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As Russian Troops In The Ukraine Hit 16,000, US Department Of Defense Orders Them To Go Home | Zero Hedge

As Russian Troops In The Ukraine Hit 16,000, US Department Of Defense Orders Them To Go Home | Zero Hedge.

While it has gotten to the point where the propaganda is so bad on both sides of the Ukraine crisis, that any numbers thrown about are ridiculous, made up gibberish more fabricated than anything the Chinese Department of Truth or US Bureau of Labor can possibly goalseek, it is worth pointing out that according to APUkraine’s ambassador to the UN said 16,000 Russian troops are now deployed in the Ukraine. This was “revealed” at the third emergency Security Council session meeting in the last four days, shortly after Ukraine’s fugitive president requested Russian soldiers in the strategic Crimea region “to establish legitimacy, peace, law and order,” Russia’s U.N. ambassador said Monday, contradicting the president’s own comments last week.

However, while Russian hypocrisy is to be expected – after all they are the “Evil Empire” to quote a famous actor and president – it is the humor from the self-appointed moral watchdog of all the world’s evils, the US, that was the highlight of today’s UN session:

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power dismissed Moscow’s contention that it intervened militarily in Crimea to protect the human rights of Russian civilians there as “baseless,” insisting there is no evidence of any threats against ethnic Russians in Ukraine.

“One might think that Moscow has just become the rapid response arm of the High Commissioner for Human Rights,” she told the council. “Russian military action is not a human rights protection mission.”

Speaking of high commissioners for human rights, at least Russia never invaded a country using made up WMDs as pretext, and did not almost launch World War III to satisfy a nat gas-rich ally over a fabricated YouTube clip. Oh, and all that “innocent civilian casualty” drone stuff too.

So what does the world’s most irrelevant organization do? They send in monitors:

  • OSCE MONITORS TO BE DEPLOYED TO CRIMEA TONIGHT, POWER SAYS
  • POWER CALLS ON RUSSIA TO ENSURE OSCE NOT BLOCKED IN CRIMEA
  • CHURKIN SAYS RUSSIA SUPPORTS UN OFFICIAL’S VISIT TO UKRAINE
  • CHURKIN DECLINES TO COMMENT IF RUSSIA SUPPORTS OSCE MISSION

Well, monitors did miracles during the Yugoslav war, maybe they will “work” this time too.

But the piece de resistance, regardless if the real number of Russian troops in the Ukraine is 1,000 or 100,000, was the following:

  • DOD CALLS ON RUSSIAN FORCES IN CRIMEA TO RETURN TO THEIR BASES

Wait, so the US Department of Defense, that of the United States if it was somehow unclear, suddenly has authority to control the troops… of Russia?

One wonders: did the US Department of Education tell Gazprom to maintain gas supplies to Germany no matter how many CIA agents are operating in Kiev?

Or did ACORN tell whoever is the current pre-countercoup Ukraine president to hike minimum wages?

Or maybe the Department of Justice is quietly trying to collect its Fedex guns sent “erroneously” to Ukraine mercenaries, having confused them with Mexican drug lords?

Whatever the confusion, we are confident that following this latest “escalation” in the US response narrative, that Russia will promptly CTRL-Z everything it has done in the Ukraine in the past two weeks, and say it was only kidding.

* * *

Tangentially, while it has been made abundantly clear just how terrified Russia is of NATO, of Europe and of the US, for an indication of what China thinks of the latter, the WSJ reports the following:

The departing U.S. ambassador to China, Gary Locke inspired mixed reactions during his two-and-a-half-year tenure. Though his unpretentious manner was widely praised, as the first American of Chinese descent to hold the job, criticism of him had a special bite… The state-run China News Service… published a derisive editorial late last week (in Chinese) that described Mr. Locke as “a banana, with yellow skin and a white heart.”

Because when America respects itself and its symbolic headpiece, the president, so very much how can the rest of the world not follow?

Britain Summons Russian Ambassador; Russian Ambassador To US May Be Recalled | Zero Hedge

Britain Summons Russian Ambassador; Russian Ambassador To US May Be Recalled | Zero Hedge.

While various organizations are scrambling to meet on short notice, or not so short if one is a European finance minister, the diplomatic fallout has begun with the summoning of the Russian Ambassador in Great Britain to the foreign office.

