Ukraine mini-SITREP: very ominous developments

The Vineyard of the Saker

Ukraine mini-SITREP: very ominous developments

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

This short post is just to inform you of the latest developments in the war in the Ukraine.Following the use of a tactical ballistic missile against Donetsk by theUkies,Zakharchenko has declared that the ceasefire was basically over.Strelkov has made an official appeal warning that according to this information the Ukies were massing troops in preparation for an attack.  According to Strelkov, the Ukie plan is for a very short and very rapid “push” towards Donestk and the Russian border to make any Novorussian state non-viable and thus to negotiate from a position of force.  True, Strelkov does have a record of exaggerating threats in order to minimize them, but this time there are some strong signs that his analysis is shared by the Russian military, and these signs are the most ominous signs of all.

Russian sources – including the excellent Colonel Cassad blog – report that the voentorg aid-spigot has been fully re-opened including for some major deliveries.  While, of course, I am very happy that the Novorussian resistance is getting much needed equipment (and specialists), this kind of full reopening of the voentorg also indicates to me that the Russian intelligence services have concluded that an attack is very likely, possibly very soon.

I have been following the situation in Banderastan pretty closely and I can only say that the cracks in the regime are visible all over the place.  Whether Poroshenko and his US master’s really believe that an attack can succeed (I doubt it) or whether they really want to force Russia into openly intervening (which I see as almost inevitable), the fact is that starting a major war might well be the only way to save the Poroshenko regime which currently is in free fall.

It is quite possible that Strelkov’s blunt warning and, even more so, the reopening of the voentorg will convince the Ukies that Russia is ready to intervene and that their attack will not be allowed to succeed.  What concerns me is that the Poroshenko regime (and his CIA patrons) might decide that even a defeat at the hand of the Russian military is preferable to the current death spiral: not only can a war save the regime, a Russian intervention would finally make the AngloZionist dream come true.  Putin will try his utmost to avoid falling into this trap, and that means that Russia will have to provide massive covert support and aid to Novorussia.  As for the Novorussians, they have to be strong enough to stop the initial assault.  If they succeed, then the offensive will be effectively dead. But Strelkov is right, if the Ukie break through the Novorussian lines, then Russia will have to intervene.

This is an extremely dangerous situation.

The Saker

DPR’s Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko submitted documents to the Central Election Commission.

DPR's Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko submitted documents to the Central Election Commission. DPR's Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko submitted documents to the Central Election Commission.

DPR’s Prime Minister AlexanderZakharchenko submitted documents to the Central Election Commission. 

© RIA Novosti. Egor Eremov

DONETSK, October 4 (RIA Novosti) – Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Alexander Zakharchenko has submitted documents to the Central Election Commission as a presidential candidate for DPR, RIA Novosti correspondent reported on Saturday.

Zakharchenko stated that the main point of his program will be “Complete liberation of the Republic of Ukrainian soldiers.” He also added that another main point will be to improve the lives of people in the country.

Zakharchenko is the first candidate to register for the election to be held on November 2. Candidate registration is open until October 14.

On Friday, DPR Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Purgin stated the Donetsk Republic’s support for Zakharchenko in the upcoming elections.

Kiev authorities and independence supporters aligned positions on a ceasefire and a number of issues including the status of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions on September 5 in the capital of Belarus, Minsk, through the mediation of Russia and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, approved a law on special status of parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions on September 16. The law introduces self-administration and guarantees the right to use Russian or any other language in Ukraine.

Donetsk Forces Plan to Retake Slaviansk, Kramatorsk, Mariupol

 

DPR's Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko

The prime minister of self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, said Thursday that self-defense forces are planning to retake cities of Slaviansk, Kramatorsk and Mariupol.

© RIA Novosti. Mikhail Voskresensky

DONETSK, October 23 (RIA Novosti) – Self-defense forces in eastern Ukraine are planning to retake cities of Slaviansk, Kramatorsk and Mariupol, said prime minister of self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Alexander Zakharchenko, Thursday.

