Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 14, 2014

Ukraine: Europe Stagnates, Russia Growns

Russia seems to somewhat de-russify the conflict in Ukraine:

15:39 GMT: - Igor Strelkov, the field commander and defense minister of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, has resigned, according to a statement published on the local militia’s website. He will be replaced by Vladimir Kononov as military commander, the website said.

08:36 GMT: - Head of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic Valery Bolotov has resigned his position, citing an injury that prevents him to work to the full extend. He said the republic's Defense Minister Igor Plotnitsky is likely to replace him and that he will remain among the officials of the unrecognized entity in another capacity.

Last week the Donetsk People's Republic, the other of the two self-proclaimed entities in eastern Ukraine, had its head Aleksandr Boroday replaced.

At least Strelkov and Boroday are Russian citizens. Bolotov was born in Russia. Their replacements seem to be from Ukraine.

This step was probably taken to distance Russia from the insurgency.

Meanwhile 12 Red Sektor nazis from an Einsatzgruppe on its way to the battlefield were killed yesterday in an ambush by the insurgents. The city center of insurgency held Donetsk was under artillery fire today and several civilians died. Over thousand have died in the last two weeks alone and the situation in the insurgency held cities is bad with water and electricity distributions destroyed by Ukrainian government bombardments.

The Ukraine government seems unable to decide if it will allow an aid-convoy of 280 trucks with humanitarian supply from Russia into the areas of conflict. Letting the trucks in would require at least a temporary cease-fire and a stop of the continued artillery bombardment. Not letting in the urgently needed goods puts the Ukrainian government into a very bad light.

The sanctions the European Union was pressed to push onto Russia prove very effective in sending Europe back into a recession. While Europe's economic growth in the second quarter was flat and is likely to turn negative Russia's economy continues to grow.

This is the well deserved punishment for following the crazy foreign policies of the United States which are designed to keep Europe and Russia weak and apart.

Posted by b on August 14, 2014 at 16:58 UTC | Permalink


thanks b... i don't see kiev not continuing to follow their paymasters orders here..

"...water and electricity distributions destroyed by Ukrainian government..""
when you have a gov't doing this, it speaks volumes on their priorities...

same deal for the convoy to be allowed to help the same destroyed areas.. why would ukraine go along with a ceasefire? have they done anything to this point to suggest anything positive? it is war, war and more war which is exactly the encouragement they have been getting from the NATO head, the CIA, Biden and etc. etc..

i am surprised at how stupid european leaders are here.. i know the canuck leader where i live is stupid.. but man, this is in europes backyard.. i guess fealty to the usa is all important..

Posted by: james | Aug 14 2014 17:05 utc | 1

Since the NAF is moving forces into the theater not personally commanded by Strelkov, it does make sense for him to no longer be the over all CiC as his units are absorbed into the local NAF of Donestk theater. I doubt the Southern NAF will arrive in bulk but rather trickle in as they resupply and move personal.

Trying to reorder a command in active combat would be difficult. Given the resources thrown into breaking the Southern prong of the Ukrainian pincers movement, it strikes me that this could have been an agreed upon strategy.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Aug 14 2014 17:17 utc | 2


This step was probably taken to distance Russia from the insurgency.

Why do you believe that? Why would Russia distance themselves at all?

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 14 2014 17:29 utc | 3

@3 - optics..

Posted by: james | Aug 14 2014 17:31 utc | 4

@ James#1

There are enough nasty characters within Ukraine itself that are driving forward the assault against the East without the need to be motivated entirely by external forces.

This step was probably taken to distance Russia from the insurgency.

Yes, quite, and so it follows to put an end to the insurgency. Putin's speech today, where he called for Russia not to "fence itself off from the outside world" suggested as much - as if he was attempting to dampen Russian nationalism, perhaps thereby hoping to limit any outpouring of outrage when he is seen to leave the Donbas resistance high and dry. You can couple this with the aid convoy as a means of being seen to do something. But sleeping bags are for one reason - and it ain't to fight a war.

Strelkov's departure seems more likely to me to be influenced by prior knowledge that the rug is to be pulled from beneath them, rather than some slight attempt to merely disguise Russian influence.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Aug 14 2014 17:39 utc | 5

Russia distances itself from the insurgency .... by demonstrating that it is in control of who leads the insurgency ??

I'm skeptical that the militias can hold out indefinitely without Russian help. Holding territory is not what guerrilla warriors do best. And the Eastern Ukraine economy must be struggling, too. People gotta eat and pay their bills. Something will have to give -- it may be a matter of which side is the first to cry uncle.

Posted by: Dan Lynch | Aug 14 2014 18:51 utc | 6

Colonel Cassad is quite adamant today that rumors of Strelkov's resignation are not true. He is attributing those rumors to Strelkov's enemies in Ukraine and Russia.

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 14 2014 19:19 utc | 7

This is an article worth reading if you're thinking of lending Kiev a billion or so:

Posted by: bevin | Aug 14 2014 19:26 utc | 8

PCR in counterpunch today:
August 14, 2014
Washington's Fools
When Will the Europeans Wake Up?
Are Western propagandists fooling anyone but themselves?

The latest absurdity coming out of Ukraine, the EU and Washington is that the humanitarian aid that Russia and the Red Cross are trucking into the former Russian territories that comprise eastern Ukraine is a trick, a deception, a pretext for Russia’s invasion forces. Such a preposterous lie tells us that Western propagandists have no respect whatsoever for the intelligence of Western peoples.

