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US-EU-Russia tensions spill over to Ukraine

NOVANEWS

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By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline 

The decision by the European Union countries at their summit in Brussels on Thursday to extend the sanctions against Russia was not a surprise. But the ease with which the decision was made is notable – with no discussions or arguments. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron presented a report on the status of implementation of the Minsk agreement, highlighting the lack of progress in Ukraine and the EU took a unified stance to extend the sanctions. The sanctions will now extend automatically up to July 31 next year.

Moscow has reacted calmly, but the fact remains that relations between Russia and EU countries will remain in limbo. The sanctions comprise different packages such as financial restrictions on Russia’s leading defense and energy companies, on Russian companies’ access to large European banks to raise loans for projects, embargo on Russia’s imports of military and energy technology and high-tech equipment from Europe, blacklisting of Russian individuals and legal entities, and a set of targeted sanctions in relation to Crimea such as ban of any dealings with that region by European businesses.

Strategically, Russia’s dependence on China will only increase. The prospects of Merkel remaining in power in the near term look good with the U-turn by the Social Democratic Party on forming another grand coalition with her Christian Democratic Union. This will not be good for Russia. Equally, whatever hopes might have been there in Moscow for a new beginning with France under Macron have fizzled out. A German-French axis is being forged with renewed vigor to accelerate the EU integration processes and transform the grouping as a heavyweight in Eurasian politics. Russia would have preferred a weakened, dispirited European Union that created space for it to deal with individual European countries on bilateral basis.

On the other hand, the drift in transatlantic relations is also a compelling reality. The European stance on East Jerusalem highlights it. The five-day 3-nation European trip to Brussels, Vienna and Paris by the US state secretary Rex Tillerson could not rollback the rising tensions. The EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini noted after talks with Tillerson that the bloc believes that any action that would undermine the peace-making efforts between Palestine and Israel “must absolutely be avoided.” On the Iran nuclear deal, she underscored that the continued implementation of the Iran nuclear deal is a key strategic priority for European, regional and global security.

Then, there is also a divergence on values that cannot be papered over. Europe remains a strong supporter of multilateralism, the UN system, and a rules-based global order. Europe views with distaste and horror Trump’s embrace of ultra-nationalism and his barely concealed Islamophobia. After Tillerson left, Mogherini took her gloves off, saying, Trump’s decision on Jerusalem “has a very worrying potential impact in this very fragile context. Now what the worst possible development could be that a bad situation turns into a worse one and that tensions inflame the region even further.” Suffice to say, Trump is a lump in the European throat – it can’t swallow it or spit it out. Any uplift in transatlantic relations under these circumstances is unlikely.

Russia may take vicarious satisfaction that Brussels is no longer willing to positively commit itself to the US regional and global agendas. However, there is a flip side to it. The US would have greater need today to stoke up Russophobia to rally the European countries under its leadership. Tillerson used strong language to highlight that Russia poses a threat to the West. At the NATO foreign ministerial meeting in Brussels last week Tillerson warned all European nations of Moscow’s “intrusion”. He said, “Russia’s aggression in Ukraine remains the biggest threat to European security.” Tillerson accused “Russia and its proxies” of “harassment, intimidation, and its attacks on the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (in Ukraine.)”

Interestingly, he went out of the way to flag that Trump is really not enamored of Russia as Europeans might think. “Trump does not talk with President Putin as often as with other world leaders, and I think, again, that’s simply a reflection of the strained relationship that exists between the United States and Russia,” Tillerson noted.

“We join our European partners in maintaining sanctions until Russia withdraws its forces from the Donbass and meets its Minsk commitments,” Tillerson added. He said the West should not regularize or renormalize the relationship with Russia “until Russia begins to address those actions which we find not just unacceptable but intolerable.” But Brussels keeps an ambivalent attitude toward Russia. It feels uneasy that Trump may one day wade into a Washington-Moscow rapprochement too soon, even before the Ukraine question is solved. On the other hand, Europe also is nervous about getting caught between a nasty showdown between Washington and Moscow.

Washington may leverage the situation in Ukraine to stoke up tensions there with the aim to keep the US’ European allies in line. Most certainly, US and Canada’s decision last Wednesday to lift the ban on supply of arms to Ukraine looks ominous. Russia repeatedly warned that such moves could have dangerous consequences. On Thursday in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin warned of a massacre in eastern Ukraine “worse than in Srebrenica” (horrific massacre of Serbs in the former Yugoslavia in 1995) if the West strengthened the Ukrainian nationalist forces.

