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Lavrov: Russia set to promote peace process in Ukraine


February 8, 2015 Posted by | Militarism, Video | , , | 1 Comment

Opportunity of nuclear talks may not come again: Zarif

Press TV – February 8, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has attached special significance to the ongoing talks on Iran’s nuclear program, saying the negotiations serve as an opportunity that may not be repeated.

“The only way to resolve the issue is through negotiations,” Zarif said on Sunday at a press conference on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

“We have made quite a bit of success” during the negotiations to resolve remaining issues on Iran’s nuclear program “over the past many months,” Zarif said, adding that the talks are an “opportunity” to resolve the standoff between Iran and the West.

“This is the opportunity to do it and we need to seize this opportunity. It may not be repeated,” the Iranian foreign minister stated.

He said the first objective of the negotiations is to assure the opposite side that Iran’s nuclear program “remains exclusively peaceful,” adding, “It means that Iran should be able to exercise its right to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes because without exercising that right it is impossible to make sure that it is peaceful.”

The second objective, Zarif went on to say, is the removal of all “unacceptable” sanctions imposed on Iran.

“We are prepared to reassure the international community and some of the negotiating partners that Iran’s nuclear energy is peaceful, but at the same time it is important the restrictions that have been imposed on Iranian people be lifted,” he stated.

“It is important for everybody to realize that the only way to deal with Iran is through respect and negotiations and meeting on a non-zero sum game.”

The Iranian foreign minister said those who insisted on imposing sanctions on Iran should now realize that the restrictions “did not achieve their intended result.”

“When the sanctions were imposed on Iran, Iran had less than 200 centrifuges. If the objective was to prevent Iran from developing its nuclear technology, they (sanctions) utterly failed because now we have 20,000 centrifuges.”

Commenting on a possible extension to the nuclear talks, Zarif said, “I do not think another extension is in the interest of anyone, as I do not believe this extension was either necessary or useful.”

Zarif also responded to a question on the possible consequences if the nuclear talks fail, saying, “If we don’t have an agreement, it is not the end of the world.”

Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – Russia, China, France, Britain, the United States and Germany – are seeking to reach a high-level political agreement by the end of March and to confirm the full technical details of the accord by July 1.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian foreign minister slammed the Tel Aviv regime’s claims that Iran is after a nuclear weapon.

“We do not have a weapons program,” he said, adding that the Israelis cannot hide their acts of aggression against Palestinians and others in the region through their hypothetical allegations.

February 8, 2015 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

Detained Egyptian journalist protests arrest, as researchers debate number of journalist detentions

Mada Masr | February 7, 2015

Mahmoud Abou Zaid, a freelance photojournalist who was arbitrarily detained during the dispersal of the Rabea al-Adaweya protest last August, released an open letter via Facebook condemning his arrest and continued detainment, on Saturday.

In the letter published by the official campaigners for his freedom, Abou Zaid known professionally as Shawkwan, condemned his long detainment stating, “I have reached day 550 of “temporary” imprisonment. It is an imprisonment that has no color, taste, shape or even a scent. It is senseless!”

He also pointed to hypocrisy of the Egyptian government’s treatment of Egyptian journalists as opposed to foreign ones. “I will send my condolences to myself and to all my fellow Egyptian journalists who don’t own another passport or have a big organization to stand with them,” he wrote referencing the recent release of Australian journalist Peter Greste,“I am an Egyptian. My quarrel with my country is simply that I am an Egyptian, an Egyptian journalist.”

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a decree in November allowing for the deportation of foreign nationals currently detained in Egyptian prisons. The decree led to Greste’s release in early February and his Egyptian-Canadian colleague Mohamed Fahmy renounced his Egyptian citizenship in anticipation of his release. However, fellow Al-Jazeera journalist Baher Mohamed, who has been jailed for more than 400 days, is solely an Egyptian citizen and his fate remains uncertain.

Shawkan and Mohamed are only two of the many journalists currently detained, however their exact number is debated by researchers and rights organizations.

In December Ahmad Atwan, a journalist at the Brotherhood-affiliated Misr Alan news channel, released a list of the names of 74 journalists that, according to Atwan, are currently detained on charges relating to their profession. However the New York based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) asserts there are only 11 journalists currently in prison, while the Arab Network of Human Rights Information (ANHRI) states that 60 journalists are in custody.

The Journalists Syndicate legal consultant Sayed Abou Zeid stated to Mada Masr that they also will soon be releasing a report documenting the number of detained journalist, but did not give any further details.