Even a moron should understand that if Russia wants to send military forces into Ukraine, Russia doesn’t need any pretext, much less a joint humanitarian venture with the Red Cross. The eastern Ukraine, following Crimea’s lead, has already voted both independence from Kiev and in favor of rejoining Russia. If Russia needed an excuse,
the decisions by the eastern Ukrainians made months ago suffice. But Russia needs no excuse to rescue Russians from being slaughtered by Washington’s stooges like Palestinians in Gaza.

By its inaction, the Russian government is providing Washington’s vassal states in Europe time to comprehend that Washington, not Russia, is the problem, and that Washington intends for the cost of its conflict with Russia to fall on Europeans.

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 14 2014 19:28 utc | 9

The reason Strelkov and Bolotov were removed was not to "de-russify" the insurgency, but in response to pressure from the regional oligarch Akhmetov. Strelkov wants a "greater Novorossiya", comprising several more regions besides Denetsk and Lugansk; Akhmetov doesn't want any kind of Novorossiya at all.

I will post the relevant post by Colonel Cassad once it gets translated.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 14 2014 19:35 utc | 10

I don't think, as Pat Bateman @ 5 articulates, that a sell out is in the works. And if one is we'll know shortly when the aid convoy reaches the border. If Moscow capitulates and allows the cargo to be offloaded to junta trucks, which Lavrov says is not to going to happen, then we'll know Russia is unwilling to do anything for Novorossiya.

But I think the junta is crazy enough to blow up the aid convoy, which Kiev has promised to do if it crosses at a rebel-held border near Luhansk. And at the point, at minimum, one would hope that Putin should be able to secure a ceasefire.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Aug 14 2014 20:01 utc | 11

@5 pat and @11 mike. thanks for the clear thinking on this with additional questions... i think the situation is very difficult for russia, but even more difficult for eastern ukraine here.. on the one hand you have the kiev junta/usa/nato war maching towing the constant war line while encouraging the nazi's and war machine.. on the other you have russia trying to stay out of this mess that has been created for it next door.. there are no easy answers, but it is made more difficult by one side wanting war and disruption at any cost and we seem to agree which side that is.. what would make them stop any of it?

for anyone who missed the link crone gave on a previous thread on Sergey Glaziev's translation of "How Not to Lose in The War", others might want to read over would be nice if there was a better translation available on this long article..

Posted by: james | Aug 14 2014 20:35 utc | 12

"...KIEV, August 14 (RIA Novosti) — The Ukrainian parliament on Thursday passed a law that allows the government to hand over up to 49 percent of the country’s gas transport system to investors from the European Union and the United States.

The law was passed by 228 ‘yes’ votes slightly above the required minimum of 226. The law gives foreign operators the right to“the management and/or concession or lease” of the gas pipelines and underground storage facilities. The law also allows Ukraine’s government to establish a company to operate underground storage facilities, in which American and European investors would be able to own up to 49 percent..."

Posted by: really | Aug 14 2014 20:43 utc | 13

@really #13:

That law was written at the US embassy no doubt, and then translated into official Ukrainian.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 14 2014 20:53 utc | 14

"... August 14 (RIA Novosti) -Almost 17,000 children from southeastern Ukraine are staying in temporary accommodation settlements in Russia, the Russian Ministry of Civil Defense, Emergencies and Disaster Relief (EMERCOM) said Thursday. “As of today, 740 temporary settlements are allocated, accommodating 51,390 people including 16,690 children,” EMERCOM representative Alexander Drobyshevsky told RIA Novosti. He added that all the refugees are being provided with food, health and psychological care...

Posted by: really | Aug 14 2014 21:07 utc | 15

And over a laugh central (otherwise known as the British media) the Guardian and the Telegraph have breathlessly announced 'proof' that Russia is sending their military into the Ukraine.

Yes their 'journalists' have seen it with their own eyes, honest.

Guardian: Russian military vehicles enter Ukraine as aid convoy stops short of border.
UK Telegraph: Russian armoured vehicles and military trucks cross border into Ukraine

Of course no one mentions trying a simple credibility check of "Russia sending military forces into Ukraine right in front of western journalists?. Yeh right....". And I have this nice little bridge here in Melbourne that you can buy from me for a song.

Expect this to be echo chambered all around the world and Obama announcing new sanctions......

Posted by: OldSkeptic | Aug 14 2014 21:16 utc | 16

It looks to me that there was a need to de-russify before escalation. The white truck aid convoy is also a signal for a final assault against the banderites. The SHTF moment is closer than ever. This is why Barroso was squealing like a pig and everyone was left guessing about the next moves by the kremlim. They are all scared shitless of what is coming to them.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Aug 14 2014 21:39 utc | 17

@13 @14

Does that mean that Biden's son is now Europe's new gas Czar?

Posted by: john francis lee | Aug 14 2014 21:40 utc | 18


yes sir.

Posted by: burisma | Aug 14 2014 21:56 utc | 19

Once again the Russians are attacking Ukraine, as usual no proof is shown.
What the hell is wrong with the western world?

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 14 2014 22:05 utc | 20

@OldSkeptic #16:

Expect this to be echo chambered all around the world and Obama announcing new sanctions......

Not necessarily. The latest NY Times story on the convoy has a neutral tone. Also, after the Russian retaliation, I don't think that the European leaders/puppets are in the mood for imposing any more sanctions for the time being.

