The whole giant advance which skirted Mariupol and headed down the coast, has developed stripes, about which the legend says, “Yislovnye kontrolye nad rayonom,” which Lara says means “Partial (conditional) control of the area.” The big boiler south of Donetsk city is shown as open to the west, because the forces in it have departed for the west, evidently under some sort of truce, though DNR HQ doesn’t admit that:
Sep 2 2014 20:19: Considerable forces of the Ukrainian army and Nat Guards withdrawn from DND, reported at the headquarters of the militia DND. While at the headquarters of a loss to explain the meaning of this maneuver. “Perhaps the authorities have decided to focus on the defense of Zaporozhzhya and Dnipropetrovsk regions. They may want to do a regrouping of forces and interconnect parts. Or they may even completely convinced of the futility of the attacks on DND,” believe in the headquarters. So the security forces, according to the militia, left all the checkpoints on the route Donetsk – Mariupol. They have strengthened only at the entrance to Mariupol. Previously militia knocked security forces from Elenovka, then they left Volnovaha, which now is actually a neutral territory. Also the security forces left Marinko and Kurakhovo, south-west of Donetsk, said the headquarters. Eyewitnesses told RIA Novosti that a convoy of vehicles of the security forces “went through Kurakhovo twelve hours before.” In Starobeshevo district, security forces withdrew from Starobeshevo, Marianovka, Novy Svet, Stylye, Novoekaterinovka, Shyrokoye and Komsomolskoye. According to the militia, last night died 20 security forces, 96 captured near the village of Svetloye. Here militias after the withdrawal of security forces from the environment received a lot of captured equipment, lists of which are yet to be identified. In opinion of representatives of the headquarters of the militia, will require a minimum of two days for driving a trophy techniques to repair.”
Lugansk airport is finally free, but Donetsk airport, according to this, is still in the hands of the enemy – RB
Despite the alarming messages I drew from the map (above), Colonel Cassad seems to be perfectly content. I shall have to deyandexify this some more, but here it is with a few rough patches:
The situation in the Donbass on Sep 2
Colonel Cassad, Sep 2 2014
Last DNV demonstrate the consequences of the catastrophe of the southern front of the junta.
1. Continuing to develop an offensive to the south of Donetsk. As the enemy here has just no power to close a huge hole extending from Georgievka and Karlovci up to the sea of Azov, the available forces were driven to the protection of Mariupol and on the sector of the front to the West of Donetsk, in order to prevent a militia thrust through Selydove towards Krasnoarmeysk and Konstantinovka, which could lead to the surrounding of the group besieging Donetsk. Combat-ready forces to close a huge hole in the front are just not there. So the army of Novorossia is quietly moving forward, constrained only by the lack of its own forces and the need to maintain control over an already occupied territory. In fact only the weakness of the forces of the army of Novorossia make what is happening before our eyes into a catastrophe stretched out over time. Imagine here, for example, a mechanized brigade of the Russian army, then using this operational emptiness, they could quite painlessly break through to the Dnieper. There is nothing to stop them. Nevertheless, it should be expected. In a few days’ time, the army of Novorossia will run into some hastily created barriers designed to slow down the development of the disaster. You should also expect at this week’s entry in battle by the junta, two or three reinforced armoured groups (бронегрупп). Remnants of the troops of the junta around Djakovo and Ilovaisk are doomed to go to their will by very few people (?). Needless to say, the army of Novorossia will continue to collect significant trophies.