Russian Ambassador has been summoned to the Foreign Office over #Ukraine

— William Hague (@WilliamJHague) March 1, 2014

This was to be expected. More interest will be whether Russia will “summon” its ambassador to the US as the upper house of parliament has demanded of Putin:

Russia’s upper house of parliament will ask President Vladimir Putin to recall Moscow’s ambassador from the United States, the chamber’s speaker said on Saturday.

 

Valentina Matviyenko, the head of the Federation Council, asked the Council’s Committee on Foreign Affairs to draw up a proposal setting out the demands to Putin.

Now all eyes are focused on the White House. Or perhaps that should say on the nearby golf courses?

Britain Summons Russian Ambassador; Russian Ambassador To US May Be Recalled | Zero Hedge

Britain Summons Russian Ambassador; Russian Ambassador To US May Be Recalled | Zero Hedge.

While various organizations are scrambling to meet on short notice, or not so short if one is a European finance minister, the diplomatic fallout has begun with the summoning of the Russian Ambassador in Great Britain to the foreign office.

Russian Ambassador has been summoned to the Foreign Office over #Ukraine

— William Hague (@WilliamJHague) March 1, 2014

This was to be expected. More interest will be whether Russia will “summon” its ambassador to the US as the upper house of parliament has demanded of Putin:

Russia’s upper house of parliament will ask President Vladimir Putin to recall Moscow’s ambassador from the United States, the chamber’s speaker said on Saturday.

 

Valentina Matviyenko, the head of the Federation Council, asked the Council’s Committee on Foreign Affairs to draw up a proposal setting out the demands to Putin.

Now all eyes are focused on the White House. Or perhaps that should say on the nearby golf courses?

Ukraine: The East-West tug of war – Counting the Cost – Al Jazeera English

Ukraine: The East-West tug of war – Counting the Cost – Al Jazeera English.

As tension continues in Ukraine, we analyse why the country remains economically torn between Russia and the EU.

 Last updated: 01 Mar 2014 09:38
It was the bloodiest week in Ukraine’s post-Soviet history. The president fled, an opposition leader left jail after three years and, with the dust now settling, a clearer picture is emerging about the dire state of the country’s finances.Ukraine’s political crisis began with the economy; ousted president Viktor Yanukovich wanted to align with Russia, while his opposition was looking to Europe – which prompted what almost amounted to a bidding war.

On the Russian side, Moscow had earmarked $15bn to inject into the Ukrainian economy.

The European Union had offered just $800m and while Ukraine would get great access to EU goods and services, it would not actually be able to get its own products into the continent.

Things are now worse, as Ukraine says it needs $35bn over two years, and Standard & Poors says the country, the central bank and its state-owned oil companies have about $13bn worth of debt to repay. Although it has $18bn in reserves, that is not enough to run an economy.

On this week’s Counting the Cost, we look how Ukraine remains torn between Europe and Russia and which side offers the best deal. We speak to Dmirty Sologoub formerly an economist with the IMF, but now head of research Raiffesien Bank Aval in Ukraine.

Nigeria’s ‘missing money’ 

In Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan has suspended Lamido Sanusi, the governor of the central bank for “financial recklessness and misconduct”.

Sanusi had earlier exposed all sorts of corruption in Nigeria’s oil industry, alleging that $20bn had gone missing from oil sales.

Speaking exclusively to Al Jazeera’s Yvonne Ndege in Lagos, Sanusi said the money that disappeared in the last 19 months was supposed to be given to the central bank by the state oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

His allegations mean losses in public money could run into the hundreds of billions of dollars. The ex-governor says he will not be surprised if he is jailed for speaking out.

Nigeria is one of the world’s largest oil producers. Oil accounts for more than 90 percent of state revenue, although as little as one percent of Nigerians are thought to benefit from the wealth.

Many people we spoke to in Abuja about Sanusi’s ouster told us they thought the missing money might be used to fund election campaigns. Nigerians go to the polls next year to vote in presidential elections. But Sanusi thinks the public money may have already been squandered.

Ndege also spoke to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s finance minister.

Over-fishing in Indonesia

In Indonesia, over-fishing is depleting fish stocks. The government has introduced marine-protected areas, but for some fishermen that is not enough.

They are using increasingly aggressive means to put fish in their nets, and food on their tables. Many fishermen, who wish not be identified, admit they use explosives.

Despite using desperate measures they still cannot compete with the big boats catching all the fish. They also now have to travel a lot further to find tuna.

