Ukraine Crisis Worsens

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Regular readers know that we post these podcasts every week in an effort to provide an honest and fair discussion regarding Ukraine Crisis. The program last evening was perhaps the most sober and thought-provoking episode yet. Please make the time today to listen to this podcast.

Again, this is from the American radio program, The John Batchelor Show. More information on John and his program can be found here: http://johnbatchelorshow.com/

His regular guest, every Tuesday evening, is Professor Stephen F. Cohen. Professor Cohen is very likely the foremost American scholar on Russian affairs and Russian history. More on Professor Cohen can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_F._Cohen

With hot war currently waging all across southern Ukraine, the program last evening was a more comprehensive update of the situation than you'll find anywhere else in the western media. Among the topics discussed:

  • What events led to the current expansion of hostilities? Why now?
  • What might be the short-term goals of the NAF (Novorussiya Armed Forces)?
  • The significance of the possible NAF move on Mariupol.
  • The current news out if the U.S. where columnists and warhawks are pleading for Russia to be excluded from the SWIFT system. How will this impact the other BRIC nations and the U.S. dollar as reserve currency? Might this action cause Russia to expropriate other nation's assets held in Russia?
  • That NATO has long since lost the mantle of a "defensive organization".
  • Reports that NATO and U.S. naval forces are building in The Black Sea.
  • The re-emergence of Victoria Nuland as a spokesperson for US policy in Ukraine.
  • The significance of Poland NOT inviting Russia to attend Auschwitz memorial services and the further significance of Ukraine PM "Yats" attempting to rewrite the history of WWII.

As you can tell, there's A LOT here and this podcast requires a thorough listen and your full attention.

Look, I've been bringing these podcasts to you for nearly a year. Why? Because first and foremost, Ukraine Crisis is an existential threat to the current global financial system and The Great Keynesian Experiment. However, this is also an extremely dangerous situation for the entire world. As this crisis deepens, all of humanity is becoming threatened on a level not seen since The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

Again, I beg you to please make the time to listen to this entire podcast and it is incumbent upon you to stay up-to-date on this rapidly escalating situation.

TF

57 Comments

Silver Sooner's picture

EU to Consider Russian Sanctions

...in emergency meeting tomorrow in Brussels.  Maybe they'll cut Russia out of SWIFT, maybe not.  Russia indicates that either way, more sanctions are coming.  

Putin also sent a letter to Poroshenko today asking him to accept the current front lines.  The response was an unambiguous no.  My thought on this is that it was Putin's attempt to give Poroshenko an "out" before the next phase of this operation kicks in.

If there is more to this current Novorussian operation, then it makes superficial sense that it will come after tomorrow's meeting at the earliest.  

Kismet's picture

New Dollar

In honor of Turd's B-Day I submit that the FED names the new dollar: "Treasury Universal Reserve Dollar". Hell, if Canada can have a Loony, then the USA can have a TURD!

snarf55's picture

happy "B" day

Hey Gang,

Just love this site. Turd you should buy yourself a "b" day gift. Maybe a monster box of Maples as the CND$ has slipped below

.80 cents/ USD$.

DickB's picture

Happy Birthday Turd

Here in Tasmania after a golden sunrise it is looking good for your birthday Turd!

This site is my first stop each morning. Many thanks for it!

SamSchlepps's picture

Many many thanks

TF - Happy Birthday - you have created a wonderful community, made all of us a bit richer in mind and spirit and just helped in so many ways to get through so many days. You are the shining light atop the Watchtower. Thank you

silver66's picture

Repost from DOTS

Capital controls coming to Canada

I thought this sufficiently interesting to repost to mainstreet

Was talking with a college today who works for largest insurance company in Canada. They had a conference call this morning and effective immediately any withdrawal from an RRSP (equivalent to a 401K in the US) over $10,000, the advisor must ask the client why they want the money and have they exhausted other options for getting the money. The Branch Compliance officer must ask the advisor if he asked these questions before the trade is processed.
This is not a regulation from the government but from their Legal department.

Another piece of the puzzle is put together.

Silver66

emotionallyrational's picture

Happy Birthday Young Fella

Thanks for all you do. This is my first and last look at the outside world everyday, and I am lucky to have that enlightening opportunity!

Big L's picture

Many happy returns

Wishing you, a long, happy, healthy and prosperous life! Filled with joy and pleasure in equal measures as you have given all of us. :-) Happy Birthday!

CPE's picture

Must Watch!

WOW

Silver Sooner's picture

MUST READ! In His Own Words...

