Civil war in Ukraine

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by pmaitra, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    For @jouni:

    THE EU IS CRUMBLING BEFORE US

    Once Finns break the taboo, it would be easier for Germany to extricate itself from an escalating national disaster without inviting opprobrium from across Europe, or so goes the argument.

    “We can’t start this off, but the Finns can,” said Hans-Olaf Henkel, former head of Germany’s industry federation.

    Berlin’s policy elites are constrained by their honourable - if misdirected - feelings of moral duty towards the euro. They cannot bring themselves to plunge the dagger.

    Or as ex-Bundesbanker Thilo Sarrazin puts it, they are driven by “the very German reflex that the Holocaust and Second World War will only be atoned for finally when all our interests, including our money, are in Europe's hands".

    Finnish exit - or FIXIT, as they say in Helsinki - is certainly a plausible hypothesis. The Finns have no ensnaring duty to a mystical “Europe“. They did not join the EU until 1995, and only then with widespread dissent.

    “Sweden and Denmark both held referendums on the euro, and both said no. We were never allowed to vote,” said Timo Soini, leader of the True Finns party. That was a mistake. The nation is not locked into ritual assent.

    Finns obeyed the rules of EU membership with scrupulous care, while others gamed the system. “Our Lutheran morality, if you will,” said foreign minister Erkki Tuomioja.

    They alone faced the fiscal implications of EMU for small economies out of cyclical alignment. Finland’s budget surplus was 5.3pc of GDP at the top of the boom in 2007. Greece’s was 6.5pc in deficit. There lies the full horror of what has happened.

    “In Finland, a handshake is final. We thought we had a deal that every country would look after its own finances, only to find the deal was broken,” said Alexander Stubb, Finland’s Europe minister.

    The Finns survived their own gruelling depression without foreign help in the early 1990s when the Soviet Union collapsed and exposed the fragility of the Finnish banking system. The economy shrank by 13pc.

    “We had the IMF knocking at our back-door. Unemployment was at 18pc. We said 'never again’ and yet here we are in a fresh crisis because of somebody else’s fault,” said Mr Stubb.

    For the True Finns - with 19pc of the vote in the last election - it is an outrage. “We bailed out our own banks, and now after all the lying, dishonesty and malfeasance in Europe, we are being asked to bail out their banks. This is the last straw,” said Mr Soini.

    There is no doubt that Finland could go it alone. It is the last unsullied AAA state in the Euroland, with a public debt of just 51pc of GDP. The reason why Moody’s did not place the country on negative watch last month along with Germany and Holland is a lack of banking exposure to Club Med debt and “relative insulation from the euro area” in trade.

    More than two-thirds of Finnish exports go outside the euro bloc, chiefly to Russia, Sweden and the US. In other words, Finland lives in a different economic universe from core-EMU, and is deemed better for it by rating agencies. You could not find a more likely candidate for euro exit.

    Yet looming over everything else is Vladimir Putin’s Russia, a “19th Century power” - to borrow Robert Kagan’s term - that has overturned the post-war borders of Europe once already by attacking Georgia in 2008 and annexing South Ossetia.

    Russian armed forces chief Nikolai Makarov played on the theme in June, attacking Finnish “revanchists” and describing Finland’s military manoeuvres in its own eastern region as akin to those of Georgia in South Ossetia before the war - ie a casus belli. The Russians are playing hardball over Finnish overtures to NATO.

    Looming too are memories of the Winter War of 1940 - when they lost the Hanseatic city of Viipuri - and the bitter struggle against Stalin until 1944, and indeed the compromised sovereignty and media self-censorship that lasted for another half century.

    “Membership of the EU and the euro is all about getting as far away as possible from Moscow. That has affected how we think for the past 20 years,” said Professor Tapio Raunio from Tampere University. The strategic imperative is to enmesh Finland as deeply as possible into every part of the Western system.

    True Finn leader Mr Soini says the euro remains the “state religion” upheld by Finland’s elites. Their governing credibility is inextricably linked to EMU project. Most will die in a ditch to defend it.

    Yet the tensions are palpable in the Finnish parliament. “Our liabilities keep rising and the mood is becoming critical,” said the foreign minister.