Mariupol is in fact now operationally encircled, the morale of the surrounded is low, the balance of the population’s preferences about 60 to 40 in our favor among the political active, and the fragility of their hopes for re-supply by sea is demonstrated by the attacks on the Coastguard boats offshore from Mariupol. This suggests that complete blockade of the city is provided for by the plan and the capture of Mariupol is among the priority objectives. At the same time, taking advantage of the situation by blocking Mariupol, the army of Novorossia quietly rolls forward their DRG overlooking the approaches to Berdyansk and the territory adjacent to Zaporozhya. In fact it is probing the situation, to determine future directions of attack where the enemy will not be present, or where it will be weak, and moved as reinforced DRG, and some last ditch efforts made. That is in fact happening, mirroring tactics punishers that are exactly the same in July and the first half of August was hustling builds militia hole and brought back their mechanized group and DRG. This tactic has led to a new operational environment junta troops, which resulted in the so-called Volnovakha boiler, resulting in the likeness of the front between Volnovakha and Marianovka again collapsed and the enemy will now have or again to break out with heavy losses, or once again to surrender its technical vehicles, rescuing personnel. In general, the offensive developed here is more than successful, and impacts on other fronts for Novorossia. The defeat of the southern front for the junta is equivalent to the German defeat at Stalingrad. The war is likely to continue for a long time, but it is quite obvious that the military machine of the junta has cracked and that the military victory she had boasted of already having achieved will not be possible. The fracture has already occurred and the question of the destruction of Novorossia is no longer worth discussing.
2. The defeat of the southern front forces the junta not only to hastily pull up the reserves to the area of the break to the South of Donetsk, but to withdraw troops from enclaves (клиниваний) in the possession of the army of Novorossiya. The junta has already begun the withdrawal of troops from Donetsk airport, which is still partially retained, but during the week it will be obvious that to hold on to this enclave is not necessary. It’s no longer fit for use as an airport (both sides of his well destroyed), and its value as a springboard for attacks on Donetsk was lost a week ago, after the collapse of the front south of Donetsk. Violent resistance only means operative impotence for the junta in this direction, because the attempt to storm Donetsk from the north choked on the streets of Yasinovataya and in the north-western suburbs of Donetsk. But there was a time when the militia evaluated the prospects of its reflection rather pessimistically. But now, the timid assault of the junta on Yasinovataya turned out poorly and the army of Novorossia didn’t even need to take a serious force from the south to parry it. The unblocking of the encirclement at Elenovka has helped the junta to save part of its surrounded troops, but led to losses in materiel, including important items required for the bombardment of Donetsk. Under serious threat is the group holding Debaltsevo (point 18 on the map – RB), as the assault of army of Novorossia in the direction of Svitlodarsk clearly indicates a bold intention to surround all the troops of the junta in the area of Debaltsevo and Uglegorsk, and not to attack Debaltsevo head-on. The junta faces an unpleasant choice: either to voluntarily leave Debaltsevo and Uglegorsk and go to Svitlodarsk, or to persist in the defense, at the risk of getting in a few days into a Debaltsevo boiler. In general, the enemy will gradually be dislodged (оттесняться) from Donetsk and north. In approximately 7-8 days, the shelling of Donetsk should disappear and the capital of Novorossia should gradually move to the state of the rear of the city.
3. The grouping of the army of Novorossia in the area of Stakhanov and Alchevsk still remains in a defensive posture, due to a lack of armored vehicles and artillery, taking a chilling action and conducting reconnaissance forces DRG in the direction of Severodonetsk and Slavyanoserbsk. In general, here the brigade “Ghost” of Alexei Mozgovoi provides retention of the central position, whereby Donetsk and Lugansk have the ability to conduct offensive operations. Iif it accumulates enough forces in the highland area, eg two or three armoured groups (бронегруппы) and a battalion of infantry with the support of the MRLS and cannons, then the army of Novorossia may be able to strike from here at Severodonetsk and Lisichansk. However, it is more likely that while completing the defeat of the boilers, the militia will remain in a posture of strategic defense.
