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46 attacks by Putin's Russian forces on the Ukrainian people yesterday. Another increase.
Update: 1 soldier killed, 11 wounded.

So much for the forecast.
27C at 0930 this morning. I can't believe it. It is really hot and humid. No rain or thunder in sight. Just hot and sunny.
Expect 30 minimum today.

Last 16 fixtures settled for Euro 2016.
Highlight for me is Italy v Spain.
The top half of the draw looks much better than the bottom half.
Top has Wales, Belgium. Bottom, Germany, Italy, Spain, England, France...

Last edited by Nelson on Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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Most likely, the final decision will be taken only in late June at a meeting of leaders of the European Union.

The decision to extend the European Union sanctions on Russia again delayed, this time because of the position of Italy, reports Radio Free Europe, citing sources.

According to the radio, the Italian authorities insisting that the resolution containing sanctions against Russia's point of view policy of the Russian Federation in late 2016.

It is noted that Italy's decision directly affects the EU.   In Ukrainian/український
Now hospitals Kursk and Fatyezha with injuries of varying severity are six citizens of Ukraine.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry confirms information about the death of six Ukrainian citizens in road accidents in the Kursk region (Russia).

This is stated in the Consular Service Department on Facebook.

"According to some information received from the Embassy of Ukraine in Russia, the number of deaths in road accident near Fatyezha (Kursk region., Russia) increased to six people (one person died in hospital after the operation). All were citizens of Ukraine. Now hospitals Kursk and Fatyezha with injuries of varying severity are six citizens of Ukraine ", - said in a statement.   In Ukrainian/український
People's Deputy MP calls case against raiders and attempt to pick up business.

The leader of the "Fatherland" Yulia Tymoshenko doubts NABU independence and anti-corruption prosecutor. She told the TV channel "112 Ukraine".

"NABU, Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office - is an illusion, they will not touch the generator of corruption in the country. NABU dependent on the country's top leadership, keeping order, closed the case against Gontareva against finance minister, MPs against the MFP standing at the head of corruption; They cover up the corruption that is in power. All corrupt officials of the previous government were released. All heads of corruption in the country sitting in senior positions in the government ", - said Tymoshenko.

She also commented on the criminal case against MP Oleksandr Onishchenko. In particular, she said: "Now go raiding businesses that once had for Yanukovych, squeeze business. Onishchenko is taken in business. Onishchenko's lips, but there are many entrepreneurs who are now consuming business. "

Earlier it was reported that Onishchenko filed against the GPU and NABU claim on protection of honor and dignity.

Earlier NABU searched in the waiting Onishchenko. Chapter NABU Artem Sitnik explained that this procedure is carried out 37 searches in three cities, 10 people were detained. This refers to proceedings relating to schemes of gas.  In Ukrainian/український
Responses not received

Russian gas monopoly "Gazprom" Poland has offered to sign a new contract on gas transit for 25-30 years, but received no reply. Said the deputy chairman of the company Alexander Medvedev.

"Unfortunately, we are faced with the fact that the Polish anti-monopoly office is not the first time delaying a decision (on the" North Stream-2 "- Ed.), Directing new requests which have relation to the merits, "- he said.
According to Medvedev, the implementation of" Nord stream-2 "will not worsen and improve the situation of Poland, because" the possibility of reverse supplies to Poland via Germany will only increase. "

" Moreover, to strengthen this project, we are not waiting for end of the previous term of the contract, offered by the Polish colleagues to sign a new contract for 25-30 years now, unfortunately, the answer to the question is not received, "- said Medvedev.

Earlier, Prime Minister of Poland Beata Shydlo said that "North stream-2" facilitates the division of Europe.   In Ukrainian/український

In January-May period of 2016, the Ukrainian sea ports processed 1.896 mln tonnes of bulk vegetable oils, an increase of 13.4% compared with the same period in 2015. The export volumes totaled 1.764 mln tonnes (up 13.2%), informed the State Enterprise Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority.

