Back to Ukraine
On September 3rd, Ukraine's president announced that he had agreed the terms for a "permanent ceasefire" with Vladimir Putin.
The Russian president's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, smoothly denied the claim. The two leaders had indeed talked, he said, about "what should be done...to stop the bloodshed" and had found some common ground. But as Russia was not, of course, a party to the conflict, so it was hardly in a position to enter into a ceasefire agreement.
Later that day Mr Putin announced that he had a plan to end the fighting. He said it should be discussed at the meeting in Minsk on September 5th of the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, which comprises envoys from Kiev, Russia and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
Mr Putin's plan requires Ukraine's armed forces to withdraw from the contested areas in the east of the country, thus confirming the defeat of Mr Poroshenko's forces.
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Interesting: Russia has dispatched a group of ships from its Northern Fleet to the Arctic, with the aim of restoring a permanent base in the region, Russia media say.
The original base on the islands was abandoned in 1993.
Ten ships went to the islands last September to restore an air force commandant's headquarters.
The detachment includes:
anti-submarine warfare ship Admiral Levchenko, large amphibious ships Georgiy Pobedonosets and Kondopoga, tanker Sergey Osipov, rescue tug Pamir, Baltic Fleet mooring vessel Aleksandr Pushkin.
but obviously, waiting until after Nov for immigration will help Dems in mid-term elections. Otherwise his doing something unilaterally would be political suicide.
But how much to you want to bet that next year he makes climate agreements with other nations WithOut the approval of Congress--illegal, but he won't care.
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Side tracking (but it relates):
OBAMA REVERSES COURSE: Will Now Wait Until November For Immigration Action
Business Insider By Colin Campbell 1 hour ago
I do believe the man can only have 1 thing on his mind at a time. Now that he's left Europe, my guess is Ukraine won't be mentioned again either.
We'll see if he's gonna concentrate on IS. But maybe he'll just slip out for some food again. Don't know if his talk about anything will produce fruit.
meaning that a Russian invasion of Estonia would trigger war between Russia and the US, a prospect so dangerous that the world managed to avoid it throughout even the Cold War.
"Unidentified persons coming from Russia took the freedom of an officer of Estonian Security police officer on the territory of Estonia," Estonia's state prosecutor's office announced, shortly before Russia claimed responsibility. "The officer was taken to Russia using physical force and at gunpoint."
The statement continues: "The officer was fulfilling his duties in connection to preventing a cross-border crime in taking place. The use of smoke grenades and intense interference with operative radio connections preceded the incident."
Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves tweeted almost immediately about the kidnapping, indicating that the government considers it a major incident.
"This is bad: Russia 'abducts' Estonian officer after Obama says US will defend Estonia
On Friday morning, less than 48 hours after President Obama delivered a speech in Estonia warning that Russian aggression against Estonia could trigger war with the US and NATO, Russian security forces have seized an officer with Estonia's state security bureau at gunpoint and taken him into Russia.
Estonia says the officer was kidnapped (or "abducted") on Estonian soil and taken across by force. Moscow says the Estonian officer was on Russian soil and detained with a gun, 5,000 euros and "materials that have the character of an intelligence mission." Nearby Estonian police radios were reportedly jammed during the incident.
The incident comes at a moment when Europe and the US are extremely concerned that Russia might attempt military action against Estonia as it has against Ukraine. Just on Wednesday, the United States publicly committed to Estonia's military defense,
15 August 2014 Last updated at 12:32 ET
The BBC's Steve Rosenberg, who was given access to some of the Russian aid trucks, says many of them are "almost empty"
Ukraine says it has partially destroyed an armoured column crossing from Russia, as a controversial Russian aid convoy still waits at the border.
Nato said the column was a Russian military "incursion", prompting the UK to summon Russia's envoy to explain.
Odd, trouble in the Middle East and oil price falls!?
Energy shares in the S&P 500 plunged as U.S. crude tumbled 1.1 percent, while airline stocks slid.
The rate on 10-year Treasury notes fell one basis point to 2.48 percent, erasing gains of as much as five basis points.
The intensifying conflict has displaced hundreds of thousands, the UN agency for refugees said
Donetsk, the biggest city in the conflict zone, and neighboring Makiyivka are also suffering from water shortages, while another nine towns in the region have no water mains at all. Repairs can’t be made because of the fighting.
Poland Warns of Invasion
Moscow (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday ordered his government to draft a response to "unacceptable" Western sanctions
Moscow's Vedomosti business daily said the Russian government was now considering whether to strike back at the European Union by placing a total or partial ban on its airlines' flights over Siberia to Asia.
