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Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Wednesday 8 February. [Ukrainian sources]

on Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:24 am
WEDNESDAY

Please scroll to view news items added during the day.

NEWS:
TRUMP'S UKRAINE DILEMMA.  "Goodbye, America!": US annuls Liashko's 10-year visa.  Putin is going to find “Bear” in White House.  Donbas terrorists’ Somalia battalion leader Givi killed by explosion.  Russia’s Peskov on terrorist Givi elimination: “We unequivocally reject allegations of Russia’s possible involvement”. Burnt corpse found inside scorched office of terrorist chieftain Givi. Lavrov Says Trump Position On Ukraine Differs From Obama's.

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Lavrov Says Trump Position On Ukraine Differs From Obama's

on Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:26 am
Lavrov Says Trump Position On Ukraine Differs From Obama's



Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says he views U.S. President Donald Trump's opinion about the conflict in Ukraine as "a qualitative change" compared to that of Barack Obama.

Lavrov told the state-owned news agency TASS on February 7 that Trump's position on the situation in Ukraine is to monitor how the two sides are behaving in the conflict.

"The Obama administration...tried to demand everything from us and absolve [Ukrainian President Petro] Poroshenko," Lavrov said.......

Access complete text of the editorial:  rferl.org In English


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TRUMP'S UKRAINE DILEMMA

on Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:29 am
TRUMP'S UKRAINE DILEMMA

Vladimir Putin seems to think Donald Trump is giving him room to maneuver in Ukraine.
What's behind the renewed fighting in Ukraine? Over the past week, the country's eastern Donbas region – which has been a hotbed of separatist activity since the start of military hostilities between Russia and Ukraine in early 2014 – has been rocked by new, and intense, clashes between the Ukrainian military and Russian-supported rebels. The violence has already ravaged Avdiivka, a Ukrainian town of some 20,000, and left international observeers scrambling to re-impose some sort of ceasefire. The situation, in the words of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, is now "an emergency situation verging on a humanitarian disaster."

Recriminations for the renewed violence abound. Russian officials have pinned the blame on Ukraine for the current bout of unrest, condemning Kyiv's "provocative actions" and suggesting that Poroshenko is using the conflict as a way of recapturing the attention of the West. The Ukrainian government, for its part, has called the spike in hostilities "a clear indication of Russia's continued blatant disregard of its commitments under the Minsk agreements" – the troubled ceasefire accord concluded between Kyiv and Moscow back in February 2015.

There's ample reason to believe Kyiv's version of events, given the extensive, and pervasive, evidence of Russia's meddling in eastern Ukraine. But perhaps the most compelling argument behind the claim that Russia is driving the current cycle of violence is a simple one: It coincides closely with the unfolding thaw in relations between Washington and Moscow.

Indeed, the new offensive came just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin's long-anticipated phone call with President Donald Trump last weekend – one in which, by all indications, the new president signaled that he was willing to give the Russian leader broad latitude in Russia's "near abroad."

Ahead of their conversation, rumors had swirled that Trump might be ready to unilaterally ease sanctions against Russia as a confidence-building measure toward the Kremlin. That didn't happen, but it's not entirely clear what actually did. To date, no detailed readout of the January 28th conversation between the two leaders has been released by the Trump administration. (The White House contented itself with simply issuing a pro forma summary of the call, despite the fact that it lasted almost an hour.)

We do have a good idea of what Putin and other Russian officials think they heard, however. The Kremlin's Russian-language summary is far more extensive than the American one and seems to suggest that the White House used the opportunity of the call to extend a diplomatic olive branch to Moscow. Among other things, notes Russia expert Paul Goble, the Russian summary of the call claims that it included an "implicit recognition of spheres of influence and of Russia and the US as equal 'partners,'" as well as a pledge to end the isolation "that has been in place since [the] invasion of Ukraine."

Against that backdrop, Russian leaders can be forgiven for thinking that their freedom of action in the "post-Soviet space" has expanded significantly, and that belief is currently playing out in Ukraine. "Either Putin is testing Trump's reaction, or he already feels he has the new US President's tacit approval for a fresh escalation in eastern Ukraine," Business Ukraine magazine has suggested. "Either way, the timing of Russia's current offensive is particularly ominous."

That puts the White House on the horns of a serious dilemma. Suspicions already abound that Trump is planning to carve out a much more pacific relationship with Russia. As recent events in the Donbas indicate, Putin and his government have clearly interpreted this desire as a writ for greater freedom of action against Ukraine – and potentially other former Soviet holdings as well.

