War over? Both sides in Ukraine conflict sign treaty banning military action

Fighters of the Donetsk People's Republic militia in the village of Yasenevka. (RIA Novosti/Gennady Dubovoy)

Fighters of the Donetsk People’s Republic militia in the village of Yasenevka. (RIA Novosti/Gennady Dubovoy)

Kiev and self-defense forces signed a memorandum aimed at effectively halting all fighting in eastern Ukraine after talks in Minsk. It creates a buffer zone, demands a pullback of troops and mercenaries, and bans military aviation flybys over the area.

READ MORE: Obama declines to give Ukraine ‘lethal aid’ despite Poroshenko’s plea

The signed memorandum consists of nine points, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told journalists following peace talks in Minsk, Belarus.

“The first [point] is to stop the use of weapons by both sides; the second is to stop all military and militia units in their positions as of September 19. The third is to ban the use of all types of weapons and offensive action,” former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, who represents Ukraine at the talks, told journalists.

The agreement outlines a buffer zone of 30km free from heavy weapons and bans all military aircraft from flying over the rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukrainian territory. An exception is being made for the surveillance drones used by the OSCE to monitor the situation, Kuchma said.

Kiev said it would start the pull-back of heavy weapons under the agreement starting on Saturday.

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk, September 17, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk, September 17, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

War over? Both sides in Ukraine conflict sign treaty banning military action

Fighters of the Donetsk People’s Republic militia in the village of Yasenevka. (RIA Novosti/Gennady Dubovoy)
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Kiev and self-defense forces signed a memorandum aimed at effectively halting all fighting in eastern Ukraine after talks in Minsk. It creates a buffer zone, demands a pullback of troops and mercenaries, and bans military aviation flybys over the area.

However, Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania have agreed to launch a joint military force which is expected to hold its first drill next year.

The defense ministers of the three states signed the agreement in Warsaw on Friday, in the presence of Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.

Polish defense officials told Reuters that LITPOLUKRBRIG (Lithuanian–Polish–Ukrainian Brigade) could take part in peacekeeping operations or, if necessary, form the basis of a NATO battle group in the region.

Lithuania and Poland are NATO members, while Ukraine’s recent appeal for a special status outside the bloc was turned down by US president Barack Obama.

Polish servicemen take part in military exercises outside the town of Yavoriv near Lviv, September 19, 2014. (Reuters/Roman Baluk)

Polish servicemen take part in military exercises outside the town of Yavoriv near Lviv, September 19, 2014. (Reuters/Roman Baluk)

The signed memorandum consists of nine points, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told journalists following peace talks in Minsk, Belarus.

“The first [point] is to stop the use of weapons by both sides; the second is to stop all military and militia units in their positions as of September 19. The third is to ban the use of all types of weapons and offensive action,” former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, who represents Ukraine at the talks, told journalists.

The agreement outlines a buffer zone of 30km free from heavy weapons and bans all military aircraft from flying over the rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukrainian territory. An exception is being made for the surveillance drones used by the OSCE to monitor the situation, Kuchma said.

Kiev said it would start the pull-back of heavy weapons under the agreement starting on Saturday.

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk, September 17, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk, September 17, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

All foreign mercenaries must be withdrawn from eastern Ukraine by both sides of the conflict, the signed Minsk memorandum states, according to Kuchma.

“We have agreed on the withdrawal of all foreign mercenaries from both sides,” Kuchma said.

Both sides also vowed to continue the exchange of prisoners.

The OSCE has been tasked to monitor that both sides adhere to the memorandum’s conditions. The organization’s observers will be sent to observe the situation along the entire zone of the ceasefire, Itar-Tass reported.

Five hundred OSCE observers will be sent to monitor the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, Lugansk People’s Republic representative Aleksey Karyakin said, adding that the meeting was quite difficult.

“We were able to substantially increase the number of OSCE observers in the conflict zone from 300 to 500,” he said.

The negotiations were also attended by Russia’s OSCE representatives.
Kiev, rebels exchange prisoners

On Saturday, the self-defense forces of the People’s Republic of Donetsk and Ukrainian security services exchanged prisoners in accordance with the “40 for 40” formula on Saturday.

The exchange took place near the village of Konstantinovka, situated 60 kilometers south of the city of Donetsk.

