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Poroshenko Doing a 'Gulf of Tonkin' Provocation

by Oui Mon Nov 26th, 2018 at 10:34:13 AM EST

See also fjallstrom’s new diary - Comedian frontrunner in Ukrainian presidential election.

Embattled president of Ukraine attempt to get in favor with the political leadership in the White House after two difficult years under Republican leadership and a surprise president Trump election in 2016. Could Poroshenko under guise of martial law postpone the next elections he is about to lose? Of course he is our [the Western alliance] culprit so the EU, US and NATO will stick with him and his cronies.

Crimea: Three Ukraine navy boats captured by Russian forces following firefight | The Independent |

Russia has seized three Ukrainian navy vessels following a shoot-out in the Black Sea near the Crimean peninsula, prompting the UN Security Council to call an emergency meeting.

Continued below the fold ...

The Russian coastguard opened fire on two artillery boats and a tug belonging to Ukraine which it claimed had made an unauthorised passage through Russia's waters.

Two of the craft, the Berdyansk and the Nikopol [Tass], were damaged and six crew members injured.

The confrontation took place near the hotly contested Kerch Strait, which separates the peninsula from the Russian mainland.

Periodically the propaganda media of NATO complaining about their forces being watched and "intercepted" by modern Russian planes and their submarines. NATO washing their hands in innocence.

NATO Launches 'Biggest Military Exercise Since The End Of The Cold War' | RFERL |

Poroshenko: introduction of martial law does not mean declaration of war

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko says that the introduction of martial law does not mean a declaration of war.

"Martial law does not mean declaration of war. Ukraine has no plans to go to war with anyone," Poroshenko said at the meeting of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine in Kyiv overnight Monday, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

Poroshenko stressed that "martial law is introduced exclusively for the purposes of defense, protection of the Ukrainian land, our territorial integrity, our country's sovereignty and independence."

According to the head of state, martial law is needed to strengthen defenses against the background of growing aggressiveness and an act of outright aggression on the part of the Russian Federation in accordance with international law.

The Ukrainian leader has noted that the introduction of martial law does not mean that Ukraine gives up on political and diplomatic means for the liberation of the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories. "We intend to continue to comply with all international obligations, including the Minsk Agreement," Poroshenko added.

Germany, France Hopeful Of More Lasting Cease-Fire In Eastern Ukraine | RFERL - June 2018 |

Ukraine-NATO Joint Military Exercises Begin In Lviv Region | RFERL |
U.S. Air Force to join large-scale aviation exercise in Ukraine | Unian |

Related reading ...

Separatist leaders voted back in disputed east Ukraine election | DW - Nov. 11, 2018 |
Poroshenko's Losing Bet on a Clinton Win
British Spooks Exploiting Populist Insurgency for Anti-Russia Campaign

Breaking news ...

British MI-6 captain pardoned by UAE Sheikh from life sentence. To be released from jail soon and free to travel back to the UK. Nice deal struck between allies in battle against Houthis in Yemen and the ultimate war against Iran.

British spy Matthew Hedges pardoned by UAE government | The National - Emirates |

Five years on, corruption and cronyism as bad as ever, same elites with a few additions ...

Five years after Euromaidan, Ukraine's new reformers battle corruption | DW |
Ukrainian activist Kateryna Handziuk dies from acid attack | Irish Times |

When asked what his role is in MI6, a civilian agency with no military ranks, he replies "captain", without further explanation.

Hell, to get off a 31-year prison sentence I'd confess to more than that.

Outstanding propaganda victory for the Emirates. And for scientific research, of course.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Nov 26th, 2018 at 03:30:11 PM EST
Insights from the Bifurcation Order in the Ukraine vs. Russia Arbitration under Annex VII of UNCLOS

By Procedural Order of 20 August 2018 ("Bifurcation Order"), the arbitral tribunal established under Part XV and Annex VII of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the "Dispute Concerning Coastal State Rights in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Kerch Strait (Ukraine v. the Russian Federation)" ordered a bifurcation of the proceedings so that Russia's preliminary objections concerning the arbitral tribunal's jurisdiction ratione materiae will be examined in a preliminary phase  prior to the merits (see also this statement by Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

This development brought with it some much needed transparency in the arbitration instituted by Ukraine against Russia on 16 September 2016, since the written submissions of both parties remain confidential. What appears from the public statements of Ukraine's government (here and here), is that Ukraine is claiming that Russia violated Ukraine's rights under UNCLOS with respect to Russian activities in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait, in particular, involving issues such as the seizure and exploitation of oil fields on Ukraine's continental shelf, usurpation of fisheries jurisdiction off the coast of Crimea, issues of navigation through Kerch Strait, the construction of Kerch Bridge and related structures, and the conduct of studies of archeological and historical sites in the Black Sea.