Shaimaa Aboul Khier, a former researcher at CJP and current coordinator of Shawkan’s campaign, told Mada Masr that the numbers dispute revolves around the conditions under which journalists were arrested.

“We are listening to contradictory numbers, and here we have to differentiate between journalists who were arrested while covering events, and those who were participating in these political events. This line is not clear with most of these calculations,” she explained.

For Khier, there is a difference between investigating crackdown on the right of free speech and association, and specific targeting of journalists. “Were those arrested reporting at the time of arrest, or chanting in the march, for example. It is very difficult to determine that,” she explained. “Some people are said to be journalists just because they were holding a camera. Not everyone who holds a camera is a journalist, it is a very important distinction that no one is paying attention to.”

Mada Masr did a random check of the names included on Atwan’s list and found out that many of those listed were journalists, but their arrests were not due to journalism. For example Emad Abo Zeid, who works for al-Ahram Gate in Beni Suef, was arrested from his home while he was sitting with three al-Azhar sheikhs and faces terrorism and violence charges.

Gamal Eid, a rights lawyer and executive director of the Arab Network of Human Rights Information (ANHRI,) explained to Mada Masr that the network gathered a list of 60 imprisoned journalists who were arrested either while reporting or due to reasons related to their profession.

“For example, our list includes chief editor of al-Shaab newspaper Magdy Hussien who was jailed for his journalistic position not due to his affiliation with the Brotherhood’s legitimacy alliance,” he explained. However, Eid said the list does not include journalists who were arrested due to their political activity; for example Magdy Qorqor, the former spokesperson of the outlawed legitimacy alliance.

Eid added that most journalists are detained pending investigations, although there are a few currently serving prison sentences.

February 8, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | | Leave a comment

150 People Reported Disappeared in Piedras Negras, Mexico

teleSUR | February 7, 2015

Over 150 people have been reported disappeared in the small city of Piedras Negras in the northern border Mexican state of Coahuila in the last 18 months, of which at least 60 have been attributed to elite police forces, according to a lawyer overseeing the cases.

Families of victims and their lawyers accused state government of creating special forces that have carried out arbitrary detentions, tortures and enforced disappearances across Coahuila during the last six years.

The creation of elite police forces, which in the past have been sent to the U.S. for special training by the FBI, is not new in Mexico. These types of forces have been accused of acting as death squads for the government and have sometimes carried out assassinations ordered by organized crime gangs.

“Special units of the army and navy, assassins trained by armed forces deserters and civilians trained by foreign security forces operate in Mexico as death squad,” Proceso published in June of 2013. The Mexican magazine based this assertion on a book published by 0federal lawmaker Ricardo Monreal Avila, which was edited by the congress’ lower house.

Influential newspaper Excelsior in November of last year wrote that, “The special forces created in the states (of Mexico) are under scrutiny due to human rights issues.”

The daily based in Mexico City added that, “these elite police groups have been accused of carrying out enforced disappearances, kidnappings, extortion and torture.”

Excelsior said that “it should be noted that in spite of the negative reputation of these forces in various states, which sometimes receive special training by U.S., Colombian or Israeli elite groups, more states and Mexico City are in the process of integrating elite groups to (allegedly) fight organized crime.”

The newspaper went on to say that the United Nations has questioned the work of special intelligence units in Baja California and Tamaulipas, due to the high number of crimes they have committed against innocent people.

On Friday, the La Jornada newspaper reported that attorney Denise Garcia told reporters that the non-governmental organization United Families has documented 150 cases of disappearances in the last 18 months in Piedras Negras alone.

“In at least 60 of those cases there is evidence that the Special Arms and Tactics Group (GATE) participated in them, as well as other similar types police units that were created by the former Governor Humberto Moreira and which still exist today under the governorship of his brother Ruben,” she said.

Garcia said the 51 people that were disappeared by GATE were later found alive, but all of them, she added, were tortured to confess crimes they did not commit, including drug trafficking, and today they remain jailed under false charges.

These groups have no accountability, Garcia explained, and they don’t report their operations nor their arrests, which is a clear violation of human rights.

“GATE and other special police units work under the recognition and support of the government, despite that many of them are [not] even legally constituted,” she said.

García said they act as illegal death squads, they travel in unmarked vehicles with no license plates, they are masked and commit many other irregularities.

The worst thing, she added, is that “we have denounced these issues to the federal government and the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), which respond with indifference.”