“Periods of intense hostilities will follow. We will retake Slaviansk, Kramatorsk and Mariupol. Unfortunately, it was impossible to make peaceful settlement the focus of negotiations. We are the only ones who comply with the regime of silence,” he stressed.

Earlier this week Zakharchenko noted that the heavy shelling of Donetsk was undermining the negotiation process between Kiev and DPR. “No more talks about ceasefire, of course we are not going to sit [at the negotiating table] with Kiev,” he said on Monday.

The DPR authorities repeatedly stated that the self-proclaimed people’s republic would never become part of a united Ukraine and last week Zakharchenko announced plans to issue the DRP’s own passports.

In mid-April, Kiev launched a military operation against independence supporters in eastern Ukraine. Some 3,700 people have been killed and over 9,000 have sustained injuries since the beginning of the armed conflict, according to the latest UN estimates. On September 5, the conflicting sides agreed on a ceasefire at a meeting of the trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine in Minsk, but since then there have been regular reports of the shelling of Donetsk.

 

Seven Civilians Killed in Overnight Shelling in Ukraine: Donetsk People’s Republic

Overnight shelling in southeastern Ukraine killed 7 civilians and wounded at least 30 people, the headquarters of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic said Tuesday

Overnight shelling in southeastern Ukraine killed 7 civilians and wounded at least 30 people, the headquarters of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said Tuesday

Topic: Situation in the South-East of Ukraine

 

MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti) – Overnight shelling in southeastern Ukraine killed 7 civilians and wounded at least 30 people, the headquarters of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said Tuesday.

“Over 25 ceasefire violations by the Ukrainian side have been registered overnight,” the DPR headquarters said, adding that in the past 24 hours the Ukrainian forces have violated the ceasefire 45 times.

According to DPR, 5 civilians were wounded in shelling in Donetsk. Another 25 civilians were wounded and 7 were killed during attacks on 9 different villages in the region. 5 independence fighters were wounded in the attacks.

On Monday, the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) released a report, saying that shelling continues in Donetsk and Luhansk regions despite the ceasefire agreement reached between Kiev forces and independence supporters in eastern Ukraine.

Earlier on Monday, DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko told RIA Novosti that the number of ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine was on decline. Zakharchenko stressed that the self-defense forces do not open fire first, but respond when Kiev troops start bombing cities.

On Saturday, Zakharchenko announced that a “silence regime” was going into effect in the Donetsk region. He added that the pullout of artillery and military hardware would begin after the “silence regime” holds for five days.

Kiev launched a military operation against independence supporters in southeastern Ukraine in April, after they refused to recognize the new government which came to power in the country as a result of the February coup.

On September 5 a ceasefire agreement was signed between the two sides at the meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine in Minsk. Both independence supporters and Kiev forces have subsequently accused each other of violating the truce.

Putin: Situation in Ukraine Shows Deep Crisis in International Law

Russia's President Vladimir Putin

Double standards and violation of fundamental human rights prevail in attitudes toward crimes against civilians in southeastern Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

© RIA Novosti. Mikhail Klimentiev

 

Updated 3:40 p.m. Moscow Time

MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti) – The events in Ukraine showed that the international law is in deep crisis as many international human rights organizations turn a blind eye to crimes against civilians in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

“They [the events in Ukraine] have demonstrated a large-scale crisis of the international law, basic norms of the Universal declaration in human rights and the convention to prevent genocide,” Putin said at a meeting of the Kremlin human rights council.

“We witnessed double standards in attitudes toward crimes against civilians in southeastern Ukraine, the violation of fundamental human rights – the right to live and the right for personal security. People there are subject to torture, cruel and humiliating treatment, discrimination and extrajudicial measures,” the president said.

“Unfortunately, many international organizations simply turn a blind eye to these facts,” he continued.