As for the Guardian story, Shaun Walker is considered to have given some of the best coverage of the Ukraine crisis by a Western reporter, so his report is not to be discounted (although the idea that Russia would send military vehicles with Russian license plates on them into Novorossiya sounds farfetched to me).

To repeat the obvious, the situation is very fluid. This is pure speculation on my part, but it is conceivable that a deal is being reached to let Donetsk and Lugansk break off from what remains of the Ukraine. Contrary to what the Western media are reporting, the junta is not even close to defeating the resistance, and every month the junta continues the war, its grip on power grows more tenuous. The deal would involve insurgents promising not to make trouble in any more regions.

LifeNews briefly interviewed Alexander Boroday today, who I believe was until recently the political head of the DPR, and he seemed to be in a good mood. So something may be up.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 14 2014 22:06 utc | 21

from Paul Craig Roberts #9--
...Washington intends for the cost of its conflict with Russia to fall on Europeans.

Yes, a weakened Europe is good business for the US, so we should watch the financials. The corporations want to deal with low-cost, low-welfare eastern Europe and knock down "old" Europe.

Here's a few snippets from the press, keeping in mind that we are more likely to get facts from the financial press than from the mainstream press:


Putin factor snuffs out European growth
First Japan, now Europe -- bad news for the world economy is piling up.
Eurozone growth evaporated in the second quarter, as Russian meddling in Ukraine helped send the German economy into reverse and France stagnated.
Between them, the two big players account for about half of eurozone economic output. Italy, the third largest regional economy, is already back in recession.


What is the state of Ukraine's economy?
In a nutshell: heavily indebted.
Ukraine's new government has said it needs $35bn (£21bn) to pay its bills over the next two years, which the new loans should mostly cover. It owes the Russian gas company Gazprom $1.9bn.


Russian Growth Reports Mask Likely Recession to Come
Russia appears for now to have escaped an economic contraction, but recession is still likely in the second half of the year as western sanctions over Ukraine bite, analysts warn.
Preliminary gross domestic product data published on Monday showed the economy growing by 0.8 percent in annual terms in April-June, compared with 0.9 percent in January-March.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 14 2014 22:22 utc | 22

@Demian #21:

Some more pure speculation. Part of the deal may be that Russia and Malaysia will not come forward with information about who really shot down MH17. Russia may have used that to in effect blackmail the Empire into giving up the DPR and LPR. (The DPR and LPR are no good to Kiev anyway, since unless there is a complete ethic cleansing, the citizens of the DPR and LPR are always going to hate Ukraine.)

As I said before, the MH17 false flag op was so crude that I am not sure that the CIA was in on it. My sense is that the plan was to shoot down MH17 with a Buk missile, but the Ukes chickened out at the last minute and used an SU-25 jet instead. But using a jet made it impossible to pin the blame on the rebels, which is why the op went south. (I believe that Noirette has made the same suggestion.)

Posted by: Demian | Aug 14 2014 22:30 utc | 23


We can skip one layer of indirection by going to the IPS, or two by going to The Oakland Institute, or three by just downloading the pdf.

However we get there your link goes a long way to explaining the stupidity of the European oligarchs now being remarked in chorus all over the internet : garden variety greed. Made more urgent by the junkie's 'need' for a 'fix'. Same as in the US, Canada ... all the rest of the neo-liberal west. Rape, loot, and be harried for tomorrow we will die.

After the collapse of the west we will all be applying for loans in 'real' money from the BRICS' bank.

Posted by: john francis lee | Aug 14 2014 22:37 utc | 24

Ukraine: Europe Stagnates, Russia Growns

this really dodgy english, B!

Growns!? (he Groans!)

id have gone for
Ukraine: Europe Stagnates/Sinks, Russia Rises

Posted by: brian | Aug 14 2014 22:40 utc | 25

Written by a Malaysian expert on aviation safety this is a significant article on the Airliner and Ukraine:

Posted by: bevin | Aug 14 2014 22:55 utc | 26

Demian Re #21...But the UK Telegraph 'exclusively' says its reporter saw it too.

"Russian armoured vehicles and military trucks cross border into Ukraine
Exclusive: Telegraph witnesses Russian armoured vehicles and military trucks cross the border from Russia into Ukraine "

"The Telegraph witnessed a column of vehicles including both armoured personal carriers and soft-skinned lorries crossing into Ukraine at an obscure border crossing near the Russian town of Donetsk shortly before 10pm local time. "

But further down....they say in a CYA statement (which the Guardian didn't do, silly them)....
"While it was not immediately clear whether all of that convoy crossed the border, The Telegraph did see a substantial number of vehicles pass through check point manned by gunmen after shadowing the convoy down narrow country lanes near the frontier. "

So the Russians conveniently drive their APCs into the Ukraine right in front of not one...but two western reporters?
Why do they bother being there, they should just find a nice pub and print Foreign Office statements like all the rest of the 'journalists'.

By the way the bridge I was talking about...made of gold...just send me credit card details and

Posted by: OldSkeptic | Aug 14 2014 23:04 utc | 27

Red Sector Nazis;oxymoronic?

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 14 2014 23:06 utc | 28

"While Europe's economic growth in the second quarter was flat and is likely to turn negative Russia's economy continues to grow."

Growth is very likely if the government snaps out of its Yeltsinomics stance of encouraging Free Trade even though it makes Russia a dumping ground for western surpluses (like Tyson's chickens) and drives Russian producers out of business.

Sanctions provide a perfect excuse for autarchical measures, since local suppliers will not invest resources into businesses liable to be ruined once sanctions are over.
Putin is quoted today as calling for payment in rubles for Russian oil.