See also:

Disappearances, a Persistent Problem in Mexico

Justice for Ayotzinapa

February 8, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption | , , , | Leave a comment

Munich conference: Russia ‘hate fest’ or split between Western allies?

RT | February 8, 2015

World leaders gathered in Germany to discuss international security on Saturday, with the meeting somewhat descending into ‘Russia-bashing’. But the West showed itself to be more divided than ever on Ukraine, with the EU and US drifting further apart.

The Americans led the harsh anti-Russian rhetoric at the conference, and once again, they did not exclude the possibility of lethal arms deliveries to Ukraine in the future.

Speaking to reporters, NATO’s top commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, said that although no troops would be sent to Ukraine, providing Kiev with lethal weapons and equipment was on the cards.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, British Conservative politician and former foreign secretary Malcom Rifkind, and US senator Lindsey Graham notably took a pronounced anti-Russian stance, blaming the Kremlin for the violence in Ukraine.

Moscow hit back, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressing in his Munich speech that it is the US and its European allies who have played the key destabilizing role in Ukraine, from helping to overthrow the democratically elected government to failing to condemn the new Kiev government for shelling the civilian population in the east with cluster bombs.

“Through every step, as the crisis has developed, our American colleagues and the EU under their influence have tried to escalate the situation,” Lavrov said, adding that the West has always been urging world governments to enter into dialogue with opposition groups or figures, even when it came to extremist groups such as the Taliban. However, in Ukraine it has bluntly been supporting every one of Kiev’s actions.

Lavrov then spoke with US Secretary of State John Kerry, warning him that Washington’s plans to supply Kiev with military equipment might have “unpredictable consequences”, including “disrupting the efforts to resolve the crisis in southeastern Ukraine,” according to a Facebook statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry. He stressed that Russia and the US agree that the only basis for any solution is a comprehensive national dialogue on constitutional reform in Ukraine.

Russia will not sacrifice its national interest, but is ready to “engage constructively” with the US, Lavrov stressed.

At the press conference, the Russian top diplomat was pelted with questions implying that Moscow is responsible for the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

“It felt like orchestrated hate fest. Obviously these people live in a surreal world. The US try to change the balance of forces in eastern Europe and the EU join the band wagon,” Srdja Trifkovic, foreign affairs editor of the Chronicles magazine told RT, adding that “whenever a major power wants to change the status-quo, the result is a crisis.”

Despite the recent efforts to try and to stop the violence and find a peaceful way out of the Ukrainian conflict, with French and German leaders having taken an initiative to discuss a peace plan with Russia’s President Putin and Ukraine’s President Poroshenko, the actions of the West are still “profoundly self-righteous,” critics say.

“What I saw today in the press conference is a total unwillingness from the European, Western side to even take into consideration the arguments of the other side…the questions they pose are so selective, so predetermined by their self-righteousness – that is not the way you try to get peace,” former security consultant at the OSCE Lode Vanoost told RT, adding that the West is hypocritical to a level “so profound that [its behavior] is not a serious way to try to get peace.”

However, despite the overwhelmingly anti-Russian rhetoric coming from the West, there are increasingly numbers of politicians who are softening their stance.

Following the Friday meeting of President Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande in Moscow, which was said to be “constructive,” the French leader revealed that the discussion included the creation of a larger demilitarized zone between the Kiev and militia-controlled territories. He also called for “quite strong” autonomy for Ukraine’s eastern regions.

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy said on Saturday that Paris does not want a new Cold War, considering that Russia and France having a long history of common interests and values. The former state leader also said that it was Crimea that had chosen to join Russia and it “cannot be blamed” for its choice. Previously, former Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, said that Crimea has “always” been a part of Russia.

While the European leaders have largely been united in their support for the Kiev government, only a few have agreed with the United States on supplying weapons to Ukraine. Instead, the German leader stressed that the crisis “cannot be resolved militarily” and that sending more arms can only worsen the conflict.

The issue of military aid to Ukraine is now considered to be the main subject causing the divide in the West, with many in Europe realizing that the potential threat of an escalating conflict on its territory exists.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the 51st Munich Security Conference on February 7, 2015. (RIA Novosti/Flickr MFA Russia)

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the 51st Munich Security Conference on February 7, 2015. (RIA Novosti/Flickr MFA Russia)

Political analysts agree that hidden from the public eye, “there is definitely a big divide between the US and the EU on the whole issue of Ukraine,” Vanoost told RT. “It’s very difficult to know how the game will finish, because it’s not an open game, it’s behind the scenes,” Bruno Drweski, an analyst specializing in eastern Europe, said.