International commercial arbitration: UKRAINE
Ongoing Territorial Challenges in Crimea Cases: Putting Everest v. Russia in Context

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 26th, 2018 at 08:07:24 PM EST
From my diary @BooMan ...

Biden's Ukrainian Oligarchs and Corruption

Two Ukraine oligarchs face threat of asset seizure | FT - July 3, 2017 |

Two of Ukraine's most powerful oligarchs face potential confiscation of multibillion-dollar assets after missing a deadline to voluntarily restructure related-party loans at PrivatBank, Ukraine's largest bank that was nationalized late last year.

Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov, PrivatBank's founders, had been given until July 1 to act after Ukraine's central bank in December found a $5.5bn hole in the balance sheet. The central bank alleged that as much of 97 per cent of the lender's commercial loan book was to businesses linked to the two oligarchs.

Oligarchs making gains: the costly nationalization of Ukraine's PrivatBank

On 19 December [2016], in an attempt to calm the situation on the market, Ukraine's most senior officials, including the president, the prime minister and the head of the NBU, guaranteed the safety of deposits to clients of PrivatBank. In the pessimistic scenario, the state will have to pay 148 billion hryvnias (around US$5.5 billion) for the nationalisation of this bank.

The decision to nationalise PrivatBank did not come as a surprise, and no major obstacles have yet been seen in the acquisition process. The bank has had serious liquidity problems for several years. The International Monetary Fund has insisted the bank be reorganised as part of the programme for clearing the Ukrainian banking system.

A Super State Bank: Nationalization of PrivatBank - a Plan to Merge with Oschadbank

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 26th, 2018 at 08:09:52 PM EST
Ukrainians Protest as Gas Dispute Leaves Scores Freezing | US News - Nov. 13, 2018 |

Dmytro Firtash, under house arrest in Vienna, profits from corruption in gas sector in Ukraine  

Naftogaz estimates that Firtash's arrangements with the Ukrainian government have netted him an astonishing $2 billion in 2017 alone. This sum includes a loan from the World Bank granted to Ukraine to purchase natural gas, and assistance from the International Monetary Fund that was supposed to pay for gas subsidies for the poor. Rather than reaching their intended targets, these loans and assistance found their way into the hands of Firtash due to the non-transparent system of payment. As a result, there is no guarantee that part of the $1 billion granted to Ukraine by the United States as sovereign debt guarantees has not found its way into Firtash's pockets as well.

The large-scale subsidies deal became possible after Prime Minister Volodymyr Groisman began to revise gas market reform, under the stewardship of "energy" Vice Prime Minister Volodymyr Kistion. Rather than promoting open and competitive gas markets as originally intended, these reforms have become a symbol of how the market can be corrupted. Kistion has also become the key defender within the government of Firtash's interests by controlling Regional Gas Company, which is responsible for three-fourths of regional gas distribution companies in Ukraine.

EU and Ukraine in tug of war over Naftogaz unbundling | EuroActiv - July 2018 |

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 26th, 2018 at 08:56:35 PM EST
Ukrainian spy agency confirms its agents on board encroaching Kerch Strait ships | Tass |

Head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) Vasily Gritsak has confirmed information about the presence of two agents from the SBU military counter-intelligence service onboard the Ukrainian naval ships that were detained this past Sunday in the Kerch Strait for breaching Russia's state border.

"The officers of the Ukrainian intelligence service were performing combat tasks of the counter-intelligence support department of the Ukrainian Navy, as stipulated in Article 12 of the Ukrainian law `On the Ukrainian Security Service,'" the SBU press service quoted Gritsak as saying.

On November 25, three Ukrainian naval ships violated the current rules of passage from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov and breached the Russian state border.

Why It's Too Soon to Celebrate Ukraine's New National Security Law | Atlantic Council - July 30, 2018 |

Ukraine's Soviet-based national security framework has finally been replaced. Ukraine's Rada passed the bill on June 21 and its passage was greeted with a mix of praise and scepticism. The US State Department publicly welcomed Ukraine's new national security law, noting that the framework will increase cooperation with NATO, and its full implementation will deepen Ukraine's Western integration.

The law is designed to define and delineate the powers and structure of Ukraine's security and defense bodies. In post-Soviet states with high corruption in the public sector, the division of power over security and defense bodies tends to spark political and clan-based infighting. Claiming that something is a matter of national security (when it is not) to justify secrecy is an instrument corrupt actors like to use. It is the portal through which they gain power and money and through which taxpayer's and international donor's money disappears.

In Ukraine, this type of competition, such as the ongoing one between the president and the interior minister, is a national security threat in itself.