What was the justification for sanctions anyway? Was it simply to remind the Germans that the correct response to the command "Jump!!"
Is "How high , Obama, sir?"

Posted by: bevin | Aug 14 2014 23:08 utc | 29

@Demian 10

Yes, I think you're right. Which I think shows the weakness of Russia. Maybe more people from the area would volunteer if decisions weren't mediated through oligarchs.

I hope they succeed against Junta forces, guerrilla war seems certain.

Posted by: Crest | Aug 14 2014 23:31 utc | 30

@OldSkeptic #27:

So the Russians conveniently drive their APCs into the Ukraine right in front of not one...but two western reporters?

Did you read the rest of my post?

The Telegraph has recently backpedaled on anti-Russian hysteria. Shaun Walker is one of the few Anglophone reporters who has bothered to stay in the former Ukraine to cover the civil war. Western propaganda does not usually work by the crude device of journalists with a reputation making up that they saw something. (Part of the propaganda to the effect that the rebels had a Buk system was that an AP reporter said that he saw it, but he is a non-Anglo stringer, not the same thing as these two British journalists.) So, unless we have evidence to the contrary, we have to assume that the Guardian's and Telegraph's journalists' reports that Russian military vehicles crossed into the LPR are correct. If Western journalists get to see such activity, that means that Russia doesn't care if they see it.

What do we conclude from that? My working hypothesis is that something has changed. It is interesting that this humanitarian convoy, so huge that Russia has obviously committed itself to delivering it, and Strelkov's resignation come at the same time. Add to that that when Boroday was interviewed about Strelkov's resignation, he was sincerely upbeat about it. Strelkov would not have left without a fight, unless he thought that his agreeing to submit his resignation was in the interests of Novorossiya. In other words, it sounds like some sort of deal has been made by all the major players. (No, Germany isn't one of them. It will take Germany years to recover from the humiliation that Merkel subjected it to by imposing further sanctions on Russia on obviously false pretenses, just to please the Empire.)

Posted by: Demian | Aug 14 2014 23:44 utc | 31

"...As  Paul Craig Roberts  has pointed out, “Washington’s incessant lies alleging ‘Russian aggression’ have created Russian aggression out of thin air.” So, for the purposes of this article, let’s go ahead and focus on the “for other purposes” part mentioned in the bill’s title .This is the part that involves exploiting natural gas resources and inundating the former countries of the Soviet Union with American propaganda..."

Posted by: really | Aug 14 2014 23:51 utc | 32

@24 john.. i couldn't agree more.. when folks in ukraine, or europe for that matter, recognize what the loans from the wb and imf impley - opening up your agricultural heartland to the likes of dupont and monsanto - hopefully that will be enough of a tip off about what this transition to a more 'westernized' position looks like... and, how little it is of benefit to the small person in ukraine, as opposed to the agricorps that continue to destroy our planet..

demian - thanks for sharing the various viewpoints, including the one on that oligarch Akhmetov having undue influence.. we don't get any proper coverage in the western media of what is going on..

Posted by: james | Aug 14 2014 23:55 utc | 33


The 'full' pdf from that article you linked to above is only 9 pages, as I'm sure you know, but it details the western (and Russian and attempted Chinese, a plutocrat's a plutocrat, especially one with a billion five mouths to feed) land grab in Ukraine.

Ever since I was a boy I've heard that the Ukraine is the breadbasket of Europe. It's become the 1000 kilo gorilla in the middle of the Ukrainian living room, as 1000 kilo gorillas also do seem to do. Somehow.

The article details ...well refers to ... the IMF/World Bank's 'Benchmarking the Business of Agriculture (BBA)' project as well.

With an unaccountable military dictatorship in Thailand in perfect position to sell out the rice farmers here I'm going to try and follow up on symptoms that indicate that disease and spread the alarm on its contagion.

Surely the scam and its manifestations will lead to a general uprising in Ukraine. That is probably what Putin is waiting for.

Thanks for the link.

Posted by: john francis lee | Aug 14 2014 23:55 utc | 34


For oblique reflections on the coup plots in Russia itself see El Murid: To the Militia, Eventual Victory is a Statement of Fact .

Neo-con hubris knows no bounds.

Posted by: john francis lee | Aug 15 2014 0:02 utc | 35

Demian Re #27. I read it, still insufficient evidence so far.

But re the Guardian and Telegraph and applying Occam's Razor and assuming they are not lying (I know, a big assumption)then (a) they got lost and it almost certainly wasn't the border or (b) they got lost and turned around and saw a Ukrainian force coming into Russia....

Posted by: OldSkeptic | Aug 15 2014 0:09 utc | 36


Ukraine already has pushback from citizens regarding fracking that has been taking place there. I have seen complaints of open pools of fracking waste which threaten the ground water and wells. Add monsanto to the mix and yeah the Ukraine breadbasket will turn into the deadbasket. Big Agri buisness can't wait to get there poisonous mitt on that rich soil in order to make it only suitable for there poison coated seeds.

If you want to see what in store for the ukraine the US senate has created the plan for all to see. And although it has yet to be ratified as law, it is being followed to the letter...Read it and you will see what I mean.

Posted by: really | Aug 15 2014 0:13 utc | 37

@OldSkeptic #36:

Both good reasons to discount those reports.

In any case, as I said, the situation is very fluid. Strelkov's being removed as DPR Defense Minister is a very big deal, but there has been virtually no analysis of it yet.