During six months of unrest in Ukraine, since Kiev authorities launched a military operation against independence supporters in country’s eastern regions, numerous cases of international law violations by Ukrainian army have been observed.

Human rights violations included cases of kidnappings and torture. Press freedom has also been ignored, international journalists have been detained and threatened. Ukrainian army repeatedly targeted populated areas, its shelling resulted in numerous deaths of civilians.

Earlier this month, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights released a report in which it said that Kiev-controlled forces continue to violate the principles of international humanitarian law, citing in particular “the enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention and ill-treatment allegedly perpetrated by members of the volunteer battalions”.

In September, Amnesty International confirmed that the Ukrainian government was responsible for the war crimes and human rights violations committed by Ukrainian volunteer battalions.

According to recent UN estimates, the military operation led by Kiev claimed lives of 3,700 people and left over 8,800 injured.

 

Islamic State Obtaining US Weapons Due to Lack of US-Syria Cooperation: Moscow

Islamic State (IS) fighters are seizing US-made weapons destined for the Kurdish forces because Washington is refusing to cooperate with Damascus in its anti-terror operation, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich said Thursday.

Islamic State (IS) fighters are seizing US-made weapons destined for the Kurdish forces because Washington is refusing to cooperate with Damascus in its anti-terror operation, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich said Thursday.

© REUTERS

RIA NOVOSTI – October 23, 2014

MOSCOW, October 23 (RIA Novosti)Islamic State (IS) fighters are seizing US-made weapons destined for the Kurdish forces because Washington is refusing to cooperate with Damascus in its anti-terror operation, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich said Thursday.

“There is no coordination between the [anti-terror] coalition and Damascus, since Washington persistently refuses to recognize the government of Bashar Assad as a partner in the combat against terrorism. As a result, the IS fighters seize weapons the US Air Force aircraft are dropping for the Kurdish squads,” the official said at a press briefing.

The diplomat also noted that the US-led airstrikes against the insurgents have failed to achieve any significant success.

He argued that Syrian aircraft are performing over 150 air strikes on a daily basis, while the “so-called coalition with its broad opportunities limits itself to 10 to 15 or sometimes five to seven strikes a day.”

Following the proclamation of a caliphate on the captured swathes of Iraq and Syria by the IS, the United States resorted to military action.

Washington launched airstrikes against the insurgents in Iraq in August and extended its attacks to Syria the following month, though without requesting an approval from the Syrian government, which the West considers illegitimate.

US President Barack Obama formed a large international coalition to fight terrorism in the Middle East, many members of which, including its Arab allies, the United Kingdom and France, are taking part in the airstrikes. Russia has expressed an unwillingness to join any coalitions that bypass the United Nations.

 

 

 

US to Implement Official Strategy to Undermine IS Financial Strength: US Treasury

Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stand guard at a checkpoint in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, June 11, 2014

Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stand guard at a checkpoint in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, June 11, 2014

Reuters / Stringer

RIA NOVOSTI – Oct 23, 2014

WASHINGTON, October 23 (RIA Novosti) – The United States will implement a strategic plan aimed to degrade the Islamic State’s (IS) financial strength, US Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen announced Thursday.

“Our strategy involves three mutually supportive elements. First, we [the US] are working to disrupt ISIL’s revenue streams in order to deny it money in the first place. Second, we aim to limit what ISIL can do with the funds it collects by restricting its access to the international financial system. And finally, we will continue to impose sanctions on ISIL’s senior leadership and financial facilitators to disrupt their ability to operate,” said Cohen at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace conference.

According to Cohen, the United States will cut off the Islamic State’s “revenue from oil sales, ransom payments, extortion and crime, and support from foreign donors” and make it “difficult for them to find a bank anywhere that will touch their money or process their transactions.”

Cohen reiterated that the United States would not change its policy on not paying ransom for those kidnapped by IS, as it “deprives terrorists of funding critical to their deadly aspirations and operations”.

The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq and declared an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control. A US-led coalition is currently carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Syria and Iraq.