tirsdag 31. mai 2016

Zakharchenko’s conferences preparing for what will occur in Eastern Ukraine in near future

The ongoing conferences of the DPR leader Alexander Zakharchenko - not only with Donbas but with the key cities of East Ukraine - is a preparation for what is to occur in these areas in the near future.

It was stated to The PolitNavigator by the chief editor of the "National Defense" Igor Korotchenko.
‘Zakharchenko is not just the head of the DPR, but a politician who thinks of Novorossia and Ukraine's future. The desire for dialogue, the desire to expand the opportunities for direct communication with different segments of the population - both living on the territory of the DPR and beyond - is an attempt to find a way out of the impasse into which Ukraine has come today.
Ukraine has no constructive ideas or proposals, but only new blood, violence and attacks. In these circumstances, of course, Zakharchenko has an active position, he comes in contact with various circles and sections of the population, thereby demonstrating his capacity as a political leader who is ready to take responsibility not only for what is happening in the DPR, but also for what will happen in the east of Ukraine in the near future.
I think that the fact of Zakharchenko acting this way speaks volumes about his enormous political potential in terms of participation in the broader process that will take place in the nearest future,’ said Korochenko.
DONi News Agency

NAF Strike UAF Artillery, Causing It to Explode (VIDEO)

Fort Russ
Translated by 
Ollie Richardson 
for Fort Russ
31st May, 2016

One can look at it endlessly. After the treacherous and inhuman shelling of residential areas of cities of the Donetsk People's Republic, UAF howitzers and self-propelled guns  could not withstand NAF's battery, and massively exploded.

The reason may be also the violation of safety regulations, smoking in prohibited areas, drinking alcohol, or a trivial violation of the Minsk agreements.

As a result of such failures, the whole arsenal of the valiant punitive battalion became scattered in the Donetsk fields.

Turchynov Stated the Possibility of Full-Scale Hostilities in Donbass

Fort Russ
Translated by 
Ollie Richardson 
for Fort Russ
31st May, 2016

Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine (NSDC) Oleksandr Turchynov said that the clashes in Donbass can become "full-blown hostilities", reports the press service of the NSDC on Monday, May 30th.

He announced this at a meeting with the Chairman of the Seimas Parliament of Lithuania — Loreta Graužinienė. Turchynov also stressed for that Kiev, "it is extremely important to obtain military assistance from the West". "We can't meet the needs across the spectrum of weapons," he admitted.

On May 25th, Turchynov, after the attack on his wife Anna Turchynov, assured that attempts to intimidate him and his family would not succeed. Earlier in the day, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov announced that a resident of the uncontrolled by Kiev territory of the Donetsk region attacked Anna Turchynov with a knife. "She was attacked with a knife, shouting: "you will respond for what you did ,**** ", — wrote the Minister.

A day earlier, Turchynov said that on May 23rd, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (UAF) suffered record losses in Donbass last year, seven soldiers were killed and nine were injured. Also, according to him, the use of strike and reconnaissance drones intensified in the combat zone.

The armed conflict in the Donbass began in April 2014 after Ukrainian authorities announced the antiterrorist operation (ATO), and Kiev attempted to forcefully suppress protests in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, caused by the change of power in Ukraine.

Information Released on June NATO Exercise in Kherson

[Disclaimer: This information has not been confirmed by NATO or related persons or bodies]

Fort Russ
Translated by 
Ollie Richardson 
for Fort Russ
31st May, 2016

During the intelligence activities by the "Odessa" brigade it became known that military exercises under the auspices of NATO will be held on the territory of the Kherson region in the first half of June. Such countries as Ukraine, USA, Turkey, and other contingents of NATO forces will take part.

Military equipment and heavy weapons involved in the above event will arrive and be unloaded at the deep-sea ports of Odessa and Nikolaev. With the above mentioned ports, it will spill over into the territory of Kherson region, namely the venue of military maneuvers.

One of the notable nuances is that the Western-controlled media is silent about these exercises. This occurs despite the fact that previously such plans were preceded any public statements or publication in the news.