Found this on one of the sites that I check. This is from the DNR Premier,  Alexander Zakharchenko. If you want to know what's really going on,  this sums it up. Let the article sink in that Russia sees an inevitable war ahead. 

http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/01/when-word-comes-its-time-zakharchenkos.html

1422436991_q6zvtlpjbsu.jpg

1/28/2015

When the word comes ‘it’s time’

By Aleksandr Zakharchenko

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

If one is to speak without geopolitical complexities and nuances, the situation is extremely simple. This is a battle for the continent, for the international system, for one’s own taiga. They are desperately attacking us and are trying to take us down quickly. They use all means at their disposal, except for direct military intervention on Russia’s territory. They are destroying Russians outside their boarders, are raising foreign legions in order to invade the country. The West undertook to destroy us for the simple reason it is trying to avert its own destruction. The main factors are the destruction of the economy and of the political authorities of Russia.

The main factor that might allow them to accomplish this is the decay within Russia, a split within the Russian government, the spreading of hatred among the people. That’s the reason for the constant provocations and the divide-and-conquer policies: inter-ethnic animosities, hatred toward the state, toward big capital (specifically the pro-Russian), toward the Orthodox Church, toward its own people and everything around it. All of that is being done to get Russia to destroy itself from within. But that’s precisely what is not happening. Everything is breaking apart against the unity of the government which has the support of its people which feels as if it was in a besieged fortress together with its leader. Even capitalists like Usmanov, Vekselberg, and others, who chose the West, moved their assets from offshore accounts back to Russia. Even Shuvalov swore his loyalty to Putin in Davos. To say nothing of ordinary mortals. No matter how much is said about “Putin the billionaire” and the government for sale, in spite of all the problems and the worsening financial situation, the solidarity with the national leader is not only not growing weaker, but is getting stronger. What is more, the people want him to act more firmly and not compromise with the West, no matter what the cost.

This is what angers the West so. It is trying to promote division and chaos in Russia but it is not happening. The only remaining possibility is to try to destroy the economy, to deprive Russia from access to dollars (which for the West itself is the equivalent of hara-kiri), or to convince Russians that Putin is their enemy and thus deprive him of his national support. Yes, the so-called patriotic maidan. There is an opportunity here, but a small one. And it is closely tied to the situation on the Donbass. It’s a primitive calculation: keep shouting that “Donbass was abandoned”, “there are idiots in the Kremlin”, “Surkov sold out”, etc. Putin is kept out of the line of fire in the first round, and the whole emphasis is on the myth of a palace coup (i.e., Putin was betrayed, they are deceiving him). But they are also pushing the “Putin abandoned the Donbass” line, and sooner or later someone will shout “we have no Czar!” and “down with the Czar!”. This, in a situation of conflict with the West, ought to help topple the “Putin regime.” Donbass is being used as leverage to increase dissatisfaction with the Kremlin: if you introduce Russian forces, you become an international pariah and Hitler (which is more or less how he has been labeled), if you don’t send in troops, you are a traitor.

Moscow chose an intermediate approach of containing Western aggression (until the x-hour) and indirect military confrontation on Ukraine’s territory. Yes, this is not the best variant from the perspective of the Donbass inhabitants. Moreover, it is a forced strategy based on the current realities: Russia’s forces are insufficient for a rapid victory over the consolidated West which, even though it is a giant clay feet, is still the dominant force in the world. As part of this post-Crimean strategy, Russia is taking steps which are far from obvious, but which nevertheless allow the aggression to be repelled. Yes, the position adopted by the eternal critics, who demand a cardinal resolution of the Ukrainian question arguing that it will have to be done “sooner or later”, may seem just and attractive to a patriotically-minded people who suffer at the sight of the dead inhabitants of the Donbass. But the critics don’t want to understand that in their desire to strike the final blow here and now, they are helping the West by forcing the Kremlin to strike when the West still has sufficient power. But the time is working against Washington. Even though it is assembling foreign legions against Russia and is taking Russian lives every day, it is not accomplishing its own task of destroying Russia in the nearest few months. To remove it from the world map as a single political unit. Break it up as an organism. If you want to take up the fight “sooner”, you may not find yourself living in Russia “later.”

If the majority of us understand it with our hearts and minds, then the final victory will be Russia’s. But if we stray from that path, even with good intentions, in the hopes of solving the problem here and now, we will lose. Everyone’s duty right now is to help the Donbass to the extent they can, and not give in to emotions, even if they are sincere or provocative. Be fully prepared for the moment when the word comes “it’s time.”