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Canada Becomes Party to Ukraine’s Conflict

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By Alex GORKA | Strategic Culture Foundation 

The Canadian government has given the green light for national defence contractors to sell weapons to Ukraine. This makes Canada a party to the conflict with all ensuing consequences. The decision sets no preconditions for selling the armaments to Ukraine. It has been taken despite the fact that Project Ploughshare and Amnesty International Canada opposed the plan, saying Kiev has so far failed to improve the human rights situation. Canada’s Standing Committee on National Defense has published a report entitled “Canada’s Support to Ukraine in Crisis and Armed Conflict,” which recommends that the government provide lethal weapons to Ukraine if it demonstrates active work on fighting corruption in the country. The recommendations include providing lethal weapons, intelligence exchange, cooperation in defense industry, support in countering cyberattacks, and in resisting to the dissemination of foreign propaganda and disinformation through the media. Granting visa-free travel to Canada for Ukrainians and promotion of Ukrainian interests at the G7 is also on the recommendations’ list.

The Canadian Cabinet hopes its decision will influence the US Administration to follow suit. The move puts Canada out ahead of the United States, which is considering its own arms sales. Kurt Volker, the US Special Representative to Ukraine, believes there’s no reason to continue the prohibition on delivering lethal weapons.

Ukraine is particularly interested in anti-tank weapons, counter-battery artillery radar, and armoured patrol vehicles like the US-made Humvees.

On December 12, US President Donald Trump signed a defense budget for 2018 providing for the possibility of offering Ukraine lethal weapons of a “defensive nature”. Congress has approved $500 million in “defensive lethal assistance” to Ukraine. Congress authorized $350 million more than the $150 million originally proposed by the administration. Now, the president can start arms supplies any time he chooses. Former President Barack Obama was unconvinced that granting Ukraine lethal defensive weapons would be the right decision in view of corruption widespread in Ukraine.

The two events – Canada’s decision and signing the US defense budget bill into law – come in the context of the failed US-Russia talks on the recently proposed UN peacekeeping mission in Donbass. Now the US weapons could be exported to Ukraine through Canada, including the much-desired Javelin anti-tank systems. “After this government decree, Canada can sell or transfer Javelin to Ukraine,” said James Bezan, Canadian MP from the Conservative Party. The US has been sending to Ukraine a variety of non-lethal military help, including equipment like Humvees, medical supplies, bulletproof vests, and radars to track the hundreds of artillery shells.

North America’s assistance to Ukraine is not limited to weapons only; it encompasses other domains as well. The Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act [H.R. 1997], the bipartisan legislation introduced by Congressmen Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-8) and Brendan F. Boyle (PA-13), unanimously passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Dec. 14. The bill encourages cooperation between the United States and Ukraine on matters of cybersecurity and requires State Department reporting to Congress on best practices to protect against future cyber-attacks. “Helping Ukraine buttress its cyber defenses will also help the United States in developing new and more effective technologies and strategies in dealing with cyber security on the modern battlefield,” said Boyle, explaining the goal to be achieved, if the legislation becomes law. It will make Ukraine a part of NATO cyber warfare effort being implemented according to its Cyber Defense Pledge.

The bloc is implementing the Capability Package 120 which aims by 2024 to fund everything from encryption for tactical radios to cloud-integrated storage for the millions of cyber events. Eventually, NATO will move to the public cloud for virtually everything that it does as an alliance. The “centralized patch management” will control all the cyber activities.

For more than two years, the US military’s contingent of roughly 300 military instructors have been quietly training Ukrainian military in the western part of the country to prepare them for fighting in the east. Every 55 days a new Ukrainian battalion comes in to go through a training course at Yavoriv Combat Training Center in western Ukraine. Since 2014, the US and partner militaries have helped grow Ukraine’s forces from just over 100,000 troops to nearly 250,000 today. The US-run maritime operations center at Ochakov Naval Base, Ukraine, became operational in July to serve as a major planning and operational hub during future military exercises hosted by Ukraine. A US military facility near Russia’s borders is a very serious threat to regional security. Its presence turns the Black Sea into a hot spot. US warships visit the sea regularly to provide NATO with long-range first strike capability. The Romania-based Aegis Ashore BMD system uses the Mk-41 launcher capable of firing Tomahawk long-range precision-guided missiles against land targets.