In addition, another factor is that the accumulation of troops and military equipment will be in close proximity to the state border with the Russian Federation, namely the Crimean Peninsula.

Also, attention should be paid to the fact that over the past week Israeli vessels, in very small volumes and with an urgent speed, exported concentrated vegetable oil and grain through the Nikolaev seaport. It was very similar to the desire in short notice to remove liquid assets from certain territories. At the same time, given the agility of the Israelis, all this can have an ulterior motive.

The "Odessa" brigade focused on the fact that because of a combination of the information received in light of the aggressive policy of the West, the vassal government in Kiev, and also the created and supported armed groups, it looks quite alarming. Thus, there is a definite probability of a possible aggravation of the military-political situation in the southern regions of Ukraine in the form of armed aggression against the Russian Federation, namely Crimea.

U.S. Government Start Charging Tax For Collecting Rain Water

U.S. government to start collecting tax from citizens who collect rain water
Residents in Ohio who want to collect rain water in their backyards will have to pay a mandatory tax imposed by the local government.  

Any resident installing a rain barrel in their yard will have to pay a $31 fee for the privilege.

Wearechange.org reports:
Last week, the Sun Post reported that it would cost just $1 to install a rain barrel.

That was based on a reading of a rain-barrel ordinance that City Council approved May 7. The ordinance established regulations for rain barrels.
The ordinance — while referencing another pre-existing code section — seems to state that the city fee for “storm water storage containers” is $1.

However, looks are deceiving.

What the ordinance did not say is that — under the other pre-existing code section — there is a base fee of $30 for storm water storage containers and other plumbing items.

So to calculate rain-barrel fees, residents should start with $30, then add $1 for each barrel they want to install.

Paul Deichmann, city engineer, believes the rain-barrel fee was established after 2008. It has remained unchanged since then.

But if the fee hasn’t changed, why did the city bother mentioning it — and the pre-existing code section — in the new rain-barrel ordinance?

The answer is that under pre-existing code, a rain barrel or barrels were referred to as a “household rain collection system.”

The new ordinance replaces that term “storm water storage containers” so that rain barrels are not restricted to residential properties, Deichmann said. After all, businesses might want rain barrels, too.

In addition, the city added a new fee for the removal of rain barrels from properties. It will cost the base fee of $30 plus $50 for each rain-barrel system for a total of $80.

“This was added because it is anticipated that removal of a rain barrel system may be complicated if downspouts going into the ground have been plugged as part of the installation of the barrel,” Deichmann said in a May 14 e-mail to the Sun Post.

Residents installing rain barrels might disconnect their storm-water downspouts from underground sewers and redirect storm water to the rain barrels. If they later remove the barrels, they might have to reconnect their downspouts to the sewers.

“It may require more than one (city) inspection to properly restore the drainage,” Deichmann said.

In addition, Deichmann pointed out that residents with rain barrels can earn credits toward reductions in their storm-water assessment fees.

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, starting next year, is scheduled to start charging those assessments to all property owners in the district.

If residents remove rain barrels, they would lose the storm-water credits, and the city wants to track that, Deichmann said.

Lavrov explains why Russia has not recognized DPR/LPR

Fort Russ
May 31, 2016 - 
Translated by 
J. Arnoldski
Behind closed doors, the West is now putting pressure on Kiev to fulfill the Minsk Agreements. If Russia “slams the door” and decides to recognize the DPR and LPR as separate states, then the Minsk Agreements could be forgotten. This opinion was expressed by the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda

“The door could be slammed and an example could be taken from those who are behind such an ineptitude [to fulfill the Minsk Agreements] and use diplomatic and political instruments to start to threaten that we will recognize them, and that we will introduce sanctions,” Lavrov remarked.

“I am convinced that this would be counterproductive which, as a minimum, would mean losing the current, albeit “delicate” position of pressuring Kiev,” he continued.

The minister emphasized: “Now no one can oppose this document (Minsk 2) in any way, and it is impossible to doubt.”

“If we were to now say that ‘we have lost patience; we are going the other way,’ then they’ll say: ‘Wonderful,’ now the West does not have to put any pressure on the current Ukrainian government whatsoever.” 