And to repeat, "de-russification" has nothing to do with it. It matters neither to Westerners nor to Novorossians whether the leaders of Novorossia are Russian citizens. Westerners see the rebels as "pro-Russian" in any case; Novorossians see themselves as Russian, not Ukrainian. (By "Westerners" I mean subjects of the Empire, not western Ukrainians. What western Ukrainians think doesn't matter here.)

Posted by: Demian | Aug 15 2014 0:43 utc | 39

In my previous comment, I said that what western Ukes think doesn't matter. But if a deal has not yet been reached, and Russia wants to start negotiations, the Russophobia of the junta does matter. To quote a comment at the Saker:

Strelkov's, Borodai's and Bolotov's resignations mean that Russia is preparing for negotiations. Kiev-Novorussia negotiations are difficult to arrange, and almost impossible in a format where Ukrainians would talk to rebels born in Russia. Not to mention how damaging their ethnic background is to the Russian narrative.

The comment gives a link to a press conference at which Lavrov is asked about the issue of Russian citizens running Novorossia. (As I suggested before, both Russians and Novorossians consider Novorossians to be Russians, so they don't care if someone is a Russian or a Ukrainian citizen, especially since to them, there is no nation that someone called a "Ukrainian" could be a citizen of.)

Posted by: Demian | Aug 15 2014 2:20 utc | 40

I don't expect the Russians government to use MH17 beyond what may be useful as "blackmail". There is a consistency amongst the rulers in finding common cause about keeping authority intact. I hope rather that some of the surviving kin, especially of the Dutch passengers, decide to pursue the truth as to the shoot down. And use all legal avenues possible. It would be nice if it all became clear in months instead of years.

Posted by: YY | Aug 15 2014 2:31 utc | 41

Perhaps some of you have studied the sanctions more than I, but my understanding is that they are mostly ineffective, for public consumption only (including the markets). For example, the major Russia bank was sanctioned but not its European branches.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 15 2014 3:41 utc | 42

@ bevin 26

I find nothing significant about an article written by an aviation safety "expert" that advises the reader to be patient and wait for the outcome of an investigation done by other experts. Really?

That is precisely the wrong thing to do. At the end of every false flag operation is an official commission or investigative body packed with top drawer experts. Their job is to cherry pick the data and knowingly accept false testimony in order to fit a predetermined outcome while hiding or destroying evidence and testimony to the contrary. They put lipstick on the pig. The Dutch Safety Board has so much lipstick that contrary to regulations they're making the world wait a few weeks longer while they decorate the pig.

The very pressure that this expert writer advises against has forced the powers that be to back off from their lies and grow strangely quiet. This pressure makes it hard for the Dutch Safety Board "experts" to conclude that all evidence points to a smokeless BUK missile. Will they have the nerve to look the world in the eye and say so?

Almost 300 people on MH17 were murdered. If we wait patiently for the experts then the truth also will be murdered.

Posted by: SingingSam | Aug 15 2014 4:39 utc | 43

Russia and Latin America enhance cooperation

Russian President Vladimir Putin embarked on a five-day visit to Latin America in July. He met with leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba and Nicaragua in efforts to strengthen ties with Russia's Latin American partners, particularly in the area of energy, trade and education.

In 2013, bilateral trade between the two countries grew by 30 percent to US$2.63 billion, according to a report published by the Argentine-Russian Chamber of Commerce.

Last Thursday, Brazil also announced that it would take advantage of the new opportunities and will increase its meat and grain exports to Russia.

Both presidents seek to double bilateral trade between the two nations to a value of US$10 billion a year through the reduction of trade regulations on investment and high-tech funding.

During his trip, the Russian president said that the Eurasian Customs Union comprised of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan seeks to sign a cooperation agreement with member countries from the Southern Common Market in 2015, known as Mercosur, which is integrated Venezuela, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil.

Over the last three years, trade within the Eurasian Customs Union has increased by US$23 billion, or nearly 50 percent. At the end of 2013, it stood at US$66.2 billion.

President Putin’s visit occurred a month and a half before a self-imposed ban on agricultural imports from the EU, U.S. and other Western countries, in response to sanctions over Ukraine. The economic embargo has forced the Russian government to consider alternative markets in order to fill the void from EU food imports.

In recent weeks, several Latin American countries have agreed to increase food imports to Russia which is expected to further enhance commercial relations.

Posted by: john francis lee | Aug 15 2014 4:55 utc | 44

Neo-Nazis Are Helping The Ukrainian Army

The rise of extreme nationalist groups, inspired by figures such as Stepan Bandera – Ukrainian Nazi-colaborator who has been convicted of acts of ethnic cleansing – has increased since the ousting of President Yanukovich.

Since then, the increasing fighting against eastern rebels has led to the creation of pro-Kiev paramilitary units.
Dmitry Yarosh, leader of the ultra-nationalist Right Sector movement, announced last month the creation of paramilitary unit whose aim would be to help the Ukrainian army to crush the rebels in the east.

A similar stance was taken by Oleh Lyashko, founder of the Radical Party. He has become increasingly popular by making raids into the east with his own paramilitary group, stripping captives to their underwear, putting bags on their heads, and lecturing them on camera over treason against the nation.

Kiev has continuously denied the situation, but Moscow is urging the United States and the European Union to re-evaluate their support to the Ukrainian army.

I love reading Telesur ... both for what it prints and where it comes from. Decent mainstream English language news sources are expanding, outside the English speaking countries themselves of course, and its a pleasure to read them.