Also in July, two US Navy warships, a P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft, and a Navy SEALs team took part in the 12-day Sea Breeze 2017 joint NATO naval exercise off Ukraine. The multinational war games took place in the northwestern part of the Black Sea, near the Ukrainian port city of Odessa. 17 nations took part in the training event. The preparations are on the way to hold another Sea Breeze exercise in 2018. Step by step, Ukraine is becoming an element of NATO’s military infrastructure, which could be used as a springboard for a cross-border attack against Russia.

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Kiev hails US & Canada for greenlighting lethal arms supplies that could kill Ukraine peace process

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By including Ukraine on the list of countries approved for lethal weapons sales, Canada has become a side in a bloody civil war, undermining a shaky peace process, a senior Russian senator said, as Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko applauded the move.

Poroshenko praised the US and Canadian governments for stepping up military cooperation with Ukraine, which could lead to lethal weapons from both countries being supplied to the Ukrainian army, embroiled in a long-running civil conflict with rebel militias from breakaway eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk Republics.

“As it was agreed, the United States authorized security assistance for our country and Canada included Ukraine into the Automatic Firearms Country Control List. The door to enhanced defense assistance for Ukraine has been opened,” Poroshenko wrote on Facebook, as US President Donald Trump signed a new Pentagon funding bill and the government in Ottawa revealed its decision to greenlight the export of “certain prohibited firearms, weapons and devices” to Ukraine by including it into its list.

Unlike the Pentagon bill, Canada’s decision sets no preconditions for selling the armaments to Ukraine. The Canadian government’s only precaution is to examine the export applications on a case-by-case basis, to establish who will be using the weapons and how.

This makes Canada a party to the conflict, says Franz Klintsevich, the first deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee for Defense and Security.

“A very dangerous precedent has been created: Effectively, Canada has become a party to the internal Ukrainian conflict with all ensuing consequences. And this, above all, means that it assumes responsibility for the actions of the Ukrainian forces, trained by Canadian instructors and equipped with Canadian weapons,” Klintsevich said.

Be arming one side, Canada could tip the relative balance of power, fueling the stalled hostilities and shattering the hopes of peace. “To call a spade a spade, Canada has directly opposed the Minsk Accords,” Klintsevich said.

The US approved $500 million in “defensive lethal assistance” to Ukraine on Wednesday as Trump signed into law the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) drafted by Congress in late November.

The act claims that the US should beef up its military presence in Eastern Europe in face of the perceived “Russian aggression,” as well as to help Ukraine to tackle it. However, the allocation of the funds is conditional on the Ukrainian military undergoing “substantial” reforms. It is ultimately up to the US Secretary of State to decide if Ukraine has met the prerequisites.

Russia may take the issue of weapon sales and lethal aid to Ukraine to the UN Security Council, Yuri Schvytkin, deputy chairman of State Duma’s Defense Committee, told  RIA Novosti.

A recent report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) found that US arms sales overseas as well as its ongoing military operations were two main factors that drive global weapons trade, that rose for the first time in five years. With 38 firms that account for combined $217.2 billion in weapon sales, the US ranked first on the list of arms manufacturing countries.

In line with its strategy of encircling Russia with NATO contingents and “purely” defensive military equipment, Washington has recently authorized a shipment of 410 Javelin Missiles as well as 72 Javelin Command Launch Units to Georgia.

The promised delivery was slammed by Moscow, with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin arguing in November that it “directly encourages Tbilisi to new dangerous adventures in the region.”

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Kiev Plans to Throw Deniers of “Russian Aggression” in Jail for 5 Years

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The People’s Deputy Anton Gerashchenko is ready to register a bill to supplement the Criminal Code that suggests to impose criminal liability up to 5 years for the denial of “Russian aggression”.

“In order to protect the information space of Ukraine from Murayev’s activity and to use the force of law, today I signed a bill to supplement the Criminal Code of Ukraine with Article 442-1, which I suggest to impose criminal liability (up to 5 years of imprisonment) for public denial of the fact of the Russian Federation’s military aggression against Ukraine. Tomorrow I will register this bill in the Verkhovna Rada and I suggest to put it on the agenda,” wrote Gerashchenko on his page on Facebook.