In particular, state stevedoring companies processed 53.62 thsd tonnes of vegetable oils at the berths of Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority (up 15% compared with January-May of 2015), private stevedoring companies at the berths of Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority – 1.538 mln tonnes (up 24.2%), stevedoring companies at their own berths – 304.8 thsd tonnes (down 21.5%).

According to the announcement, in the reporting period Mykolaiv Sea Trade Port shipped 732.69 thsd tonnes of veg oils, up 67.6% compared with the same period last year. Also, Sea Commercial Port of Illichivsk shipped 605.19 thsd tonnes of veg oils (down 18.2%), Sea Commercial Port of Yuzhnyi – 430.04 thsd tonnes (up 1.3%), Odessa Sea Commercial Port – 62.68 thsd tonnes (up 154.8%), Izmail Port – 38.22 thsd tonnes (up 210%), Mariupol Port — 15.4 thsd tonnes (down 55.1%), and Kherson Port – 12.28 thsd tonnes (no changes).
on Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:00 pmAdmin
The National Bank of Ukraine announced on June 23 that it was trimming its benchmark interest rate to 16.5 percent from 18 percent.

"The central bank will continue easing monetary policy to support the economic recovery as long as it doesn't conflict with achieving the inflation target" of 12 percent in 2016, the bank said in a statement.

"Inflation pressure eased because of balanced monetary policy and hryvnia strengthening after a favorable environment on global commodities markets."

The step comes after the bank confirmed that the conflict-wracked country had pulled out of an 18-month recession........

To read further go to this link:
"Russia is breaching international conventions by dropping incendiaries similar to white phosphorus on to residential neighbourhoods in the Syrian city of Aleppo in what is thought to be the prelude to a ground assault to retake the city from rebel forces."

Censor.NET reports referring to The Times.

"Photographs have also shown what experts believe to be a thermobaric bomb, the most powerful explosive apart from a nuclear weapon, being detonated next to urban areas, with potentially devastating effects for civilians."

"I'd say thermite is worse than white phosphorus as it's extremely difficult to put out," Eliot Higgins, founder of Bellingcat, an investigative journalism website, who identified the weapons, said. "We have seen these munitions used before in the conflict, since late 2012. But the interesting aspect (in these recent attacks) is that Russia appears to be the one dropping them."

"Thermite is only the latest banned or restricted weapon to be deployed by the Kremlin in Syria. There have also been reports of cluster munitions - bombs that break up in the air into smaller incendiaries that can cause death and injury over a wide area - since Russia entered the conflict on President Bashar al-Assad's side last September," The Times notes.

Although Russia is not a party to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, it is a signatory to the Geneva Convention banning the use of incendiary weapons off the battlefield, according to the article.

Russia has not signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but it does not mean that their use should not be investigated, Andrew Smith, a representative of the Campaign Against Arms Trade said, adding a stronger political will is needed to stop those atrocities and abuses. These weapons are not just deadly but also have an indiscriminate effect, he noted.   In Ukrainian/український
“All the declarations by Nadya Savchenko about the staged softening of sanctions against Russia are playing into Putin’s hands. They tally fully with Putin’s scenario: ‘blackmail the world, demand the lifting of sanctions after releasing 3 prisoners or a 3-day lull in fighting, remove the sanctions from Russia and leave them against some minor persons’. This is the Kremlin’s golden dream,” Herashchenko writes in Facebook June 23.

The sanctions must stay until the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, she says.
 “The implementation of the Minsk agreements is the responsibility of Putin and the Russian government, not their pocket premiers from Donbas whose names will be forgotten tomorrow even by Kremlin.

Who can we negotiate peace with in Donbas? They are yesterday’s bandits and murderers who called themselves premiers and speakers. Their destination is the Hague tribunal,” Iryna Herashchenko wrote.

