Sunday, September 7, 2014

More Ukraine shelling, as Ceasefire is Questionable

More Ukraine shelling as Ceasefire is Questionable


If the Kiev government can not supply the fighting men at the Russian front with tanks and proper military hardware --then it's time for a new government which will!

Simon Ostrovsky reports from Mariupol, in eastern Ukraine:

Published on 6 Sep 2014
The Azov Battalion is a volunteer militia based in Mariupol, Ukraine that is allegedly linked to neo-Nazism. The fighters have been very active during the crisis in eastern Ukraine, carrying out nightly patrols around the city and manning checkpoints.

VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky embeds with the battalion while they train and conduct a patrol, then watches as they retreat from their outposts when pro-Russia separatists began firing artillery toward the city.

Explosions have been reported in the south-eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol

A Ukrainian port city of Mariupol reported sustained explosions outside the city and a volunteer battalion of Ukrainian fighters says Grad rockets were fired at its positions late Saturday, little more than a day after Ukraine and Russian-backed separatist rebels signed a cease-fire following more than four months of fighting in the country's east.

The cease-fire had appeared to largely been holding during much of the day.
But late Saturday, witnesses in Mariupol told The Associated Press by telephone that heavy explosions were coming from the city's eastern outskirts, where Ukrainian troops retain defensive lines against the rebels. The volunteer Azov Battalion said on Facebook that their positions were hit by Grad rockets, but did not give details.

Mariupol is a port city of about half a million on the coast of the Sea of Azov. Rebels recently opened a new front on the coast, leading to fears that the separatists were trying to secure a land corridor between Russia and the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in March.

Earlier Saturday, the presidents of Ukraine and Russia said the cease-fire was mostly holding, but the truce still appeared fragile as both sides of the conflict claimed violations.

A statement from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's office said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed steps "for giving the cease-fire a stable character" in a telephone conversation Saturday. But, it said, both leaders assessed the cease-fire as having been "fulfilled as a whole." A separate Kremlin statement about the call said, "There was a mutual satisfaction with the fact that the sides of the conflict were overall observing the cease-fire regime."

In Donetsk, the largest city controlled by the Russian-backed separatists, the night passed quietly — a rarity after several months of daily shelling in residential areas. But Alexander Zakharchenko, the top separatist leader from Donetsk, told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti that the cease-fire had been violated with two rounds of shelling in the town of Amvrosiivka, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Donetsk

Meanwhile, the International Committee for the Red Cross said on its Twitter account that its workers had tried to deliver food aid to the city of Luhansk, which had endured weeks of heavy fighting, but turned back after shooting northeast of the city. It did not give further details.

Earlier Saturday, the mayor's office in Donetsk said there had been no reports of shooting or shelling there although some shelling had been heard late Friday afternoon. The city council of the second-largest rebel-held city of Luhansk, which had endured intense fighting for weeks, also reported the night was quiet.

Ukraine, Russia and the Kremlin-backed separatists signed the cease-fire deal Friday in Minsk, the Belarusian capital, in an effort to end more than four months of fighting in the region. The negotiators also agreed on the withdrawal of all heavy weaponry, the release of all prisoners and the delivery of humanitarian aid to devastated cities in eastern Ukraine.

If the ceasefire holds, it would be a landmark achievement for both sides. Fighting between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian government troops has ravaged the already teetering Ukrainian economy, claimed at least 2,600 civilian lives and left hundreds of thousands homeless, according to United Nations estimates. The country also faces escalated tensions between the Russian-speakers who predominate in the rebel east and the Ukrainian-speakers in the central and western reaches.

Western leaders voiced skepticism over Russia's commitment to the deal. A previous 10-day cease-fire, which each side repeatedly accused the other of violating, yielded few results at the negotiating table.U.S. President Barack Obama said he was hopeful the cease-fire would hold but unsure the rebels would follow through.

"It has to be tested," Obama said Friday at the close of a two-day NATO summit in Wales.
Both the U.S. and the European Union have prepared even tougher sanctions on Moscow, and Obama stressed that the most effective way to ensure the cease-fire's success was to move ahead with those measures and maintain pressure on Russia. According to an EU diplomat, these new measures would target Russia's access to capital markets and trade in arms and defense technology, dual-use goods and sensitive technologies. The new sanctions were given preliminary approval Friday night and could be implemented as early as Tuesday.

