327 thoughts on “Ukraine, Russia, “The West” And What Comes Next

  1. So much for peace and love at Easter. Even the clerics are at each other.

    ‘Ukraine unrest: Orthodox Easter messages show divide

    Orthodox Easter messages from patriarchs in Kiev and Moscow have highlighted the deep division in Ukraine, where a tense stand-off is continuing in the east.

    The head of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church Patriarch Filaret accused Russia of “aggression” and “evil”.

    Russian Church Patriarch Kirill asked God to end the designs of those who wanted to rip apart Russia and Ukraine.’

    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27093029

  2. Mary citing Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox church, reminds me on the following, which I read about in a Greek newspaper a couple of years ago.

    A Russian press agency photo appeared – and was taken up by several papers – of Kirill giving a news conference in Moscow, and showed that Kirill was wearing an EXTREMELY expensive wrist watch (apparently costing around $25,000). Once this “oversight” was noticed, the photo was immediately retouched (just like in old Soviet times, don’t y’ know) to make the watch disappear.

    But what the retouchers forgot was …..that the table at which Kirill had been interviewed was….a glass top table….and that the reflection of that EXTREMELY expensive watch….was still visible, in mirror image, on the glass top!

    LOL! Censors (and retouchers) can be soooo stupid. A bit like secret policemen everywhere, I suppose.

    By the way, Kirill enjoys the warm support of President rasPutin (he knows which side his bread’s buttered on!) and the feelings of admiration are apparently mutual.

    I wonder if the Ukrainian Patriarch is of the same stamp as Patriarch Kirill? I do hope not.

  3. Habbabkuk, retouching of news photo’s reminds me of something I experienced in the early ’80s. I was visiting a friend who lived near the top of Dirkhill Road in Bradford. Standing outside his front door and looking right, the road ended in a stone wall on which someone had graffitied “It’s a Mean Old Scene”; it was a local icon of Bradford’s problems.

    It was Sunday morning after the party the night before, and us survivors were waking up and regaining our senses when our host returned from the local shop with the Sunday Observer. “Look” he said, holding up the front page of the paper. It was an article about Bradford with a photograph of the familiar graffiti. Grunts and oohs and aahs followed; the photographer must have stood almost right outside…

    “No”, said our host, “come out here and look”, and we all followed him out of the front door. He held up the paper and said “look at the lamp post”. The real lamp post bisected the graffiti, so in the picture “they” had moved it off to one side; you’d never have noticed. No harm done, obviously, but it made us all a bit more sceptical.

  4. Habbabkuk, I wonder if there was actually an element of mutiny involved in the photographs of Kirill’s watch? The political masters ordered that the watch be removed from the picture, but maybe they didn’t explicitly mention the reflection and it was overlooked “accidentally on purpose”. They could hardly complain, having not mentioned it themselves.

    I recently read The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera; do you know the story of Clementis, airbrushed out of history except for his hat?

    “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”

  5. I note that the Russian Orthodox Church has apologised for the air-brushing and said it was done without authority. They have now replaced the picture with the untouched version.

    They haven’t apologised for the watch itself although it is claimed to have been a gift.

  6. Opportunities for the West to hurt the Russian economy are limited, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday. Europe cannot stop buying Russian gas without inflicting pain on itself, and if the US tries to lower oil prices, the dollar will suffer.

    If the West tries to damage Russia’s influence in the world energy market, efforts will likely backfire, the Russian President said during his twelfth annual televised question and answer session.

    To really influence the world oil market a country would need to increase production and cut prices, which currently only Saudi Arabia could afford, Putin said.

    The president added he didn’t expect Saudi Arabia, which has “very kind relations” with Russia, will choose to cut prices, that could also damage its own economy.

    If world oil production increases, the price could go down to about $85 per barrel. “For us the price fall from $90 to $85 per barrel isn’t critical,” Putin said, adding that for Saudi Arabia it would be more sensitive.

    Also the President said that being an OPEC member, Saudi Arabia would need to coordinate its action with the organization, which “is very complicated.”

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/putin-says-that-the-oil-wars-with-russia-will-make-the-west-bleed/5378642

  7. another wee update from G.R.

    Ukraine Crisis: 300 German Intellectuals Support Putin, Criticize US-NATO Influence in Europe and Mainstream Media Propaganda

    Open Letter to Vladimir Putin

    Dear Mr. President !

    In your speech to the State Duma you asked for understanding from the Germans.

    We are German citizens who have experienced the post-war majority in the western half of Germany. When the Cold War ended in 1990 and our country was re-united, a sigh of relief went through the world, because the ever- looming danger of a nuclear military conflict which would have engulfed the entire globe seemed to have been avoided. Germany would have been wiped out.