For now, it's not at all clear that Russia's reading of U.S policy is the correct one. But continued silence from the Trump administration is bound to give Putin, and everyone else, the impression that it is.

en.censor.net.ua


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Donbas terrorists’ Somalia battalion leader Givi killed by explosion

on Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:31 am
Donbas terrorists’ Somalia battalion leader Givi killed by explosion

Terrorist Mikhail Tolstykh, also known as Givi, was killed by a blast in his office in the occupied Donetsk.
As reported by Censor.NET, the terrorists' propaganda outlet Russkaia Vesna (the Russian spring - Ed.) also reported citing its own sources that Tolstykh was allegedly eliminated as his headquarters was shelled with Shmel grenade launcher.

Interfax reports the explosion that allegedly killed Givi occurred at 6:12 a.m. Feb. 8. The Russian news agency also quoted the terrorists as saying that Givi was killed in a "terrorist attack" orchestrated by the "Ukrainian secret services."

Earlier, Censor.NET Chief Editor Yurii Butusov wrote on Facebook: "The morning starts with the good news. Terrorist Strelkov-Girkin reported that a blast rocked Donetsk office of "Somalia assault battalion" commander, "DPR army colonel" Mikhail Tolstykh, call sign Givi. We are looking forward for the official reports and confirmation. We hope that the terrorist, who stained himself with murder and torture of civilians and prisoners of war, was in his office and was blown sky-high after his crony Motorola. Keeping fingers crossed for Givi. It would be the most natural end of his career," the journalist wrote.

ua.censor.net.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Russia’s Peskov on terrorist Givi elimination: “We unequivocally reject allegations of Russia’s possible involvement”

on Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:33 am
Russia’s Peskov on terrorist Givi elimination: “We unequivocally reject allegations of Russia’s possible involvement”

The Russian authorities have nothing to do with the elimination of Somalia chieftain Mikhail Tolstykh aka Givi in occupied Donetsk.

As reported by Censor.NET referring to Tass news agency, this was said by Dmitry Peskov, the spokesperson for the Russian president.

"We are obviously witnessing attempts to destabilize situation in the Donbas," he said.

"Of course, we hope that there is a certain safety margin preventing those who are behind these murders from causing further escalation. Because, unfortunately, the situation is already very tense due to the acts of aggression perpetrated by the Ukrainian side," Peskov said.

"We totally and unequivocally reject the allegations of Russia's possible involvement in it. That's out of the question," the official said.

"As for those who are behind the attempts to destabilize the situation, they should be identified by the investigation carried out at the scene," he added.

As reported, terrorist Mikhail Tolstykh aka Givi was killed by explosion in his office in occupied Donetsk on Feb. 8.

ua.censor.net.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Burnt corpse found inside scorched office of terrorist chieftain Givi. VIDEO+PHOTOS

on Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:38 am
Burnt corpse found inside scorched office of terrorist chieftain Givi. VIDEO+PHOTOS

Footage of interior of the office of Givi, the “DPR” terrorist Somalia battalion commander eliminated this morning, was posted on the Internet.

As reported by Censor.NET, the video shows the office was severely damaged by the fire caused by the explosion. The Russian propagandists claim that unidentified individuals assassinated the ill-famed terrorist using a Shmel rocket launcher. This explains large area affected by fire that followed the blast.

The footage also shows people inspecting the premises and taking out a body covered with a dirty blanket.







ua.censor.net.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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"Goodbye, America!": US annuls Liashko's 10-year visa

on Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:39 am
"Goodbye, America!": US annuls Liashko's 10-year visa

The United States has stripped Oleh Liashko, leader of the Radical Party faction in the Verkhovna Rada, of his American visa.

Censor.NET reports citing the lawmaker's Facebook page

"I've been stripped of the 10-year U.S. visa, which I received before the New Year. I attribute this unprecedented decision to our demand to the U.S. to fulfill its obligations to Ukraine under the Budapest Memorandum, or otherwise Ukraine will have to restore nuclear weapons to protect itself," he wrote.

"I feel that my position of categorical rejection of a new memorandum with the IMF, which preserves the status of Ukraine as a resource colony also influenced the decision to cancel the visa. Goodbye, America! I'll come back, when Ukrainians elect me their president. In the meantime, instead of the United States, I'll be visiting our people who don't need a visa or visa lib but work and a decent life," Liashko summed up.

ua.censor.net.ua, In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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Putin is going to find “Bear” in White House

on Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:41 am
Putin is going to find “Bear” in White House

Trump's administration is moving toward doing the right thing as far as Putin and his invasion of Ukraine is concerned.

Censor.NET reports citing an article by Diane Francis for Atlantic Council.

According to her, on Feb. 1, President Donald Trump's National Security Advisor Mike Flynn put Iran "officially on notice" for testing a missile in violation of a U.N. resolution.

By contrast, on Jan. 31, the State Department issued a tepid statement condemning a murderous military assault on a Ukrainian town in the east without condemning its Russian perpetrators.

This stunned and demoralized Ukrainians and Russia-watchers, the author says.

But then, on Feb. 2, an unequivocal condemnation of Russia was mounted in the United Nations by Nikki Haley in her maiden speech as America's U.N. envoy.