Sanctions against Russia have economically hit the EU itself, but have not affected the US. The conflict is also happening on the European continent, not in America, with the EU generally not eager to further escalate it.

“First of all, the European Union is directly involved if the conflict escalates – which is not the case for the United States. Secondly, in the EU they are realistic enough to know that the government in Kiev is very unstable, that they don’t even have full control of all parts of their own military,” Vanoost explained, while speaking about the Western split in regard of the Ukrainian crisis.

However, toning down rhetoric puts some in the firing line, too.

After Merkel said that Europe wants security alongside with Russia, rather against it, and reiterated Berlin’s stance that the Ukrainian conflict must be resolved peacefully, US senator Graham lashed out at the German leader for her refusal to send arms to Ukraine.

“She can’t see how arming people who are willing to fight and die for their freedom makes things better,” the US politician said, adding that the West cannot “turn [its] back on the struggling democracy.”

In an effort to silence voices against harsher anti-Russian measures, US Vice President Joe Biden has labeled those questioning sanctions against Moscow “inappropriate and annoying,” Der Spiegel reported, quoting the participants of the Brussels meeting. The US official called on European countries to show unity when it comes to sanctions against Russia. Biden even reportedly added that critics of the policy should be aware that they also benefited from the current low price of oil.

“The Americans want to run this show, and they have no interest in stopping the crisis in Ukraine because it is really driving a wedge between the Europeans and Russia. And to their [the US’] mind, it is only pushing Europe ever so firmly back into the NATO fold,” Trifkovic told RT.

Meanwhile, Lavrov said Moscow is ready to guarantee agreements between the warring sides if a peaceful solution to the crisis is found, which would satisfy both Kiev and the eastern Ukrainian regions.

Quoting the “aggression” against the federal republic of Yugoslavia, the current crisis has been named “an ongoing assault against the Russian Federation” by the former deputy head of OSCE, Willy Wimmer. Calling for a hastier end to the conflict, which “is the best for all of us,” the ex official of the European security and cooperation organization said that “it’s better to have Polish apples in Russian stores than US tanks at the Russian border.”


NATO top commander in Europe says ‘military option’ possible in Ukraine

Lavrov: US escalated Ukraine crisis at every stage, blamed Russia

Hopes for breakthrough: Moscow talks on Ukraine ‘constructive,’ joint doc ‘possible’

Hollande: If lasting Ukraine peace not found ‘scenario is war’

Sarkozy: Crimea cannot be blamed for joining Russia

Europe reticent about supplying Ukraine with weapons & money

Biden says Europeans questioning Russia sanctions ‘inappropriate, annoying’ – Spiegel

February 8, 2015 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Video | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Leave Crimea alone

By Harry J. Bentham | Press TV | February 8, 2015

If state-sanctioned Russophobia over the Ukraine crisis hasn’t shocked you, the eagerness of our anciens régimes to launch a destructive war over the Crimean issue should.

Usually, military adventures hinge on some kind of alleged existential threat. Whether the spread of communist rule according to the so-called domino effect in Indochina in the Cold War, or the alleged biological weapon factory trucks of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, the War Party likes to tell you that you live on a knife’s edge. “The West”, whatever that means, is always being told to “stand up” to a succession of apparent villains categorized as “terrorists” or “dictators” (conveniently, neither word has a consistent definition and just tends to be stamped on the forehead of anyone the government dislikes).

The latest villain in their cartoonish picture of world events is Russian President Vladimir Putin, appealingly portrayed like a world-conquering villain from a James Bond movie. It is not a coincidence that he is portrayed thus at a time when the state is having so much difficulty justifying the paranoia of its out-of-control security services.

The US and Britain’s escalating spying and global military interventions, and their failures to justify either, are common knowledge. So too is their reliance on exaggerated world-threatening problems, ranging from Ebola to the Russian Federation, as a desperate excuse to portray themselves as vanguards of civilization before their credibility could disappear. These alleged threats are their only tickets to justify their illegitimate hostility and demagoguery towards other poles of power and independence in the world, in their fear that they might otherwise have become irrelevant and unwelcome.