    The Soviet Union made unparalleled sacrifices in its decisive contribution to the liberation of Europe from Nazism. Nevertheless, in 1990 it was ready to support German reunification in 1991, to dissolve the Warsaw Pact and accept NATO membership of the reunified Germany. This was not honored by the West. The then US Ambassador in Moscow (1987 to 1991), Jack Matlock, confirmed a few days ago in the Washington Post that President Bush had agreed not to take advantage of the generosity of President Gorbachev. The expansion of NATO into former Soviet republics, the establishment of military bases in former Warsaw Pact states and the establishment of a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe with a unilateral termination of the ABM Treaty by the United States are not only blatant breaches of good faith. These measures are understood by us as a Western claim to power directed against the Russian state and the economic consolidation of your country after you took office in 2000. Moreover, Keir A Lieber and Daryl G Press in their 2006 Foreign Affairs article “The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy” convincingly showed that the purpose of the missile defense shield is to facilitate a first strike nuclear neutralization of Russia.

    This history, in concise form, reflects the background against which we judge the events in Ukraine since November 2013. It is now well documented that the U.S. has exploited the legitimate protests of the Ukrainian people for their own purposes. The pattern is evident form other countries: Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine in 2004, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Venezuela ……

    More of the Letter @

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraine-crisis-300-german-intellectuals-support-putin-criticize-us-nato-influence-in-europe-and-mainstream-media-propaganda/5378823

  8. This joins with Putins claim that Poland was training the revolutionaries. If you look at the lead-up to both WWI and II, economically we all seem perched on the precipice of another Global conflagration.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/04/17/canada-sending-fighter-jets-ukraine_n_5167680.html?just_reloaded=1

    “OTTAWA – Canada announced Thursday it will contribute six CF-18 jet fighters to a NATO air-policing mission in response to the crisis in Ukraine, just as top diplomats from the troubled east European country, the U.S. and Russia announced steps that could ease tensions.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the military contribution, which included the dispatch of up to 20 staff officers to bolster the Canadian presence at NATO headquarters.

    NATO requested Canadian participation, the prime minister said.

    “This is in response to the situation that is developing there and frankly more generally to the concern that we have on what really is expansionism and militarism on the part of Russia under the presidency of Mr. (Vladimir) Putin,” Harper said.

    “I believe this to be a long-term, serious threat to global peace and security and we’re always prepared to work with our allies in NATO and elsewhere.”

  9. The US and the EU must be getting desperate to send the old hasbeen Biden there.

    He went bearing promises of gifts.

    U.S. offers Ukraine a new $50 million aid package
    Vice President Joe Biden announces the package during a state visit to Kiev where he met with the country’s leadership.
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/world/1.586634

  10. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27136276

    Ukraine crisis: US troops land in Poland for exercises

    The first contingent of US troops has landed in Poland for military exercises amid tensions with Russia over Ukraine.

    Some 150 soldiers, who landed in north-west Poland, are due to be followed in coming days by a further 450 troops.

    Separately, the UK, Netherlands and Denmark scrambled fighter jets after two Russian military aircraft were spotted approaching their airspace.

    Earlier, Russia’s foreign minister said Moscow would respond to any attack on its interests in Ukraine.

    Speaking on Russian state TV channel RT on Wednesday, Sergei Lavrov drew a parallel with the 2008 Georgian war, saying: “If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly…. I do not see any other way but to respond in full accordance with international law”.

  11. http://rt.com/news/154588-russia-drill-ukraine-operation/

    Russia ‘forced’ to launch military drills at border in response to Ukraine op – Moscow

    Russia has begun extensive military exercises in Ukrainian border area following the escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine.

    “The order to use force against civilians has already been given, and if this military machine is not stopped, the amount of casualties will only grow,” Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said during an official meeting in Moscow.

    “War games by NATO in Poland and the Baltic states are not helping the normalization of the situation. We are forced to react to the situation.”

    Shoigu said that the drills involve march and deployment exercises by forces in the southern and western military districts, and separate Air Force maneuvers.

    Shoigu said that 11,000 Ukrainian soldiers, 160 tanks, 230 armored carriers and at least 150 artillery pieces are involved in the operation against anti-Kiev activists.

  12. JEEZO, Squonk…Aint it all just a pretty picture… Soon be Time for that End of the world party… have you still got a cellar full of champs…. 🙂 Help….

    BUT TALKIN of Pictures…the NYT has been caught Red handed comiting more war crimes… the fellow Propaganda criminals at the bbc just had to get in on the act too…

    AND NOW Lookee here…. evil war mongering piece’s of cold Granite.

    New York Times Admits It Pushed Fabricated Evidence about Iraq, Syria and Ukraine

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/new-york-times-admits-it-pushed-fabricated-evidence-about-iraq-syria-and-ukraine/5379049

  13. JEEZO, Squonk…Aint it all just a pretty picture… Soon be Time for that End of the world party… have you still got a cellar full of champs…. 🙂 Help….

    That’s the trouble with champagne cellars – you spend your last millions on stocking it up and then drink it all over the weekend!

    Only emergency, heavy-duty Buckfast supplies left in cellar now 🙂

  14. Meanwhile as Obama is about to visit Korea

    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2014/04/116_156028.html

    Who will be right over nuclear test prediction?

