<![CDATA[Hedgehogs.net: '' related content]]> http://www.hedgehogs.net/tag/foreign+minister?view=rss http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11300876/abdullah-abdullah-leads-afghan-vote Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:01:28 +0100 http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11300876/abdullah-abdullah-leads-afghan-vote <![CDATA[Abdullah Abdullah leads Afghan vote]]> ]]> 11300876 http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11300856/russia-disarm-illegal-forces-in-ukraine Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:01:06 +0100 http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11300856/russia-disarm-illegal-forces-in-ukraine <![CDATA[Russia: Disarm illegal forces in Ukraine]]> ]]> 11300856 http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11299161/ukraine-gives-rebels-deadline-to-disarm-or-face-military-operation Sun, 13 Apr 2014 22:31:36 +0100 http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11299161/ukraine-gives-rebels-deadline-to-disarm-or-face-military-operation <![CDATA[Ukraine Gives Rebels Deadline To Disarm Or Face Military Operation]]> (Adds UN Security Council to meet)

* Ukraine gives separatists until 0600 GMT Monday to lay down arms

* Kiev angered by death of officer, wounding of others at roadblock

* Russia warns Kiev not to use force against militants

* Fears that confrontation could touch off wider violence

* UN Security Council to meet at Russia's request

By Conor Humphries and Thomas Grove

KIEV/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine, April 13 (Reuters) - Ukraine has given pro-Russian separatists a Monday morning deadline to disarm or face a "full-scale anti-terrorist operation" by its armed forces, raising the risk of a military confrontation with Moscow.

Angered by the death of a state security officer and the wounding of two comrades near the flashpoint eastern city of Slaviansk, acting president Oleksander Turchinov gave rebels occupying state buildings until 0600 GMT to lay down their weapons.

"The National Security and Defence Council has decided to launch a full-scale anti-terrorist operation involving the armed forces of Ukraine," Turchinov said in an address to the nation.

He blamed Russia, which annexed Ukraine's Crimea region when Moscow-backed former president Viktor Yanukovich fled after months of pro-Western protests, for being behind the rash of rebellions across Russian-speaking towns in eastern Ukraine.

"We will not allow Russia to repeat the Crimean scenario in the eastern regions of Ukraine," Turchinov said.

Russia's foreign ministry called the planned military operation a "criminal order" and said the West should bring its allies in Ukraine's government under control.

"It is now the West's responsibility to prevent civil war in Ukraine," the ministry said in a statement.

A United Nations Security Council diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the council would meet at 8 p.m. (0100 GMT) in New York at Russia's request. Another diplomat said negotiations were under way on Ukraine's participation.

Earlier, the American ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, said on ABC's "This Week" that the latest events in Ukraine bore "the telltale signs of Moscow's involvement".

"The president has made clear that, depending on Russian behavior, sectoral sanctions in energy, banking, mining could be on the table, and there's a lot in between," she added.

With East-West relations in crisis, NATO described the appearance in eastern Ukraine of men with specialised Russian weapons and identical uniforms without insignia - as previously worn by Moscow's troops when they seized Crimea - as a "grave development".

Ukraine has repeatedly said the rebellions are inspired and directed by the Kremlin. But action to dislodge the armed militants risks tipping the stand-off into a new, dangerous phase as Moscow has warned it will protect the region's Russian-speakers if they come under attack.

One Ukrainian state security officer was killed and five were wounded on the government side in Sunday's operation in Slaviansk, interior minister Arsen Avakov said. "There were dead and wounded on both sides," he wrote on his Facebook page.

The Russian news agency RIA reported that one pro-Moscow activist was killed in Slaviansk in clashes with forces loyal to the Kiev government. "On our side, another two were injured," RIA quoted pro-Russian militant Nikolai Solntsev as adding.

Russian TV broadcast grainy footage of what it said was the body of the militant. The images, which Reuters could not verify independently, showed a man in black clothes, slumped against the door of a car, with a pool of blood between his legs. A rifle lay next to him.