 

Fighters of the Donetsk People’s Republic militia in the village of Yasenevka. (RIA Novosti/Gennady Dubovoy)

Kiev and self-defense forces signed a memorandum aimed at effectively halting all fighting in eastern Ukraine after talks in Minsk. It creates a buffer zone, demands a pullback of troops and mercenaries, and bans military aviation flybys over the area.

The signed memorandum consists of nine points, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told journalists following peace talks in Minsk, Belarus.

“The first [point] is to stop the use of weapons by both sides; the second is to stop all military and militia units in their positions as of September 19. The third is to ban the use of all types of weapons and offensive action,” former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, who represents Ukraine at the talks, told journalists.

The agreement outlines a buffer zone of 30km free from heavy weapons and bans all military aircraft from flying over the rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukrainian territory. An exception is being made for the surveillance drones used by the OSCE to monitor the situation, Kuchma said.

Kiev said it would start the pull-back of heavy weapons under the agreement starting on Saturday.

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk, September 17, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk, September 17, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

All foreign mercenaries must be withdrawn from eastern Ukraine by both sides of the conflict, the signed Minsk memorandum states, according to Kuchma.

“We have agreed on the withdrawal of all foreign mercenaries from both sides,” Kuchma said.

Both sides also vowed to continue the exchange of prisoners.

The OSCE has been tasked to monitor that both sides adhere to the memorandum’s conditions. The organization’s observers will be sent to observe the situation along the entire zone of the ceasefire, Itar-Tass reported.

Five hundred OSCE observers will be sent to monitor the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, Lugansk People’s Republic representative Aleksey Karyakin said, adding that the meeting was quite difficult.

“We were able to substantially increase the number of OSCE observers in the conflict zone from 300 to 500,” he said.

The negotiations were also attended by Russia’s OSCE representatives.
Kiev, rebels exchange prisoners

On Saturday, the self-defense forces of the People’s Republic of Donetsk and Ukrainian security services exchanged prisoners in accordance with the “40 for 40” formula on Saturday.

The exchange took place near the village of Konstantinovka, situated 60 kilometers south of the city of Donetsk.

The third convoy of Russian humanitarian aid has also crossed the border into Ukraine, Itar-Tass reported. The convoy consists of around 200 vehicles carrying some 2,000 tons of aid to the residents of southeastern Ukraine – including cereals, canned food, generators, medicine, warm clothes, and bottled water.

Before the convoy’s departure, Ukrainian border guards had been repeatedly invited to inspect the cargo by the Russian side. However, the border patrol declined all offers without citing any particular reason.

Подготовка к отправке третьего гуманитарного конвоя в Ростовской области

Moscow sees thousands march for peace in eastern Ukraine

The march traditionally gathered all sorts of opposition groups, with banners of far-right organizations and gay pride flags also noticed in the crowd.

The march traditionally gathered all sorts of opposition groups, with banners of far-right organizations and gay pride flags also noticed in the crowd.

Huge crowds of protesters took to the streets of the Russian capital to demand peace in Ukraine, in the biggest opposition rally in half a year.

The opposition organizers failed to attract the promised 50,000 for the event, but “there was a very high turnout,” RT’s Anissa Naouai reported from the center of Moscow.

City authorities estimated the turnout at 5,000, but the number voiced by independent monitors – 26,000 – seems more believable, according to Naouai.

The demonstrators carried Ukrainian, Russian, and opposition flags, while chanting “No to war!” and other slogans.

According to Naouai, those marching on Sunday deny Kiev’s and Washington’s responsibility for the events in southeastern Ukraine and “see Russia as the aggressor; as the party that is undermining a chance for peace” in the region.

None of the opposition groups protested Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko’s demand for lethal weapons for his military forces to use them against the pro-Independence self defense militia both to the US Congress and President Obama. Both the Congress and Obama refused to supply Mr Poroshenko with the much desired lethal weapons… to finish his ethnic cleansing.

The march traditionally gathered all sorts of opposition groups, with banners of far-right organizations and gay pride flags also noticed in the crowd.

The march began at Puskinskaya Square in central Moscow and concluded after several hours at Prospekt Sakharova. No serious incidents reported.

The march was also attended by supporters of the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

Meanwhile, Interfax reported that several small groups were throwing eggs, tomatoes, and shoes at the opposition demonstrators.

“It’s the first time that the opposition demonstrators have poured onto the streets of Moscow in six months,” Naouai said.

The last protest was held in March after the Ukrainian Republic of Crimea held a referendum which confirmed its desire to part ways with Kiev and reunite with Russia.