    With the whole nation in mourning for the dead and missing from the sunken ferry Sewol, the Defense Ministry’s warning that North Korea is likely to carry out a fourth nuclear test is not drawing much public attention.

    However, the ministry is accelerating its warning that North Korea has stepped up activity at its main nuclear test site and is on “standby with an open ticket in hand.”

    Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said: “A lot of activity is currently being seen, so our forces are keeping in mind the possibility that North Korea may suddenly conduct a nuclear test in a short period of time.”

    He unprecedentedly revealed that it had acquired information that the North is preparing something “unimaginable” for its enemies and “something big before April 30,” indicating that the North is about to carry out a fourth underground blast.

    …Professor Yang Moo-Jin of the University of North Korean Studies said the North is more likely trying to deceive the South with what appears to be a nuclear test.

    “First of all, China, the North’s lone ally, stands firm against its nuclear test,” he said. “In addition, what would the North gain by conducting a nuclear test during U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Seoul?

  15. Alcanon…

    Lol… thanks for the second giggle yesterday… (do they still sell El Dorado….YUK )..
    the Ba’l Dark artist being the first… Hab made me smile too believe it or not… top of page tantrum.

    anyhoo… i think the S. Korea stepping stone is just that… a fleeting pat on the bum –

    Washington’s Trans-Pacific Power Play by Ashley Smith + TPP Raises Fears of Global Internet Censoring

    Obama will travel to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines, the U.S. government’s main allies in the region. But looming over each stop and every meeting will be a country that definitely isn’t on the presidential itinerary: China.
    The Obama administration’s celebrated “pivot to Asia” is specifically aimed at countering China’s growing influence–economic, political and military. China is now the second-largest economy in the world, with the second-largest military budget behind the U.S., and its rulers have been increasingly aggressive in asserting both forms of power, especially in their own “backyard.”
    During Obama’s trip, you’ll read a lot about something you may not have heard much about: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a trade agreement-and-much-more–the economic component to U.S. imperialism’s response to China, meant to draw together other Asian countries in a U.S.-led economic bloc that excludes China. As much as aircraft carriers and military bases, the TPP is a weapon of U.S. imperialism.

    IF YOU don’t know much about the TPP, that’s by design. The agreement has been developed in utmost secrecy. The Obama administration has neither publicized the treaty, nor even shared the full text with members of Congress. “Think of the TPP as a stealthy delivery mechanism for the policies that could not survive public scrutiny,” writes Lori Wallach.
    But corporate scrutiny? That’s another matter. The U.S. capitalist class has played a central role in designing and negotiating the TPP–starting with central figures in the Obama administration. According to the Republic Reports website:
    Stefan Selig, a Bank of America investment banker nominated to become the Under Secretary for International Trade at the Department of Commerce, received more than $9 million in bonus pay as he was nominated to join the administration in November…Michael Froman, the current U.S. Trade Representative, received over $4 million as part of multiple exit payments when he left Citigroup to join the Obama administration.”
    Froman’s office reportedly consults with more than 600 bankers and corporations who have helped shape the U.S. negotiating position on the TPP.
    Unsurprisingly, Obama wants to keep this corporate plot secret. He intends to bypass the democratic process by securing “trade promotion authority”–popularly known as “fast track” authority–allow the U.S. Trade Representative’s office (USTR) to negotiate the treaty and permit representatives only a yes-or-no vote, robbing Congress of the ability to amend the deal.
    The only reason we have any idea what is actually in the TPP is thanks to WikiLeaks. It managed to secure and publish the chapters on investment and the environment. These confirm treaty critics’ worst fears.
    As Lori Wallach points out, the TPP is “not mainly about trade. It is a corporate Trojan horse. The agreement has 29 chapters, and only five of them have to do with trade.” Japan in Focus’s Sachi Mizohata elaborated on this point:
    The TPP agreement affects not only trade issues, but also non-trade matters that immensely impact lives of citizens in all participating countries. The areas at stake include, for example:
    – Domestic court decisions and international legal standards (e.g., overriding domestic laws on both trade and non-trade matters, foreign investors’ right to sue governments in international tribunals that would overrule the national sovereignty);
    – Environmental regulations (e.g., nuclear energy, pollution, sustainability);
    – Financial deregulation (e.g., more power and privileges to the bankers and financiers);
    – Food safety (e.g., lowering food self-sufficiency, prohibition of mandatory labeling of genetically modified products, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy–BSE–or mad cow disease);
    – Government procurement (e.g., no more buy locally produced/grown);
    – Internet freedom (e.g., monitoring and policing user activity);
    – Labor (e.g., welfare regulation, workplace safety, relocating domestic jobs abroad);
    – Patent protection, copyrights (e.g., decrease access to affordable medicine);
    – Public access to essential services may be restricted due to investment rules (e.g., water, electricity and gas).

    http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/washingtons-trans-pacific-power-play-by-ashley-smith-tpp-raises-fears-of-global-internet-censoring/#more-161305

  16. Brian; TPP is the Petrodollars answer to BRICS and as China and Russia enter their agreement for the gas pipeline through Siberia, it is another fly in Obama’s economic ointment. Cheers.