"If certain processes get underway, we are prepared to suspend sanctions" against Russia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. In a statement published online Saturday, Russia's foreign ministry condemned further EU sanctions and promised that "there will undoubtedly be a reaction from our side" to any new measures. In August, Russia passed a sweeping ban on meat, fruit, vegetables, and dairy product imports from the #EU, the #U.#S. and a host of other countries who imposed sanctions on Russia.
#Ukraine Ceasefire Protocol of the Trilateral Contact Group

I Often find the Comment Section of a particular story, more interesting than the Story itself.

From: Vineyard of the Saker


The Novorussian ceasefire agreement + open thread

Dear friends,

I had seen the Russian text on the OSCE page, and now Gleb Bazov sent me his translation. To say that I am under-impressed by this text would be an understatement. I would also note that many well informed sources spoke of a 14 points plan. Are two more points held in secret? What is certain is that this documents is imprecise, nebulous, ambiguous and otherwise vague to such a degree that I would argue that it is basically impossible to implement. Knowing the degree to which Russian diplomats are normally maniacally fastidious and pedantic with words, I can only conclude that they have deliberately sabotaged this agreement and that it's sole use what to deflate the bellicose mood of the NATO summit. But as a basis for a real ceasefire it is useless, never mind a real negotiation for a final status agreement or peace treaty.

The first rule for any kind of ceasefire is to provide a painstakingly accurate time for the implementation of unambiguously defined and verifiable de-escalation measures followed by a precise schedule for confidence building measures subject to mutual verification. There is nothing like that here. Points 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 mean absolutely nothing, the rest are vague and ambiguous at best. This is one of the worst ceasefire agreements I have ever seen.

Either way, numerous reports seem to indicate that the cease-fire has already been violated in many locations. Some kind of deal will eventually be made, and maybe this symbolic first step is, at best, a way to get the process going. But in itself, this document is useless.

The Saker

PS: I will be gone all day tomorrow. I leave you with an open thread.


Protocol of the Trilateral Contact Group - Minsk, September 5, 2014


Upon consideration and discussion of the proposals put forward by the participants of the consultations in Minsk on September 1, 2014, the Trilateral Contact Group, consisting of the representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe [OSCE], reached an understanding with respect to the need to implement the following steps:

1.Ensure the immediate bilateral cessation of the use of weapons.

2.Ensure monitoring and verification by the OSCE of the regime of non-use of weapons.

3.Implement decentralization of power, including by means of enacting the Law of Ukraine “With respect to the temporary status of local self-government in certain areas of the Donetsk and the Lugansk regions” (Law on Special Status).

4.Ensure permanent monitoring on the Ukrainian-Russian state border and verification by the OSCE, together with the creation of a security area in the border regions of Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

5.Immediately release all hostages and unlawfully detained persons.

6.Enact a law prohibiting the prosecution and punishment of persons in connection with the events that took place in certain areas of the Donetsk and the Lugansk regions of Ukraine.

7.Conduct an inclusive national dialogue.

8.Adopt measures aimed at improving the humanitarian situation in Donbass.

9.Ensure the holding of early local elections in accordance with the Law of Ukraine “With respect to the temporary status of local self-government in certain areas of the Donetsk and the Lugansk regions” (Law on Special Status).

10.Remove unlawful military formations, military hardware, as well as militants and mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine.

11.Adopt a program for the economic revival of Donbass and the recovery of economic activity in the region.

12.Provide personal security guarantees for the participants of the consultations.

Participants of the Trilateral Contact Group:
Ambassador Heidi Talyavini (signed)

Second President of Ukraine, L.D. Kuchma (signed)

Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, M.Y. Zurabov (signed)

A.V. Zakharchenko (signed)

I.V. Plotnitskiy (signed)


Dalpe said...

It is not enough to rely on the fallacy of somewhere in the middle of opposing arguments. We all know that in information warfare the truth is often no where in the middle. And most often off in left field. Thus, if we include a third source that is independent of the two narratives, we are better able to get a general bearing and a sense of what is more truthful.