Ukraine has been engulfed in violent internal conflict since April, when Kiev’s military began its crackdown on the southeastern regions of the country after they refused to recognize the country’s new coup-imposed authorities.

The United Nations said that the death toll in the Ukrainian conflict has exceeded 3,000, with this number including the 298 passengers and crew on board the MH17 airliner downed over Donetsk region in July.

The number of internally displaced Ukrainians has reached 260,000, with another 814,000 finding refuge in Russia, the UN said.

The sides agreed a ceasefire during talks in Minsk, Belarus on September 5, but there are still considerable amounts of work to be done for the conflict to be settled peacefully.

Kiev and its backers in the US and EU blame Russia for masterminding the unrest and providing anti-Kiev rebels with weapons and troops.

However, no convincing proof has been provided to back the claims, which have been repeatedly denied by Moscow.

Who Gets Left Holding the Bag?

Library of Congress US

Library of Congress US

Timothy Gatto

Let’s all admit it, the wars we have been fighting in the Middle East have been for resources, mostly oil. When something happens in other parts of the World that are devoid of resources, we invariably ignore it. One only has to look at the situation in Darfur, where people were starving en masse, and we turned a blind eye. If the country isn’t in a strategic area, or it has no resources we want, we ignore whatever is happening there.

While we have been using our military to protect and seize the resources we need to keep our economy rolling along, China has been reaching out and making trade deals with other nations and sending men, materials and money to help them improve their situations. Of course they have asked for something in return, and that is to buy Chinese products and use Chinese engineers and contractors to help build their infrastructures. China is firmly entrenched in Latin America, Africa and in other regions of the globe.

Some economists have said that China has already overtaken the US as the World’s largest economy. It is also possible, now that Washington has foolishly installed a fascist government in Kiev and caused the Ukraine to basically separate, while blaming Russia and Putin. Now, because of the sanctions the EU and the US has put into place against Russia, that country has seeming fallen into the arms of China.

This has dire consequences for the US. When Obama was re-elected he heralded his “pivot to Asia” doctrine. He wasn’t kidding. The United States did attempt to do this but it seems nobody in Asia wanted us there. We tried to re-lease Cam Ron Bay from the Vietnamese and they said no dice. We tried to worm our way into Burma but they, likewise, didn’t want us. We did however, get the Japanese to re-arm and got the Australians to let us station Marines there, but we didn’t get the big bases we wanted. The Philippines wanted no part of us. The move was a dismal failure.

So what is an Empire to do now that everyone wants us to go away? Well, we always have the Middle East to play with. The only problem is that even if we control the entire Middle East, the Russians still control the natural gas that flows into Europe. This is the primary reason that the EU was reluctant to put sanctions on Russia. Our puppet continent now faces another few years of recession thanks to their friends in Washington. It may even get very cold in some nations this Winter if Russia decides to turn the gas taps off.

Some, like Pepe Escobar and a few others have even predicted that very soon the Russians and the Chinese would stop recognizing the US Dollar as the World’s Reserve currency. This is Washington’s nightmare. The problem with that scenario is that we could no longer just print money and increase balances on computers by adding a few more zeros to the balance sheets.

So what is Washington to do? Too bad that after World War II we decided (or rather people like the Dulles brothers did) to try to rule the world (or at least subjugate it) with military means. It may have been a good idea at the time, but constantly propping up the economy with spending on the military industrial complex has its limitations. Sooner or later, when you export everything but your defense industry out of the country, jobs become scarce and your economy gets, shall we say, get a little sluggish?

The basic fact here is that while China has it hands in everyone’s pockets, we have no money in ours. Because the capitalist’s saw they could make truckloads of savings in wages by outsourcing their manufacturing, they forgot that their biggest market was…you guessed it, America. Now they have all these products they are importing from China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and elsewhere, and the people in America with all their degrees, can’t find jobs. Sure, there are “service jobs” but they just don’t pay the bills.

The problem here is that when the top 20% holds 90% of the wealth of this nation, just who is going to buy all these products imported into the US? Just about the only thing that Americans buy anymore are cars to get them to their crappy jobs. Seems like the government forgot about building public transportation. It’s a good thing too, or else they wouldn’t have any consumer spending at all.

So what is Washington to do? I’m glad I’m not the President because I have no answer for him. Maybe he can sell off some of our $13 Billion Dollar aircraft carriers. We have 12 of them. China only has one, much smaller than ours, maybe they will buy it.