Not sure if the scenario has occurred, but I think she should be asked outright if she knows what the ramifications of what's she saying would be. As I said yesterday, I think Putin's holding something over her head for her to have said what she said about sanctions, such as her family might be in danger. There's no other reason I can think of why someone that was imprisoned would want to do ANY favors for their captor. I don't think she's doing this for a political stand or advantage. If she is, it's not going to do her reputation as a politician any favors.

I'm going to let this play out to see if she clarifies her position as this doesn't make any sense.
Russian soldiers, being part of the 1st Army Corps (Donetsk) and the 2nd Army Corps (Luhansk), are becoming more dissatisfied with the poor conditions of service, low maintenance, and commanders' ill-treatment of the rank and file that results in the submission of a large number of resignations and increase in the violation of military discipline in terms of abuse of alcohol.

Censor.NET reports referring to Ukraine's Defense Intelligence.

"25 soldiers of the 3rd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (Horlivka) of the 1st Army Corps have submitted resignations. Over the last day, the military prosecution of Russia's occupation forces apprehended 26 intoxicated soldiers of the 7th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (Debaltseve) of the 2nd Army Corps," the report notes.

Earlier, June 22, 85 Russian soldiers of the 7th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade (Debaltseve) of the 2nd Army Corps refused to continue service and submitted resignations over rising military fatalities.   In Ukrainian/український
“Just as five police officers ganged up on [Eric] Garner, over a half-dozen new NATO members have expanded to Russia’s border,” Carter Page wrote.

One of Donald Trump’s main sources of information on foreign affairs is a Russophile who once compared lethal police brutality against unarmed black men to the U.S. policy of sanctioning Russia as punishment for its military incursions into Ukraine.

In February 2014, Ukrainian protesters ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, a corrupt leader closely allied with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Putin responded by sending troops across the border to invade Crimea, a Ukrainian province that Moscow later annexed after a widely disputed referendum. In the following months, Moscow continued to arm and assist pro-Russian separatist groups fighting against the Ukrainian government...........

"NATO is not a party to the political Minsk agreements. Today the alliance is a partner of Ukraine. What is more, we are a strategic, special partner of NATO. Hence, any assistance coming from the alliance is not directly related to the hostilities in eastern Ukraine. It does not have a direct influence on the situation in the ATO zone either," Dolhov said at a press conference in Kyiv on Thursday.

"The cessation of fire in eastern Ukraine and the political resolution of this situation are political matters addressed in the Normandy format," he said.

Interaction between Ukraine, NATO and its member states is currently limited to the sharing of experience and knowledge, material and other kinds of assistance, and training of Ukrainian units according to NATO standards, the deputy minister said.

"We will be fostering all that," Dolhov said...........
Net capital outflow from Russia will amount to about $25 billion in 2016, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev told journalists, according to RIA Novosti.

"I agree with the chairman of the Bank of Russia that the capital outflow may be reduced to $25 billion. It is very close to our expectations," he said. On June 17, the Bank of Russia improved the outlook for capital outflow from Russia from $47 billion to $25 billion for 2017, and from $52 billion to $29 billion for 2018. Read also Ukraine to issue $1 bln worth of eurobonds with U.S. loan warranty in Aug – source The official forecast of the Ministry of Economic Development for the outflow of capital is $40 billion.....
Shtepa says he “must disappoint them: this will never happen in RUSSIA. It will, [however], occur in the Republic of Koenigsberg, in Ingria, Karelia, and in the Urals and Primore republics” that are emerging within the borders of the current Russian Federation and that will be the successors to the current state formation.

And he ends by asking the open question: “Do you understand what I am talking about?”

Many in the post-Soviet space and in the West don’t, and so it is important to make explicit three things that Shtepa’s observation points to:

First, for all too many Russians, Lenin is still celebrated as is Stalin not because of his social policies but because he saved the Russian Empire from collapse. Consequently, despite the expectations of many they are not prepared to cast him and hence many of his ideas into the dustbin of history.

Second, because they were and remain double victims of Lenin’s system and its successors, victims first of its repression and second of its imperial nature, the non-Russians and those Russians who reject Moscow as the center of all things will be the only ones who will get rid of the Lenin statues.