The separatists are holed up in the local headquarters of the police and of the state security service, while others have erected road blocks around Slaviansk, which lies about 150 km (90 miles) from the Russian border.

However, details of the fighting remain sketchy. A statement from the administration of the eastern Donetsk region indicated the security officer may have been killed between Slaviansk and the nearby town of Artemivsk. It said nine were wounded.

An eyewitness in Slaviansk said a gunman walked up to a car in the city centre and fired four or five shots into it. Video footage from the scene later showed a man being pulled out of the car, either seriously wounded or dead. It was not clear what links the shooting had with the unrest in the town.

Kiev accuses the Kremlin of trying to undermine the legitimacy of presidential elections on May 25 that aim to set Ukraine back onto a normal path after months of turmoil.

However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Kiev was "demonstrating its inability to take responsibility for the fate of the country" and warned that any use of force against Russian speakers "would undermine the potential for cooperation", including talks due to be held on Thursday between Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union.


Relations between Russia and the West are at their worst since the Cold War due to the crisis that began when Moscow-backed Yanukovich was pushed out by popular protests in February.

Moscow then annexed Crimea from Ukraine, saying the Russian population there was under threat. Some Western governments believe the Kremlin is preparing a similar scenario for eastern Ukraine, something Moscow has strenuously denied.

In Kramatorsk, about 15 km south of Slaviansk, gunmen seized the police headquarters after a shootout with police, a Reuters witness said.

The attackers were a well-organised unit of over 20 men, wearing matching military fatigues and carrying automatic weapons, who had arrived by bus. Video footage showed the men taking orders from a commander. Their identity was unclear.

Their level of discipline and equipment was in contrast to the groups who have occupied buildings so far in Ukraine. They have been mostly civilians formed into informal militias with mismatched uniforms.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen expressed concern about similarities in some of the rebels' appearance to that of the Russian troops who seized control in Crimea.

Calling on Russia to pull back its large number of troops, including special forces, from the area around Ukraine's border, he said in a statement: "Any further Russian military interference, under any pretext, will only deepen Russia's international isolation."

NATO has effectively ruled out military action over Ukraine, which lies outside the Western alliance. However, Washington and NATO leaders have made clear they would defend all 28 member states, including former Soviet republics in the Baltic that are seen as the most vulnerable to Russian pressure.

NATO allies have beefed up their air and sea firepower in eastern Europe. The alliance has also cut off cooperation with Russia and stepped up work with Ukraine, including advising its military on reforms and promising to increase joint exercises.

With EU foreign ministers due to discuss the crisis in Luxembourg on Monday, Britain called on Moscow to disown the rebels. "Assumptions that Russia is complicit are inevitable as long as Moscow does not publicly distance itself from these latest lawless actions," a Foreign Office spokesman said.


The crisis over Ukraine could trigger a "gas war", disrupting supplies of Russian natural gas to customers across Europe. Moscow has said it may be forced to sever deliveries to Ukraine - the transit route for much of Europe's gas - unless Kiev settles its debts.

For now, though, the focus of the crisis was in eastern Ukraine, the country's industrial heartland, where many people feel a close affinity with neighbouring Russia.

In the eastern city of Kharkiv, supporters of the revolution that brought the Kiev leadership to power clashed with opponents who favour closer ties with Russia. Police said 50 people were hurt, 10 of whom received hospital treatment.

In another eastern town, Zaporizhzhya, Interfax news agency said 3,000 pro-European supporters turned out in a unity rally and faced off with several hundred pro-Moscow supporters, many of them waving the Russian flag.