  17. I shan’t be signing Mary’s latest petition. There are far too many low-lifes and wasters on the internet these days, wasting both their own time and that of others.

    The minimum age for internet use should be 14 and usage should be limited to 5 hours a week. This would help concentrate minds and free up time for healthier activities.

    No one under 45 and earning less than £50000 should be allowed to post anything. Posting only between 08h00 and 20h00 UCT.

    Facebook and similar should be forbidden.

  18. It’s Gettin Ugly BIG TIME over there…

    Unelected Kiev Regime Begins Killing Spree in Eastern Ukraine

    The use of fanatical, irregular forces, armored vehicles, and aircraft including warplanes and helicopter gunships, signifies an escalation of violence by Kiev against its own people through the use of clearly disproportionate force aimed at terrorizing the population. That the United States and European Union have spent the past 3 years engaged in what they called the “responsibility to protect” in both Libya and Syria, and are now backing a regime that is arraying military forces against its own people, marks a new low in both the impartial application of “international law” and the perceived legitimacy of the Western nations now increasingly involved in Ukraine’s political crisis.

    West’s Hypocrisy: Libya vs. Ukraine

    In March of 2011, US President Barack Obama said the following regarding America’s military intervention in Libya (emphasis added):

    In the face of the world’s condemnation, Qaddafi chose to escalate his attacks, launching a military campaign against the Libyan people. Innocent people were targeted for killing. Hospitals and ambulances were attacked. Journalists were arrested, sexually assaulted, and killed. Supplies of food and fuel were choked off. Water for hundreds of thousands of people in Misurata was shut off. Cities and towns were shelled, mosques were destroyed, and apartment buildings reduced to rubble. Military jets and helicopter gunships were unleashed upon people who had no means to defend themselves against assaults from the air.

    Confronted by this brutal repression and a looming humanitarian crisis, I ordered warships into the Mediterranean. European allies declared their willingness to commit resources to stop the killing. The Libyan opposition and the Arab League appealed to the world to save lives in Libya. And so at my direction, America led an effort with our allies at the United Nations Security Council to pass a historic resolution that authorized a no-fly zone to stop the regime’s attacks from the air, and further authorized all necessary measures to protect the Libyan people.

    Of course, years before the “Arab Spring” in 2011, regime change in Libya was a long-standing geopolitical goal of the West. The charges President Obama made in his speech regarding the situation in Libya were based on intentionally falsified evidence exposed by the very so-called “human rights” organization who fabricated them. Worse yet, those “innocent people” President Obama cited in his 2011 speech were later confirmed to be heavily armed militants from the US State Department designated terrorist organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) – Al Qaeda’s Libyan franchise who would later, with NATO backing, travel to fight in Syria as well.

    4534543

    As heavy weapons are now being turned against the Ukrainian people by the unelected regime in Kiev – led by literal Neo-Nazis, bigots, racists, and anti-Semites – the US and EU through NATO have signaled their full unflinching support for Kiev, going as far as offering weapons, training, and the backing by NATO troops of Kiev’s so-called “anti-terror” operations now unfolding tentatively in eastern Ukraine. NATO troops have been deployed to nearby Poland while naval forces have been shifting into the Black and Baltic seas, all an attempt to pressure Russia.

    Paradoxically, NATO is helping Kiev do in reality what it falsely accused Libya of doing in 2011 – before applying sanctions, a no-fly zone, and eventually full spectrum bombardment of Libya while it armed and funded proxy militant forces on the ground to overthrow the government. NATO’s overt contradiction undermines its perceived authority and endangers further its already strained legitimacy.

    Full piece @

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/unelected-kiev-regime-begins-killing-spree-in-eastern-ukraine/5379145

  19. http://rt.com/news/155104-soledar-ukraine-military-attack/

    Unknown assailants landed in helicopters and attacked a checkpoint in Soledar city in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, a militia source told RIA Novosti adding that there is a fight going on.

    There is no information on the number of casualties.

    Soledar is located about 30 kilometers south east of Slavyansk.

    The people’s governor of Donbass region Denis Pushilin confirmed to RT that there is fighting in Soledar.

    As the unknown men attacked the checkpoint, the militia was forced to retreat, the source told RIA.

    The second checkpoint is preparing for attack he said, adding that there are about 50 activists, many without weapons.

    “We cannot send reinforcements from Slavyansk as all [forces] are defending the city,” the source stressed.

  20. Can’t imagine how terrifying it must be there. There is a definite escalation.

    Thanks anyway for the info. There are over 500 comments on the piece, too many to wade through.

    ~~~

    The helicopter downing was a crash according to the MoD and the corporate media with a suggestion that it was a special op as it was near the Pakistan border and ‘insurgents’ were the target. The Taliban are claiming it as an attack.