Stephen Cohen: Unprecedented NATO Mobilization - Looks Like War With Russia

The large-scale US-NATO amassing of military force on Russia’s Western borders, NATO’s “Eastern Front,” is unprecedented and creates the impression of preparation for actual war
Required listening
Originally appeared at The Nation
Nation contributing editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments are at TheNation.com.) 

This installment continues last week’s focus on the extraordinary US-NATO build-up of military forces—on land, sea, and in the air—on and very near Russia’s borders, the opening of, as Cohen terms it, “NATO’s Eastern Front.” 

The size of the build-up, and its proximity to Russia, had no precedent during the preceding 40-year Cold War, leading Cohen to ask if this is already something more than “Cold War,” a mobilization for real war.

US and NATO officials have recently made clear this is only the beginning of what will be a very large-scale and permanent amassing of military power on the new Eastern Front. And Moscow, while remembering the German invasion of 1941, is reacting accordingly by mobilizing its own forces on its Western territories and promising more “counter-measures.”

Even though the alleged threat of ongoing “Russian aggression,” which Washington and Brussels officials cite as justification, clearly does not exist, no critical questions about the NATO build-up have appeared in the American mainstream media, only applause and calls for “more and bigger military exercises,” as a New York Times editorial put it.

Meanwhile, a final, desperate attempt by Germany, France, and Russia is being made to save the seemingly doomed Minsk Accords, designed to bring about a negotiated end to the civil war and US-Russian proxy war in Ukraine, as Cohen reports. An emergency phone conversation between the leaders of those countries with Ukrainian President Poroshenko seemed intended to urge him to enact legislation long overdue by Kiev. 

But besieged by ultra-right forces threatening to overthrow him if he moves to enact the necessary legislation, Poroshenko seems unwilling or unable to do so, raising the possibility of another “revolution” in Kiev.

Cohen speculates that fear of an even more nationalist government coming to power may be behind the urgent attempt to save the Minsk Accords. Indeed, both the NATO military build-up and the economic sanctions imposed on Russia in 2014 are still directly related to the Ukrainian crisis, which remains the political epicenter of the new East-West confrontation.

Cohen and Batchelor end by recalling that it was 30 years ago that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and President Ronald Reagan agreed to a new political and strategic approach, which soon, they thought, ended the Cold War: a mutual agreement that henceforth both sides would pursue military build-downs, or “mutual security,” instead of the decades of mutual build-ups.

That historic opportunity, Cohen points out, has been lost. He also points out that in recent interviews, Gorbachev, while critical of Putin in other respects, says that if he had still been in the Kremlin in March 2014, he too would have acted to bring Crimea back into Russia, where it had been for centuries.

Gorbachev’s statement confirms Cohen’s thesis that any established Russian leader would have pursued the annexation of Crimea—or “reunification with Russia,” as is said in Moscow—not only the demonized Putin, considering the uncertain upheaval in Kiev in February 2014.

US journalists under Ukrainian fire in Zaitsevo, DPR (DONi Video)

DONi News
TV-group from the US mainstream media, PBS News, visited Zaitsevo village in Gorlovka on late Monday. 

There was documented the use of the white phosphorus shells by Ukrainian army, soldiers of Donetsk army were interviewed and when the American journalists visited the Frontline positions on the outskirts of the civilian populated village, the Ukrainian troops opened shelling and heavy firing with light weapons towards Donbass defense lines.

Zaitsevo, located to the north from the town of Gorlovka in the Donetsk People's Republic, has been one of the hotspots of extreme war situation for months now. Local residents confirm the reported information, that the direction of the village is daily under Ukrainian shelling and attacks. 

Most of the villagers, together over 2 000 civilian residents, have been living without electricity and gas supplies for four months now.

US TV-group was guided to Zaitsevo by DONi International Press Center.
Video, pictures: Janus Putkonen, DONi News


US War with China by Summer?