And third, and this is perhaps the most important point, those who want to see the Leninist socialist-imperialist syndrome finally destroyed must recognize that this will happen only when the Russian Federation dissolves and new states emerge. 1991 was the beginning of that process. If it doesn’t continue, Lenin statues will continue to stand in Eurasia...........
Italy wants the summit conclusions to acknowledge a commitment for Brussels to review Russian policy later in 2016.

On June 21, ambassadors from all 28 EU countries agreed to extend the sanctions, which were imposed over Russia’s occupation and illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and Moscow’s support for pro-Russia separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine.

Both the United Kingdom and France agreed to the extension, but only with a so-called parliamentary reserve. That means the ambassadors must first consult their national parliaments on the issue before signing off on the extension of sanctions.

Italy did not indicate any conditions during the June 21 meeting of EU ambassadors.

But Italy is now insisting on the inclusion of special language in the text of the EU summit conclusions.

That move is similar to what happened in December 2015 when Rome agreed to extend the current sanctions through the end of July.

EU diplomats told RFE/RL they have no doubt about the eventual extension of the sanctions, which target Russia’s banking and energy sectors as well as individuals in Russia.

But Italy’s latest demand means a final decision on extending the sanctions against Russia is likely to be postponed until after the gathering of EU leaders in late June.............

To read further go to this link:
on Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:04 amNelson
Ukrainian Tank Drills Simulate Eastern Attack
Published 23 June 2016
Ukraine is conducting 10 days of drills simulating an attack from the east in breach of the Minsk agreement with Russia and Russia-backed separatists. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)

Spot Report by OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM):SMM caught in mortar shelling in Vodiane
....At 11:18 the SMM was conducting a foot patrol and speaking with a couple at their house when the village was hit by seven mortar rounds assessed as 82mm calibre.

The SMM and Ukrainian Armed Forces, including a Ukrainian representative from the JCCC, took cover in a house. The SMM immediately contacted members of an SMM mirror patrol in “DPR”-controlled Kominternove (23km north-east of Mariupol), which was escorted by a Russian Federation Armed Forces representative to the JCCC, to try to facilitate a ceasefire. After 15 minutes, when the situation was assessed as safe, the patrol members left the house and proceeded to the two SMM armoured vehicles, parked approximately 70 metres west of the house. At this time, the patrol heard two more explosions assessed as mortar rounds impacting in the village, which caused the patrol members to lie on the ground before reaching the vehicles safely.....

A Putin ceasefire.
Tymoshenko has filed two lawsuits against Groisman concerning tarrifs
Yulia Tymoshenko asks Kyiv District Administrative Court to declare unlawful and reverse the decision to increase tariffs for thermal energy and heating from 1 July.
It also asks to cancel the decision of the Cabinet approving the marginal selling price gas for district heat at the level of 6879 UAH / th. cube. m, according to "Ukrainian News".
"It will be two judicial processes. One - against the Cabinet of Groisman, and the second - against NKREKP" - said the leader of "Batkivshina" to journalists.
Challenging the decision of the Cabinet, which "Naftogaz Ukraine" ordered in May to sell gas to the population by 6879 UAH / th. cube. m (with VAT, transportation costs, etc.) Tymoshenko asks cancel v. BC. "Social norm" in 1200 cu. m per heating season at a price of 3600 UAH / th. cube. m, which operated during the heating season 2015-2016 years.
According to leader of "Batkivshina", the decision is unlawful and anti-social.
Earlier the head of the "Radical Party" Oleg Lyashko also addressed the Kyiv District Administrative Court with a similar suit against NKREKP.
June 9 NKREKP increased tariff for heat and central heating services from July 1, an average of 75-90%.