    ‘The crash is understood to have happened around 30 miles from the Pakistan border, near Kandahar air base in the Takhta Pul district.’ BBC

  21. Here’s a Chap who appears to know what he’s talking about –

    ” So you’re seeing a replay of Chile under Pinochet and the military dictatorship in the Ukraine now. And the result, of course, will be to tear Ukraine apart – it’s bankrupt, no matter what, there no doubt will be civil war there. The Americans are hoping to use the civil war as an opportunity to move in NATO and to move H-bombs right onto the Russian border. This is risking a threat of war. This is crazy.”

    Michael Hudson @

    http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/michael-hudson-this-is-risking-a-threat-of-war/#more-161387

  22. Spot the difference…

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/30/us-ukraine-crisis-military-idUSBREA3T0FY20140430

    Ukrainian troops to hold exercises in central Kiev: government

    (Reuters) – Ukraine’s armed forces will conduct military exercises in central Kiev on Wednesday night, the government said, following a new warning by acting President Oleksander Turchinov about the threat of a Russian invasion.

    A statement on the government website warned residents that “columns of military hardware will move through the city” and conduct exercises. Turchinov reiterated on Wednesday that Ukraine’s armed forces were on full military alert, citing the “real danger” of a Russian land war against Ukraine.

    http://news.yahoo.com/ukraine-defense-ministry-says-no-military-exercises-planned-133624709.html

    Ukraine defense ministry says no military exercises planned in Kiev

    KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s defense ministry said it had no plans to hold military exercises in the capital Kiev on Wednesday night, contradicting an earlier statement on the website of the government and the city administration.

    “All personnel and hardware are in their permanent positions and will not undertake exercises in central Kiev,” the ministry said.

  23. “Ben, April 23, 2014 at 2:18 am

    This joins with Putin’s claim that Poland was training the revolutionaries. If you look at the lead-up to both WWI and II, economically we all seem perched on the precipice of another Global conflagration.”

    Putin’s claims appear to be right Ben. The US/NATO alliance appears to have known about it, that is, funded it.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/polands-hand-in-ukraine-coup-detat-trained-putchists-two-months-in-advance/5378655

    I realise this is more than a week old but do not see it linked elsewhere and think, together with the Catherine Ashton and Urmus Paet leaked telephone conversation, it points the finger at exactly who was responsible for the overthrow of the legitimate government in Kiev and the killing of protestors and police.

  24. Not Ukraine but Syria.
    There is a definite push on Assad on the BBC website. No mention of the rabble rebels or of their supporters and provisioners.
    eg

    ‘Children ‘killed in Aleppo strike’
    An air strike by Syrian government forces hits a school in Aleppo and kills at least 18 people, including 10 children, activists say.

    Aleppo gripped by barrel bomb fears

    Pannell: ‘Nowhere is safe’ Watch

    Child pulled from debris Watch

    In pictures: Aftermath of bombings

    A woman affected by what activists say was a chlorine gas attack in Talmenes is treated by medics in Bab al-Hawa (21 April 2014)

    UK urges swift Syria chlorine probe
    The UK has called on the global chemical weapons watchdog to carry out “with urgency” its investigation into the alleged use of chlorine in Syria.

    Syria blasts kill dozens in Homs’

    Medialens have other examples.

  25. Truth or BBC lies?

    ‘Many dead’ in Ukraine offensive
    Many rebels have been killed, injured and arrested in a government offensive in east Ukraine, interim President Oleksandr Turchynov says.

    If true, then a civil war is breaking out.

  26. Live streams right now. Clashes between both sides in Odessa .

    Ukrainian nationalists appear to be trying to burn down a building with Russian nationalists inside.

    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/sergackovatv
    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/timer-video
    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/new-odessa/theater

    [Streams go up and down so be patient]

    UN meeting live http://webtv.un.org/

  27. Multiple dead bodies seen on street in live coverage. Unclear what side they belong to. Some inured Russian supporters rescued by fire brigade being beaten up, bloody and dazed, by Ukrainian supporters live on camera.

  28. This is very bad. I cannot see Russia not reacting to this. The Ukrainian police need to intervene right now. They are there but mainly standing back while men with baseball bats hit injured pro-Russians lying on ground.

  29. Some Ukrainian police now finally attempting to protect injured Russians from mob attack. Unknown if any still trapped inside burning building. Death toll not known. Many pro Russians shown with head and other injuries after they attempted to escape burning building.

  30. “Wondering why Treasury yields plumb new depths, gold’s having its best day in a month, and stocks can’t keep a bid no matter how many times JPY or VIX is slammed? The answer lies in these disturbing images from Odessa which show Pro-Russian forces under attack by Ukrainian forces, buildings burning, deaths, and of course – most critically – the kind of anti-Russian actions that Vladimir Putin said was the red-line for him taking action…”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-05-02/odessa-images-spooking-market-ahead-weekend

  31. https://twitter.com/ReutersWorld

    Reuters World ‏@ReutersWorld 5m

    Correction: 38 people killed in building fire in Ukraine’s southern city of Odessa, not 32 as previously reported.