    Each escalation in EU rescue demands - whether to strip the bail-out fund (ESM) of its preferred creditor status, or to recapitalise Spanish banks directly, or to buy Spanish and Italian debt, and on what terms - requires a fresh vote by the Eduskunta.

    The Social Democrats - leaking working class votes to the True Finns - are visibly wobbling. Their ministers fire off cannonades against EU rescues almost weekly to shore up their base. The finance minister Jutta Urpilained said Finland would not “hold onto the euro” at any cost, and then seem surprised when the world took note.

    Nobody knows where the snapping point lies. Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, chair of the Grand Committee on Europe, said Finland’s political limit on bail-outs is “unwritten”, yet dropped the hint of 10pc of GDP. So we watch the numbers. Does the gun cock once Finland’s guarantees reach €19bn? Are we there already?

    My own guess is that Spain and Italy - separately or acting in concert - will win the North-South race to revulsion and trigger the final denouement. Tightening fiscal policy by 3pc of GDP each year as unemployment rockets is not compatible with democracy, nor with economic science for that matter.

    Yet Finland is a long-neglected part of this complex jigsaw puzzle. Global investors will have to add the Helsingin Sanomat to their morning read, along with Greece‘s Kathimerini, just in case.

    Russian Bear stops Finland leaving euro - Telegraph
    Read more at LiveLeak.com - Ukraine in Finland Out? so it begins - Finland may be First Country to Leave EU despite Russian Fearmongering
     
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  2. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    "RF forces would just get massacred" - what makes you think so?

    Who is dieing in this war? It is 95% Ukrainians. Rest 5% are from other countries - mercenaries or volunteers. Russian *citizen deaths may be 2-3%.
    My estimate is more than 50000 deaths have already occurred. The Kiev numbers and UN numbers are hogwash. There is huge under-reporting of numbers.
    This is a very bloody war, where saturation fire is the norm. Plus civilian areas are regularly shelled (mostly by Kiev forces).

    Indians believe Western propaganda and their military superiority. The fact is not so one-sided. Russian weapons, when used with proper tactics and quantity, work effectively.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
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  3. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    OT but I think it would be difficult here to define what race is.
    So, for eg. if Slav is considered a race then so can East-slav and South-slav be considered separate races.
    Other than presence of turkic/Mongolic/Iranic/tungusic blood in a considerable quantity in slavs (esp. East-slavs), they are mostly same as euros.

    I think ethno-linguistic classification is the term used.
     
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  4. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Kharkov experts gather in Russia to discuss a creation of Kharkov Republic days before the terrorist attack

    February 25, 2015
    Mikhail Slobodskoy - Stoletie
    Translated by Kristina Rus

     
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  5. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Is Turkey Turning Towards a Full Eurasian Pivot?

    Turkey’s flirtation with purchasing non-NATO-compatible Chinese missiles to complement its planned air defense system indicates that Ankara may be preparing for a grander non-Western policy pivot in the future.


    Andrew Korybko (Sputnik - Russian news agency) [SOURCE]

    Andrew Korybko is our regular contributor. This article also appeared at Sputnik.

     
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  6. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    Ukraine Risks Losing IMF Support for Aid If War Escalates

    (Bloomberg) -- Ukraine risks losing support from IMF member countries for a proposed $17.5 billion bailout if the conflict in the former Soviet republic continues to escalate, according to two people familiar with the matter.

    The new four-year loan program is awaiting approval by the International Monetary Fund’s executive board, which represents the lender’s 188 member nations. Getting the panel’s consent will become more challenging if pro-Russia rebels continue their advance and seize territory such as the strategic port city of Mariupol, one of the people said.

    A second person said that while a worsening conflict would complicate approval, IMF country representatives are likely to maintain their support unless an open conflict with Russia breaks out affecting the majority of Ukraine. Both people asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

    Any doubts over the IMF funds would increase pressure on Ukrainian allies including the U.S. and European Union to step up their own funding to prevent the country from becoming more vulnerable to Russian economic pressure and wider incursion by pro-Russia rebels. A worsening conflict would make it tougher for Ukraine to maintain economic commitments to the IMF and repay the money while deepening the fund’s involvement in the worst standoff in Europe since the end of the Cold War.