4. South of Lugansk, the enemy under threat of defeat has started to go from Luhansk airport, and is also in the process of leaving Lutogino, in fact going to a good wandering boiler, from which it will be extremely difficult for him to reach his own lines. A rescue from the North is hardly possible, because most of the tanks of the junta were uselessly squandered in July and August, and the last combat-ready units burned in heavy fighting near Krashevatoye and Novosvetlovka. Here the fighting will not of course immediately stop, but the departure from the airport clearly shows that speeches about taking Lugansk are not going to become reality, and the enemys departure from Krashevatoye, Novosvetlovka and the airport, put an end to the ambitious plan of the junta to surround Lugansk. The fighting in Stanitsa Luganskaya, which is partially controlled by the junta, of course inhibits the army of Novorossia from more actively pressing forward around the south of Lugansk and surrounding Schastye, but this is only slowing the trend, not modifying it. Having lost air superiority here, and lost on the roads near the city of Lugansk most of its tanks and BMPs, the junta in the background trying to escape from the boilers of доходяг south of Donetsk, will be forced to fight a passive defense north of Lugansk in anticipation of the moment when the south of Lugansk all will smooth out. accumulating forces and hit through Schastye or bypass it on Novoaidar. However, due to the organizational weaknesses of the LNR and problems with unity of command (some of the commanders are still fighting amongst themselves), the offensive here is so-so, although the configuration of the front openly favors the defeat of the junta and the victory of the LNR.
5. In general, the military situation for us is now favorable, the momentum of the offensive and the configuration of the front allow us to expect new tactical and operational successes in the coming days, as well as further losses for the junta in people and technology. In the light of incurred losses and new trophies gained by the militia, plus the work of “Voentorg” (this is a generic term for supplies from Russia, whether military or humanitarian – RB), as well as in light of the influx of volunteers, the ratio of people continues to improve. Now, against something between 29,000 and 33,000 soldiers of Novorossia, the junta’s losses can be estimated at more than 40,000 soldiers (not the best quality). Vehicles value at best for the junta not more than double or less. Aviation of the junta continues to suffer catastrophic losses. In general, two months after the beginning of the junta’s assault, she has lost her overwhelming superiority in men and materiel, lost air supremacy, and the militia is almost equal to the junta in the qyantity of tube and rocket artillery it possesses. According to current trends, the collapse of the southern front will have as its consequences the liberation of the greater part of the Donetsk National Republic and the development of hostilities on the territory of Zaporizhzhya region. That is, it will gradually transfer the fighting into enemy territory which was not under the control of the DND and LNR.
6. Politically, the backstage romp around the future of Novorossia continues, but it is already evident that negotiations will be held. Yesterday’s announcement that the leadership of Novorossia are willing to accept a “United Ukraine” suggests that the party of the “Big Transnistria” is not attempting to limit the results of the uprising to the territory of the DND and LNR, although the Russian media threw in some deliberately provocative ideas aimed at discrediting the leadership of the national republics, which obviously can’t go against the sentiment of the soldiers and the inhabitants of Novorossia, who are determined to secede from Ukraine. However, it is obvious that sooner or later things will come to negotiations, and then it is critical that the army of Novorossia has conquered many cities and regions of the former Ukraine, to ensure a more comfortable position for negotiations. Frankly, we benefit from the continuation of the war, as at current trends, the junta will lose more and more territory. Negotiations have yet to pull or tear. What the junta concedes (недоговороспособна) is a plus, as this can be used to deny the junta the ability to obtain some “honorable peace.” Although judging by the official and unofficial statements, the enemy begins to increase understanding that it will lose the war, and needs to save what can still be saved. In general, the war is won and Novorossia will emerge, within certain frontiers, as quite a large unrecognized state. So those who helped our fight can already feel involved in our common victory, which is sure to come.