    Reuters World ‏@ReutersWorld 14m

    32 people killed in building fire in Ukraine’s southern city of Odessa: Ukrainian police

  32. One day following this of course. Posted on Medialens.

    IMF Warns Ukraine: Fight For The East Or No Money

    Posted by mike on May 2, 2014, 6:21 pm

    IMF approved the $17bn tranched loan [notice this is hardly ever refereed to as a ‘loan’ in corporate media] to Ukraine last night, Gazprom gets paid; Ukraine gets its cash; and the door’s wide open for the US and EU to pour more ‘controlling influence’ into the divided nation… Except there’s one thing:

    IF UKRAINE GOVERNMENT LOSES EFFECTIVE CONTROL OVER EAST OF COUNTRY, $17 BLN IMF BAILOUT WOULD NEED TO BE REDESIGNED

    Which, roughly translated, appears to mean go to war with pro-Russian forces (and thus Russia itself if Putin sees his apparent countrymen in trouble) or you don’t get your money!

    Some other items of note include:

    IMF URGES UKRAINE TO REACH PRICE ACCORD WITH GAZPROM BY SEPT

    UKRAINE INFLATION MAY JUMP TO 16.2% THIS YEAR, IMF SAYS

    RUSSIA’S GAS PRICE INCREASE MAY WEAKEN HRYVNIA: IMF STAFF

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-05-01/imf-warns-ukraine-fight-east-or-no-money

  33. “Part of the IMF money will help Ukraine settle $2.2 billion in back payments to Russian state-controlled OAO Gazprom for natural gas and pay for future imports. Gazprom said it will ask Ukraine to pay $485 per 1,000 cubic meters in the second quarter, more than the European market price.’

    Mary; Failure to do so is a deal-breaker for the IMF, no?

  34. “IF UKRAINE GOVERNMENT LOSES EFFECTIVE CONTROL OVER EAST OF COUNTRY, $17 BLN IMF BAILOUT WOULD NEED TO BE REDESIGNED

    Which, roughly translated, appears to mean go to war with pro-Russian forces (and thus Russia itself if Putin sees his apparent countrymen in trouble) or you don’t get your money! ”
    _______________________

    No, it means nothing of the sort.

    It means that if Ukraine loses control of its eastern regions, the loan will be smaller. This is because a part of the loan is designed to cover Ukraine govt disbursements in those regions.

  35. Habba; *not expecting an answer, just hoping*

    What is your relationship with Craig? He seems quite protective of your continued presence, to an over-weaning degree.

  36. Great work AA…Some more

    Mind manipulation turns truth on its head. People are convinced wrongs are right. Wars are glorified in the name of peace.

    Peaceful countries become cauldrons of violence. Instability rocks them. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen and others are US imperial victims.

    So is Ukraine. It’s a global flashpoint. Potentially it’s worst of all. It threatens to spin out-of-control. It risks regional conflict. Possible East/West confrontation looms.

    Washington bears full responsibility for numerous world hot spots. Imperialism works this way. It instigates violence. It fosters instability.

    It promotes state-sponsored terrorism. It’s what we do, not them. More on this below.

    On April 30, the State Department issued its “annual assessment of trends and events in international terrorism…” It covers the period January 1 – December 31, 2013.

    “It includes a strategic assessment, country-by-country breakdowns of counterterrorism efforts, and sections on state sponsors of terrorism, terrorist safe havens, and foreign terrorist organizations.”

    It bears repeating. The world’s top sponsor by far is omitted. None in human history compare.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-state-sponsored-terrorism/5380222

  37. Craig has a (ahem) post about the Ukraine, kinda sorta. He’s framed the narrow topic into his pet peeve about comments that OCSE observers are there for little good.

    I see no need to comment. That sidebar to the possible conflagration is not a worthy subject for such an esteemed individual.

  38. Even on RT it seems both sides do it. The tragic deaths seem to have arisen from old baggage from football teams to politics to create a perfect firestorm of chaos and pay-back. Is there an attempt to draw Putin in on his Red Line? I’m sure there is some, but mostly it’s just hard feelings arising from hardships. Anyone exploiting that is the essence of evil.

    http://rt.com/news/156480-odessa-fire-protesters-dead/

  39. I do have to praise the Ukrainian Fire Brigade though. They brought fire engines with ladders right up to the building and sent firemen inside to rescue people. But even the people they rescued were then set upon by the crowd as the police stood and watched initially. Some of the crowd even attacked the firemen on the rescue operation.

    Ukrainian authorities initially said that many inside the building were Russian nationals but have since backtracked on that and said all the dead identified so far were Ukrainian citizens. We’ll have to wait and see if we get a detailed list of nationalities later.

  40. Oh and BBC/CNN/Fox etc could have carried these scenes live. Very clearly they would be monitoring them in the newsrooms. Equally very clearly they chose not to carry the footage and let people make up their own minds about what they were seeing in real-time.

    After the event the scenes can be edited down. But if you watched the streams from three different broadcasters live you saw a violent hate-filled crowd cheer on the deaths of the Russians trapped inside. Even people who were clearly dead from the fall, after jumping out of the building on fire, were jumped upon and their bodies violated.