    Plugging Ukraine’s financing needs and stabilizing its economy amid an armed conflict will be an “enormous challenge,” said William Taylor, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009 who is now acting executive vice president at the U.S. Institute of Peace. “If they’re going to exist as a nation, they’re going to have to be able to defend themselves.”

    Board Support

    Last year’s $17 billion, two-year bailout for Ukraine by the IMF had broad support from the fund’s board, overcoming concerns at the time about the security risks in the country, one of the people said.

    There have been many violations of the cease-fire agreed on in the Belarusian capital of Minsk on Feb. 12, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday. Ukraine and its allies in the EU and the U.S. accuse Russia of backing the militants in the conflict that has killed more than 5,600 people, according to United Nations estimates. Russia denies military involvement.

    Ukraine’s decision this week to tighten capital controls may also complicate the IMF plans. IMF staff members are revising their economic projections in light of the restrictions, according to one of the people familiar with the situation.

    Exchange Rate

    The Washington-based IMF said in announcing the program Feb. 12 that Ukraine agreed to maintain or implement certain policies, including a flexible exchange rate. The lender said in a statement earlier this week that while capital controls may be necessary, the fund expects them to be eventually lifted.

    Ukrainian officials will have to explain to the IMF why the central bank tightened capital controls, as well as how the government plans to revive the economy in general, one of the people familiar with the matter said.

    The IMF’s executive board will consider the aid package on March 11 and the loans will be front-loaded to help stabilize the economy quickly, the fund said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday without elaborating on how the conflict will influence the board’s decision. The fund hasn’t given any indication that members will reject the program.

    The IMF also said it’s ready to assist Ukraine in designing measures to address imbalances in the foreign-exchange market.

    No Condition

    Gerry Rice, an IMF spokesman, said last week that the proposed aid for Ukraine isn’t conditioned on an end to the fighting. “The conflict is something that we are concerned about and monitor, but the new program makes very conservative assumptions in its baseline scenario for 2015 to buffer a further impact of the ongoing conflict in the east,” he told reporters.

    The intensifying conflict has shattered the fund’s economic projections. In April, the IMF forecast the Ukrainian economy would grow 2 percent this year after shrinking 5 percent in 2014. By September, the fund had cut its growth forecast to 1 percent this year, while assuming the conflict would subside “in the coming months.”

    The Ukrainian economy ended up shrinking as much as 7.5 percent in 2014 as the conflict took a “significant toll on the industrial base and exports,” undermining confidence and putting pressure on the financial system, the IMF said this month. The economy will probably contract 5.5 percent this year, Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko said Feb. 16.
    Reserves Plunge


    Ukraine’s gold and foreign-currency reserves plunged to $6.4 billion in January, the lowest since 2004, from $17.8 billion a year earlier, according to central bank figures.

    “The situation is really serious and if there is any foreign donor help, it should be coming in a matter of weeks, not months,” said Ondrej Schneider, senior economist at the Institute of International Finance in Washington and a former adviser to the Czech government. “It’s a matter of weeks before they run out of reserves.”

    Jaresko said Wednesday that the government is trying to get the parliament to approve laws to fulfill IMF requirements ahead of the fund’s March 11 decision. The first part of the IMF loan will be disbursed within several days after approval, Jaresko said at a briefing in Kiev.

    IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said earlier this month that the aid program is subject to “high risks,” with the main one being “geopolitical developments that may affect market and investor confidence.”

    The IMF-led program totals $40 billion when including bilateral deals with nations as well as about $15 billion in savings expected from negotiations the country is pursuing with bond investors. Achieving that level of savings from a bond restructuring is probably too optimistic, Schneider said.

    The IMF has stalled payouts under the existing funding plan as the nation held presidential elections in October, lawmakers delayed the passage of this year’s budget and the parties negotiated the revised bailout.

    Ukraine Risks Losing IMF Support for Aid If War Escalates - Bloomberg Business
     
  7. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    Captive Ukrainian soldiers recover bodies of comrades



    DONETSK, UKRAINE—Ukrainian PoWs in the separatist stronghold of Donetsk began a task Wednesday that strained their hearts as well as their muscles: digging through the rubble to retrieve the bodies of fellow soldiers killed last month in the bitter battle for the city’s airport.