Gerashchenko noted that currently statements denying the fact of “Russian aggression” aren’t punishable under law.

“Murayev and those similar to him publicly repeatedly deny the fact of Russian aggression, they call the situation with the occupation of a part of Donbass by Russia a civil war, thus implementing the media agenda of Russian propaganda. From the point of view of the law statements such as the one made by Murayev and those similar to him aren’t punishable. They are covered by freedom of speech and pluralism of opinions. Yes, indeed, Article 34 of the Constitution of Ukraine guarantees freedom of thought and speech, the right to the free expression of views and beliefs. However, this same article provides the possibility of restriction via the law for the benefit of national security, territorial integrity, public morals,” said Gerashchenko.

He noted that

“in many countries of the world there is criminal liability for public denial of the Holocaust. And it isn’t considered an infringement of freedom of speech and freedom of thought”.

As a reminder, earlier the People’s Deputy Evgeny Murayev in the “Ukrainian Format” program called the “Revolution of Dignity” a coup d’etat. The present people’s deputies considered it an insult and left the studio.

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Ukraine is being gripped by a new Maidan – but the western cameras and cookies are absent

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The 2013/2014 Maidan was a ‘who’s who’ of the neo-con/liberal elite. Today’s events are like a ‘who’s he?’ of the Ukrainian far-right.

The past several weeks have seen eerily familiar sights return to the infamous Maidan in central Kiev. However, while in the winter of 2013/2014, international camera crews descended on Kiev to video and photograph the violence, today, there are more angry demonstrators and camped out agitators than international journalists.

However, an anonymous journalist working with famed independent journalist Graham Phillips, who most prominently brought intentional audiences front-line footage from the war on Donbass, has filmed the following reportage documenting what can only be called Maidan 2.0.

The phrase, “the more things change–the more they stay the same”, very much comes to mind.

Miadan 2.0 is similar to the events in 2013/2014 in the following ways

1. Meet the new-neo-Nazis…same as the old neo-Nazis

Many if not most Maidanists are perpetually angry members of  far-right and neo-Nazi groups who proudly display the red and black flag of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, a Nazi collaborationist group which committed acts of genocide during the 1940s.

2. Anti-corruption 

New and old Maidanists are protesting a government they view as corrupt and unresponsive to their needs and desires

3. The Maidan camping experience 

Maidanists have set up camp with elaborate tends, food preparation facilities and have come prepared with their own riot shields and other utensils of urban warfare.

4. It’s growing–not shrinking

It does not look like the new Maidanists are prepared to leave, even if asked by the authorities, until various, however vague demands are met.

However, the differences between the 2013/2014 Maidan riots and the events today are more notable for their differences

1. There’s no Yanukovych to blame

In 2013/2014, Maidanists were protesting a government which took an open position towards both the EU and Russia. Far from being ‘pro-Russian’, the government of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych attempted to initiate discussions with the EU about a trade association agreement and visa-free regime, only to put the brakes on at the last moment when he realised that such an agreement was not going to be economically viable.

Viktor Yanukovych is more of a Pontius Pilate character than anything else, a totally uninspiring figure torn between wanting to preserve crucial economic and security ties with Russia, while also wanting to take advantage of alleged opportunities from Brussels. Ironically, disgraced former Trump campaign associate Paul Manafort helped encourage Yanukovych to move closer to Europe, a decision which proved politically fatal.

Ultimately, Yanukovych was ousted in a neo-fascist coup backed by the US and most of the EU. He responded by running away, thus abandoning his country to utter chaos and bloodshed.

2. Disgruntled military and true believers 

In the Poroshenko regime, one might think that on the surface, the far-right and neo-Nazi protesters got what they wanted. Poroshenko has destroyed relations with Russia, he continues to wage a savage war of aggression on the Donbass republics and has signed a visa-free agreement with the EU.

However, Poroshenko has destroyed Ukraine’s economy, crime is up, corruption which was always endemic in Ukraine, is now at levels which are setting world records and the safety situation is rapidly deteriorating in regime controlled areas.