DONETSK PRIME MINISTER: INDEPENDENCE , NOT SPECIAL STATUS
Kristina, truth from Ukraine, Sep 1 2014
Zacharchenko interview to LifeNews today:
The fact that the self-defence side was invited to talks for the first time, since the beginning of the conflict, speaks volumes. Today’s meeting in Minsk was strictly about a POW swap, not about a status of republics. We have 687 junta POW’s, they have 103 of ours. We did not agree with Kiev’s offer to preserve the political territory. The question is not about a special status, but about independence.This is the intitial meeting to lay the ground work for a follow-up. On Sep 5, there will be another meeting, hopefully regarding a ceasefire. If junta sends a person who is a decision-maker and has influence, then I will attend, and probably prime minister of Lugansk Republic. Our demand is complete withdrawal of junta troops before talks of ceasefire. Today alone we pushed them 50 km away from Donetsk. So what kind of special status do you want to talk about?
He is the man who gives orders to Novorossia army, so he is the only one to listen to on the subject.
02.09.14 Purgin: DND does not see himself as a subject of some Ukrainian Federation
Donetsk national Republic does not see itself as part of the Federation in Ukraine, told journalists on Tuesday in Moscow first Deputy Prime Minister DND Andrey Purgin. He said:
Just try and get political speculation, which is now a huge amount of that we should take some basic things, several of them. Any Federation Ukraine out of the question. This is a basic thing on which we now rely. Secondly, we must stop the war. And, based on these basic things about the rest we can talk. In particular, it can be the exchange of hostages and prisoners of war, as well as the non-use of heavy weapons. We can say that no claim to the territory of Ukraine, no Donetsk, Luhansk Republic. We can say that we will maintain socio-cultural and other space for Ukrainians. Nevertheless, we, of course, part of the Russian world.
As explained earlier, Prime Minister Donetsk national Republic Alexander Zakharchenko, Donetsk and Lugansk people’s Republic of achieve for themselves a special status, and require from Kiev equality. According to him, DND and LNR not want to stay in Ukraine neither geographically nor politically, nor in the financial vector only as equal partners.”
FAKE EVIDENCE: UKRAINE ‘PROVES’ RUSSIAN INVASION.
Despite Usaian, UKian and Ukropian claiming there is hard evidence proving Russian invasion, Ukrainian officials and media still only provide stories easily proven fake.
Breaking News: The CIA has just published this high-resolution satellite image of a Russian military convoy invading Ukraine.
Summary from staff MO DND for the last day of the morning of Sep 2
Last night on the fronts brought the host of several important tactical victories. Army DND began to assault positions Ukrainian troops, took the Donetsk airport. During the evening and night artillery militia attacked, resulting from some positions at the airfield they had strayed. the airport is not Fully taken, as the existing fortifications to attack difficult. It is known that part of punishers, locked there, surrendered part continues to resist. However, the airport as a strategic base for an attack on the capital of the Republic, due to the defeat of the main positions of the Ukrainian security forces on the approaches to it, already it will not be considered. In addition, it became known that for the last day of the representatives of the junta in Donetsk and on the approaches was transferred about 300 prisoners (captured earlier), and 72 wounded and 35 died. In the city of Donetsk: village Pavlograd fully liberated from the Germans; in Gorlovka eliminated the last units of the occupants (in the building SBU); Kurakhovo (Maryino district) and most of Marinci Ukrainian military fighting retreat. The city of Enakievo morning was subjected to artillery shelling of the occupants, damage, loss of data no.
In villages Novoamvrosievskoye, Semyonovsky, Megapole, Minstrels, Green, Grabski, Amvrosievka district fighting, during which the village was liberated from the Germans.
Near the settlement Frayed at the border Amvrosiyivka and manufacturing areas hit Ukrainian SU-27.
In Starobeshevo district finished Stripping, exempt from Kiev occupants N. p. Starobeshevo, marianivka, New Light, Style, Novoekaterinovka, Wide, Komsomol. Thus, ilovaisky pot cleaned (except mospin), per night destroyed 20 punishers; 96 captured in the area of N. p. Bright.
From almanova punitive embossed. During Stripping destroyed 1 APC, 2 mortar calculation and 20 enemy soldiers.