Sadly, much of the press now engages in chauvinist caricatures of humanity, representing anyone deemed hostile to the so-called West as an aggressor or a barbarian. It seems that the so-called civilization of the “West” is now so immaterial and confused that it can’t envisage any identity of its own other than by opposing Islam on the one hand and Vladimir Putin on the other. This is how petty we have become. It isn’t restricted to pyromaniacs of the military industrial complex, either. Even moderate to left-wing publications demonstrate this profuse colonial attitude towards what they see as the inferior countries and cultures – the ones who apparently need to be tamed by humanitarian bombs.

What is most disturbing, to me at any rate, is the extent that Europeans and Americans make arrogant value-judgments in advance of the other eighty-five percent or so of humanity, wherein they indulge in fascist reflections about the apparent vulnerability of their own civilization in the face of other cultures. In their despair about the internal paradox and confusion of a so-called “West”, a civilization that now has no basis for solidarity other than a series of weapons contracts, they resort to blaming pacifists, the left, and primarily Muslims for all of society’s problems.

Such fascist musings, which are now the norm even in supposed liberal publications in the English-speaking world, try to hide behind ostensible anti-fascist historiographies, portraying those who oppose wars and rampant phobias against other cultures as “appeasers” and traitors. Are appeasing Islam, a religion consisting of over a billion worshippers and the fastest growing faith in Europe, or appeasing the nuclear-armed Russia inside its own sphere of influence, even bad ideas?

The reactionary argument that one is “appeasing” a power such as the Islamic Republic of Iran or the Russian Federation by refraining from militant policies of confrontation and aggression against them is bogus. For those who insist on rewriting history, we must remember that appeasement, in the context of the Second World War, referred to a diplomatic and not military error. The military disasters that led to Germany’s conquest of Poland and France bear no relationship to appeasement, and occurred despite Germany having an unfavorable situation when the war broke out. Appeasement is not faulted because it failed to cause war on less favorable terms for Germany (who were at any rate surrounded, outgunned and expected to lose at the time the War broke out anyway) but for causing misunderstandings that helped to cause the War in the first place.

Appeasement, like the Versailles Treaty, was one of the mistaken diplomatic settlements that increased Germany’s appetite for war. Appeasement usually refers to the settlement at Munich in which Germany was allowed to occupy parts of Czechoslovakia, interpreted by Germany a green light for taking further territories in the future. The settlement misled Germany about Britain’s intent, thereby making the outbreak of war more likely. Germany actually disbelieved that Britain would declare war on it when it did, so Britain bears much of the fault for failing to make its intentions clearer.

A similar policy of appeasement by the United States led to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, as US diplomat April Glaspie said the US “does not have an opinion” on Iraqi claims to Kuwait. Saddam Hussein interpreted this as a green light to take Kuwait, just as Germany is known to have read British and French diplomacy as the green light to take parts of Poland on the eve of World War Two. Declaring war on Germany, or Iraq, at an earlier juncture, isn’t posited as a “solution” envisaged by historians of either conflict. Avoiding misleading diplomatic settlements, avoiding misreading the behavior of the other side, and avoiding making erroneous settlements that suggest a “green light”, like the Munich Agreement or Glaspie’s statements on Kuwait, is the real solution. Greater bellicosity by France and Britain would not have prevented World War Two, but would have made the War happen sooner and on exactly the same terms, unfavorable to Germany as they were, that it actually happened.

There exists a great deal of media and political criticism of Russia’s alleged “annexation” of its tiny peninsula of Crimea, even comparing that action to actions by Germany that contributed to World War Two. However, Russia’s possession of Crimea is a fait accompli and was achieved by a nuclear-armed power, so it does little good to complain about it now or imagine how it might have been prevented. Despite this, usually credible analysts, including at the well-balanced US private intelligence firm Stratfor, seem to believe it is a realistic ambition that Russia will be deprived of the Crimean territory as a result of overt military pressure from NATO countries. From Stratfor on January 25th:

“blockading Crimea would be relatively easy for the United States, Ukraine and other allies… There is a connection to Crimea over the Kerch Strait from Russia proper of course, now based on ferry traffic but with plans for a bridge. But if war were to come, such tenuous links can easily be closed by a capable enemy. They are useful in peacetime, but vulnerable in war and near-war situations.”

Why are Stratfor analysts weighing up the advantages of NATO attacking and destroying Russian links to Crimea in order to put the peninsula under starvation, as if this were a viable or sane option? Let us not be under any illusions. This messianic aim to take Crimea back from Russia at all costs is not only misguided, but dangerous to anyone who would like to keep their iPad and doesn’t want to live in the Stone Age. This is outright insanity, and could get most of us killed for what most of us abundantly don’t care about. We should be thoroughly surprised to read about such pyromania anywhere, much less at a distinguished journalistic source such as Stratfor.