While many of the most extreme Maidanists are upset that Poroshenko isn’t waging an even more aggressive war against the Donbass Republics, many of the new protesters are ex-Ukrainian soldiers who have become distraught at their lack of pay, in spite of having to fight an aggressive war with seemingly no forthcoming resolution.

Morale among Ukrainian troops is at an all time low, with non-battlefield casualties since the fascist regime came to power hitting 10,103. Over 3,000 troops have been killed away from the war-front with mental illness and desperate acts of internal violence fuelled by alcohol and drugs, being primary causes.

Demoralised troops may end up playing a large part in Maidan 2.0, an element that didn’t factor into the initial riots of the 2013/2014 Maidan.

3. Ukraine’s deathbed economy 

Economic realities are also a motivating factor. Many have taken to the Maidan because the idea of a Ukraine that had the living standards of the average EU country, with the added ‘benefit’ of cutting all links with Russia, hasn’t worked out.

Ukraine remains largely dependant on Russian investment and the more the Kiev regime cuts this investment off (which it is indeed doing), the less likely it is that anyone will fill the void. There is increasingly little money to be made in Ukraine and even pro-regime actors in Europe and the wider west, are all too aware of this.

When it comes to the economic angle, the EU and US have largely given up on ‘project Maidan’. These ‘partners’ of the regime are keen to provoke Russia, but apparently less keen on giving the people of Ukraine any real economic opportunities. Many are already venting their frustrations about this on the Maidan.

4. No cookies from the west 

The 2013/2014 Maidan was something of a ‘who’s who’ of the western neo-liberal/neo-con/anti-Russian movement. From John McCain giving rousing speeches against Russia to Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland famously handing out cookies on the Maidan before secretly being recorded saying “fuck the EU”, should Europe try to take a more moderate approach to US regime change, events were something of a neo-con carnival in the midst of a violent freaks-show.

Today’s Maidan is less of a ‘who’s who’ of the neo-con elite than a ‘who’s he?’ of the Ukrainian far-right. If anything, today’s Maidan is more authentic than the first, as the US has no interests in funding and promoting a group of anti-Russian agitators who want to overthrow an equally anti-Russian regime. For the west, it is mission accomplished, all other matters are now largely domestic in nature and therefore, largely irrelevant in Washington and Brussels.

5. The Saakashvili factor

Mikheil Saakashvili, the disgraced former Georgian president who was once appointed the governor of the historically multi-ethnic Russian city of Odessa by Poroshenko, has now been stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship and is on a mission to not only get it back, but to lead Ukraine.

Saakashvili is currently doing the rounds with various disgruntled mobs throughout the country, trying to increase support for his bid to oust Poroshenko and take charge.

In 2013/2014, Saakashvili was hardly talked about in Ukraine, but now, because Poroshenko made him a kind of political martyr (by Ukrainian standards), he is in the midst of attempting to cultivate a personality cult and propel himself to power. Again, because if anything Saakashvili is even more connected to western elites than Poroshenko, no one in Washington or Brussels is particularly alarmed nor existed by Saakashvili’s self-proclaimed ‘march on Kiev’. The attitude is essentially: ‘if he takes over, we have a new puppet, if he doesn’t, nothing has changed’.

However, because Saakashvili’s record is more tainted in Georgia than Ukraine, by post-Maidan standards, Saakashvili is something of a ‘last man standing’ who could emerge as a possible successor to Poroshenko, something that seemed unthinkable not so long ago.

CONCLUSION: 

Ataturk infamously stated “they go as they come” and this will likely be the case with the Poroshenko regime, one way or another.

However, this will provide little meaningful change in Ukraine and will do equally little to end the war of aggression on the Donbass republics.

What is needed is a kind of caretaker government to stop the war and allow the Donbass republics to function in the framework of a frozen conflict that ultimately, Russia and other international partners will have to solve. If the circumstances were right, Russia could even work with an increasingly humbled German state to bring about a resolution based perhaps partly on the Minsk agreements which are violated by Kiev on an almost daily basis.

That being said, Donbass is almost certainly never going to give up its independence and the sooner Kiev and the rest of the world, including the Moscow elite realise that, the better it will be. An independent Donbass is the new reality and it will be more productive for the world to accept this rather than trying to ignore or change it.

Such a caretaker government in Kiev would ideally also work with others, including Russia, Belarus and the EU to fix the broken economy.

