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Russia Awakes: Accuses Ukraine’s New Government Of “Armed Mutiny”, Says It Poses “Real Threat To Our Interests, Citizens” | Zero Hedge

Russia Awakes: Accuses Ukraine’s New Government Of “Armed Mutiny”, Says It Poses “Real Threat To Our Interests, Citizens” | Zero Hedge.

The Olympics are now over, which means that Russia can finally start taking steps toward making good on its warning from last week, spoken by a senior government official to the FT, that  “If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war,” adding that “they will lose Crimea first [because] we will go in and protect [it], just as we did in Georgia.” And while there have been photos (so far unconfirmed) of Russian military vehicles heading into the Ukraine, for the time being Russia has kept a surprisingly low profile. Until now.

  • MEDVEDEV SAYS RUSSIANS IN UKRAINE FACE THREAT IN UKRAINE: RIA
  • MEDVEDEV SAYS RUSSIAN INTERESTS UNDER THREAT IN UKRAINE: RIA
  • MEDVEDEV QUESTIONS LEGITIMACY OF UKRAINE’S INSTITUTIONS: IFX
  • MEDVEDEV HAS NO INFORMATION IF AZAROV IS IN RUSSIA: RIA

Reuters adds:

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday said Russia had grave doubts about the legitimacy of those in power in Ukraine following President Viktor Yanukovich’s ouster, saying their recognition by some states was an “aberration”.

 

“We do not understand what is going on there. There is a real threat to our interests and to the lives of our citizens,” Medvedev was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying.

 

There are big doubts about the legitimacy of a whole series of organs of power that are now functioning there.”

Finally, from the AP:

Dmitry Medvedev said Monday, according to Russian news agencies, that the new authorities have come to power as a result of “armed mutiny,” so their legitimacy is causing “big doubts.”

All this is happening as (insolvent) Europe is scrambling to obtain the tens of billions it needs to make good on a topping overbid for the Ukraine, something which Russia appears to be largely laughing about, and certainly something which Gazprom, which incidentally holds the fate of all of Europe, and not just Ukraine, in its hands. Literally.

As we have said since the Ukraine coup became official: keep an eye on the Russian response. Right now it is all that matters.

UAE, Egypt plotting coup in Libya, say Libyan RoR rebels | StratRisks

UAE, Egypt plotting coup in Libya, say Libyan RoR rebels | StratRisks.

Source: WB

Libya Shield

The Libyan “Revolutionaries Operations Room” (ROR) said that it acquired “documented information” regarding plots by the UAE and Egyptian military-led authorities to meddle in Libyan affairs and to abort the Libyan revolution.

According to the Middle East Monitor, in a Facebook statement the ROR claimed that UAE’s security agencies has recently formed two “cells” to circumvent the Libyan revolution and to stop Libyan oil exports.

The statement read: “We received information that UAE’s security apparatus has formed two high level cells. The first aims at overthrowing the new Libyan regime, the Libyan National Congress, and confronting the rise of Islamists. The second cell is a specialized media one based in Amman, Jordan.”

According to the statement, the “media cell” is primarily tasked with disseminating news that would serve the agenda of the “security cell”. Part of its agenda is to distort the image of Islamists, particularly with their rising popularity in Libya, the statement claims.

The ROR claimed that it obtained all information related to the “security cell” in Libya, and that it is led and funded by the UAE. It claimed that the cell has been operating in Libya since January 26, 2013.

“A high level Libyan source told ROR that a group affiliated with Mahmoud Gebril abducted Abu Anas Al-Libi based on a request from the UAE which immediately handed him over to the American CIA.”

The statement claimed that Sheikh Tahnoun Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan leads the security cell, while the members of the cell are counter-revolutionary figures in Libya, including Al-Saadi Al-Ghadhafi who managed to escape from the rebels, and a Libyan close to the Egyptian coup leader Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi.

The ROR affirmed that the “security cell” is based in Abu Dhabi, and convenes regularly with the protection of UAE security.

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No Truce in Turkey as Erdogan Party Sees Graft Probe as Coup – Bloomberg

No Truce in Turkey as Erdogan Party Sees Graft Probe as Coup – Bloomberg.

Turkey’s ruling party will continue to purge police and judiciary members pursuing corruption charges against government officials and will then seek to prosecute them for attempting a coup, a top party official said.

“My opinion is that they are criminals — the police and the judges and prosecutors,” Osman Can, a member of the central committee of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, said in a Jan. 6 interview in Istanbul. “If you can destroy this organization, you can save democracy.”

The remarks suggest there’s little scope for easing tensions between the government and followers of the U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen. Erdogan’s party accuses Gulen supporters in the judiciary and police for pursuing the graft probes in an effort to discredit it before local elections in March.

The government has removed prosecutors and dismissed about 1,800 police officers since news of the 15-month secret investigations broke on Dec. 17, when sons of three cabinet ministers were among dozens detained, according to Hurriyet newspaper. In a new wave of dismissals announced today, the government reassigned Muammer Bucak, a deputy head of the national police force, and recalled chiefs of 15 provinces, including the capital, Ankara, according to a decree in the Official Gazette.

Markets Hit

In Brussels, a spokesman for the European Commission expressed concern that developments in Turkey “could weaken investigations in progress and the capacity of the legal system and the police to conduct independent investigations.” As a candidate to join the European Union, Turkey must respect EU entry criteria, including rule of law, and deal with corruption allegations “in a transparent and impartial manner,” Olivier Bailly told a news conference.

