Putin, Poroshenko Speak; Kiev Church Says Russian “Under Satan’s Spell”, Locals Say “Ceasefire Just Theater”

So far, and contrary to most expectations, the latest ceasefire between Ukraine and the eastern separatists, which was announced early yesterday, has managed to hold up. “Contrary” because while it is the talking point of the west that it is Putin’s desire to perpetuate the proxy civil war, in reality it was Ukraine’s own troops who voiced against a ceasefire as we reported yesterday:
“A ceasefire would be a disaster, we would lose everything. By fighting we can resist the invasion and send them back. With a ceasefire they will consolidate and carry on after a while,” said Ukrainian soldier Taras. Another Ukrainian soldier who gave his name as Mykola said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko – who was attending the second day of a NATO summit in Wales on Friday – would “betray the country” if he backed a peace plan at this time.”
Ironically, their rebel opponents share the same but opposite opinion: “The ceasefire is looking good for now but we know they (the Ukrainian side) are only using it to bring in more forces here and ammunition and then to hit us with renewed strength,” said one rebel commander in Donetsk known by his nickname Montana.
In other words, both sides believe their adversary is merely using the break in the fighting to regroup and reinforce.
As to whether Ukraine’s chocolate oligarch has betrayed his country remains to be seen, but for now the fighting has indeed subsided and the two main confrontation hubs, rebel-held Donetsk and Ukraine-held Mariupol, were quiet on Saturday, despite some isolated shelling overnight near Donetsk’s airport, which remains in government hands. Mortar rounds were also fired at regular intervals through Saturday in the vicinity of the airport.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/06/2014.

Where Is Russia On The Road To Recreating USSR 2.0?

Given the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia and escalating conflict between Russia and the Ukraine, JPMorgan asks, where is Russia on the road to recreating something like the Soviet Union as an economic, political and financial counterweight to the West?
Via JPMorgan’s CIO Michael Cembalest,
This is more art than science, but I think there are ways of quantifying it.
Let’s take all Warsaw Pact/ CoMEcon/Soviet orbit countries of the 1980s (this is a big region; its current GDP is similar to Russia, and its trade is 2.5x larger).
Some have willingly and enthusiastically re-entered the Russian sphere of influence, such as early entrants and applicants into the Russian-sponsored Eurasian Economic Union (e.g., Belarus, Kazakhstan).
At the other end of the spectrum, there are countries that exist under the umbrella of NATO and/or the European Union (Poland, Baltic States, etc).
In the middle, there are 2 variations: countries with their own political and economic ambitions, but which differ in terms of the risk of being subject to Russian military and economic influence.
We then examine economic, human capital and geologic indicators and figure out how much of each has re-entered the Russian orbit. For example, when looking at the first bar showing the current GDP of countries in the old Soviet Bloc, ~70% now falls under the NATO/EU umbrella, and another 8% is at low risk of Russian influence.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/06/2014.

Lessons on Hornets and Bears; Ukraine Ceasefire a Victory for Common Sense

If you are looking for something to gag on today, please consider the Bloomberg View by Leonid Bershidsky Ukraine’s Cease-Fire Is Putin’s Victory.
…As for Russian President Vladimir Putin, he has secured a ringside seat and may settle down with a bowl of popcorn. Any outcome suits him as long as Ukraine struggles to get out of its impasse alone. He will be happy to see the Lugansk and Donetsk regions turn into a frozen-conflict zone, precluding Ukraine’s further integration into NATO and the European Union, and equally pleased to have them gain broad autonomy from Kiev and a veto on major political decisions. A military solution suits him, too, since the West has refused to engage him except in the form of ineffectual sanctions.
Make no mistake about it: The ceasefire is a victory for Putin, a vindication of his aggression and duplicity. I just hope it ends the bloodshed.
Victory for Common SenseWhile one can claim this is a victory for Putin, one should rightfully gag over Bershidsky’s comment regarding “aggression and duplicity.”The US and EU fomented this crisis and now apologists for failed US policy don’t like the results: Russia annexed Crimea and Ukraine may splinter.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on Friday, September 05, 2014.

Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Says UK Rogue State, Danger to World

“The British Government is deeply, deeply immoral. They don’t care how many people they kill abroad if it advances them. Anybody who votes No [to Scottish independence] is voting to support a pathological state which is a danger in the world, a rogue state and a state prepared to go to war to make a few people wealthy,” Murray said in a speech made ahead of an historic vote on Scottish independence to be held in just three weeks.
He told an open public meeting in St Andrews that the actions he witnesses as a senior diplomat had changed his “world view” and said it was now “impossible to be proud of the United Kingdom.”
“I think it is impossible to be proud of the United Kingdom. I think when we invaded Iraq we did to the United Nations what Hitler and Mussolini did to the League of Nations,” Murray added. “I think what we have done since where the truth is often much hidden, if you look at Libya it is a disaster now we bombed it and we killed 15,000 people when NATO bombed Sirte, something they never told you on the BBC. Did we make it better? No,” a diplomat stated.

This post was published at RAI Novosti

Ukraine Ceasefire Condition of Russia Warship Delivery, Says Hollande

The French president said Thursday the delivery of a controversial warship to Russia was conditional on "a ceasefire and political settlement" being agreed in Ukraine, as the West pushed for peace talks with threats of more sanctions against Moscow.
Speaking at a NATO summit in the U.K. on Thursday, François Hollande said the Russian procurement contract for two Mistral-class helicopter carriers was not cancelled, but the delivery of the first ship scheduled next month could be delayed. "What are the conditions? A ceasefire and a political settlement," he said. "Today these conditions are not in place."

This post was published at France24

NATO Talks: Swiss President Wary of Acting Against Russia

Speaking at a summit of world leaders on the crisis in Ukraine, Swiss President Didier Burkhalter has warned against isolating Russia, a move which he says “does not solve any problems”.
Switzerland is not a member of NATO, an intergovernmental military alliance, but Burkhalter heads the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) this year.
In his role as a mediator in the Ukraine crisis, Burkhalter added that Russian isolation “will create more problems in Europe and elsewhere”.

This post was published at SwissInfo

Former U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union: The U.S. and Nato Are Provoking the Ukrainian Crisis

Encircling Russia and Arming Ukraine Are What’s Provoking the Bear Jack Matlock, U. S. ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991, says that the U. S. and NATO are to blame for the Ukraine crisis:
The fact is they are going to intervene until they are certain that there is no prospect of Ukraine becoming a member of NATO. And all of the threats by NATO and so on to sort of increase defenses elsewhere is simply provocative to the Russians. Now, I’m not saying that’s right, but I am saying that’s the way Russia is going to react. And frankly, this is all predictable. And those of us who helped negotiate the end of the Cold War almost unanimously said in the 1990s, ‘Do not expand NATO eastward. Find a different way to protect eastern Europe, a way that includes Russia. Otherwise, eventually there’s going to be a confrontation, because there is a red line, as far as any Russian government is concerned, when it comes to Ukraine and Georgia and other former republics of the Soviet Union.’
***
There needs to be an understanding between Russia and the Ukrainians as to how to solve this problem. It is not going to be solved militarily. So the idea that we should be giving more help to the Ukrainian government in a military sense simply exacerbates the problem. And the basic problem is Ukraine is a deeply divided country. And as long as one side tries to impose its will on the other – and that is what has happened since February, the Ukrainian nationalists in the west have been trying to impose their will on the east, and the Russians aren’t going to permit that. And that is the fact of the matter. So, yes, there simply needs to be an agreement.
And most of the – I would say, the influence of the West in trying to help the Ukrainians by, I would say, defending them against the Russians tends to be provocative, because – you know, Putin is right: If he decided, he could take Kiev. Russia is a nuclear power. And Russia feels that we have ignored that, that we have insulted them time and time again, and that we are out to turn Ukraine into an American puppet that surrounds them. And, you know, with that sort of psychology, by resisting that, in Russian eyes, he has gained unprecedented popularity. So, it seems to me that we have to understand that, like it or not, the Ukrainians are going to have to make an agreement that’s acceptable to them, if they keep their unity.

This post was published at Washingtons Blog on September 5, 2014.