In Novoselovka (yasinovatskiy area) during the fighting militias destroyed 5 units MLRS “Grad”, then 35 Ukrainian military surrendered with weapons.
In Volnovakha district exempted village of grace. In Elenovka continued fierce fighting, where the Ukrainian security forces well entrenched.
In the Konstantinovsky district exempt N. p. the artemovka rivers. During sweeps in the suburbs of Khartsyzsk exempt N. p. Tritace.
In southern militia forces completely controlled by the route Donetsk-Mariupol, but the village Mangush remains occupied Ukrainian military. By the way, all the tracks that connect Mariupol with other cities are under the complete control of the militia, which creates the so-called “Mariupol pot. Reported that currently in Mariupol were only punitive battalions “Azov” and “Shakhtersk and little soldiers of internal troops. In General, on-site DND the most significant event of the previous day was still unfinished assault airport. Ilovaisky the boiler was finally decibel. By the way, perfectly noted for the last day guerrillas. In the town of Chuguev, Kharkov region of a sabotage group of militia destroyed a convoy of supply of Ukrainian security forces losses are not specified.
Civilians: while aware of the death of one civilian in Donetsk. According to the militia killed netguardian 57, prisoners – 111, the number of casualties is not yet known. At the same time in the NSDC know only about 7 of the victims of the Ukrainian military and 25 wounded. Prisoners Ukrainian authorities do not exist. Destroyed equipment: MLRS – 6, BTR – 1, guns – 6, car 7, the plane – 1, helicopter – 2. An offensive army DND and LNR continue. In the coming days we plan to liberate the city of Mariupol.
Ghost Battalion blitzing away at Nat Guards positions, it says:
Donetsk village razed to the ground.
Unique footage filmed by a film crew of television channel “Constantinople” in a combat zone under Donetsk. Using UAVs were committed to the bombardment of the Ukrainian guards. Dead village under the Donetsk: From 1500 inhabitants remained one woman. Residents of the village of Stepanovka in the Mining area under the Donetsk were forced to leave their homes after a massive bombardment of the Ukrainian army. Of the nearly fifteen thousand inhabitants in the village there was only one elderly couple. An elderly woman told about the scale of damage and number of casualties.
Quadcopter takes a look at ruined village:
Survivor talks, Stepanovka:
Acting Minister of state security of the Donetsk national Republic Leonid Baranov said that captured by the militia were mercenaries from Poland. He said:
Mercenary work are many, this is especially significant in Donetsk airport, which is the longest stays. There are only professionals, there are not only Usaians there, speak different languages. This information is confirmed, and it is safe to say that there are foreigners who don’t give up.
Answering the question, did you manage to capture someone of foreign mercenaries, acting head of the KGB DND noted that “while there were only poles.” Previously one of the commanders of the militia of the Luhansk national Republic Alexey Mozgovoi told reporters in Yalta, in the ranks of the Ukrainian army fighting mercenaries, in particular, from Usaia, Poland, the UK, which operate not only in the headquarters and offices in Kiev, but also directly on the front line”. According to the militia, “is directly involved in the fighting, which pulls the trigger and kill we the people.” As noted by the commander of the militia, with their arrival, the security forces have changed battle tactics.”
