm mortars," - said in a statement,
In addition, intelligence indicates that militants carried rotation and increased divisions Task Force and replenish ammunition....
At night in the area ATO 6 injured soldiers - Staff
Thursday, March 24, 2016, 12:53
One day in the area of ​​counter-terrorist operations, six soldiers were wounded.
This at a traditional briefing on Thursday, spokesman of the Presidential Administration Alexander ATO on Motuzyanyk.
One day in the past, due to fighting between Ukrainian military killed was not, however, four of our soldiers suffered injuries. This happened in Avdiyivka "- said the colonel.
"In addition, two soldiers received injuries due MAT subversion in enemy villages stretching in Lugansk," - he added.
Presiding judge of the Donetsk city court of the Rostov region, Russia Ali Khaybulayev, together with his colleagues Leonid Stepanenko and Yevgeniya Chernysh, have sentenced Ukrainian pilot Nadiia Savchenko for 22 years.

This is reported by Radio Svoboda journalist Anton Naumliuk on his Facebook page, Censor.NET informs.

He posted images of Ali Khaybulayev and commented that the presiding judge of the Donetsk court of Russia, together with his colleagues Leonid Stepanenko and Yevgeniya Chernysh, have sentenced Ukrainian pilot Nadiia Savchenko for 22 years.

The reporter also made a bitter comment regarding head of the Donetsk city police department Vladimir Bondarenko, who has been promoted to rank of colonel 'for professionalism' after the trial ended.

Images of another two judges Leonid Stepanenko and Yevgeniya Chernysh were posted earlier.   In Ukrainian/український
Basic article. Nothing new, to be honest. Will they even mention Ukraine? Let's hope so.
Lavrov yesterday still telling the same old lies - there are no Russian troops in Ukraine. Boll@cks.
Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk will announce his resignation only when the candidate for the premiership will be presented, which will be supported by the Verkhovna Rada, the new composition of the government and the plan for further reform of the country....
The day before, terrorists fired powerfully Avdeevka Donetsk region afternoon to 23 o'clock in the evening.
As a result of shelling of our military - 13 wounded, according to volunteer Bogdan Kovalev.
Terrorists fired from the 120mm mortars and small arms..
No doubt this will happen more and more - until Ukraine joins Nato, and somebody shoots one down.
Militants fire concentrated in the Donetsk direction - Staff
Thursday, March 24, 2016, 6:56
Militants continue to violate the terms of the armistice and to fire on positions forces ATO from Minsk II banned weapons.
The press center ATO Staff reports page on Facebook.
"Overall, last night the enemy made 53 attacks on positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Most of them were registered in the Donetsk area, namely 48" - said in a statement.
When mortar fire positions were Ukrainian troops in towns Yakovlivka, Staromykhailivka, Lozovoe and near the Donetsk airport. The fire was carried out with mortars caliber 82 mm and 120 mm. Total militants fired more than a hundred pounds.
In addition, the positions near Lozovoy terrorists also fired from grenade launchers and weapons BMP-1.
The largest number of militants again fired position forces ATU in Avdiyivka Zaitsev, Mayorsku, Pisky and Opitnoe.
In Mariupol militants fired towards Ukrainian defense near Shyrokynoho, Novovyboyivky, Dokuchaevsk. In particular, there are 120 terrorists have used mortars caliber.
Also nearby Bogdanovka enemy drone was detected.
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