"We are ready to defend ourselves," said separatist Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, who said he had taken over leadership of Slaviansk after the city's mayor fled. (Additional reporting by Natalia Zinets in Kiev, Alessandra Prentice in Moscow, William James in London and Adrian Croft in Brussels; Writing by Christian Lowe, Richard Balmforth, and David Stamp; Editing by Will Waterman)
http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11299046/australian-exforeign-minister-defends-book-as-darn-good-read Sun, 13 Apr 2014 22:03:06 +0100 http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11299046/australian-exforeign-minister-defends-book-as-darn-good-read <![CDATA[Australian ex-foreign minister defends book as 'darn good read']]> <

http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11298407/armed-men-seize-police-station-in-slavyansk-ukraine-prepares-armed-response-ukraine-suspends-gas-payments-to-russia Sun, 13 Apr 2014 05:31:07 +0100 http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11298407/armed-men-seize-police-station-in-slavyansk-ukraine-prepares-armed-response-ukraine-suspends-gas-payments-to-russia <![CDATA[Armed Men Seize Police Station in Slavyansk; Ukraine Prepares Armed Response; Ukraine Suspends Gas Payments to Russia]]>
Armed Men Seize Police Station in Slavyansk

The Wall Street Journal reports Pro-Russia Protests Spread, Police Station Seized.
Pro-Russia protests spread Saturday in eastern Ukraine as armed men, some in unmarked, military-style uniforms, moved to commandeer more government buildings—a dramatic escalation that the Ukrainian government and Washington tied to Moscow.

Ukraine's acting president called an emergency meeting of the country's top security officials in the capital, Kiev, as police clashed with attackers in several spots in the largely Russian-speaking, eastern part of the country.

Some 20 men wearing camouflage, some with military-style equipment and weapons, commandeered a police station and security-service office early Saturday in Slavyansk, a small city that previously hadn't seen the kind of pro-Russian fervor that erupted anew in the area last weekend.

Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said Saturday evening that police were fighting with attackers in the nearby town of Kramatorsk and had repelled a similar attack in a third town, Krasny Liman.

Saturday afternoon, police in Poltava Region said they had stopped several buses carrying what they said were pro-Russian activists carrying gasoline bombs and makeshift weapons. They were headed to Kharkiv, where protests were scheduled. Police detained about 70 of the activists.

Protesters remain barricaded Saturday in the regional government headquarters in Donetsk and the security-service offices in Luhansk, which they had occupied last Sunday. Authorities pushed a group out of a government building in Kharkiv earlier in the week.

Western officials say Moscow has tens of thousands of troops on its side of the border that could invade Ukraine in a matter of hours. Moscow denies that.
Ukraine Prepares Armed Response

Reuters reports Ukraine Prepares Armed Response as City Seized by Pro-Russia Forces.
Armed separatists took virtual control of a city in eastern Ukraine on Saturday and Kiev prepared troops to deal with what it called an "act of aggression by Russia".

Pro-Russian activists carrying automatic weapons seized government buildings in Slaviansk and set up barricades on the outskirts of the city. Official buildings in several neighboring towns were also attacked.

The developments have increased concerns of a possible "gas war" that could disrupt energy supplies across the continent.

Washington backed Kiev's assessment that Moscow was responsible. "Worrisome violence in ... Ukraine today. Russia again seems to be behind it," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Twitter.


On a road leading into Slaviansk, other members of the group, armed with automatic rifles, set up a roadblock and checked vehicles entering the city, a Reuters reporter said.

There was no sign of any Ukrainian law enforcement officials in the city.

Ukraine's Western-backed government warned of tough action if the militants did not lay down their weapons, but it was unclear if the local law enforcement agencies were taking orders from Kiev any more after the local police chief quit.

Kostyantyn Pozhydayev came out to speak to pro-Russian protesters at his offices in the regional capital, Donetsk, and told them he was stepping down "in accordance with your demands". Some of his officers left the building.

The occupations are a potential flashpoint because if protesters are killed or hurt by Ukrainian forces, that could prompt the Kremlin to intervene to protect the local Russian-speaking population, a repeat of the scenario in Crimea.

Ukraine's acting foreign minister, Andriy Deshchytsia, said he had spoken by telephone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and demanded Moscow stop what he called "provocative actions" by its agents in eastern Ukraine.