Posted by: john francis lee | Aug 15 2014 5:06 utc | 45

Russian Spring

Donetsk. 08/14/2014-23:41


During this week the opponent was throwing in all available resources with an aim to surround Donetsk by a wide circle (Debal`tsevo-Saur Mogila). The defense of Donetsk south bore the most of the brunt:

- It took several days for combatants to retake cities Krasniy Luch , Miusiysk and Faseevka by a counter offensive.

- The enemy wasted immense resources to storm Ilovaysk - in vain.

- As of today, the combatants steadfastly retain cities Snezhoye, Shakhtersk, Torez, Miusiysk and fully control communication routes between Donetsk and Lugansk.

- Significant part of junta troops are under impeding siege at various locations.

Maneuvering mechanized junta units periodically occur in caldrons. The strength of these caldrons depends on how quickly the combatants engage artillery. Frequently, the army of Novorossia lacks sufficient fire power to destroy or firmly seal besieged. As long as tanks retain the ability to maneuver, it is in their capability to breach a caldron in number of directions. A vivid example is the raid from Lugansk airport towards Novosvetlovka, which so far has not been liquidated. The decisive matter for Kiev is to maintain the logistic operating.

Worth of a note, failed to sever Donetsk and Gorlovka along Debal`tsevo-Krasniy Luch-Saur Mogila line (before was Debal`tsevo-Shakhtersk-Saur Mogila line), the opponent again bets on a small circle through cities Yasinovataya and Gorlovka.

Deserves to mention combatants activity in area of Debal`tsevo, where reconnaissance groups of commander Mazgovoy successfully operate.

Based on intelligence, the concentration of rocket launch systems and artillery may indicate a second attempt to encircle Gorlovka from two converging directions: the first attempt by attacking city Enakievo was repelled with huge junta losses.

Russian Spring

Donetsk. 08/15/2014-00:14

From commander Igor` Bezler (Gorlovka):

During last three days our group destroyed 47 tanks (T-64) and 22 armored carriers of various types.

Today, 14th of August, following the expulsion of civilians from settlement Verkhnyay Krinka, the group destroyed a headquarters of “Praviy Sector” including officers. The headquarters occupied a school. Six carriers were destroyed at the same location.

A detonation of ammunition storage destroyed 4 tanks. Losses among nationalists are being clarified.

Today’s tally of shelling of Gorlovka by howitzers is 3 civilians dead – 2 women and one man (they were in Toyota driving home). Three residential building - two 9-storry and one 5-storry - are in fire.

Posted by: Fete | Aug 15 2014 5:10 utc | 46

@35/38 john and @37 really - thanks both for the links with additional info..

@42 don - that is interesting.. how much autonomy do the euro branches of russian banks have for borrowing to finance russian projects? i would be curious to know that..

Posted by: james | Aug 15 2014 5:24 utc | 47

if you think remote control was responsible for the redirected path of mh17..

Posted by: james | Aug 15 2014 5:35 utc | 48

The front seems to crumble and it looks that the initiative is more and more taken from Merkel who seems to be AWOL.

EU Shot Itself in Foot With Russia Sanctions – Hungarian Prime Minister | World | RIA Novosti

"The EU should not only compensate producers somehow, be they Polish, Slovak, Hungarian or Greek, who now have to suffer losses, but the entire sanctions policy should be reconsidered," Orban added. The prime minister also stressed his willingness to try to alter Brussels’ policy of imposing anti-Russian sanctions and urged other leaders to join him.

bold mine

Posted by: Fran | Aug 15 2014 12:12 utc | 49

This step was probably taken to distance Russia from the insurgency.

Or some internal re-organisation, maybe even a better one? In a different, less dire situation one could also see this ‘de-russification’, if it was deliberate, as a harbinger of upcoming negotiations, as the Kiev lot won’t sit down with Russians, that could NEVER be achieved. But no, it can’t be that. (see also Demian @ 40.)

As for the Russian humanitarian convoy, Orlov explains that all the difficulties with it have simply been caused by the fact that the Ukranians want to steal it ALL, and can’t figure out how to do that. Ha ha!

re. bevin’s link (IMF etc.) and along the same lines, the previous IMF loans/grants (2013 and before) simply vanished, which is why this time round the conditions have been overwhelmingly dictatorial. One of the conditions is the ‘territorial integrity of Ukraine’, which still stands afaik, err, while the country is in a civil war?

Another condition was the privatization of part of the energy sector, the law really @ 13 mentions. This law was the reason why Yats ‘quit’. There was too much opposition in Parliament, notably from Svoboda, etc. Then, somehow arms were twisted and Yats could come back. Or was made to return.

One wonders if and when “Ukraine for Ukrainians” (without any ‘ethnic’ Russians), exemplified by Svoboda, Pravy Sektor, their affiliates and hangers on, and the Western handlers will come into conflict. So far the hyper-nationalists, or fascists, have been played as pawns, encouraged in their Russophobia and violence, but have been thwarted on all economic moves.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 15 2014 12:43 utc | 50

re russian economy, that is a very selective choice of article b
the same magazine, on the same day has this article as well

my question is...why only provide a link to one which reinforces your own point of view...rather than provide a balanced assessment of the situation?

perhaps it's a rhetorical question

Posted by: Another Jeff | Aug 15 2014 12:46 utc | 51

"Petition to adopt the bill 2277 “Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014” We, the people of Ukraine, appeal to President Barack Obama, US congressmen and senators from the Democratic and Republican parties to adopt the bill 2277 “Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014” Vladimir Putin and the Russian government have converted the Russian Federation into an instrument of commission of crimes...."