US Boots in Iraq and Baltics, Authorization to Attack Syria…and US Troops in Ukraine!

It has been a busy week for US military planners. As the NATO summit in Wales kicks off today, with an expected agreement to create a “spearhead” force of up to 5,000 troops to rapidly deploy to any “hotspot” in eastern Europe, we learn that the US will also send several hundred troops to participate in NATO military exercises in Ukraine later this month. The exercises, provocatively named “Rapid Trident,” are said to be “a sign of the commitment of NATO states to support non-NATO member Ukraine…”As the civil war rages on in Kiev, with US-backed troops from Kiev fighting to suppress an independence movement in the east, the presence of US troops on Ukrainian soil sends a perhaps dangerously clear message of US willingness to become further involved in Ukraine’s internal affairs. Russia has been accused of military involvement on behalf of those seeking independence from Kiev, but Moscow denies any official Russian role. President Obama said Wednesday he wants “American boots on the ground, continuously rotating through Estonia and Latvia and Lithuania,” in response to Russian “aggression” in the region.

This post was published at Ron Paul Institute on September 4, 2014.

Is This Why Obama Was “Noticeably Absent” During Yesterday’s NATO Meeting?

We are not exactly sure why Obama would be “noticeably absent” from the start of this week’s NATO-Ukraine commission (from The Hill):
President Obama was nowhere to be found during the beginning of a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine commission in Wales on Thursday. Obama was “noticeably absent” from the start of the meeting, according to a White House pool report, although U. S. Ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute was in attendance.
… but the following could provide some much needed clues (as we noted previously)…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/05/2014.

Russia Blasts NATO’s “Pre-Emptive Deployment” Plan For Undermining The Peace Process

As if like clockwork, on the heels of news from Russia of plans to shift their military doctrine towards pre-emptive reactions (and potential nuclear strikes), the NATO Summit has come out swinging with it’s own plan change:
*GEN. BRADSHAW, NATO’S DEPUTY SUPREME COMMANDER: NATO REACTION FORCE COULD BE DEPLOYED PREEMPTIVELY Russia’s response – “not surprised” NATO is trying to dominate Europe, adding that “NATO plans undermine the Ukraine peace process.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/05/2014.

As Fighting Rages In Mariupol, Ukraine Soldiers Say President Would “Betray The Country” If He Backs Peace

The NATO summit of world-class golfers is on its way out (having achieved nothing material and merely regurgitating old talking points), but it will be promptly replaced with yet another round of “peace talks” in Minsk, Belarus where all the usual suspects are gathered as well as the leaders of the eastern Ukraine separatists. According to Reuters, representatives of Ukraine, the pro-Russian separatist leadership, Russia and the OSCE security watchdog began talks on Friday on resolving the Ukraine conflict.
Most participants declined to comment to reporters as they arrived for the talks in the Belarussian capital, Minsk, but former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said: “We all came for peace, that’s the most important thing – to find a truce.” President Petro Poroshenko said on Thursday he would announce a ceasefire if the talks took place although there was no immediate ceasefire announcement.
News that the talks on securing a ceasefire had started pushed Moscow shares up.
A ceasefire agreed in June ended after 10 days because fighting did not stop, but officials were hopeful any new agreement could trigger steps to secure a more lasting peace after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Poroshenko gave it their backing.
Sadly, said officials must not be aware of the latest news then, that even as efforts to cobble together a makeshift truce continue (and ask Gaza how those have fared in the past months), the Russian rebels (as they are now known) continue to make territorial gains, and following our report that “The Battle For Strategic Mariupol Begins“, said fighting has escalated and is now openly raging between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels just east of the strategic port of Mariupol on Friday, as Reuters confirmed earlier today.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/05/2014.

No New NATO Bases in Eastern Europe

Poland has confirmed there will be no new NATO bases in eastern Europe to deter Russian aggression.
The alliance is creating a new “spearhead” force of some 4,000 troops designed to react if Russia attacks its eastern borders.
But Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski told press on Thursday at a NATO summit in Wales that that the force will not be physically stationed in the region. The only new facilities will include airfields, vehicle parks, and ammunition depots to help it to deploy more quickly.