The problem is that, there are virtually no such candidates in Ukraine. The political landscape is so barren of any common sense, pragmatism or compassion, that the choices are generally between bad and worse.

At some point, it really does not matter who is in charge of Kiev, so long as the hateful, regressive and incompetent attitudes of its political class remain the same.

In this sense, the new Maidan is an expression of continued frustration, but this time without foreign aid, without the false optimism of the last Maidan and without any hope for change. Ukraine is about to hit rock bottom and from where things stand, getting a little bit worse will scarcely be noticeable in the immediate future. This is a reflection of just how bad things have become.

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How Ukraine Turned into An Arms Dealer? Supplying Weapons to Al Qaeda and ISIS-Daesh

NOVANEWS
  

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) together with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network revealed a scheme of weapons supply to the terrorists of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra.

There is no secret that the U.S. provides the so-called moderate opposition and Kurdish militia in Syria with arms and ammunition most of which are the weapons remained after the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact disbanded.

The U.S. DOD, through U.S. SOCOM, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, as well as Picatinny Arsenal, American military research, and manufacturing facility located in Dover, New Jersey, acquired arms in some Eastern European countries including Ukraine for their further sending to Syria. The procurement volume has already exceeded $700 billion.

Kiev used the logistical scheme elaborated by Washington to export arms and weapons from the Ukrainian armed forces weapons depots. The deal is estimated at $110 billion.

Between June 5 and September 15, the United States sent 1,421 trucks loaded with weaponry to the “moderate” opposition, including 596 trucks (more than 40 %) from Ukraine. Most of them ended up in ISIS’ hands.

The General Staff of Ukraine took advantage of Oktyabrsk seaport located 25 kilometers southeast to Mykolaiv and Kiev air transport hub to supply weapons to the Middle East.

The transportation of weapons by air was the most effective procedure in terms of delivery speed. The weapons were transferred from ammunition depot No. 48 of Central Missile and Artillery Directorate situated in the Ukrainian town of Vinnytsia to Gavrishovka Airport and then delivered by 456 brigade jets to Kiev’s Boryspil International Airport.

Earlier, the Ukrainian authorities might have delivered arms and weapons through ammunition depot No. 65 located in Kharkiv’s Balakliya.

To cover up the illegal supplies, a series of deliberate arsons were organized at the military depots. The incident in Vinnytsia provoked the public outcry. According to the Ukrainian media, more than 40 tons of artillery shells were allegedly destroyed. In fact, this represents a basis of weapons sold and delivered to ISIS.

The similar cases won’t stop as Kiev needs to hide grand larceny and illegal arms sales from the public eye.

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Ukraine’s Chief Military Psychiatrist Fired After Uncovering Horrifying Secret

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Sputnik 

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry has sacked chief military psychiatrist Oleh Druz, who told lawmakers that 93% of veterans from the conflict in the country’s east need treatment for mental health issues. Radio Sputnik contributor Vladimir Filippov says Druz’s remarks, and Kiev’s reaction, are a testament to the senselessness of the country’s civil war.

Last week, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak dismissed Colonel Oleh Druz, the head of the psychiatry clinic of the Main Military Clinical Hospital “in connection with the unsatisfactory fulfillment of his official duties.” The dismissal followed remarks by the top military psychiatrist at a round table of parliamentary committees, where Druz revealed that over 90% of the veterans of Kiev’s military operation in Donbass require mental help and pose a potential danger to society.

Commenting on the scandal, Radio Sputnik contributor Vladimir Filippov said that Druz’s real problem was that he decided to tell the truth.

The journalist recalled that according to Kiev’s own official statistics, “nine out of ten participants of the fighting in the Donbass have medical and social problems, while a third are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Experts say a state-run program of support for vets is needed, but for now this is something done mainly on a voluntary basis.”

In his remarks before lawmakers, Druz warned that veterans’ disorders include heightened levels of aggression, decreased ability to return to civilian work, the development and exacerbation of chronic diseases, growing rates of alcoholism and drug addiction, shortened life expectancy, and increased suicide rates. Statistics reveal that 63 veterans took their own lives in 2016 alone.

In light of these horrifying figures, Filippov suggested that Kiev’s reaction was highly “original.”