Tymoshenko and Liashko working together in opposition. Populist.
For Tymoshenko - one goal. To be President.
And to become President, she needs to undermine the government.
In the ATO area aggression at the level of August 2015: 11 injured, 1 dead
...."For the past day killed one Ukrainian military and 11 suffered injuries," - said the colonel.
According to him, this loss to ATO forces experienced in all directions as a result of hostile fire.
Motuzyanyk said that the Donbass continuing escalation and military operations are conducted at the level of August 2015.
Militants use prohibited weapons across the contact line, particularly fired residential areas of settlements.
As you know, the situation in the conflict zone in the Donbass in August 2015 significantly deteriorated as a result of deliberate provocative actions supported by the Russian Federation of illegal armed groups.
The escalation has led to huge losses among Ukrainian military and civilian casualties.
Easing of sanctions will encourage aggressor to commit new crimes, - Dzhemilev in PACE

Of course, he is right.
But tell that to the scumball French senators, or the Greek fascists or communists, or the Italian ultra-right.
They all like
a) a nutcase leader in the style of Hitler - Stalin - Mussolini, and
b) lots and lots of $$$ , for example, loans to Marine Le Pen's French fascist party from Putin.
In France money takes precedence over morals. And the Greeks are no different. Maybe worse.
Nuland, Poroshenko held unscheduled meeting in Kyiv June 22 discuss Ukraine's reform agenda and implementation of the Minsk agreements in support of Normandy countries, according to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. ...
France inhibits extension of sanctions against Russia - the media (
France's parliament has not yet approved the extension of the sanctions. Without this, the EU can not solve definitively approve the extension of sanctions against Russia. This is with reference to a source in the diplomatic circles in Brussels, UKRINFORM reports...
New Google Earth Satellite Update Confirms Presence of Buk in Eastern Ukraine
Today, Google Earth updated its historical satellite imagery to include Donetsk and Makiivka at 11:08am (local time) on July 17, 2014, the day of the downing of Flight MH17. Bellingcat has previously purchased portions of this image, with the Digital Globe catalog ID of 105041001104D000, to show that the Russian Ministry of Defense had doctored its MH17 evidence, and to search for the Buk on the H21 highway between Donetsk and Torez. Unfortunately, we did not purchase the segment of the image that showed the Buk and the Volvo truck hauling it, as the convoy took a south-bound detour through Makiivka before re-entering H21. With the new imagery update, we now have confirmation of the authenticity of a recent dash-cam video showing the Buk and its convoy in Makiivka....

Amazing - the comments from the Russian trolls. "Nobody cares about this"... "Ukraine and the United States are ultimately responsible"... "Ukrainians are snakes"...
Nobody cares?
I think the relatives of the 300 dead care.
Bellingcat confirm a "Buk" going through Makeyevka on day MH17 was shot down
Militants fired artillery at residential areas three villages of Donbas
Thursday, June 23, 2016, 7:27

Russian occupation troops more active along the entire boundary, recorded 46 shelling positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and 3 shelling residential areas of settlements.
The press center ATO headquarters.
Thus, in the Donetsk area carried out 22 attacks, mortar fire at enemy bases found themselves forces ATO near Pisco, Avdeevki, Verhnotoretska, Trinity and Zaitsev and fortifications near Nevel, Kamyanka, Novoselivka second and Trinity enemy artillery fire covered.
In Mariupol toward militants fired 16 times. For positions near Vodianoy Russian occupation forces fired 82 mm mortars, and nearby Talakivky, Taramchuka and Shyrokynoho - 120mm mortars.
In Luhansk on 8 attacks, mortar fire at enemy bases found themselves near Novozvanivky and near Novoaleksandrovka conducted fire with machine guns and grenades. The enemy is trying to provoke a response by fire fighters ATO unsighted with 122-mm self-propelled artustanovok.
Besides, 3 fixed shelling populated areas - namely, with 122-mm self-propelled artustanovok Russian occupants fired on residential areas and Avdeevki Pervomayskogo and 82-mm mortars on the water, that Mariupol direction.
Overall, on strengthening the forces ATO enemy mortars applied 30 times and 7 times 122 and 152-mm artillery.


NB Heading says separatists used САУ. This is self-propelled artillery.
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