This post was published at EU Observer

Cease-fire in Ukraine with Russia, Islamic State Grows, Ferguson Police Investigated by AG Holder

The following video was published by Greg Hunter on Sep 4, 2014
There is a cease-fire between the pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine. I hope this is a legitimate effort and not a tactic to stall for time until NATO can send in more troops. I hope this is not a way to say well, we tried to talk to Russia, and it did not work out. Now, there is an excuse for wider war. Anyone who thinks Russia is not heavily involved is dreaming. After all, it is Vladimir Putin laying out a ‘seven point plan’ to end hostilities in eastern Ukraine.
The other big story out there is the Islamic State that is now the size of the UK in between Syria and western Iraq. The President is all over the map on this issue. Last week, he said he did not have a strategy, and this week, he says he wants to ‘degrade and destroy’ the Islamic State. Obama also said he wanted to ‘manage’ this group that cuts the heads off of people while shooting video of the horrible acts.
Meanwhile, there are all sorts of warnings of a terror attack here in the U. S., and who does the Justice Department go after but the Ferguson Police Department. Let me get this straight, AG Eric Holder thinks the Ferguson Police are a bigger threat than Islamic terrorists.

NATO to Ship Weapons to Kiev – But Don’t Call it Escalation!

Today in Cardiff, Wales, NATO agreed to provide $15 million to the Ukrainian government for “cyberdefense, logistics, rehabilitating soldiers injured by the rebels, and command, communications and control capabilities.” The government in Kiev has waged war against several regions in eastern Ukraine that have sought to break away from the west after a US-backed coup in February. Though NATO reportedly was unable to muster unanimous support among member states for direct, lethal military aid to Kiev, several NATO member countries are reported to have concluded bi-lateral agreements to provide high-precision rifles and other weapons to their western allies in Ukraine’s civil war. Sounding increasingly hysterical today, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen Tweeted that…

This post was published at Ron Paul Institute on September 4, 2014.

CB Propaganda: ISIS Establishment In Libya, Lebanon and Yemen Is Now Imminent- Episode 459

The following video was published by X22Report on Sep 4, 2014
ADP private payroll missed expectations. PMI has fallen for the 2nd month in a row. ECB cut rates to counter the declining Eurozone economy. The people want stricter boarders and no work permits for illegals. US and South Korea building special unit to destroy WMD in North Korea. Ukraine agreed to a ceasefire for Friday. President Obama continues beating the war drum. NATO has authorized military aid for Ukraine. David Cameron says the western world does not need Assad’s permission to bomb inside his country. The tribes of Libya and Yemen are ousting their government and now the central bankers/US Government are painting the picture that the Islamic State is now entering and forming in these countries.

Obama Is Defeated in Ukraine: CNN Finally Talks to Our Regime’s Victims There

Obama has definitely been defeated in Ukraine, and this is now clear because the news reports and videos and photos of our victims there, which were previously available only online and outside America, are starting to be communicated even via CNN, which is one of the U. S. regime’s major mouthpieces.
Those earlier reports from victims, which were always being suppressed inside the U. S., include, for examples, this, and this, and this, and this. So, the coverage abroad was extensive, and has been going on for many months now.
Americans, and people in U. S.-controlled or ‘NATO’ countries, used not to get to hear about this war, the war that America started in Ukraine, from the standpoint of its victims. But now, CNN broadcasts this (1:38 onward there); and, so, now the reality of this is going to gradually sink in, even to Americans. Obama’s responsibility for this, and even earlier for this, will come to be known by people in ‘the West,’ from whom it had previously been hidden by our ‘news’ media.
America’s having a President like this, after having had one like George W. Bush (who, of course, lied America into invading Iraq – likewise with assistance from America’s ‘news’ media), will change the way that this country is viewed around the world.

This post was published at Washingtons Blog on September 4, 2014.

Is This Putin’s Ukraine Strategy?