Lavrov, in a statement issued by his ministry, said there were no Russian agents in the region and that it would be "unacceptable" if Ukrainian authorities were to order the storming of the buildings.
Ukraine Suspends Gas Payments to Russia

Reuters reports Ukraine Suspends Gas payments to Russia
Ukraine's state-run energy company Naftogaz has suspended gas payments to Russia until the conclusion of price talks, chief executive Andriy Kobolev was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Russian gas giant Gazprom earlier this month increased gas price for Ukrainian consumers to $485 per 1,000 cubic meters (tcm) from $268 for the first quarter, saying Kiev was no longer eligible for previous discounts.

"The question of repayment of debt is directly linked to the maintenance of gas prices at the level of the first quarter," Kobolev told the Zerkalo Nedely weekly in an interview, referring to the original price of $268 per tcm.

"We see no reason to revise the price. We consider the price at around $500 as non-market, unjustified and unacceptable. Accordingly, we have suspended payments for the period of the price negotiations."

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Thursday that Moscow could cut off gas to Ukraine, potentially threatening European supplies, but later played down the threat.

"I want to say again: We do not intend and do not plan to shut off the gas," he said on Friday.
Gas Wars

Given that Ukraine has suspended payments, I find Putin's statements puzzling. If Putin will not shut off the gas, then Ukraine has no incentive to pay.

Expect Putin to quickly change his mind about shutting the pipeline if Ukraine does indeed refuse to pay. He will have a legitimate reason.

As for market prices, Russia can charge what it wants in my opinion. Countries can either pay or not pay.

This is the consequence of being dependent on a single supplier.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11298395/ukraine-parliament-erupts-in-violent-brawl-separatists-seize-buildings-in-3-cities-kerry-accuses-russia-of-creating-pretext-for-invasion-civil-war Sun, 13 Apr 2014 05:30:25 +0100 http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11298395/ukraine-parliament-erupts-in-violent-brawl-separatists-seize-buildings-in-3-cities-kerry-accuses-russia-of-creating-pretext-for-invasion-civil-war <![CDATA[Ukraine Parliament Erupts in Violent Brawl; Separatists Seize Buildings in 3 Cities; Kerry Accuses Russia of Creating Pretext for Invasion; Civil War?]]>
On Sunday Pro-Russian protesters seized state buildings in three east Ukrainian cities. The Ukrainian government says separatists rigged a building in Luhansk with explosives, a claim the separatists deny. The Ukraine government also claims the protesters hold 60 hostages.

In response to the renewed violence, US Secretary of State John Kerry accused Russia of "Creating Pretext for Invasion", while Russia said Ukraine's response could trigger a civil war.

Buildings Seized in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk

Reuters reports Pro-Russia Protesters Seize Ukraine buildings, Kiev Blames Putin

Pro-Russian protesters seized state buildings in three east Ukrainian cities on Sunday, triggering accusations from the pro-European government in Kiev that President Vladimir Putin was orchestrating "separatist disorder".

The protesters stormed regional government buildings in the industrial hub of Donetsk and security service offices in nearby Luhansk, waving Russian flags and demanding a Crimea-style referendum on joining Russia.

Protesters also later seized the regional administrative building in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, Interfax news agency reported.

Acting President Oleksander Turchinov called an emergency meeting of security chiefs in Kiev and took personal control of the situation, the parliamentary press service said.
Ukrainian Parliament Meeting Devolves Into Brawl, Again

Yahoo! News reports Ukrainian Parliament Meeting Devolves Into Brawl, Again

A brawl broke out during a meeting of parliament in Kiev today, after communist leader Petro Symonenko accused his political opponents of contributing to the Crimea crisis by using extreme tactics to oust former president Viktor Yanukovych. The comments riled two nationalist leaders, who ran at the podium to physically stop him from speaking.
Brawl Video

Link if video does not play: Violent Brawl at Kiev Parliament

Separatists Hold 60 hostages in Luhansk Building

Reuters reports Ukraine Authorities Say Separatists Hold 60 Hostages in Luhansk Building
Ukraine's state security service on Tuesday said that pro-Russian separatists had placed explosives in a building they seized in the eastern city of Luhansk and were holding 60 people hostage.