    Associated Press journalists saw at least four bodies being carried out of the once-glittering, now-obliterated Donetsk airport terminal. A Ukrainian official said seven in all were retrieved. Rebel representatives said many more soldiers were still buried under the collapsed building, but provided no figures.

    One captive soldier saw two friends being pulled out of the rubble, as the facility’s twisted steel beams and smashed cement walls were being sawn into pieces and towed away.

    “I recognized them from their clothing. They were my friends,” said the man, a member of the Ukrainian army’s 90th brigade who identified himself only as Sasha.

    The bodies themselves were contorted by rigor mortis after being left outside for weeks in the frigid winter. Work was briefly interrupted by the sounds of gunfire in the distance, then resumed.

    It was not clear whether the Ukrainian soldiers were forced into performing the recovery work or volunteered, but rebels have previously forced PoWs to perform hard labour. The Ukrainian captives were assisted by rescue workers employed by the separatists.

    “These guys were fighting here. I don’t know what for. They were following the orders of their president, and they respected that order,” said rebel commander Mikhail Tolstykh, known widely by nom de guerre Givi. “We all are military men here and we have to respect our enemy.”

    Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian troops had battled regularly over Donetsk’s airport since May, when government forces decisively rebuffed separatist attempts to take the showcase terminal built to help Ukraine host the 2012 Euro soccer championships. Fighting over the terminal surged in mid-January, swiftly unravelling a month-long truce.

    Buckling under a barrage of artillery and small-arms attacks, Ukrainian forces conceded Jan. 22 that they had lost much of the terminal.

    Ukrainian Defence Ministry spokesman Vladislav Seleznev has said 15 servicemen were killed in fighting over the airport in January. Their bodies have lain uncollected since then.

    Vasily Budik, an adviser to Ukraine’s defence minister, wrote on his Facebook page that seven bodies were recovered Wednesday and that work at the airport would continue.

    Neither side has revealed how many captives they currently hold, but AP journalists saw up to 25 government PoWs working at the airport Wednesday. The rebels handed over 139 captive Ukrainian soldiers last weekend in exchange for 52 people held by the government.

    The fighting in eastern Ukraine has killed nearly 5,800 people since April. Russia denies charges that it is arming and supporting the rebels, but western nations and NATO reject those denials as absurd. A peace plan agreed upon earlier this month by the leaders of Russia and Ukraine, brokered by France and Germany, aims to cement a ceasefire and begin a pullback of heavy weapons.

    Ukraine’s military said rebel violations of the ceasefire persisted Wednesday but had fallen off in recent days.

    On top of the fighting in the east, Ukraine is also trying to contain severe economic troubles exacerbated by corruption and the cost of the war.

    Piling on the economic pressure, Russian President Vladimir warned Wednesday that Russia would cut gas supplies to Ukraine unless it paid in advance for future deliveries. He said the latest payment from Ukraine would only be good for another three to four days of gas, and warned that any Russian gas cut-off to Ukraine may disrupt supplies heading to other European nations.

    In Brussels, European Union President Donald Tusk warned that the European Union will not hesitate to impose new punishment on the separatists and Russia if the latest Ukraine peace deal collapses.

    Tusk told the EU legislature that “additional sanctions remain on the table. We should be ready for any development — good or bad.

    RIP:rip:

    Captive Ukrainian soldiers recover bodies of comrades | Toronto Star
     
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  8. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    Ukraine Goes Its First Day In Weeks Without Troops Killed:rofl::D:D

    A long-awaited truce took hold at last in east Ukraine on Wednesday, with the army reporting no combat fatalities for the first time in weeks, but the news did nothing to halt a currency collapse that forced the central bank to ban most trading.

    The Ukrainian military said the past 24 hours were its first day without combat fatalities for several weeks, since long before the truce was meant to take effect on Feb 15. Only one soldier had been wounded.

    In rebel-held eastern Ukraine, rebels were withdrawing heavy guns from the front. Kiev said it was too early to do likewise, but its acknowledgement that most of the front was quiet suggests it too could implement a truce that had appeared stillborn when the rebels launched a major offensive last week.