We can of course, try to mend fences with the Russians and bring our manufacturing home. At this time, some companies that outsource to South Korea and China are finding out that the workers there are experiencing a higher standard of living and are clamoring for higher wages. One only has to add the cost of shipping goods back to the United States and they find that their profit margins are getting just a wee bit tight. You don’t have to travel to China to see this happening, just go to Wal-Mart and check out the prices. I’d say they are getting a little steep.

We could adopt the Chinese model and pull our missiles, tanks, drones and troops out of all the countries they now can be found in and replace them with department stores full of US products. We could cut the military budget in half and take that money and loan it to nations that need it. They can employ US construction companies and architects to build their infrastructure at fair prices and fair interest on the money we loan them.

The truth is that it is probably we are (although maybe not), too late. What the people in Washington want is power and money for their friends that got them elected. The current model is failing the country but the fact is that they are making too much money to stop. When the bottom falls out (and it will), it won’t be the top 20% that are left holding s firmly entrenched in Latin America, Africa and in other regions of the globe.

Some economists have said that China has already overtaken the US as the World’s largest economy. It is also possible, now that Washington has foolishly installed a fascist government in Kiev and caused the Ukraine to basically separate, while blaming Russia and Putin. Now, because of the sanctions the EU and the US has put into place against Russia, that country has seeming fallen into the arms of China.

This has dire consequences for the US. When Obama was re-elected he heralded his “pivot to Asia” doctrine. He wasn’t kidding. The United States did attempt to do this but it seems nobody in Asia wanted us there. We tried to re-lease Cam Ron Bay from the Vietnamese and they said no dice. We tried to worm our way into Burma but they, likewise, didn’t want us. We did however, get the Japanese to re-arm and got the Australians to let us station Marines there, but we didn’t get the big bases we wanted. The Philippines wanted no part of us. The move was a dismal failure.

So what is an Empire to do now that everyone wants us to go away? Well, we always have the Middle East to play with. The only problem is that even if we control the entire Middle East, the Russians still control the natural gas that flows into Europe. This is the primary reason that the EU was reluctant to put sanctions on Russia. Our puppet continent now faces another few years of recession thanks to their friends in Washington. It may even get very cold in some nations this Winter if Russia decides to turn the gas taps off.

Some, like Pepe Escobar and a few others have even predicted that very soon the Russians and the Chinese would stop recognizing the US Dollar as the World’s Reserve currency. This is Washington’s nightmare. The problem with that scenario is that we could no longer just print money and increase balances on computers by adding a few more zeros to the balance sheets.

So what is Washington to do? Too bad that after World War II we decided (or rather people like the Dulles brothers did) to try to rule the world (or at least subjugate it) with military means. It may have been a good idea at the time, but constantly propping up the economy with spending on the military industrial complex has its limitations. Sooner or later, when you export everything but your defense industry out of the country, jobs become scarce and your economy gets, shall we say, get a little sluggish?

The basic fact here is that while China has it hands in everyone’s pockets, we have no money in ours. Because the capitalist’s saw they could make truckloads of savings in wages by outsourcing their manufacturing, they forgot that their biggest market was…you guessed it, America. Now they have all these products they are importing from China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and elsewhere, and the people in America with all their degrees, can’t find jobs. Sure, there are “service jobs” but they just don’t pay the bills.

The problem here is that when the top 20% holds 90% of the wealth of this nation, just who is going to buy all these products imported into the US? Just about the only thing that Americans buy anymore are cars to get them to their crappy jobs. Seems like the government forgot about building public transportation. It’s a good thing too, or else they wouldn’t have any consumer spending at all.

So what is Washington to do? I’m glad I’m not the President because I have no answer for him. Maybe he can sell off some of our $13 Billion Dollar aircraft carriers. We have 12 of them. China only has one, much smaller than ours, maybe they will buy it.

We can of course, try to mend fences with the Russians and bring our manufacturing home. At this time, some companies that outsource to South Korea and China are finding out that the workers there are experiencing a higher standard of living and are clamoring for higher wages. One only has to add the cost of shipping goods back to the United States and they find that their profit margins are getting just a wee bit tight. You don’t have to travel to China to see this happening, just go to Wal-Mart and check out the prices. I’d say they are getting a little steep.