InsAndArts's picture

This Site Is Thoughtful...Long live Turd and Trurdistan Citizens

Other sites are just postings like "Kick the Ruskies A$$...that'll show 'em who's boss"

Why bother reading...I mean seriously.

But in Trurdville people are actually thinking, not just emotionally reacting.

Lots of us don't comment much, but we value the commentary all the same.

Happy Birthday Turd

Many more.

As we say in Brooklyn, "Cine Cine" ( 'Chin Chin') May you live a hundred years brother.

CPE's picture

@silversooner

That is truly terrifying!

Can you add any color to the video I posted?  Where is that man now?

Fred Hayek's picture

Re: Tom Friedman the hack di tutti hacks

The man is the quintessence of the pretentious dullard hypocrite.

I suppose that in his defense he might say that he didn't really mean that horrendously stupid statement about Russia because he never really means ANYthing he says.

As proof he could cite his repeated championing of the theory of anthropogenic global warming and then show you the pictures at the link below of his megamansion with nary a solar panel to be seen:

http://wonkette.com/413811/this-is-literally-thomas-friedmans-house

 

DeaconBenjamin's picture

EU emergency meeting to punish Russia – but Greece may intervene

European governments are to push for tighter sanctions against the Kremlin and against Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine on Thursday. The meeting was called at short notice by Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy coordinator, who has been forced to back down from a position calling for a relaxation of pressure on Moscow, as a result of last week’s shelling by separatists of the town of Mariupol that killed 30 civilians.

In an unusual statement on Tuesday released in the name of all 28 EU heads of government, Donald Tusk, the president of the European council, who chairs EU summits, held Moscow responsible for the shelling and told the foreign ministers to draw up additional sanctions options to be put to a summit of leaders in two weeks.

Britain, Poland and Lithuania are to push at Thursday’s meeting for a ratcheting up of the pressure on President Vladimir Putin, favouring stiffer and broader economic sanctions against Russia.  Decisions already drafted for Thursday’s meeting say the foreign ministers are to carry out “further preparatory work on further restrictive measures” before presenting the options to the summit on 12 February.

But there is plenty of resistance to the sanctions from Hungary, Cyprus, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.  The triumph of Tsipras in Greece on Sunday complicates the situation, since summit decisions on sanctions are carried by consensus and the new Greek prime minister has a veto.  Tsipras and his colleagues have a track record of supporting Russia and have denounced EU policy on Ukraine, as well as the policies of Nato and the US.  The Greeks complained bitterly on Tuesday that they were not consulted on the statement blaming Russia for Mariupol and calling for stiffer sanctions. This was untrue. Mogherini spoke to Tsipras by telephone.

The unusual statement prepared by Tusk on Tuesday said all EU heads of state and government “condemn the killing of civilians during the indiscriminate shelling of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol on 24 January 2015 … We note evidence of continued and growing support given to the separatists by Russia, which underlines Russia’s responsibility.”  “Greece does not consent to this statement,” the Tsipras government promptly declared. “It was released without the prescribed procedure to obtain consent by the member states and particularly without ensuring the consent of Greece.”

The row suggests that Tsipras, making his EU summit debut in Brussels in two weeks, could use his first appearance to block an EU consensus.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/28/eu-russia-ukraine-greece-mogherini-tusk-putin-alexis-tsipras-merkel

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Russia’s Gazprom cancels plans to expand Nord Stream

Russia’s Gazprom has cancelled a plan to build two more branches of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline because of the “complicated” political situation, sources at the state-controlled firm said Jan 28.

“The political situation is currently complicated. We were not allowed access to OPAL (gas pipeline in Germany). Why build two more arms? We are not building them,” one source told Reuters.

Nord Stream consists of two pipes with an annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters, enough to supply around 10 percent of the European Union’s annual gas needs.  The construction of two more pipes would have doubled Nord Stream capacity.

Currently Nord Stream is running at around half its capacity because Gazprom is allowed only limited access to the Opal pipeline which runs through Germany to the Czech Republic and connects to Nord Stream.

The Russian company has so far failed to secure greater access, with talks complicated by tensions between the EU and Russia over the Ukraine crisis. In November, the EU pushed back a deadline for deciding on Russian access to Opal until the end of January. 

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/russias-gazprom-cancels-plans-to-expand-nord-stream-sources.aspx?pageID=238&nID=77584&NewsCatID=348

DeaconBenjamin's picture

European companies eye bypassing Russian sanctions via Turkey

REUTERS Photo

REUTERS Photo

Many European companies have requested to sell goods and services to Russia via Turkish companies to bypass the sanctions on Russia, but local companies have not accepted such offers, Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM) head Mehmet Büyükekşi has said.