  41. I do just love this parallel thread to Craig’s. Have to laugh.

    I see the BiBiC are employing a David Stern to report from Ukraine. He is American and works for an outfit called Global Post. Like ALL BiBiC reporters, I am sure he is giving us a completely fair and unbiased sitrep. 😉

  42. AA; Thanks for your entries. Be careful. You might become the alternet-ive for CM.

    Are you prepared for much grief? 🙂

  43. Live stream from Odessa tv at top of page now. Pro-Kiev side marching through centre of Odessa. Some, but by no means all, carrying weapons.

  44. How long were you watching the feed the other day? There ought to be a pic of you in the dictionary under ‘patience’.

  45. You risk deletion now with something like that, AA.

    The pincer is in place.

  46. Ben,

    I took the hint and didn’t post it over there. It is Craig’s blog and he sets the policy like it or not.

  47. 5 May, 2014 – 1:48 am

    “Please remember that you are an even-handed broker. Isn’t that the crux of your reputation? If ever it were found that you, covertly, maintained a character which would not augment your bona fides as Excellent Whistleblower, what would happen on your speaking engagement bookings? It may be a Win/Win based on the demographics who are most appreciative (edit) in a fiscal way.”

    Following his prescribed policy to this date. Capturing here, although he rarely deletes such things. It’s as though he wants it up because, you see, this poster is obviously nuts. He doesn’t know who I am. Harumph!

  48. Multiple reports that another Ukrainian helicopter has been shot down

    Reports from BBC, Kiev Post, RT and others.

    http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/anti-terrorist-operation-continues-in-donetsk-oblast-live-updates-346313.html

    Insurgents shoot down Ukrainian helicopter in Sloviansk

    4:44 p.m. — Pro-Russian insurgents shot down a Ukrainian M-24 helicopter in Sloviansk using a heavy machine gun around 2:30 on May 5.

    The helicopter crashed into a nearby river, and the pilots escaped without injury, according to the Defense Ministry’s Facebook page.

  49. Comprehensive timeline on that link, AA. I remember Sarajevo, which had as many civilian casualties (especially snipers, picking off women and children trying to find food and water) as military. It was horrific and unimaginable. However the availability of small arms and heavy ordnance is reduced in Ukraine. Baseball bats are bad enough, but they seem to have less reach and have fewer casualties. I hope that doesn’t change.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Sarajevo

  50. Disturbing to hear of helicopters being shot down, most likely with this
    http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=692

    or possibly this
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strela_2

    Putin would never let seperatists get their hands on these weapons unless he wanted to escalate an already chaotic situation, so its either Russian special forces aiming to provoke, or a very rich and connected oligarch who can conjure up these shoulder launched missiles for his goons.

  51. Here’s the current Russian version of events in Odessa.

    http://rt.com/news/156744-video-footage-odessa-fire/

    Provocation gone wrong: Murky forces instigating Odessa violence?

    Video footage filmed during the bloody events in Odessa that claimed dozens of lives on Friday shows a more complicated picture, with provocateurs instigating the violence.

    Ukrainian authorities blamed the pro-autonomy activists for starting the clashes that led to the tragic fire at the House of Trade Unions. The interior ministry stated that anti-Kiev activists attacked supporters of Kiev authorities before retreating to the building for shelter, and threw petrol bombs at the crowd triggering the fire.

    Russia’s Channel One television reconstructed the chronological order of events using publicly available YouTube videos detailing what happened in Odessa on Friday.

    Taken together with http://www.microsofttranslator.com/bv.aspx?from=&to=en&a=http%3A%2F%2Ffrallik.livejournal.com%2F781599.html – there were certainly a lot of people wearing red-armbands and that certainly appears to have included some of the police.

  52. Nevermind,

    There’s video footage now. For whatever reason the helicopter hovered over the same spot presenting an easy target. The Ukrainian authorities claim it was downed by machine gun fire.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctH57Xi4aH8

    There seems to be a burst of flame from the rear of the helicopter about 25 seconds in.

  53. AA; Do you find RT more biased than say NYT? I used to watch RT news on TV before my provider decided to remove from my playlist. I found them much more jacked-in to worldwide news, rather than ethnocentric focus.

  54. Ben,

    When it comes to being pro-Putin/Moscow I think RT is heavily biased but then I expect that. As Craig said once , when not reporting on something of strategic importance to Russia, it is a lot better. Virgin Cable (Branson etc) refuse to carry RT on their network in the UK. However digital terrestrial tv and Sky (Murdoch) satellite do carry it. Yes RT is actually carried on local tv transmitters in the UK. Although for how much longer?

    I try to watch as many sources as possible. Watching Odessa as it occurred on 3 live streams was not pleasant.

  55. Another question, AA. Is that video of the chopper, the one downed?

    The image went behind trees and an explosion occurred. Heavy machine gun or missile in your opinion?

  56. Ben,

    I’m hoping nevermind will comment on the video. Before it goes behind the trees there appears to be flame from behind. Don’t know how far from camera it was but the sound will be delayed by some amount. It is claimed to be the one downed today although obviously I can’t verify that personally.