All too often in Ukraine, overclassifying things has been abused by corrupt public servants seeking to acquire or maintain power. In the run-up to Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea, the former Minister of Defense and former director of Ukroboronprom abused national secrecy to strip Ukraine of military equipment, transferring it to Russia. More recently, overclassification of procurement by the Ministry of Defense has been linked to corrupt schemes related to fuel, machine parts, and even ambulances. Secrecy blankets corruption in Ukraine's Ministry of Defense.

Markedly, Ukraine's new national security law doesn't set a deadline for the creation of a new law on state secrets (or other laws directly related to Ukraine's national security fabric such as the laws on intelligence and state defense order). Incongruously, however, a tight, six-month deadline has been set for the creation of laws governing the SBU and democratic oversight and control over the SBU and intelligence bodies.

Stolen Dutch paintings offered for sale by Ukrainian militia - [linked SBU]  | The Guardian - Dec. 2015 |

Westfries Museum in Hoorn: The Heist in 2005  - stolen paintings recovered in Ukraine (Svoboda)

Meanwhile an extensive network was consulted about who the superiors of Humeniuk could possibly be. Soon, a right wing politician whose party maintains close ties to the OUN battalion, came up with some interesting information.

He stated that the people holding the stolen paintings, who had sent Humeniuk to meet with Brand, did not regard the Westfries Museum as their rightful owner, but just as a another party to make money from.

It became clear that despite his good intentions and his friendly words, Humeniuk would offer the stolen paintings to whoever was interested, if the museum would not pay the full amount of 5 million Euros.

And then the politician added: "Humeniuk is only a middleman. This goes up to the highest echelons; one of the two men who sent him is Oleh Tyahnybok, leader of the far-right nationalist party Svoboda ..." [links added are mine - Oui]

Until the last elections Svoboda was part of Ukrainian parliament and it is hard to believe that a politician of a befriended nation would be involved in this art heist, but soon the information provided by the contact proved to be true.

In international media Svoboda has been characterized as being of a fascist and anti-Semitic nature. Ties that the United States government maintains with it have often been criticized, for instance by the Huffington Post in an article of March 7, 2013.

John McCain - Let's Not Forget

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 28th, 2018 at 07:11:29 PM EST
Is Saakashvili still the poster boy of the US and the West?

Israeli security company uncovers assassination plot in Georgian election | Ynet News |

Georgia's ruling party hired Israeli-based CGI Group to find 'dirt' on political opponents; the intelligence firm discovered a recording implicating former president Saakashvili in plan to kill chairman of the ruling party.

The second round of Georgia's presidential elections are scheduled for this Wednesday [today]. The country's citizens will decide between two candidates: Grigol Vashadze, the candidate for the ruling party, and Salome Zurabishvili, who is backed by former president Mikhail Saakashvili.

Saakashvili does not currently live in Georgia. He was forced to leave the country four years ago due to suspicions of corruption and now lives in Ukraine.

CGI Group, a business intelligence and security consultancy company owned by Israeli businessman Zvika Naveh, and headed by former Shin Bet director and former minister Yaakov Peri, was hired by the ruling party several months ago to seek information about corrupt behavior of candidates from the rival party, or any other pieces of information that could sway public opinion in favor of Vashadze.

CGI investigated and in the course of their work they discovered that someone was looking for a "sniper" to assassinate former prime minister and the country's richest man Bidzina Ivanishvili, now serving as the chairman of the ruling party.  

Georgia: oil, neocons, cold war and our credibility by Jerome a Paris @EuroTrib on Aug 10th, 2008
Did McCain Help Bait Russia into Georgia? | Huff Post - 2008 |
'In Georgia mistake was made by Saakashvili' - McCain about 2008 Russia-Georgia war
Mikheil Saakashvili On McCain's Legacy In Countering Russia

    "Dear Vlad, the #ArabSpring is coming to a neighborhood near you," McCain tweeted in December 2011 -- exactly the kind of support Russian protesters against the rigging of a parliamentary election didn't need. To Putin, this was a sign that the Russian political opposition wasn't just egged on, but was directly supported by the US as it sought to overthrow him.

From my diaries ...

Obama Pushes Bush's Legacy on Ukraine : More Army Defections
War Hero Lawmaker Planned Terror Attack In Ukraine
McCain's Ties with Lobbyist Scheunemann

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 28th, 2018 at 08:58:05 PM EST
Funniest headline because it's true w/o 2 Dec 2018
Uber-loser Poroshenko goes "full Saakashvili"

archived tropic thunder
CIA Asset
"Does that make sense? Let's circle back."
"Saakashvili was naturalised to be made governor of Odessa by the King of Chocolate."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Dec 2nd, 2018 at 10:07:39 AM EST

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