The political turmoil has hit markets. Turkey’s currency and bonds have been the world’s biggest decliners since the arrests began, while the benchmark stock index fell 8 percent. Fitch Ratings said yesterday that the turmoil could lead Turkey to lose its investment-grade rating, should it undermine the government’s ability to maintain economic stability.

Gulen’s movement and Erdogan’s party were allies for most of the past decade. They split over issues including Erdogan’s pursuit of a peace accord with Kurdish militants and the government’s decision to close the university exam prep schools that are a source of influence and income for Gulen followers, according to Can, a former official at the Constitutional Court.

‘To the End’

He said the government would only go after Gulen followers who have sought to topple Erdogan’s elected government, and that sympathizers working in state institutions won’t face retribution. Can said the group’s structure and obedience to one leader mean that its more “militant” members aren’t compatible with democratic systems.

“They have their own agenda, which definitely does not fit with civil democracy,” Can said. “After they are removed, the government should prosecute them to the end.”

Prosecutors in the city of Izmir yesterday widened the graft probe by detaining officials at Turkey’s state railways authority. The government retaliated by removing the police officers in charge of the raids, according to Radikal newspaper.

‘Notable Casualty’

“The rule of law is by far the most notable casualty of the ongoing crisis,” Wolfango Piccoli, an analyst at Teneo Intelligence in London, said in e-mailed comments on Jan. 6. “It is unclear whether the government is committed to this principle, and it is equally questionable whether the judiciary and the police can actually deliver justice.”

Can said that while some of the corruption charges may be true, the way in which the probes were carried out made them part of a coup attempt.

Among those arrested are a son of the interior minister, who was found with several safes at his house filled with cash, and the chief executive officer of a state-run bank, who had $4.5 million stuffed into shoeboxes, which he said had been donated to build Islamic schools.

Erdogan says the detentions aim to block Turkey’s economic progress by targeting businessmen involved in major infrastructure projects.

‘Manipulative Tool’

“In all democracies, there is corruption,” Can said. “But if you don’t have a democratic system, those with bureaucratic power can destroy the political will, destroy political parties, for instance, by using corruption as a manipulative tool. They are very dangerous.”

Flaws in Turkey’s democracy stem from a system inherited by Erdogan’s party in 2002 and a constitution written under military rule in the 1980s, Can said. The government has been unable to redraft the charter due to opposition from parties with vested interests in the status quo, he said.

Gulen supporters dominate “all the control points” of Turkey’s judiciary, even though they account for about only 15 percent of its personnel, Can said. He said the government is “discussing every possible option” to remove that influence.

Late yesterday, the ruling party submitted a proposal to parliament to cut powers of the board that elects judges and prosecutors, which last month criticized the government for damaging the independence of the judiciary. The proposal empowers the justice ministry to appoint most judges.

The party also may consider changing its self-imposed three-term limit for members of parliament, after which they are required to step down from office, Can said. That rule applies to much of the party’s leadership, including Erdogan, whose third term comes to an end next year.

“You have rules, but if you have exceptional situations, you can make exceptions,” Can said. If the crisis persists “they could make an exception, and I would support this exception. This crisis can’t continue.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Benjamin Harvey in Istanbul atbharvey11@bloomberg.net; Selcan Hacaoglu in Ankara at shacaoglu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

Several dead as Egypt protests turn violent – Middle East – Al Jazeera English

Several dead as Egypt protests turn violent – Middle East – Al Jazeera English.

At least 11 people have been killed as Muslim Brotherhood supporters clashed with police in Cairo and other Egyptian cities, the country’s Health Ministry has said.

The ministry told Al Jazeera that four deaths were recorded in Cairo on Friday, two each in Alexandria, Ismaliya and Fayoum, and one in Minya in upper Egypt. Protesters said the real figure was much higher.

The ministry did not say whether the dead were protesters, police or bystanders.

Dozens more were reported injured, while at least 122 people have been arrested, according to medical and security officials.

Spotlight

Follow our ongoing coverage of the political crisis in Egypt

 

The clashes come amid an ever-widening state crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Rallies in support of ousted President Mohamed Morsi have turned increasingly violent ahead of a key referendum this month, which would ban religiously based political parties and give more power to the military.

It would be a further step towards the complete removal of the Brotherhood from public life after the group won every election in Egypt since Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in 2011.

‘We are not afraid’

Protesters set fire to a police vehicle in Cairo using petrol bombs as police fought street battles with rock-throwing protesters in the capital.

“We are not afraid, we love Egypt and what we are doing is for Egypt,” said Mohamed Dahi, a 39-year-old protester, as he distributed leaflets calling for a boycott of the referendum.
“I am against all injustice and the military rule. I won’t accept any military rule in Egypt,” Dahi told the AFP news agency
I won’t accept any military rule in Egypt.

Mohamed Dahi, protester

as as he participated in a protest along with his 10-year-old son.

Demonstrators chanted “Down with military rule” and slogans against army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who removed Morsi from the presidency in July.

Cairo’s main squares were sealed off by security forces using barbed wire and military vehicles. They included Tahrir Square, as well as Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda squares, which were the sites of a bloody crackdown on Morsi’s supporters in August.

The clashes took place less than two weeks before a vote on a new constitution, a milestone in the road map which the army-backed authorities say will pave the way for a return to a democratic rule by next summer.

Protesters opposed to the army’s overthrow of Morsi have been holding daily demonstrations in Cairo and in other cities ever since the military government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist” group last month, a move that upped the penalties for dissent.

Deaths in Venezuela post-election violence – Americas – Al Jazeera English

Deaths in Venezuela post-election violence – Americas – Al Jazeera English.

 

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