In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Poroshenko prepares for talk with Donbass

Posted by seumasach on August 26, 2014

I wonder whether they’ll still be shelling the Donbas during the elections, if they’re still in range that is. The regime and Ukraine are looking into the abyss as the anti-terrorist offensive turns into a disastrous rout of Ukrainian Army, National guard( mainly Right Sector) and sundry mercenaries and irregulars. And there are an awful lot of people, the coup d’etat backers in the West, who will go down with it. Whilst continuing to repeat unbased allegations against the Russians, the stupid and compromised European leadership will be frantically working behind the scenes to stabilise the situation, prevent the destabilisation of Europe and find an exit strategy. Above all, they will try to save their own knecks. 

Poroshenko says members of parliament to be elected at snap polls may represent Donbas at talks with Kyiv

Kyiv Post

26th August, 2014

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko believes that people who will be elected in Donbas to the Verkhovna Rada during a snap parliamentary election, set for Oct. 26, may represent the region at negotiations with the Kyiv authorities.

 

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Resistance turning tide in Eastern Ukraine

Posted by seumasach on August 26, 2014

Michael Collins

Op-Ed News

26th August, 2014

A Short but Important Update from Colonel Cassad – English: The Colonel Cassad blog is an invaluable source of information on what’s really going on in the eastern Ukraine. The resistance militia defending the regions against attacks on civilian centers by the Kiev government seems to have turned a corner based on this information. Item number 3) in the full report below outlines an important advantages gained by the resistance in the battle for Donetsk. The Kiev government’s punitive mission, attacking Donetsk and Lugansk in the latest iteration, verges on failure.

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Minsk talks on Ukraine finely-poised

Posted by seumasach on August 25, 2014

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

25th August, 2014

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Mission to Kiev was far from easy. Merkel came under pressure from US president Barack Obama on the eve of her trip. Quite obviously, the US feels excluded from the peacemaking efforts. Washington promptly condemned the Kremlin decision to sidestep the US’ delaying tactic at the UN Security Council and press ahead with the delivery of humanitarian supplies to eastern Ukraine, as an act in ‘violation of international law’ and rhetorically demanded that the convoy should return to Russia (although it had actually returned by then). 

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Kiev “defiant”

Posted by seumasach on August 24, 2014

This is quite amusing: it is now the Ukrainian regime’s forces which are “defiant”. Presumably, they are continuing to shell civilians despite all the odds: they will bomb civilians wherever they are, they will never surrender! Meanwhile, it is the resistance forces which are parading in Donetsk, the city which the regime was meant to have taken and has dismally failed to take.

 

 

Defiant Ukraine turns on military display as war rumbles on in the east

Yahoo

24th August, 2014

KIEV (Reuters) – Armoured vehicles and soldiers, some of them hardened in battle, paraded on Kiev’s main square on Sunday to mark Independence Day in a defiant show of the military force Ukraine’s government hopes will defeat pro-Russian separatists in the east.

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Britain must talk to Assad

Posted by seumasach on August 23, 2014

I don’t think Assad would be interested in allowing British bombing raids on his country. He is doing very well fighting the NATO jihadis himself. However, we could make sure that support for the “rebels” is cut off and make it clear that Britain recognizes the Assad government as the legitimate government of Syria.

Britain must talk to dictator Assad to defeat Isil, says former head of the Army

Telegraph

22nd August, 2014

Britain must co-operate with President Assad, the Syrian dictator, in order to confront Isil, the former head of the Army has said.

General Lord Dannatt, the former Chief of General Staff, said the West must secure the permission of the Syrian government in order to launch airstrikes on Islamist militants.

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Serbia rejects sanctions on Russia

Posted by seumasach on August 23, 2014

Serbia Says It Won’t Impose Sanctions on Russia

ABC News

22nd August, 2014

Despite pressure from the European Union, Serbia will not impose sanctions against Russia or curb its food exports to that country, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said Friday.

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Russian statement on aid convoy

Posted by seumasach on August 23, 2014

RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT ON THE START OF THE DELIVERY OF HUMANITARIAN RELIEF AID TO SOUTHEASTERN UKRAINE

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation

22nd August, 2014

The endless delays hampering the initial deliveries of the Russian humanitarian relief aid to southeastern Ukraine have become intolerable.

A lorry convoy with many hundreds of tonnes of humanitarian relief aid, urgently needed by the people in these regions, has been standing idle for a week now on the Russian-Ukrainian border. Over this period, the Russian side has made unprecedented efforts in all areas and at all levels in order to complete the required formalities. We have met all conceivable and inconceivable demands of the Ukrainian side and have submitted to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) exhaustive lists of food, drinking water, medications, essential items and diesel generators due to be delivered to Lugansk, where they are urgently needed by women, children and the elderly. These people are experiencing the horrors of daily artillery attacks and air strikes that have resulted in an increasing number of killed and wounded and destroyed the entire vital infrastructure in the area. Time and again, we met requests to check and recheck the shipment route, to coordinate procedures for the shipment’s delivery, and have signed the required documents with the ICRC. We have provided all essential security guarantees and have ensured similar guarantees on the part of the self-defense forces. These guarantees apply to the Russian convoy as well as other humanitarian relief aid being sent to Lugansk by the Kiev authorities.

At the same time, Kiev has delayed granting its formal consent required by the ICRC for several days, while repeatedly inventing new pretexts and stepping up attacks on Lugansk and Donetsk that involve military aircraft and heavy-duty armored vehicles, targeting residential areas and other civilian facilities. Over the past few days, the Ukrainian side has been launching ballistic missiles, including the deadly Tochka-U missiles, ever more frequently.