We could adopt the Chinese model and pull our missiles, tanks, drones and troops out of all the countries they now can be found in and replace them with department stores full of US products. We could cut the military budget in half and take that money and loan it to nations that need it. They can employ US construction companies and architects to build their infrastructure at fair prices and fair interest on the money we loan them.

The truth is that it is probably we are (although maybe not), too late. What the people in Washington want is power and money for their friends that got them elected. The current model is failing the country but the fact is that they are making too much money to stop. When the bottom falls out (and it will), it won’t be the top 20% that are left holding s firmly entrenched in Latin America, Africa and in other regions of the globe.

Some economists have said that China has already overtaken the US as the World’s largest economy. It is also possible, now that Washington has foolishly installed a fascist government in Kiev and caused the Ukraine to basically separate, while blaming Russia and Putin. Now, because of the sanctions the EU and the US has put into place against Russia, that country has seeming fallen into the arms of China.

This has dire consequences for the US. When Obama was re-elected he heralded his “pivot to Asia” doctrine. He wasn’t kidding. The United States did attempt to do this but it seems nobody in Asia wanted us there. We tried to re-lease Cam Ron Bay from the Vietnamese and they said no dice. We tried to worm our way into Burma but they, likewise, didn’t want us. We did however, get the Japanese to re-arm and got the Australians to let us station Marines there, but we didn’t get the big bases we wanted. The Philippines wanted no part of us. The move was a dismal failure.

So what is an Empire to do now that everyone wants us to go away? Well, we always have the Middle East to play with. The only problem is that even if we control the entire Middle East, the Russians still control the natural gas that flows into Europe. This is the primary reason that the EU was reluctant to put sanctions on Russia. Our puppet continent now faces another few years of recession thanks to their friends in Washington. It may even get very cold in some nations this Winter if Russia decides to turn the gas taps off.

Some, like Pepe Escobar and a few others have even predicted that very soon the Russians and the Chinese would stop recognizing the US Dollar as the World’s Reserve currency. This is Washington’s nightmare. The problem with that scenario is that we could no longer just print money and increase balances on computers by adding a few more zeros to the balance sheets.

So what is Washington to do? Too bad that after World War II we decided (or rather people like the Dulles brothers did) to try to rule the world (or at least subjugate it) with military means. It may have been a good idea at the time, but constantly propping up the economy with spending on the military industrial complex has its limitations. Sooner or later, when you export everything but your defense industry out of the country, jobs become scarce and your economy gets, shall we say, get a little sluggish?

The basic fact here is that while China has it hands in everyone’s pockets, we have no money in ours. Because the capitalist’s saw they could make truckloads of savings in wages by outsourcing their manufacturing, they forgot that their biggest market was…you guessed it, America. Now they have all these products they are importing from China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and elsewhere, and the people in America with all their degrees, can’t find jobs. Sure, there are “service jobs” but they just don’t pay the bills.

The problem here is that when the top 20% holds 90% of the wealth of this nation, just who is going to buy all these products imported into the US? Just about the only thing that Americans buy anymore are cars to get them to their crappy jobs. Seems like the government forgot about building public transportation. It’s a good thing too, or else they wouldn’t have any consumer spending at all.

So what is Washington to do? I’m glad I’m not the President because I have no answer for him. Maybe he can sell off some of our $13 Billion Dollar aircraft carriers. We have 12 of them. China only has one, much smaller than ours, maybe they will buy it.

We can of course, try to mend fences with the Russians and bring our manufacturing home. At this time, some companies that outsource to South Korea and China are finding out that the workers there are experiencing a higher standard of living and are clamoring for higher wages. One only has to add the cost of shipping goods back to the United States and they find that their profit margins are getting just a wee bit tight. You don’t have to travel to China to see this happening, just go to Wal-Mart and check out the prices. I’d say they are getting a little steep.

We could adopt the Chinese model and pull our missiles, tanks, drones and troops out of all the countries they now can be found in and replace them with department stores full of US products. We could cut the military budget in half and take that money and loan it to nations that need it. They can employ US construction companies and architects to build their infrastructure at fair prices and fair interest on the money we loan them.

The truth is that it is probably we are (although maybe not), too late. What the people in Washington want is power and money for their friends that got them elected. The current model is failing the country but the fact is that they are making too much money to stop. When the bottom falls out (and it will), it won’t be the top 20% that are left holding the bag. It will be the bottom 80% that are left penniless. The top 10% will just move to China and invest in their stock market and go along as they always have.