The Euromaidanpr are requesting for Ukraine and its citizens to be economically raped, polluted and propagandized, all this and more, with the halo of war suspended above it all...amazing.

Posted by: really | Aug 15 2014 13:07 utc | 52

So still any proof for the russian attack? Almost been 24 hrs now, where are those 30 russian wagons?

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 15 2014 13:39 utc | 53

Russia deny that there was any wagons going into Ukraine (

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 15 2014 14:13 utc | 54

@49 Finland also seems to be having second thoughts about sanctions.....

Posted by: dh | Aug 15 2014 14:16 utc | 55

Add Slovakia - PM finds it strange that Ukraine prepares unilateral sanctions that post a threat to EU countries.

Agricultural import bans basically call the bluff of European export "sanctions".

Posted by: somebody | Aug 15 2014 14:54 utc | 56

Last month Strelkov thwarted negotiations between Ukrainian oligarchs and Russian factions regarding ‘ Transnistria’.

(Colonel Cassad) The Vineyard of the Saker

-In doing this, Strelkov thwarted the secret negotiations being conducted between Surkov’s people and the people of Akhmetov and Kolomoiskiy (through Kurginyan’s people). The gist of these negotiations was an attempt by near-Kremlin circles to coordinate with the Ukrainian oligarchs the question of a “large Transnistria,” to be fashioned out of the Lugansk and the Donetsk Republics,

It seems that this group has succeeded in forcing out Strelkov, Bolotov (prime minister of the LPR), and Alexander Borodai (prime-minister of the Donetsk People's Republic), all within the past week. This doesn’t seem to be a Russian/non-Russian play, but rather a tactical move by Ahkmetov (and who else?) to strengthen his position vis-à-vis an end-game.

About Strelkov's Resignation

The resignation of Valery Bolotov from the position of the prime minister of the LPR is explained by the same reason that the resignation of Alexander Borodai from the position of the prime-minister of the Donetsk People's Republic, which happened a few days before, more precisely – by the agreement of Rinat Akhmetov and the related structures to support the project of "Novorossia", which required allocating him a "control stake of political stock" on the South-East of Ukraine," – the source told the FNA.

Akhmetov intends to send a humanitarian cargo into the Donetsk and Luhansk region of the volume no less than 10 thousand tons.

Donetsk is important not only in political terms, it is also the Ukraine’s industrial base and has huge gas reserves. (Burisma has recently started fracking operations in Slavyansk, the center of a massive shale gas deposit of 3.6 trillion m3 - Burisma =Biden’s son =Kolomoisky). The whole area is in play and there are competing interests, both Ukrainian and Russian, attempting to consolidate positions whose interests are financial rather than political.

One question to keep in mind - what is Kolomoisky up to?

Posted by: pantaraxia | Aug 15 2014 15:08 utc | 57

from Zero Hedge:

It Begins: Ukraine Troops Destroy Part Of "Armed" Russian Convoy, Stocks Crash

Things just escalated notably - (Via Bloomberg):

We await Putin's response...


Posted by: pantaraxia | Aug 15 2014 15:15 utc | 58

Ukraine trying to do what netanyahu is doing? attacking aid shipments?

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 15 2014 15:23 utc | 59

confirmation of those scary headlines in caps?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 15 2014 15:27 utc | 60

Don Bacon

Exactly, however Russia have made statement ( that they are worried that the convoy will or have been attacked.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 15 2014 15:31 utc | 61

Stupid EU just threatened to place put more sanctions on Russia. When they learn?! 100% idiots!

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 15 2014 15:32 utc | 62


from Zero Hedge:

Reuters reports,

Ukrainian artillery destroyed a "significant" part of a Russian armoured column that crossed into Ukraine during the night, President Petro Poroshenko told British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday, according to the presidential website.

Separately, a Ukrainian military spokesman said Ukrainian forces had tracked the Russian armoured column as soon as it crossed onto Ukrainian soil."Appropriate actions were undertaken and a part of it no longer exists," military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told journalists.

This is not the aid column, but a separate armoured column that supposedly crossed into the Ukraine last night.

Posted by: pantaraxia | Aug 15 2014 15:35 utc | 63

The Ukrainians and their handlers are desparately trying to create a justification so that the US can pass this war bill.

Posted by: really | Aug 15 2014 15:37 utc | 64


If this happened during the night why wasn't this important revelation on the teevee and all over the newstream earlier? What's with the delay in this instant gratification internet age?

Posted by: really | Aug 15 2014 15:41 utc | 65

I'm still waiting for some confirmation that an armored column actually crossed into Ukraine. Now the Ukies claim to have destroyed it. Did it ever exist? Did the Ukies slap some Russian plates on some of their APCs, drive a pair of Guardian reporters to the "border", and then destroy their own APCs with artillery? Does the Ukrainian government ever tell the truth?

Posted by: shargash | Aug 15 2014 15:41 utc | 66


More than likely.

Posted by: really | Aug 15 2014 15:44 utc | 67

Yeah this is funny, russians invade ukraine, no proof
then, all of a sudden they are bombed to bits, no proof

Whats going on here?

if wagon were destroyed the videos of the bombed wagons should be all over the net!

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 15 2014 15:47 utc | 68

--President Petro Poroshenko told British Prime Minister David Cameron
--military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told journalists

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 15 2014 15:47 utc | 69


More than likely this is a ruse. Accidently posted comment before I was finished. My apologies.