    The cautious good news from the front has come amid dire economic consequences for a country teetering on bankruptcy.

    With the hryvnia currency in free fall as investors flee, the central bank called a halt by banning banks from buying foreign currency on behalf of clients for the rest of this week.

    Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said the ban was bad for the economy. He had learned about it on the Internet and would demand an explanation from central bank chief Valeria Gontareva.

    The central bank said the move was necessary to stabilize the currency amid "unfounded" demand for foreign exchange.

    The decision left the true value of the currency in limbo. Although banks could still trade with each other, by noon there were no registered trades at any rate. Tiny trades were recorded in the afternoon at strong rates, but at volumes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars that gave little signal of the true price in a market normally worth hundreds of millions a day.

    Exchange kiosks in Kiev were selling limited amounts of dollars for 39 hryvnias, around 20 percent worse than rates advertised in the windows of commercial banks where dollars were not available.

    A construction worker exchanging dollars at a kiosk in a grocery shop in return for a bag filled with thousands of hryvnia, laughed and told shoppers: "Soon we will have to walk around with suitcases for cash, like in the 1990s."

    The previous day, the central bank rate based on reported trades had fallen 11 percent against the dollar. The hryvnia has lost at least half its value so far this year after halving over the course of 2014.

    Ukraine Goes Its First Day In Weeks Without Troops Killed
     
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  9. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Excerpts from an excellent article by The Saker entitled “Making sense of Obama’s billion dollar hammer,” explains why reason and logic is less likely to work with someone who is convinced about his might, real or imagines.

     
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  10. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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  11. VivekShah

    VivekShah Regular Member

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    Ole McInsane has never met a war he doesn't like. I think the best solution is to put him in a bomber with dummy bombs and missiles and let him relive his glory days. Crazy old fool.
     
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  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    McCain is a hero of the US because he was a PW during the Vietnam War.

    In the US, if you are a PW you are taken to be a hero.
     
  13. apple

    apple Tihar Jail Banned

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    He's a hero for his actions when he was a POW. Criticising McCain is beneath you
     
  14. apple

    apple Tihar Jail Banned

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    Re: Russian conscripts forced to fight in the Ukraine

    The previous thread on this article was locked by Pmaitra, then re-opened by Ray, then locked by someone "unknown"...

    Business Insider is propoganda :confused: OK, sure
     
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  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Tell me which PW is treated with kid gloves excepting the ones who surrender during the 1971 Indo Pak War?

    In our part of the world, where we have fought wars, unlike you, and we have had our people PsW, our PsW were not treated as heroes or condemned. Becoming a PW is a part of the risk. Hanging on is a part of the training.

    See and participate in a war/ conflict and then comment. Don't merely go by hype.
     
  16. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    Photos from the occupied Odessa. "During the period from yesterday until now passed through Odessa several columns technology, in particular 12 units of anti-aircraft missile systems S-300. One of the divisions deployed in the direction Chernomorka. Photos of today."

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  17. jouni

    jouni Senior Member Senior Member

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    This article is few years old. Today there is no widespread will to exit from the Euro. Of course we are pissed off that some "freetravelling scounderels" @arpakola came to Euro while we were following all the rules to the full. For Greece clearly the Eurasian Union would be the best place, there they would be with their equal minded people. Also Greece would look rich in that company!
     
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  18. sgarg

    sgarg Senior Member Senior Member

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    The article is two years old. Nothing much has changed in those two years.
    I doubt Greece affects matters in Finland. EU has printed 2 trillion Euros in 2 tranches. Most of this money went to France, Italy etc. Not much went to Greece. If you talk freeloaders, you need to look in the direction of France.
     
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  19. Akim

    Akim Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    I'm not going to explain, You don't believe me do you have any "truth" which was given thee by Russian TV channels. You don't believe the witnesses. You can see me on the Kulikovo field.
    [​IMG]
    It is the 27th of February, when there was no capture of the Crimea. You have a very primitive imagination. Can you not love his power, but to love their country.
     
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  20. Gabriel92

    Gabriel92 Regular Member

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