“The West is afraid of a major war and Putin is exploiting that,” says one former Kremlin adviser, adding that “his end goal is a Ukraine that is a buffer state between Russia and the West.” After the recent rebel offensive, it’s now militarily possible to gain full control of Donetsk and Luhansk and to create a ‘land bridge’ to Crimea, and “without help, Russian troops can roll ever-deeper into Ukraine.” As Bloomberg reports, Vladimir Putin will continue his shadow war until he’s created quasi statelets in Ukraine’s easternmost regions with veto power over the country’s future, five current and former Russian officials and advisers said.
As Bloomberg summarizes, Putin’s strategy appears to be…
[He] won’t settle for less than broad autonomy for Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, including the right to reject key decisions at the national level such as joining NATO, according to the people. Putin is willing to wait until November, after Ukraine elects a new parliament and the heating season starts, to ensure his goals are met, in part by extending a natural gas cutoff to force a compromise if needed, one official said on condition of anonymity after speaking with Putin last week.

‘Putin’s goal is to force Ukraine to its knees,’ said Stanislav Belkovsky, a Kremlin adviser during Putin’s first term who heads the Institute for National Strategy in Moscow. ‘He wants a federal structure to put part of the country under Moscow’s informal control and block NATO membership.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/04/2014.

Russian General Demands Preemptive Nuclear Strike Doctrine Against NATO

While NATO is contemplating its existential purpose in a world where the Cold War has suddenly come back with a vengeance, and the military alliance has found itself woefully unprepared to deal with a Russia which no longer accepts the supremacy of the west (appropriately enough NATO is doing this on a golf course) Russia is also strategizing, only instead of issuing “sharply-worded catchphrases” and hashtags, a Russian general has called for Russia to revamp its military doctrine, last updated in 2010, to clearly identify the U. S. and its NATO allies as Moscow’s enemy number one. That in itself is not disturbing: we reported as much yesterday and is merely more rhetorical posturing. Where things, however, get very problematic is that the general demands that Russia spell out the conditions under which the country would launch a preemptive nuclear strike against the 28-member military alliance.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/04/2014.

Justin Raimondo: Our Cold War with Russia Could Turn Hot

As the NATO summit approaches, and Ukraine’s ruthless war on its eastern provinces sets off an exodus of nearly a million refugees to Russia, war hysteria in the West is reaching epic proportions. The pundits are up in arms: miffed that the long-awaited Russia invasion has failed to materialize, they are now declaring it happened anyway – it’s a "stealth" invasion, i.e. the kind only a neocon can see. There has to have been a Russian invasion, because, after all, the Ukrainians are losing, and it can’t be because their soldiers are deserting in droves or turning tail and running at the prospect of having to shoot their fellow countrymen
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, who doesn’t realize that even the most expansive estimates of the number of Russians fighting in Ukraine put it at a mere one-thousand, says it’s a "direct invasion" in which "thousands" of Russkies are overrunning the place. He wants us to arm the Ukrainians with "defensive" weapons – although Anne Applebaum’s somewhat overwrought contention that Moscow is planning to nuke Kiev makes Menendez look like a piker. The Amazonian Applebaum is demanding “total war.”

This post was published at Anti War

PERFECT TIMING: CAMERON OPENS DOOR TO SYRIA AIR STRIKES 48 HOURS AFTER ISIS BEHEADING THREAT

The ISIS threat to behead British hostage David Haines couldn’t have been more impeccably timed for David Cameron, arriving less than 48 hours before a speech by the British Prime Minister in which he began to build a case for air strikes targeting Syria.
Haines appeared at the end of a video released on Tuesday which purported to show the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff. The ISIS militant in the footage threatens to kill Haines if the US and the UK do not ‘back off’ from fighting ISIS.
At the start of the NATO summit in Wales this morning, Cameron cited the video as one of the reasons why air strikes on Syria cannot be ruled out, as he began re-building a case for military aggression that failed last year following dubious claims about who was responsible for the Ghouta chemical weapons attack.
For Cameron, who has been struggling to build political support for air strikes on ISIS, the threat to behead Haines couldn’t have been more timely.
And therein lies the completely illogical foundation of the alleged beheading videos. The release of the footage does nothing to encourage the US and the UK to ‘back off’ fighting ISIS, it achieves the exact opposite, creating a casus belli for expanded western military operations in the middle east.


This post was published at Info Wars by PAUL JOSEPH WATSON | SEPTEMBER 4, 2014.