If I was Russian, I would probably observe the protocol of always blaming the big man’s advisors, not the man himself. I recognise that the power of the leadership principle is greater among continental nations than it is among oceanic ones. This is not due, of course, to any sort of ‘racial’ psychology, since a person from one bloc who moves to the other adapts rapidly and completely to the different norm. It’s ultimately due to the different geopolitics of land powers as opposed to sea powers. It’s a product of social-psychological pressures, which are almost as inexorable as supposed ‘racial’ ones. You can break the social-psychological norms of the culture you live in, but the social penalties are severe, often amounting to complete ostracism. The psychological toll is also severe, since the integration of the individual mind (and heart) are inextricably tangled up with questions of social integration, success or failure in marriage and family, peer esteem, and so forth. So, to sum up, if a normal Russian suddenly decided, as I did not long ago, to exclaim “Putin is a piece of shit,” then his or her social life and psychological equilibrium would pay a heavy price – RB
Russia Said to Prepare Transfer of $10B Fund Out of Sanctions’ Reach
Jason Corcoran, Daniele Lepido, Bloomberg ‘News’, Sep 1 2014
Russia is preparing to transfer the ownership of a $10b sovereign wealth fund to the central bank from a sanctioned state-development lender, according to two people with knowledge of the plan. Russian Direct Investment Fund’s co-investors, which include sovereign funds in Europe and Asia, are concerned that sanctions may affect their investments in Russia if the state lender controls the assets, according to one of the sources. The fund, created in 2011 to stimulate investments in privately held businesses and wean the state off its dependence on commodities, has secured the backing of funds including France’s Caisse des Depots et Consignations and Japan Bank for International Cooperation and last year hired Goldman Sachs as an adviser. Penalties over Ukraine have led Russia to invest in state-owned lenders VTB Group and Russian Agricultural Bank, whose access to international funds has been curbed, and the measures may also impede co-investors from dealing with RDIF. RDIF said a decision on the transfer to the central bank has “not been made,” according to an e-mailed statement. A discussion about “possible separation” started two years ago, the fund also said. The central bank’s press service in Moscow didn’t respond to calls and an e-mailed request for comment. Ekaterina Grishkovets, a spokeswoman for Vnesheconombank, the state development bank known as VEB, didn’t answer calls or an e-mail seeking comment. Usaia & Euia imposed asset freezes and travel bans against dozens of Russians and companies under their control after Russia annexed Crimea in March. The sanctions targeted some of Pres Putin’s close circle, the country’s biggest banks and energy companies. RDIF, which counts former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn among its nine-member supervisory board, has invested in Russia’s biggest bourse, OAO Moscow Exchange, and OAO Rostelecom, the nation’s largest fixed-line operator. Russia in 2013 hired Goldman Sachs to promote the fund internationally. Monika Schaller, a spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs in Frankfurt, declined to comment by e-mail. The fund is led by Kiev-born Kirill Dmitriev, a Harvard MBA graduate and former Goldman Sachs banker in New York. The fund makes equity, primarily in Russia, alongside international financial and strategic investors, according to its website. Blackrock, Templeton Asset Management and Goldman signed an accord with RDIF in 2012 to invest in Russian companies preparing for initial public offerings.
Ukraine tension sparks questions over French warship sale to Russia
Philippe Rater, AFP, Sep 1 2014
PARIS – Fresh tensions with Russia over Ukraine have sparked renewed agonising in France about the sale of two Mistral-class warships to Moscow that has already drawn sharp criticism from London and Washington. France agreed in 2011 to build and sell the two advanced helicopter assault ships to Russia for a total of €1.2b ($1.6b) with the first scheduled for delivery in October or November and the second in 2015. However, Hollande acknowledged in a recent interview in Le Monde daily:
If there was additional tension and it was impossible to find a way out, we would have to think about it.
That interview was carried out before widespread accusations that Russia had sent troops into Eastern Ukraine and Euian leaders on Sunday gave Moscow a week to change course or face a new round of sanctions. Hollande himself told reporters ahead of a summit of Euian leaders on Saturday:
In the face of this escalation in tension, there are new decisions to be taken.
Hollande said in July that the delivery of the first ship will go ahead as planned and the second would “depend on Russia’s attitude.” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said, also in July:
There is a rule that contracts that have been signed and paid for are honoured.
But a source close to the deal said:
It's clear that what is happening in Ukraine does not make it completely impossible there will be a change. One of the elements that could change the situation is the scarcely denied presence of Russian forces in Ukraine and, linked to that, Europe's decision to boost sanctions.