Posted by: really | Aug 15 2014 15:47 utc | 70


Europe Blinks - May Cancel Russian Sanctions

It appears the pain that Europe is already suffering post-Russian sanctions, is too much to bear (as we explained here). While NATO admits it saw Russian military forces cross the Ukraine border, European leaders, after discussions on widespread 'aid' for nations suffering from Russia's food ban, have said they are 'ready to review Russia sanctions' if the situation stabilizes. Furthermore, snubbing Washington, European leaders said they do not want to impose more sanctions on Russia. Obama alone again?

As Bloomberg notes,

EU ready to review Russia sanctions if situation in eastern Ukraine clearly stabilizes, although measures were in part imposed over annexation of Crimea, Interfax says, citing interview w/ EU envoy to Russia Vygaudas Usackas.

Sanctions not goal unto themselves

EU doesn’t want to impose more sanctions on Russia

EU hopes Russia will hand over humanitarian aid to Ukraine in compliance w/ intl law

Posted by: pantaraxia | Aug 15 2014 16:21 utc | 71

Clearly another false flag, as usual on the weekend when people are distracted, and the ones who might know better are on vacation or away from the office; so the idiots on top can be stampeded into more self-destructive folly by panicked tweets and hyped "news".

Posted by: Emily P. | Aug 15 2014 16:28 utc | 72

False flag fer sure. Another small piece of artificial justification for senate bill 2277.

Posted by: really | Aug 15 2014 16:41 utc | 73


Actually EU said today acc to Russian media that EU might place more sanctions on Russia.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 15 2014 16:43 utc | 74

@ 74 anonymous

Wasn't that after the so-called Russian incursion?

Posted by: pantaraxia | Aug 15 2014 16:52 utc | 75


it would be nice if you shared links for what you are saying, or is zerohedge the basis for it all?

Posted by: james | Aug 15 2014 16:54 utc | 76


Well it was today dont know when but most likely under the EU meeting, I dont have a link right now but russian media (RIA) reported this.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 15 2014 17:03 utc | 77

Well the Dow has recovered and gold barely moved. Either nobody believes Poroshenko anymore or it was just a short war.

Posted by: dh | Aug 15 2014 17:20 utc | 78

news report
MOSCOW (AP) -- A spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry has denied reports that Ukrainian forces have destroyed Russian military vehicles that crossed into Ukraine.

Russian news wires on Friday quoted Gen. Maj. Igor Konashenkov as saying that no Russian military convoy has crossed the border as Ukraine has claimed.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 15 2014 17:55 utc | 79

Operation Atlantic Resolve:
America's Continued Commitment to European Security
The United States is demonstrating its continued commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America's dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region, in light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 15 2014 18:00 utc | 80

Putin is not taking the nato/ukie bait. The Russians are steady in thier actions and responses.

Posted by: really | Aug 15 2014 18:08 utc | 81

Did Poroshenko said it all? Seems like this stupid rumour.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 15 2014 18:09 utc | 82

An argument that the rebels in east Ukraine should surrender, which is also an argument that you yourself should not cheer for the rebel fighters:

(1) The Kiev government is already in favor of genuine decentralization. Illustration A: Ukraine's president Poroshenko said on 25 Apr 2014: "Power should be decentralized.... To the regions we would give autonomy on finances, and what language to speak, what monuments to build. That is what people need.... An elected local council would elect an executive committee [to appoint the regional governor]. Not appointed in Kiev by the president as today. Only defense, military, security, and police would be controlled from the center." -- Ref . Illustration B: Ukraine's prime minister Yatsenyuk said on 24 apr 2014: "We believe we need to decentralize power and to empower local authorities.... [My first priorities are] "to calm down the east, to change the constitution...." -- Ref .

(2) Vladimir Putin said on 7 May 2014 that the rebels are "illegal armed units of radicalized elements" -- Ref . That's correct. Furthermore the rebels do not represent majority political opinion in east Ukraine. The rebels are secessionists-in-practice, while the majority opinion in the east is for decentralization only. The claim that east Ukraine has voted for, or would vote for, radical federalism or independence from Ukraine is a bogus claim. Its bogusness can be seen in multiple non-bogus opinion polls. (By the way, on this board, 'b' has referred to the rebels as "federalists". In Ukraine's public discourse, "federalization" and "decentralization" are the names of two different proposals. In Ukraine-speak, "decentralization" is much alike to what's called federalism in other jurisdictions, while "federalization" is a legal framework much alike to seceding. Opinion polls in east Ukraine show "federalization" has less support than "decentralization".)

(3) The rebels can't win their current fight against the Ukraine army. If the rebels keep on fighting, the Ukraine army will keep on fighting back. The Ukraine army is the stronger army, having about 50,000 soldiers located in the eastern conflict zone today, with the ability to send more. The rebels are bringing the destruction of war to the east without realistic prospects of winning the war.

(4) After decentralization shall have been implemented as promised, the eastern provinces will have locally collected tax revenues, locally elected leaders, and stronger political institutions locally, comparable to the institutions the semi-autonomous Crimea had. From that there is a better platform from which to further decentralize or completely separate in the longer term, if the community values in the east were to move further in that direction.

(5) The rebels don't like the spirit of the central government, and I understand and sincerely sympathize with the rebels on that, but, when I put myself in the rebels' shoes as much as I'm able to, I just can't see a compelling reason for the rebels to be waging war at this time.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 18 2014 0:09 utc | 83

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