But, how do we know if a third source is not another lie of one of the two opposing arguments? Well, in the way that an azimuth affords us a three dimensional location in the triangulation process. Our third source must be outside of the discipline of the argument's venue. Move the argument to biology, psychology or in this instance economics.

You have to realize that the news is not a simple process of viewing through the looking glass, where black is white; it is more of a kaleidoscope of identical political fractals. Syria, Gaza, ISIS and Ukraine are interconnected and very much part of the empire's true objective. Like most things in life the micro reveals the nature of the macro.

You begin to ask questions like, why was the Gaza operation launched at the exact time that Western media lost control of the MH17 narrative? And it never emerged again from the rabbit hole. We begin to ask question like, Why did the Novorossiyan Defense Force agree to a cease-fire just as they were about to take Mariupol and route the army of Kiev?

What I am suggesting is that the “third” sensor in this triangulation process is interdisciplinary. You have to move out of your comfort zone and explore the argument in terms of a discipline you know nothing about. You ask why would anybody do that? Why should I give up a lifetime of experience and processes, that I have mastered to solve a problem in a disciplines I know nothing about? Because it forces your mind to approach the problem in an alien manner. In essence, it develops new pathways in your thinking that often open doors in our existing disciplines we never knew were possible.

Taking Mariupol is a major strategic asset. It holds massive amounts of grain ready for export to other nations, that can be used to feed Novorossiya for the winter. Seizing the grain would also further cause economic hardship to the Kiev junta as the income from that grain would not be payed. And this is only one commodity. What about coal, Iron, and the various products it depends upon for income and industry?

Being Ukraine's major port, loosing Mariupol, would be devastating to Ukraine's teetering economy. Now we begin to understand why Kolomosky threatened the Samson option to blow up the dam further up the Dnieper river. Everything begins to fall in place. Just the threat of taking Mariupol was enough to bring the Kiev junta to its scenes.

Where will the NDF go next? It depends on Kiev. It is obvious they are looking for ways to get Mariupol back. That is why the cease fire is not holding there. Kiev is testing th NDF. Right now Mariupol is in limbo. However, if Kiev does what it has always done, the crazy option, then Mariupol will likely be destroyed. This is the only reason for the cease fire. And when the greatest strategist thinkers of the empire determine that Mariupol can not be taken in tact, and winter is coming, and our army is in shambles, and, and, ... There is a slight chance the peace may hold.

If it does not, where will NDF go next? Where it all began, Sloviansk. Why? To throw Royal Dutch Shell out on it ass. Eventually the IMF will understand its strategy of nation theft and the dismemberment of Russia is going to cost a lot more than it ever envisioned..Eventually the NDF will take Odessa. Why? That is where the gas is processed for export.

Do I know what is going to happen next week? No, no one does. There are too many variables. However, I can not be fooled, no matter how much they twist their narrative or try to keep me scared in order to diminish my ability to think clearly and creatively.

Obi Juan said...

1. This document was signed between a former Ukraine president with actual no legal authority and the representatives of the Donbass rebels with two ambassadors as witness. Poroshenco didn't sign the document neither other Ukraine central authority, therefore they are obliged to nothing. All the political weight of the document (whatever it say) is over the shoulders of Zakharchenko and Plotnitskiy who signed the document, therefore they are obliged to everything that the document said.
2. There is not mention of the LPR, DPR or Novorossiya, neither who Zakharchenko and Plotnitskiy are representing (the dynamo of Kiev?).
3. The Saker said “Knowing the degree to which Russian diplomats are normally maniacally fastidious and pedantic with words” This is not a problem between Russia and Ukraine, is an Ukraine internal problem, is a civil war between the peoples of Donbass in rebellion supported by international freedom fighters against an illegal government of oligarchs supported by fascist gangs and international organizations (NATO, EU, UN) who overthrow the last Ukraine president and seized the power.
4. The point that said "Remove unlawful military formations, military hardware, as well as militants and mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine" that means surrender of the militias (for the document the National Guard is so constitutional as Poroshenko) and expulsion of the international volunteers that are fighting for the Donbass people from Ukraine.
This document is very dangerous, when this document arrives to the Novorossiya militias, especially the international fighters probably will start a demoralization of this very brave people.

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