The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise leads the ships of the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group. [flickr/usnavy]
With Congress out of session until next week, and while Americans take time out to commemorate those who died in military service in past wars, some leading American and leading Chinese officials alike fear that war between the two nations is likely by Summer. The more astute know that if this is allowed to happen, it will quickly become a broader, multilateral nuclear exchange which will be, as a LaRouchePAC video put it, "Unsurvivable."

The most recent big step towards war was computer-nerd Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's long, highly-provocative May 27 commencement address to the U.S. Naval Academy. He told the cadets that he was going to focus his remarks on the Asia-Pacific, because it would define many of their future careers. He singled out the destroyer USS Lassen, which deliberately intruded in Chinese territorial waters last October, and promised that we will "continue to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows." He accused China of

expansive and unprecedented actions in the South China Sea, pressing excessive maritime claims contrary to international law.... What's new and unique to this region is the assertion of claims, dredging, land reclamation, and militarization of features by several claimants but overwhelmingly by China.... China's cyber-actors have violated the spirit of the Internet—not to mention the law—to perpetrate large-scale intellectual property theft from American companies.
 Instead of working toward what [they call] `win-win cooperation' that Beijing publicly says it wants, China sometimes plays by its own rules, undercutting those principles. A model like that is out of step with where the region wants to go, and it's counterproductive—it's far from a `win-win.' The result is that China's actions could erect a Great Wall of self-isolation, as countries across the region—allies, partners and the unaligned—are voicing concerns publicly and privately, at the highest levels, in regional meetings, and global fora.
Carter went on to threaten China with superior US weapons systems: the F-35 (which doesn't work), the P-8, "cutting-edge stealth destroyers," and numerous others.

The DoD maintains world-leading capabilities because we have made incomparable investments over decades,... It will take decades more for anyone to build the kind of military capability the United States possesses today. This strength is not simply about dollar figures—it's also about harnessing those dollars to a tremendous innovative and technological culture that only the United States has, and doing so to develop revolutionary technologies.
A Hitler-style threatening rant, threatening war, and with about the truth-content of one of Hitler's tirades.
The Chinese have responded. Global Times, a newspaper owned by the Communist Party of China's People's Daily, published an unsigned editorial today which said,

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter Friday issued another sharp rebuke of China's actions in the South China Sea by warning Beijing that it is on a path to build a `great wall of self-isolation.' He said the Pentagon's best weapons, including stealthy F-35 fighters, P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and the newest surface warfare ships, will be deployed to the Pacific theater...
 "The nature of Sino-US relations will to a large extent determine the state of international relations in the 21st century. By pointing the finger at China with a bluffing posture, senior US officials are eroding the foundation of peace in the Asia-Pacific. On the contrary, China has been stressing resolving disputes peacefully. Maintaining peace in the South China Sea is the common wish of all regional stakeholders...

Carter's words have been the most threatening China has heard since the end of the Cold War. They confirm some Chinese people's worries about the worst-case scenario in the Sino-US relationship, in which Washington may translate its intention to counter China into real actions. 
The Pentagon may be willing to see confrontation between China and the US. But the US cannot overawe China by wielding a military stick. The People's Liberation Army can offset the US advantage of equipment in the South China Sea with its size and proximity, and we are confident about countering the threat from the US. 

Although a military contention will be harmful to China, we cannot retreat in the face of US coercion. China must accelerate its pace to build modern defense capabilities. It should let the US know that if it launches military attacks targeting China in the South China Sea, the US will suffer unbearable consequences. China must enhance its ability to deter the US and increase the US' strategic risks of military threat against China. [emphasis added]
Now you too have joined the number of those who know this, and you have taken on, willy-nilly, the inescapable responsibility which accompanies that knowledge. Get it out everywhere for a start—but that's only the beginning. Ask yourself what Lyndon LaRouche would do.
Regjeringa har foreslått at politiet skal kunne spionere på datamaskina di. Utan at det treng å ligge føre konkret mistanke mot deg. Og det gjeld ikkje berre dei meldingane og samtalen du måtte ha med andre personar. Det gjeld også det du noterer for deg sjølv i ei privat dagbok. Eller dei sidene du besøker på internett.