"The criminals have rigged the building with explosives ... and are holding around 60 people, threatening them with weapons and explosives," the SBU security service said in a statement. "They are using terrorist measures."

But one of the protest leaders told Reuters that there were no explosives and that no one was being prevented from leaving the building. "We do not need hostages to get what we want," said Anton, who declined to give his second name.

A Reuters reporter said people appeared to be moving freely in and out of the building.

The Luhansk building was one of several seized by protesters in the east of the country demanding regional referendums on independence from Kiev.

Protesters in Donetsk remain in control of the main regional authority building, but authorities ended the occupation in the city of Kharkiv.
Kerry Accuses Russia of Creating Pretext for Invasion

The Financial Times reports Kerry Accuses Moscow of Creating ‘Pretext’ for Ukraine Invasion
The US has accused Russia of fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine, calling its efforts “illegal and illegitimate” and warning that Moscow was seeking to create a pretext for possible military action.

“What we see from Russia is an illegal and illegitimate effort to destabilise a sovereign state,” John Kerry, the US secretary of state, told lawmakers in Washington.

Mr Kerry called Russian special forces “the catalyst” for uprisings over the last 24 hours that saw armed pro-Russian separatists seize government buildings in three cities in eastern Ukraine.

“This could potentially be a contrived pretext for military intervention just as we saw in Crimea,” Mr Kerry said, adding: “No one should be fooled.”
Civil War?

The Wall Street Journal reports Ukraine Could Be Plunged into Civil War, Warns Russia
Ukrainian police on Tuesday regained control of a government building occupied by pro-Kremlin separatists in one volatile eastern city as pro-Russian protesters in another appeared to be slipping into disarray.

As Ukraine's new government pushed to show its authority in the region, Russia warned that the use of force to dislodge demonstrators who had taken over government offices could plunge the country into civil war.

Pro-Russian protests had flared up in Ukraine's eastern cities after the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych in late February, but had appeared recently to be fading. They reignited Sunday as crowds of several hundred seized government buildings in the three cities.

In Donetsk, protesters declared the founding of the "Donetsk People's Republic" and demanded a referendum on independence from Ukraine. Ukraine's wealthiest man, Rinat Akhmetov, a Donetsk native who had been a member of Mr. Yanukovych's political party, reportedly met with the separatists in Donetsk and urged them to negotiate with the government.

Meanwhile in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that representatives of pro-Russian elements in eastern and southern Ukraine should be allowed to participate in multilateral talks with Russia, the U.S. and the European Union and the new government in Kiev aimed at calming tensions.

He accused Kiev of ignoring the interests of the eastern and southern part of the country and said the crisis couldn't be resolved without taking the demands of the region into account.
I do not believe this leads to civil war, but if it does, the US will be more to blame than Russia. It was the US that helped orchestrate the overthrow of pro-Russia president Viktor Yanukovych.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11296654/no-title Sat, 05 Apr 2014 20:00:40 +0100 http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11296654/no-title <![CDATA[no title]]> Here are the list of candidates running to become the next president of Afghanistan.


http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11296439/kiev-ignored-independent-sniper-case-assessment-lavrov Sat, 05 Apr 2014 19:30:15 +0100 http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11296439/kiev-ignored-independent-sniper-case-assessment-lavrov <![CDATA[Kiev Ignored Independent Sniper Case Assessment â Lavrov]]>

http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11295682/russia-announces-withdrawal-of-a-battalion-from-ukrainian-border Sat, 05 Apr 2014 14:23:56 +0100 http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11295682/russia-announces-withdrawal-of-a-battalion-from-ukrainian-border <![CDATA[Russia announces withdrawal of a battalion from Ukrainian border]]> MOSCOW — The Russian Defense Ministry said Monday that a motorized infantry battalion is returning home after taking part in military exercises along the Ukrainian border.


http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11295480/crimea-too-small-to-matter Sat, 05 Apr 2014 12:41:43 +0100 http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/11295480/crimea-too-small-to-matter <![CDATA[Crimea: Too small to matter]]>