“They simply dismissed the chief psychiatrist. Why? Probably because he said too much. Someone might think that among the [Donbass vets] are completely mentally unstable people. In fact, to shoot one’s fellow citizens is already beyond the realm of a normal worldview. And if one kills unarmed civilians, children and the elderly, what kinds of mental state can one speak of?”

According to the analyst, the hard truth is that Ukraine’s authorities couldn’t care less about its vets, with the government allocating precious little money for them, most of its defense funds either stolen outright or allocated to weapons purchases.

Filippov suggested that as far as Kiev is concerned, the only problem posed by the vets is the political danger they pose to the government – “to their soft chairs and their wealth. They have no plans to share with the veterans, hence the need to drive their problems deep out of sight and out of mind. No one needs them. They are cannon fodder, spent material.”

“That’s why Poltorak got so anxious,” the analyst stressed. “Because the 93% figure is a military secret – top-secret information! Capable of undermining the military capability of the regime,” Filippov concluded.

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The Kiev-Controlled Mariupol Airport Continues to Operate as a Concentration Camp

In Mariupol, on the territory of the local airport, Ukrainian nationalists organized a concentration camp, which works to this day. In it punishers torture and kill people who don’t agree with the policy that is conducted by Kiev.

This was stated by the participant of the movement of liberation of Mariupol Irina Popova during an interview, reports the correspondent of Politnavigator.

Also she spoke about how exactly in the city another anniversary of the liberation from fascist aggressors was celebrated, and emphasized the fact that, despite all the attempts of the authorities to show that the city continues to lead a peaceful life, the situation there is far from being easy.

Irina Popova: “Events devoted to the Day of liberation of Mariupol from German fascist invaders were held at the initiative of the residents themselves who, for example, on September 9th came to a meeting in a small group in the Levoberezhny district. Also at the initiative of the city’s landscapers 500 bushes of flowers were planted. This day is a celebration of liberation from German fascist invaders, and, as far as Ukrainian propaganda tries to present Mariupol as a city of wellbeing, in reality the situation there is not simple at all, but very difficult.

I will describe it in an everyday picture: a person in Ukrainian military or police uniform comes onto a bus. Passengers immediately stop talking, everyone turns away and looks out of the window. What can be said here? About a normal situation in the city? Of course, no.

Many residents of Mariupol know firsthand how their acquaintances, relatives, and work colleagues disappear without a trace. Members of families of missing persons, being afraid of punishment in regards to their relatives, very often are simply afraid to submit statements to the police about the disappearance of their relatives.

And there is now no doubt that such punishment is being carried out. As such a concentration camp was already at work in Mariupol airport, it still continues to act. Nobody closed this airport. Many are being shown it for the purpose of intimidation. For example, they brought a mother to the airport, whose son had been detained, and they just kept her there for 48 hours. She was simply led to the places of shooting and torture. And I can imagine what mood and what psychological state she was in after what she had seen.

You understand, this person won’t be shown on the Ukrainian television, as well as the airport itself, but that will show the festival ‘Chervona Ruta’. Unfortunately, it is two realities: one is on TV, and another is in the real life of the residents of Mariupol, who wait for liberation and for our arrival.”

I.e., in fact, in Mariupol there is now terror?

Irina Popova: “It is unambiguously terror, and this excess cannot be called anything else.”

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Ukrainian security services snatch Russian journalist from street to deport her

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Russian television correspondent Anna Kurbatova has been detained by the Ukrainian security services in Kiev. The journalist, who works for Russia’s Channel 1, will be deported for “smearing” Ukraine, according to a security services spokesperson.

The incident occurred in the city center of the Ukrainian capital on Wednesday. Kurbatova was “grabbed by unknown assailants, forced into a car and driven away,” according to Channel 1.

The Russian authorities are closely monitoring the situation to learn more about the fate of the journalist.

“At the moment we don’t have information, but, undoubtedly, we’ll do our best to clarify the situation,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry is also trying to clarify the situation around the correspondent’s detention.

“The Russian Foreign Ministry and Russian diplomatic institutions abroad are looking into the disappearance of a Channel 1 journalist in Ukraine,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told TASS.

The Russian embassy in Kiev has sent requests to the Ukrainian security services as well as a note to Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, urging them to clarify the incident and immediately release the journalist, RIA Novosti reported.

A spokesperson for the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) confirmed that the journalist was detained by the organization’s operatives. Kurbatova will be deported from Ukraine to Russia and the SBU is currently preparing the paperwork, according to the spokesperson.