Med dette tek overvakingssamfunnet eit steg nærare oss alle. No er det ikkje berre det du seier som skal kunne overvakast. Det er også det du tenkjer, ser på og noterer for deg sjølv.

Auka overvaking

Medan debatten om det store spørsmålet i vår tid, 80 kroner miljøavgift på flyreiser, har rast over landet, har justiskomiteen på Stortinget førebudd innføringa av eit heilt nytt overvakingsregime. Fleirtalsinnstillinga er like rundt hjørnet, og det er grunn til å frykte at eit stortingsfleirtal ønskjer å gi politiet tilgang til langt meir inngripande verkemiddel enn dei har i dag for å ta seg inn i våre private heimar, mobiltelefonar og datamaskiner.
Med dette tek overvakingssamfunnet eit steg nærare oss alle.
Det alvorlege er ikkje berre at det vert foreslått å gi politiet tilgang til svært inngripande og skjulte verkemiddel som dataavlesing. Det aller mest alvorlege er at terskelen for å bruke desse verkemidla blir sett så lågt at den nærast berre er å traske over.Dersom «det er grunn til å undersøke om noen forbereder en handling», til dømes å setje fram trugsmål mot Anders Anundsen, kan PST starte hacking av datamaskina di og registrere alt du gjer der. Det treng ikkje ein gong vere kvalifisert mistanke om at du er i ferd med å gjere noko kriminelt. Det er tilstrekkeleg at det er «grunn til å undersøke» dette. Og det er heller ingen hinder i vegen for at politiet kan plukke opp informasjon om heilt andre spørsmål medan dei overvakar datamaskina di. Dette er ein type innbrot i datasystem som normalt er straffbart. Med god grunn.

Sett foten ned

Så vil sikkert regjeringa svare at dette ikkje er så farleg, fordi det blir så høg terskel for å bruke denne overvakingsmetoden. Med domstolskontroll og alt mogleg. Ja, det er som regel slik nye overvakingsmetodar blir innført. Men så kjem problemet: Ein senkar terskelen etter kvart. Ein treng ikkje sjå lenger enn til regjeringa sitt eige lovforslag for å finne eit døme på dette. Fram til no har det vore nødvendig med tilknyting til organisert kriminalitet dersom ein skal bruke romavlytting i drapssaker. Den terskelen blir no fjerna.
Kritikken frå Advokatforeningen og Datatilsynet har vore særleg hard. Men kva gjer vel det, så lenge politiet ønskjer desse virkemidla?
Mange har reagert på forslaga frå H/Frp-regjeringa. Kritikken frå Advokatforeningen og Datatilsynet har vore særleg hard. Men kva gjer vel det, så lenge politiet ønskjer desse verkemidla? Politiets ønskjer var trumfkortet som overkøyrde alle innvendingar i spørsmålet om datalagringsdirektivet. Og dei ser ut til å vinne fram også denne gongen.

Med mindre Hadia Tajik (Ap), Jenny Klinge (Sp) og Kjell Ingolf Ropstad (KrF) set foten ned. Regjeringa treng berre å ha med eitt av desse partia på laget for å sikre fleirtal i justiskomiteen. Spørsmålet blir om Ap, Sp og KrF er villige til å prioritere personvernet framfor politiet sine ønskjer om å vite stadig meir om oss alle. Eg håpar på det. Og difor er mi og Venstre si innstendige bøn til Hadia, Jenny og Kjell Ingolf: Dra i naudbremsa. Dette er å gå for langt. Og det finst neppe nokon veg tilbake.

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Russia’s got a point: The U.S. broke a NATO promise
Vladimir PutinRussian President Vladimir Putin at the Athens international airport on May 27. (Thanassis Stavrakis / Associated Press)

Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson
Moscow solidified its hold on Crimea in April, outlawing the Tatar legislature that had opposed Russia’s annexation of the region since 2014. Together with Russian military provocations against NATO forces in and around the Baltic, this move seems to validate the observations of Western analysts who argue that under Vladimir Putin, an increasingly aggressive Russia is determined to dominate its neighbors and menace Europe. 
Leaders in Moscow, however, tell a different story. For them, Russia is the aggrieved party. They claim the United States has failed to uphold a promise that NATO would not expand into Eastern Europe, a deal made during the 1990 negotiations between the West and the Soviet Union over German unification. In this view, Russia is being forced to forestall NATO’s eastward march as a matter of self-defense. 