“Many European companies want to continue to export to Russia, but they cannot do so due to the sanctions on Russia. I know many European companies have asked to export to Russia via Turkish companies, but Turkish companies do not want to do this because they do not find this strategy sustainable,” Büyükekşi said on Jan. 27 at a meeting to announce the TİM's “Exporting Realizations for Q4 2014 and Expectations for Q1 2015."  He noted that Turkey’s exports to Russia decreased by 15 percent in 2014, while adding that Turkish exporters know Russia well and can make in-depth analyses to boost exports.

Russia has been one of the main target markets for Turkey's biggest exporters in the first quarter of 2015, along with the United States, Japan and France, he said, adding that for smaller exporters Argentina, African countries, Iraq and Iran were rising as popular markets.

“We especially need to find markets where we can sell our goods and services in the dollar, due to the recent changes in exchange rates,” he said.

Some 38.6 percent of Turkish exporters said they expected an increase in exports in the first quarter of 2015, according to the survey.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/european-companies-eye-bypassing-sanctions-over-russia-via-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=77510&NewsCatID=345

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Finally had a chance to listen to the podcast

The remark by the Russian banker at Davos struck me as akin to Br'er Rabbit telling Br'er Fox "please don't throw me into that briar patch."

Regarding Woody's rhetoric and actions, since there is no rational basis for his action, he must either be a complete puppet, or is intentionally destroying NATO (remember the live mike comment -- "This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.")

SubjectivObject's picture

A cause for hope

Silver Sooner is the competent observer here, but in Mr. Zakharchenko's essay I find a relief, a hope, that cooler heads (if only on one side) may prevail.

DeaconBenjamin's picture

U.S. to offer Ukraine 1 bln USD in credit guarantees

KIEV, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Washington has agreed to provide Kiev with 1 billion U.S. dollars of credit guarantees this year to help the country tide over the economic crisis.

Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalia Jaresko and visiting U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew signed a declaration of intent on Wednesday.  "The U.S. government has agreed to provide Ukraine with 1 billion dollars in the first half of 2015 on condition of staying on the path of reforms," Lew told reporters after the signing ceremony.  Lew explained that the fund would assist Ukraine in solving social issues, namely enhancing protection of the most vulnerable social groups.  He added that the U.S. Treasury would ask Congress to provide another 1 billion dollars this year if Kiev meets the condition of its 17-billion-dollar loan program with the International Monetary Fund.

In 2014, the U.S. government provided Ukraine with 1 billion dollars in loan guarantees and 340 million dollars of financial aid to help the East European economy stay afloat amid its worst financial crisis in decades.  Ukraine's foreign exchange reserves dropped to 7.53 billion dollars in 2014, the lowest level in 11 years. In 2015, the country needs to repay about 11 billion dollars of its outstanding external debt.  The country's budget deficit is expected to reach 3.7 percent of the gross domestic product this year, while inflation is projected to be 13 percent.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/europe/europe/2015-01/29/c_133954248.htm

Silver Sooner's picture

@CPE (re: Oleg Tsarev)

Oleg Tsarov (tza-ROVE) was in the Party of Regions (Yanukovich's old party) when he was in the Ukrainian Parliament.  He's originally from Dnepropetrovsk in central Ukraine.  He tried to run for President in May but was assaulted and withdrew.  There's also a leaked phone conversation between Tsarov and Dnepropetrovsk oligarch Igor Kolimoisky where Kolimoisky tell's Tsarov that there's a $1,000,000 bounty on his (Tsarov's) head.  As far as I know, Tsarov is in Donetsk working on building the government in DNR/LNR.  He's been quoted on some articles recently on fortruss.blogspot.com where he has detailed the infighting between Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk. 
 

As to the video, the Mrs and I came to the same conclusion long before we heard his remarks.  We know of someone who actually went to the "young business leaders training" at the US embassy and said it was all training on social activism.  It actually has been going on in Ukraine for a long time--my wife said there were A LOT of similarities in the 2003 Orange Revolution and what happened on Maidan. 

Silver Sooner's picture

Oops...the Zaharchenko Article

I goofed.  The article wasn't written by DNR Premier Zaharchenko but rather Eduard Birov (credit Saker on this one).  My apologies if it misled anyone...I myself was fooled.  Guess I should go to journalism school or somethin. 