"The United States stands with the people of Ukraine who have suffered for nearly three years under Russian occupation and military interventions," she said. "Until Russia and the separatists it supports respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, this crisis will continue."

However, Haley wasn't speaking for herself. A National Security Council spokesperson confirmed that Haley and Flynn had discussed her statement at the U.N. before it was given and that Flynn "agreed with" its contents. The spokesman said it was fair to call Haley's statement "administration policy."

"Obviously, as Trump gets his feet under his desk and expands his circle of advisers beyond the salons of Manhattan and Mar-a-Lago to hardline military experts, his administration is moving toward doing the right thing when it comes to Putin and his invasion of Ukraine.

"And the right thing is to put Russia "officially on notice" to end its war against Ukraine, withdraw back inside its borders, and pay tens of billions in damages.

"So far, Trump has kept his cards close to his vest - and talked about resetting the Russian relationship - but it's dramatically more likely that Putin is going to discover that there is a 'Bear' in the White House, and that poking him in the eye is going to backfire badly," the article reads.

ua.censor.net.ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові


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In Russia, Assad expressed willingness for talks with Syrian opposition

on Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:46 am
In Russia, Assad expressed willingness for talks with Syrian opposition

Syrian President Bashar Assad declared his readiness to negotiate with representatives of the Syrian opposition, including armed.

This was after a meeting with Assad told committee member State Duma Dmitry Sablin of Defence, RBC.

According to him, the president of Syria is ready to negotiate with representatives of the armed opposition, not with people "who are in the West."

Another Russian deputy - Sergei Gavrilov - said that currently preparing the second phase of talks on Syria in Astana, and then the possible direct talks at the "Syrian was."

As reported, "Apostrophe", Al Jazeera television station recently reported the deaths in Syria, five Russian soldiers.

apostrophe.ua/ua , In Ukrainian / на українській мові



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"We will come to you and you're dead." Zakharchenko reacted to the death of Givi (VIDEO)

on Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:50 am
"We will come to you and you're dead." Zakharchenko reacted to the death of Givi (VIDEO)

Ukrainian authorities should be entered in all the lists of terrorist organizations around the world - leader "DNR"

The leader of the militants "DNR" Alexander Zakharchenko made a statement on the killing of the terrorist Mikhail Tolstoy, better known as Givi.

"I appeal to the Ukrainian government and military. All of us perestrilyayete. We will come to you and even kill you're dead, you. Have you given us this right, "- said Zakharchenko.

Also Zakharchenko complained that Ukrainian "cowardly killing" representatives of the Russian-occupation forces. Finally, he appealed to the international community with a fantastic offer: "Addressing the international community, I believe that the Ukrainian authorities should be entered in all the lists of terrorist organizations around the world."




glavcom.ua/news , In Ukrainian / на українській мові




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Donald Trump’s foreign policy spins on an axis of upheaval

on Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:51 pm
Donald Trump’s foreign policy spins on an axis of upheaval

Alarmed world leaders hope more pragmatic voices will hold sway in the US cabinet

When Donald Trump reasserted his “America first” mantra on Inauguration Day, the world was put on notice that the new US president would pursue a very different foreign policy than his recent predecessors in the Oval Office.

Yet while some turbulence was expected, the way Mr Trump has treated some of his counterparts since January 20 has left capitals from Tokyo to Berlin perplexed about how to handle a thin-skinned leader who is as willing to antagonise allies as he is to praise Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.

Mr Trump has driven Enrique Peña Nieto, the Mexican president, to cancel a visit to the White House, and sparked the ire of world leaders with his attempt to ban citizens of seven Muslim countries from entering the US. He also lashed out in a phone call with Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s prime minister, in a move that prompted a host of Democrats and Republicans, including Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee — to assure the Australian ambassador that they were fully supportive of the critical US ally.

“Diplomats are more alarmed than ever,” says Thomas Wright, a foreign policy expert at the Brookings Institution. “For the first time since the second world war, the fundamental principles of US foreign policy — alliances, the open global economy and America’s leadership — are endangered.”

Mr Trump has also described Nato as “obsolete” and cast aspersions on Angela Merkel, the German chancellor who is arguably the most powerful politician in Europe.

Diplomats dealing with the new administration face two big challenges: distinguishing rhetoric from policy and working out who wields power. After assuming that his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton would win, they have since scrambled to set up meetings with everyone from Mike Pence, the vice-president, to Jared Kushner, Mr Trump’s influential son-in-law and one of his senior advisers. Some are nervous about the role Stephen Bannon, the powerful White House aide whose ideology is closely aligned with the president, will play after his unusual elevation to a seat on the key National Security Council...................

Access complete text of the editorial:   Financial Times In English


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Re: Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Wednesday 8 February. [Ukrainian sources]

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