Russia considers Crimea to be part of its territory. To avoid catastrophic misunderstandings, we must agree with them. The territory, and the links from Russia to it, are under the de facto umbrella of Russian nuclear retaliation, so attacking either or cutting links to Crimea with military force would elicit the same devastating response as bombing Moscow itself.

Crimea obviously means a lot to the Russian people. But does it really mean more to Ukrainians, or for that matter to the British and Americans whose NATO armies would be expected to fight alongside the Ukrainians to take Crimea back, risking all our lives in the process? From the arguments of some commentators who at first appeared to be balanced, you might expect them to soon be trumpeting the charge to global thermonuclear war over the Crimean dispute. I will leave it to the readers to make up their own minds, but I am much happier to let Russia keep Crimea than I am to become a blackened skeleton. I can only hope that cool heads prevail, and that we leave Crimea alone.

Furthermore, who are we, the United States and the United Kingdom, to call Russia’s possession of Crimea an atrocity, or liken it to colonialism? Third World Forum director Samir Amin recently had this to say at Monthly Review, in response to the hostile British and American narratives about alleged Russian colonialist behavior:

“The expansion of the Tsarist Empire beyond the Slavic regions is not comparable to the colonial conquest by the countries of Western capitalism. The violence carried out by the “civilized” countries in their colonies is unparalleled. It amounted to accumulation by dispossession of entire peoples, with no hesitation about resorting to straightforward extermination”

Surely, the real height of colonialist aggression was not the reunification of Russia with its historic peninsula, but the creation of the United States by white conquerors, who plundered and exterminated indigenous peoples? The US also hasn’t left this settler legacy in the past, as it continues supporting and legitimizing the Israeli settler regime despite its crimes against the Palestinian people. There is no parallel to these acts of invasion or oppression in Russian history, and nor will alleged Russian or Soviet imperialism ever be as obscene as the imperialism of arrogant Anglo-American “civilization”.

We must all try to be mature enough to praise Putin’s opposition to hegemony, instead of defining nationalistic “Western” privileges through a rejection of Putin and others who are humble dissidents against the US government’s annexation of the world.

February 8, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 3 Comments

‘Official figures not credible’: German intel say Ukraine death toll 10 times higher

RT | February 8, 2015

Burnt military machinery in Uglegorsk. Background: a DPR bus column heading to Debaltsevo for evacuation of local residents from the combat zone. (RIA Novosti)

Burnt military machinery in Uglegorsk. Background: a DPR bus column heading to Debaltsevo for evacuation of local residents from the combat zone. (RIA Novosti)

The German intelligence service estimates the real losses in the Ukrainian civil war at 50,000 dead (civilians and servicemen), which is nearly 10 times higher than reported by the Kiev authorities, German media report.

The information comes from a source in German intelligence, who spoke to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAZ) newspaper.

“Germany’s special services estimate the probable number of deceased Ukrainian servicemen and civilians at up to 50,000 people. This figure is about 10 times higher than official data. Official figures are clearly too low and not credible,” the newspaper reported on Sunday, citing its source.

Just one day before the report was published, the Ukrainian president gave completely different numbers to the international community.

“The death toll for the Ukrainian soldiers defending land from the aggressor is now 1,432. Thousands of people, 5,638, have been killed since April [2014] and every single day the number of victims among the civilians is rising,” Petro Poroshenko said in his address to the 51st Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

The Ukrainian army is reported to be suffering its heaviest losses since the beginning of the conflict last spring. According to the Donetsk militia representative, Eduard Basurin, the Ukrainian army has lost 1,569 servicemen in just three weeks since restarting the offensive.

The situation on the battlefield is dire for the Ukrainian forces. Some 8,000 Ukrainian troops are believed to be surrounded near the village of Debaltsevo in Donbass. Militia units cut off the only road linking this pocket of land to Kiev-controlled territory.

Taking into account these heavy losses, Ukraine is set to call up as many military age Ukrainians as possible. The national military draft for 2015 is expected to see 100,000 people joining the army in three stages throughout the year.

The recruitment effort, coming amid intensified fighting in eastern Ukraine, is being met by a distinct lack of enthusiasm by potential soldiers.


Potential conscripts evade draft, flee country amid escalation in E. Ukraine

Thousands of Ukrainian troops thought to be trapped in Donbass

February 8, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Militarism | , , , , | 3 Comments