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Tsipras delivers

Greece delays approval of EU sanctions on Russia

The Greek EU ambassador was, at a meeting early on Thursday, unable to approve an EU statement authorising extra sanctions on Russia because, he said, he couldn't contact his foreign minister who was in a plane en route to Brussels for a ministerial meeting on Russia later the same day.

https://euobserver.com/tickers/127418

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Gorbachev warns of risk of armed conflict in new Cold War

The last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Friday accused the United States of drawing Russia into a new Cold War and said he feared hostilities could escalate into armed conflict.

The United States "has already drawn us into a new Cold War, trying openly to achieve its main idea of triumphalism," Gorbachev said in an interview with the Interfax news agency.  "Where will that lead all of us? A Cold War is already being waged openly. What's next?" asked the 83-year-old former Soviet president who during his time in power eased relations with the West but is vilified in Russia for allowing the breakup of the USSR.  "Unfortunately I cannot say for sure that a Cold War won't lead to a 'hot' one. I fear they could take the risk," Gorbachev said, apparently referring to the United States.

In his latest comments, Gorbachev criticised the West for imposing sanctions on Russia.  "All you hear is about sanctions towards Russia from America and the European Union. Have they totally lost their heads?" Gorbachev asked.

https://en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com/gorbachev-warns-risk-armed-conflict-cold-war-101020653.html

Blythesshrink's picture

EU Sanctions

Thinking about Greece, why would Greece approve the sanctions - they won't unless there's a deal to write off a large part of their debt.  If the EU/Germany can't/won't move on that, then the Greeks gain nothing from approving new sanctions against Russia, especially given they are looking to improve their relationship with Russia.

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Russia warns Bosnia and Herzegovina against ammunition supplies

MOSCOW, January 29. /TASS/. Moscow calls on Bosnia and Herzegovina to abandon plans of supplying ammunition to Kiev, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

The diplomat expressed concerns over reports of the planned ammunition delivery to Ukraine from Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country in south-eastern Europe that suffered the horrors of a "fratricidal war" of 1992-1995.  Major concerns are that these weapons will be used by Kiev troops to continue the shelling of towns and the killings of peaceful citizens in south-eastern Ukraine, he said.

"We urge Bosnia and Herzegovina’s authorities to give up plans to supply Kiev with ammunition. Such plans contradict the international norms and commitments in the framework of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and in particular, as part of the Forum for Security Cooperation," Lukashevich said.

Lukashevich said such a step, which comes amid the escalation of armed actions in south-eastern Ukraine, "will not contribute to the peaceful settlement in this region and will lead to new senseless victims among the civilians."

http://itar-tass.com/en/russia/774074

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Talks on free trade zone between Israel, Eurasian Economic Union

MOSCOW, January 27. /TASS/. The negotiations on establishing a free trade zone between Israel and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) of Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia may switch to a final stage already this April, Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in an exclusive interview with TASS on Tuesday.

“We are now considering and very intensively working on creating a free trade zone [with the Eurasian Economic Union]. This will allow us to significantly boost our mutual trade,” Lieberman said, marking good progress in this issue.

Earlier on Tuesday, Israel’s foreign minister held a meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich. “We discussed this. If we speak about the real time framework, we hope that in April they will switch to a final stage,” he said.

Last week, Georgy Petrov, vice president of Russia's Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that Egypt could soon conclude an agreement to establish a free trade zone with the EEU.

The Eurasian Economic Union is an economic and political bloc bringing together Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia, with Kyrgyzstan to join in May 2015.

The treaty to form EEU went into full effect on January 1, 2015. The population of the union is about 171 million people and its gross domestic product is expected to reach $3 trillion next year.

http://itar-tass.com/en/economy/773578

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Russian disconnection from SWIFT can be suicidal for EU

MOSCOW, January 28. /TASS/. Potential disconnection of Russia from the SWIFT system could be a "harakiri" for the EU economy, the head of the Association of Russian Banks Garegin Tosunyan said on Wednesday.

He said that probability of such a move is very low. "Undertaking of such measures will signal degradation of the global financial system. Not merely Russian economy, but also Europe and even the SWIFT system will be hit," he added. Tosunyan hopes that SWIFT will resist political pressure and continue working with Russian banks.

Rumors appeared last summer that the Western sanctions could go as far as disconnection of Russia from SWIFT. This topic can appear again on the agenda against the background of conflict escalation in south-eastern Ukraine, though not all EU members are supportive of that.

http://itar-tass.com/en/economy/773918

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