“Russian propagandist Anna Kurbatova will be forcibly returned to the Russian Federation. Ukraine is a constitutional state, its security services operate strictly within the legal framework. All necessary documents for her deportation are being prepared at the moment. It will happen to everyone who dares to smear Ukraine,” the spokesperson said in a Facebook post.

Russian Commissioner for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova has contacted her Ukrainian counterpart following the incident to determine whether the security services are following legal procedures.

“I’ve just sent a request to my colleague Valeria Lukyanova asking her about the location [of the journalist], her health condition and the consular visit, i.e. whether all the conventions are being observed if she has been detained by law enforcement,” Moskalkova told Interfax.

“I’m outraged and deeply worried about the treatment of journalists. Freedom of speech is protected not only by states’ constitutions, but also by international legal acts, journalists worldwide are independent and have immunity.”

Ahead of the incident, the journalist received threats in connection with her reporting on Ukraine’s Independence Day, according to Channel 1. Following her report, Kurbatova was placed on the list of “enemies of Ukraine” on the notorious Mirotvorets (Peacemaker) website. The website accuses the journalist of “anti-Ukrainian propaganda” and “manipulating socially-important information.”

Just before the incident, Kurbatova had prepared a new report on the ill-treatment of journalists in Ukraine, which has not yet been aired.

It’s not the first time a Russian journalist has become a target for the Ukrainian security services. Earlier in August, a journalist for the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK), Tamara Neresyan, was deported following an apparently similar incident.

“I was detained in the street and promptly brought to the main SBU office, where I was questioned for three hours. They confiscated my phone, it was done very roughly, nearly breaking my arms. Following the questioning they read me a resolution of the SBU that I would be deported and barred from re-entry for three years,” Neresyan told Rossiya 24 TV channel.

Posted in UkraineComments Off on Ukrainian security services snatch Russian journalist from street to deport her

US Military Bio-labs in Ukraine, Production of Bio-weapons and “Disease Causing Agents”

NOVANEWS
 

Ukraine turned into the proving ground for the new generation of US biological weapons, European mass media report.

In 2015, American alternative media outlet InfoWars accused the Pentagon of developing new types of biological weapons in secret military laboratories in Ukraine. The facilities were constructed under the terms of the bilateral agreement signed between the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the Department of Defense in 2012.

Today thirteen American military bio-labs operate in Ukraine, The International Mass Media Agency reports. They employ only American specialists being entirely funded from the budget of the Department of Defense. Local authorities have pledged not to interfere in their work. These military labs are reported to be mainly involved in the study and production of disease-causing agents of smallpox, anthrax and botulism. The facilities are located in the following Ukrainian cities: Odessa, Vinnytsia, Uzhgorod, Lviv (three), Kharkiv, Kyiv (four), Kherson, Ternopil.

The network of military bio-labs in Eastern Europe gives the hawks the opportunity to avoid the Geneva Convention of 1972 on the prohibition of development, production and stockpiling of biological and chemical weapons the US Senate ratified in 1973. So we witness the blatant violation of international laws.

Local media in Ukraine have frequently reported about splashes of contaminant diseases in that country since the beginning of the 2010s, the time American military facilities were opened. Western European media also express concern over splashes of contaminant diseases in that country this summer and point at American bio-labs as pockets of infection.

https://blogs.mediapart.fr/ivendurepos/blog/200817/la-menace-biologique-creee-par-washington

Experts warn this kind of weapon may be captured by terrorists due to the lack of security measures in Ukraine, the country being suffered from frozen conflict with pro-Russian rebels in its Eastern part and ongoing political turmoil after the flee of the Kremlin-backed leader Viktor Yanukovych in February, 2014. Latest terrorist acts in Europe show the jihadists are looking for new methods of attacks. Use of bio-weapons in densely populated regions will bring catastrophic consequences.

Chemical and biological weapons may be dangerous for the whole world because of their infectious effect. Modern diseases can travel through countries and reach any continent with just one plane passenger. And that is the big problem. Despite the remoteness of potential objects of infection from the territory of the United States, viruses still can reach the North American continent.

Posted in USA, UkraineComments Off on US Military Bio-labs in Ukraine, Production of Bio-weapons and “Disease Causing Agents”

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