Stocks are tumbling on the flurry of reports of the Russian buildup along the border. The Dow was down 150 in late-day trading.
Russia has called for emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday over what it called an urgent humanitarian situation in Ukraine, according to a report from the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS.
a "humanitarian mission" to Ukraine, which some consider to be a pretext for an invasion by Russian forces.
According to a report in The New York Times, Russia has nearly doubled its troop presence along the border, adding 17 battalions and 19,000 to 21,000 troops who now compose a " battle-ready force of infantry, armor, artillery, and air defense within a few miles of the border."
The White House has openly worried about what would be, for all intents and purposes, an invasion under the guise of a "peacekeeping" operation.
So haven't about as many died in the Ukraine as in Gaza? I know it's been over a longer period of time, but still....
“During the last 24 hours, terrorists fired on the checkpoints and positions of Ukrainian forces in a number of cities and villages,” Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian military, told reporters in Kiev. “Part of the shelling came from Russian territory.”
Former Soviet states from Ukraine to the Baltics said they were menaced by jets from neighboring Russia as fighting continued near the site where investigators arrived to probe the downing of Malaysian Air (MAS) Flight MH17.
NATO jets were scrambled from a Lithuanian air base at about 9 a.m. today to “identify” Russian aircraft “flying without a pre-agreed schedule” in neutral waters near Estonia,
Kiev said it downed a Russian drone on Ukrainian territory, one of several aircraft to violate the country’s airspace since yesterday.
Russia is deploying Grad rocket systems and continues to build up artillery positions near the border
Aug 1, 2014 2:06 PM ET
Eww, that didn't quite come out like I wanted. To be clear: Quest for wealth good, but on your own dime.
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It almost has to crash after being inflated by pumping $85 billion into the market a month... Our tax money going to prop up others' quest for wealth.
I don't think that's right.
On Wall Street, a sharp drop due to fears of the increased tension between the US and Russia.
And Putin says "The country in whose airspace this happened bears responsibility for it."
I'll call him a jerk and think other terms for a donkey.
And I guess 23 Americans died. Collateral damage.
Ukrainian government now under much more pressure to remove the separatists by force. There's a better chance that they secure meaningful military support (including weapons) from the U.S. and nonmilitary from the EU.
But the Russians will deny any involvement and demand protection of the Russians on the ground. Likelihood of escalation has just increased significantly.
The State Department made mention earlier this week of a "deployment site" in southwest Russia, accusing Russia of continuing to "accumulate significant amounts of equipment" there and saying it had roughly doubled the number of tanks, armored vehicles, and rocket launchers at the location.
Furthermore, the State Department claims Kremlin officials are allowing troops from the "Donetsk Peoples’ Republic" to establish a recruiting office in Moscow.
The plane crash will likely sink U.S.-Russian relations, which had already been at their worst since the Cold War, to a new modern
The conflict in Ukraine has escalated significantly with the shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying nearly 300 people.
• Ukraine's new government, led by President Petro Poroshenko, will feel more intensified pressure to conduct military operations to push back pro-Russian separatists in southeastern regions of Ukraine.
• More countries could get involved, and in a broader scope. There could be a new push by the Ukrainian government to get military support from the U.S., which has so far resisted, as well as more nonmilitary aid from the European Union.
• During the months-long conflict, Russia has long asserted its right to intervene on behalf of Russian-speaking citizens. The Pentagon said Wednesday that Russia was again building up its forces along the volatile Russia-Ukraine border.
G7 agrees new sanctions on Russia as observers held in Ukraine
Reuters By Thomas Grove 39 minutes ago
Oil prices moved higher Thursday as heightened tensions in Ukraine overcame concerns about record US commercial crude inventories.
New York's West Texas Intermediate for delivery in June, settled 50 cents higher at $101.94 a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for June jumped $1.22 to close at $110.33 a barrel in London.
Russia's foreign currency ratings were cut on Friday by the credit ratings agency Standard & Poor to one notch above "junk" status.
The agency warned that further downgrades were possible if the West imposed tighter sanctions against Moscow.
Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have seized a bus carrying international military observers, Ukraine's interior ministry says.
Ukraine's interior ministry said armed separatists had seized seven representatives from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as well as five Ukrainian army personnel and a bus driver.
The German foreign ministry confirmed 13 people had been detained.
Wish we had a Reagan rather than an Obama in the WH.
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