  57. Missile inventory, if extant, would be low and cost for same is high compared to rounds from a .50 cal machine gun. The hovering made it a sitting duck; easy to pick off with MG and a waste of a missile. But then the report from MG not audible.

  58. http://www.janes.com/article/37330/two-ukrainian-mi-24s-shot-down-by-manpads

    “Although little information is available on the MANPADS used, they are likely to have been an Igla, either the earlier 9K310 Igla-1 (SA-16 ‘Gimlet’), or the later 9K38 Igla (SA-18 ‘Grouse’), which are in service with both the Ukrainian and Russian armed forces.”

    Jane’s makes the assumption, but the list of countries proliferated is large. Only an identifiable part could conclude that. If MoD could supply that, they surely would.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man-portable_air-defense_systems

  59. There are reports on twitter that the reason the helicopter was targeted was because it had fired at positions on the ground. Obviously I can’t verify that and haven’t seen any video so far showing that.

  60. Okay. RT has just broadcast report from a stopped train near a tv station. Showed damaged to train allegedly caused by helicopter firing a “rocket” at the train which was being used as a shield by pro-Russians. The helicopter was then subsequently brought down.

    Helicopter appears to fire about 1:32

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G70-bwgZ-M

  61. I wish Craig would take some time to link Sevastapol to the Ukraine, then over to Tartus.

    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13930214000824

    “”A large number of terrorist Takfiri fighters in Syria, who bear Saudi and Chechnian nationalities and receive financial and military backup from the Saudi intelligence agency, have been transferred to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on several planes to help the Ukrainian army in its fight against the pro-Russian population,” an Arab security official told FNA on Sunday on the condition of anonymity due to the secrecy of the issue.”

    Takfiris are the bastards beheading the population.

  62. Squonk….

    ” Watching Odessa as it occurred on 3 live streams was not pleasant ”

    Well done though AA… for sticking it out… all that evil, hate filled live feed.

    here is Solid proof of the sort of Sickening things that were going on…

    New video has emerged online which shows a man shooting at the windows of Odessa’s burning House of Trade Unions.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/%E2%80%8Bradicals-shooting-at-people-in-odessas-burning-building-caught-on-tape/5380535

  63. Takfiris are the bastards beheading the population.

    And worse Ben….

    All this free movement of these Monster Terrorists around…Libya, to Syria, to Ukraine…..

    i wish it was all a bad dream…i wanta wake the fuck up out of it… OR Against Carl Sagan’s Advice…Pray for Extra terrestrials to come save us from ourselves.

  64. AA; How many re-makes of War of the Worlds? Peaceful and pastoral films don’t excite the masses, except when it’s adorable little benign creatures like ET.

    Day the Earth stood still was more neutral, like the aliens who were like Einstein’s god ,who sets the world in motion then stands back and observes the handiwork.

    Then there’s this for Stranger in a Strange Land, ” Batman Returns screenwriter Dan Waters was said to have rustled up a screenplay in 1995 for a $160 million movie, but as yet nothing has materialised.

  65. Great Ben..Just re-read Rendezvous with Rama, couple of months ago… all them awards but not sure its his best….

    RE war of the worlds i got a text this very morning on that… apparently the stage show is touring…to be in Glasgow Hydro in November AA… Ben not sure about you’re end Sorry… anyhoo..think i’m under pressure to go…. looks good though… Liam Neeson i think it is in it

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0AmEM5o3pQ

  66. Brian; Even though hampered by the limitations of the stage, I always love something live. Especially in music, as I look for some innovation. If they just stick to the standard, I might as well listen to the cd

  67. Some new videos posted at the top of the page (Ukraine thread). Seem to clearly show pro-Kiev mob breaking into Trades Union building before the fire. Please watch it if you can.

  68. I watched the news on Russia Today this morning and fighting is still going on in places like Slavyansk. Unarmed women are manning the barricades in Donetsk, prepared one woman said, to fight with their bare hands, to death if necessary, in support of their menfolk. The west has created another failed state. There will not be elections there I predict. Fascists do not normally believe in elections. Svoboda must have gone down in the ratings one would hope after the right sector killed up to 100 people in Odessa.

    “Svoboda is hardly a fringe organization. In the 2012 election won by the now deposed president, Viktor Yanukovitch, the Party took 10.45 percent of the vote and over 40 percent in parts of the western Ukraine. While the west voted overwhelmingly for the Fatherland Party’s Yulia Tymoshenko, the more populous east went overwhelmingly for the Party of the Regions’ Yanukovitch. The latter won the election handily, 48.8 percent to 45.7 percent.”

    http://bulatlat.com/main/2014/04/02/the-rise-of-the-quasi-fascists-the-dark-side-of-the-ukraine-revolt/#sthash.5Vx5aO58.dpuf

  69. Thanks for the video AA, it shows the helicopter a good mile away andf the first shooting was almost in the neighbours garden. I did not hear a machine gun firing, but the helicopter definately shot a missile at something

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