On 21 August, the situation appeared to have been resolved when the Ukrainian authorities finally informed the ICRC of their readiness to start clearing humanitarian shipments for prompt delivery to Lugansk. The Ukrainian side officially confirmed its unconditional consent for the convoy to start moving during a phone conversation between the Foreign Affairs Ministers of Russia and Ukraine. On 20 August, customs clearance and border control procedures were launched at the Donetsk checkpoint. On 21 August, however, this process was stopped, with officials citing much more intensive bombardment of Lugansk. In other words, the Ukrainian authorities are bombing the destination and are using this as a pretext to stop the delivery of humanitarian relief aid.

It appears that Kiev has set out to complete its “cleansing” of Lugansk and Donetsk in time for the 24 August Independence Day celebrations. It seems increasingly credible that the incumbent Ukrainian leadership is deliberately delaying the delivery of the humanitarian relief aid until there is nobody left to deliver this aid to. Quite possibly, they hope to achieve this result prior to the planned 26 August meetings in Minsk.

Russia is outraged by the blatant external manipulation of the international experts involved in preparing this operation. An endless succession of contradictory and mutually exclusive signals and messages we have been receiving is a true indication of behind the scenes games for purposes that have nothing to do with accomplishing a set humanitarian objective. Those who are holding the reins and hampering efforts to save human lives, to mitigate the suffering of sick and wounded people neglect the basic principles of society. We have called on the UN Security Council to promptly declare a humanitarian armistice, but these proposals are being invariably blocked by those who pay lip service to universal human values. Last time, this happened on 20 August, when the United States and some Western members of the UNSC declined to issue a statement in support of a ceasefire during the delivery of humanitarian relief aid to Lugansk by Russian and Ukrainian convoys.

We hereby state once again: All the required security guarantees regarding the passage of the humanitarian convoy have been provided. The ICRC has officially recognised these guarantees. The delivery routes are known, and they have been checked by an ICRC mission. The documents have been drawn up. The shipments have long been ready for inspection by Ukrainian border guards and customs officers who have been waiting at the Donetsk checkpoint in the Rostov Region for a week now. The capitals that display heightened concern for the situation in southeastern Ukraine are well aware of this. The endless artificial demands and pretexts have become unconscionable.

It is no longer possible to tolerate this lawlessness, outright lies and inability to reach agreements. All pretexts for delaying the delivery of aid to people in the humanitarian disaster zone have been depleted. The Russian side has decided to act. Our humanitarian relief convoy is setting out towards Lugansk. Naturally, we are ready to allow ICRC officials to escort the convoy and to take part in distributing aid. We hope that representatives of the Russian Red Cross Society will also be able to take part in this mission.

We are warning against any attempts to thwart this purely humanitarian mission which took a long time to prepare in conditions of complete transparency and cooperation with the Ukrainian side and the ICRC. Those who are ready to continue sacrificing human lives to their own ambitions and geopolitical designs and who are rudely trampling on the norms and principles of international humanitarian law will assume complete responsibility for the possible consequences of provocations against the humanitarian relief convoy.

We are once again calling on the Ukrainian leadership, as well as the United States and the European Union, which are exerting their influence on Kiev, to promptly launch negotiations in southeastern Ukraine and start complying with the accords formalised in the 17 April 2014 Geneva Statement by Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the EU on stopping the use of force, mitigating the humanitarian situation and immediately launching nationwide dialogue that would involve all Ukrainian regions.

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Endgame begins in Ukraine

Posted by seumasach on August 22, 2014

M.K.Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

22nd August, 2014

When I wrote in an earlier blog last Sunday, here,  that Russia and the European Union were exchanging glances, frankly, I couldn’t visualize that a dalliance could be beginning so soon. But the expectedgathering in Minsk coming Tuesday of the presidents of Russia and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko, and the EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton signifies that traction has developed in the search for peace in Ukraine. 

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Cameron wants an alliance with Iran

Posted by seumasach on August 22, 2014

I am delighted that David Cameron has adopted the position long argued in these columns that Britain should form a strategic partnership with Iran. He should do the same with regard to Russia and China and , in general, move to fully embrace multipolarity

Independent

17th August, 2014

Britain must prepared to ally itself with Iran to combat the “shared threat” of Sunni Islamist extremists in Iraq and Syria who want to create “a terrorist state” that could extend to “the shores of the Mediterranean,” David Cameron has said.

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Rifkind: US and UK should back Assad to defeat ISIS

Posted by seumasach on August 22, 2014

“We have to deal with facts on the ground, not as we would want them to be but as they are,”

I totally agree with Rifkind here and the facts on the ground are that Assad with the overwhelming support of his people defeated our attempt to overthrow him and destroy Syria. The sooner we get used to that fact the better. As it happens the IS is probably largely drawn from our own Jihadi irregulars and veterans of that failed Syria campaign. They are , of course, dispensable and the need for their elimination forms a useful pretext for reversing our previous, fruitless policies of antagonism towards Syria and Iran

RT

22nd August, 2014

The US and UK must work with Bashar Assad’s Syrian regime if they are to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the chairman of Britain’s intelligence and security committee warns.

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Sanctions rebound to hit Europeans

Posted by seumasach on August 21, 2014

Brian Cloughley

Asia Times

21st August, 2014

The Financial Times commented on August 10 that in reaction to the chaos in Ukraine, “Western policy has become a mere knee-jerk escalation of sanctions”, and for once the FT has got it right about foreign affairs. The US and its disciples in Europe and Australia have imposed sanctions on Russia for its alleged interference in Ukraine, which has got nothing whatever to do with the US or anyone else. And Russia, understandably, is answering back. 

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