On Monday, former defence minister Herve Morin, who under Sarkozy had a key role in the initial talks over the deal, said it would be “incomprehensible” if France handed over the warships given events on the ground in Ukraine. Francois Heisbourg of the Foundation for Strategic Research said Hollande would be “obliged to reconsider the decision,” despite the penalties it would entail. The concern in France, with its record unemployment and stagnant growth, is not only the financial impact of scrapping the contract with Russia but also the hit its global reputation as a reliable arms exporter would take. Pascal Boniface of the Institute of International Strategic Relations said:
If we cancel the contract, there would be compensation to pay of around €5b, and France would lose all credibility as an exporter just at the moment Paris is trying to sell Rafale jets to India and Brazil.
Usaia has already taken aim at the proposed sales, with Obama expressing “concerns” and saying it would have been better to “hit the pause button” on the deal. Cameron said it would be “unthinkable” to fulfil such a contract in his own country, sparking a sharp riposte from Paris, which noted there were “quite a few Russian oligarchs in London.” Since the beginning of the summer, some 400 Russian sailors have been training in Western France on the operation of the first warship, named “Vladivostok.” Rasmussen trod a diplomatic line, saying in Brussels:
This is and remains a national decision, not for NATO to interfere. Having said that, I am confident that each and every allied government will take such decisions mindful of the overall security situation and concerns expressed by fellow allies.
There is a precedent for an arms delivery being scrapped due to events. De Gaulle cancelled a warship delivery to Israel because of an arms embargo imposed in the wake of the war of Jun 1967.
the fact remains that NATO is prohibited by its own charter from accepting new members who have “territorial disputes”
Ball in Ukraine’s court over NATO after election: Rasmussen
Adrian Croft, Reuters, Sep 1 2014
BRUSSELS – Rasmussen said on Monday that Ukraine’s political leaders expect a new parliament to abandon the country’s non-aligned status after an election next month in a possible prelude to an application to join NATO. Ukraine said on Friday it would seek the protection of NATO membership after what Kiev and its Western allies say is the open participation of the Russian military in the war in Ukraine’s eastern provinces. Ex-Pres Yanukovich, who was toppled in a revolution this year, had pursued non-aligned status since he took power in 2010, a route taken by many developing countries not wishing to be linked with NATO or any major power bloc. If Ukraine scrapped its non-alliance status after the Oct 26 vote, NATO would discuss with Kiev “how to move forward,” Rasmussen said, but he said it was too early to say how long it might take for Ukraine to join the Usaia-led alliance. Formal Ukrainian membership in the Western military alliance would mean a mutual defense pact with Usaia, but negotiations to join the alliance can take years as potential members have to meet a series of political and military criteria. Rasmussen told a news conference in Brussels:
I understand that the current political leadership in Kiev envisages that the new parliament after the parliamentary election in Ukraine will change the legislation on non-alliance status. We have to wait for elections, we have to wait for the legislative procedure in the new Ukrainian parliament. If Ukraine’s parliament passed legislation removing Ukraine’s non-aligned status, then I would expect Ukraine to raise the issue with NATO. Based on that, Ukraine and NATO would then work out a plan for further development of the NATO-Ukraine partnership, but timelines here can be very difficult to predict. Very much will depend on Ukraine herself and Ukraine’s ability to actually carry through the necessary reforms, adapt to NATO standards and eventually fulfill the necessary criteria so it is very, very difficult at this early stage of such a process to say anything about timelines.
NATO denied Ukraine a fast track towards membership in 2008 when a previous pro-European government in Kiev tried to pursue closer ties with the alliance. Until this government’s apparent switch last week, Poroshenko had also said he did not back joining NATO because there was no popular support for it. Poroshenko hopes the election will clear out many of the “old guard” who supported Yanukovich and produce a coalition able to push through vital economic and political reform after years of corrupt misrule and malpractice. Rasmussen said NATO had made a clear statement at its 2008 Bucharest summit that Ukraine would become a member of NATO, provided it wished to join and met the necessary criteria.