The West has vigorously protested that no such deal was ever struck. However, hundreds of memos, meeting minutes and transcripts from U.S. archives indicate otherwise. Although what the documents reveal isn’t enough to make Putin a saint, it suggests that the diagnosis of Russian predation isn’t entirely fair. Europe’s stability may depend just as much on the West’s willingness to reassure Russia about NATO’s limits as on deterring Moscow’s adventurism.

After the Berlin Wall fell, Europe’s regional order hinged on the question of whether a reunified Germany would be aligned with the United States (and NATO), the Soviet Union (and the Warsaw Pact) or neither. Policymakers in the George H.W. Bush administration decided in early 1990 that NATO should include the reconstituted German republic.

In early February 1990, U.S. leaders made the Soviets an offer. According to transcripts of meetings in Moscow on Feb. 9, then-Secretary of State James Baker suggested that in exchange for cooperation on Germany, U.S. could make “iron-clad guarantees” that NATO would not expand “one inch eastward.” Less than a week later, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to begin reunification talks. No formal deal was struck, but from all the evidence, the quid pro quo was clear: Gorbachev acceded to Germany’s western alignment and the U.S. would limit NATO’s expansion. 

Nevertheless, great powers rarely tie their own hands. In internal memorandums and notes, U.S. policymakers soon realized that ruling out NATO’s expansion might not be in the best interests of the United States. 

By late February, Bush and his advisers had decided to leave the door open. 
After discussing the issue with West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl on February 24-25, the U.S. gave the former East Germany “special military status,” limiting what NATO forces could be stationed there in deference to the Soviet Union. 

Beyond that, however, talk of proscribing NATO’s reach dropped out of the diplomatic conversation. Indeed, by March 1990, State Department officials were advising Baker that NATO could help organize Eastern Europe in the U.S. orbit; by October, U.S. policymakers were contemplating whether and when (as a National Security Council memo put it) to “signal to the new democracies of Eastern Europe NATO’s readiness to contemplate their future membership.”

At the same time, however, it appears the Americans still were trying to convince the Russians that their concerns about NATO would be respected. Baker pledged in Moscow on May 18, 1990, that the United States would cooperate with the Soviet Union in the “development of a new Europe.” And in June, per talking points prepared by the NSC, Bush was telling Soviet leaders that the United States sought “a new, inclusive Europe.”

It’s therefore not surprising that Russia was incensed when Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, the Baltic states and others were ushered into NATO membership starting in the mid-1990s. Boris Yeltsin, Dmitry Medvedev and Gorbachev himself protested through both public and private channels that U.S. leaders had violated the non-expansion arrangement. As NATO began looking even further eastward, to Ukraine and Georgia, protests turned to outright aggression and saber-rattling. 

NATO’S widening umbrella doesn’t justify Putin’s bellicosity or his incursions in Ukraine or Georgia. Still, the evidence suggests that Russia’s protests have merit and that U.S. policy has contributed to current tensions in Europe.  

In less than two months, Western heads of state will gather in Warsaw for a NATO summit. Discussions will undoubtedly focus on efforts to contain and deter Russian adventurism — including increasing NATO deployments in Eastern Europe and deepening NATO’s ties to Ukraine and Georgia. Such moves, however, will only reinforce the Russian narrative of U.S. duplicity. Instead, addressing a major source of Russian anxieties by taking future NATO expansion off the table could help dampen Russia-Western hostilities.  

Just as a pledge not to expand NATO in 1990 helped end the Cold War, so too may a pledge today help resuscitate the U.S.-Russian relationship.

Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson is an international security fellow at Dartmouth College and assistant professor at the Bush School of Government, Texas A&M University. His article, "Deal or No Deal? The End of the Cold War and the U.S. Offer to Limit NATO Expansion" was published in the spring issue of International Security.