Ukraine Warns of Europe’s Worst Conflict Since WW2
Aliaksandr Kudrytski, Daryna Krasnolutska, Jake Rudnitsky, Bloomberg ‘News’, Sep 1 2014
Ukraine warned of an escalating conflict in its easternmost regions as a rebel leader said talks this week may include negotiations for a truce. The country’s military will take on Russia’s “full-scale invasion,” Defense Minister Valeriy Geletey said on Facebook today, a shift away from the government’s earlier communication that focused on an offensive against insurgents. Ukraine “must urgently build up defenses against Russia,” which is seeking “to advance to other areas in Ukraine,” Geletey said. Ukraine and its allies in Usaia & Euia are accusing Russia of dispatching troops and backing militias to open a new front in the conflict that the UN estimates has claimed 2,600 lives. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied involvement in the unrest. Talks today between representatives from Russia, Ukraine, the OSCE and the separatists will continue Sep 5. OSCE Chairman Didier Burkhalter said on Swiss state television today:
We can truly imagine some very dark scenarios now. We are in a very delicate phase. The risks of escalation are very, very numerous.
Consultations on Sep 5 will include discussions of a prisoner swap and possible talks on a future cease-fire, Andrei Purgin, deputy premier of the DPR (they don’t bother to say “self-declared” – RB), said in a statement after today’s meetings in Minsk, Belarus. Purgin said:
We are trying to find common ground, to cut back on war and victims as much as possible.
Pres Putin yesterday called for negotiations over greater autonomy for the war-torn regions. His spokesman Dmitry Peskov later told reporters that the president isn’t seeking “statehood” for the region. The ruble slid to a record against the dollar for a second day as the intensified conflict raised the likelihood that Russia will face wider Euian sanctions. It traded 0.6% weaker at 37.3325 as of 7:35 p.m. in Moscow after falling to an all-time low of 37.45. The Micex Index of equities also slipped 0.6%. Merkel said Europeans won’t accept Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine. Merkel said today at a news conference in Berlin:
Being able to change borders in Europe without consequences, and attacking other countries with troops, is in my view a far greater danger than having to accept certain disadvantages for the economy.
At least 300 civilians have been killed by explosions around Lugansk since May, according to New York-based Human Rights Watch. Many of the attacks appeared to be indiscriminate and could violate international laws of war, the group said. Regular Russian troops are replacing insurgent forces, with about 1,600 soldiers advancing into the region, according to the government in Kiev. Andrei Lysenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian military, said at least four Russian battalions are taking part in operations in southeast Ukraine. There was no immediate response from Russia to the allegations. The Ukrainian army had moved back from fighting for control of the Lugansk airport and is holding the line after retreat near Donetsk, Lysenko said. Defense Ministry spokesman Leonid Matyukhin said the Ukrainian forces had been fighting against a Russian tank battalion. Ukrainian troops killed about 100 pro-Russian rebels in the last 24 hours, Matyukhin said in a video statement on Facebook today. Government troops were shelled three times from the Russian side of the border, according to the statement. There was no independent confirmation of the figures. While Euian leaders disagreed about possible military aid to Ukraine in a weekend meeting in Brussels, they gave the Euian Commission a week to deliver proposals for sanctions that may target Russia’s energy and finance industries. Poroshenko has called for military and technical assistance for Ukraine from Euia. Usaia & Euia have already slapped visa bans and asset freezes on Russian individuals and companies, and since July have imposed steadily tougher sanctions targeting the country’s energy, finance and defense industries. Andrei Illarionov, a former economic adviser to Putin who’s been critical of the Russian leader after quitting his post in 2005, said today in an interview in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi:
Putin’s army will be stopped where the Ukrainians, the West and the whole world decide to stop him. Sanctions don’t have any effect. Historically, there’s no evidence of sanctions achieving their intended goal, even when they were much stricter.