Millions of Indonesians are dependent on fish for their income and nutrition. The government has introduced measures to make sure fish populations will grow back, but this might be too little too late. With aggressive fishing techniques not being banned, traditional fishermen have only a slim chance to pass on their skills to the next generation.

Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen reports from Benoa, Indonesia.

Ukraine Region Declares Independence Sending Dollar Bonds To Record Low; Russian Ruble Tumbles To 5 Year Low | Zero Hedge

Ukraine Region Declares Independence Sending Dollar Bonds To Record Low; Russian Ruble Tumbles To 5 Year Low | Zero Hedge.

The events in the Ukraine continue to deteriorate. Moments ago Lawmakers in Ukraine’s Lviv region, declared independence after backers evicted appointed governor overnight. Lviv’s parliament formed executive committee with department heads in Governor Oleh Salo’s administration that will take over functions of regional government, Oksana Dmetryv, a spokeswoman for Speaker Petro Kolodiy, said today by phone from Lviv. Protesters also seized headquarters of security services in Lviv, a region of 2.5 million people bordering Poland. Elsewhere, there were reports of more military vehicles crossing through Kiev: if there are any more Molotov Cocktail video follow ups we will be sure to capture them.

Still, to expect president Yanukovich (or Putin) to just sit there and let the country be torn apart by secessionists is naive. As Reuters reportrs, Yanukovich accused pro-European opposition leaders on Wednesday of trying to seize power by force after at least 26 people died in the worst violence since the former Soviet republic gained independence. European Union leaders said they were urgently preparing targeted sanctions against those responsible for a crackdown on protesters who have been occupying central Kiev for almost three months since Yanukovich spurned a far-reaching trade deal with the EU and accepted a $15-billion Russian bailout.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman insisted the Kremlin was sticking to a policy of not intervening in Ukraine, although his point man has called for action to crush the protests. The Kremlin said Putin and Yanukovich spoke by telephone overnight, calling the events an attempted coup. Moscow announced the resumption of stalled aid to Kiev on Monday with a $2-million cash injection hours before the crackdown began.

So far, however, the implicit Russian backing of the Ukraine as is is not doing much as both the Ukraine Dollar short-bonds due June 2014 have fallen more than 2 points to a record low of 94.25 according to Tradeweb, while the Russian Ruble has just tumbled to its lowest levels against the dollar since 2009.

The market is finally starting to notice, and realize that nothing in the Ukraine is contained, and the consequences form a prolonged civil war would be dire for everyone involved. Which, as is the case in every proxy war, just happens to be everyone.

Putin backs Sisi to be president of Egypt – Europe – Al Jazeera English

Putin backs Sisi to be president of Egypt – Europe – Al Jazeera English.

Sisi’s Russia visit is seen as a move to reduce Egypt’s reliance on the US [EPA]
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he would support a presidential bid from Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, wishing him luck after holding talks in Moscow.”I know that you, Mr defence minister, have decided to run for president  of Egypt,” Putin said, according to Russian news reports.

“It’s a very responsible decision… I wish you luck  both from myself personally and from the Russian people.”

Sisi, who is widely expected to run for Egypt’s top job, has not yet officially declared his candidacy and there was no announcement from the Egyptian government.

We believe your efforts to establish stability in the country are being effective.Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu

Sis and Nabil Fahmy, Egypt’s foreign minister, also held separate talks with Sergei Shoigu and Sergei Lavrov, the Russian defence and foreign ministers.

“We are closely watching the situation in your country. We are interested in Egypt being a strong and stable country,” Shoigu said in his opening remarks at the meeting with Sisi, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.

“In the current situation, it is good to adopt a new Egyptian Constitution in a national referendum … We believe your efforts to establish stability in the country are being effective.”

Shoigu also said Moscow supported Cairo’s efforts to “fight against terrorism”.

“In this regard, we will discuss in some important issues of military and military-technical cooperation, the terms of that and future prospects… We are interested in the development of such cooperation. Cooperation between our countries has deep historical roots,” he said.

Arms deal speculation

Al Jazeera’s Paul Brennan, reporting from Moscow, said that well-informed sources have said a major weapons deal will be signed during the trip.

Russian and Egyptian media carried reports of a $2bn Gulf-funded arms agreement in the making between the countries. The reports said the deal is to be funded mainly by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

If signed, it will underscore the Gulf states’ support for Egypt’s military-backed government.

The visit is also seen as a move to reduce Egypt’s reliance on the United States after relations cooled following the coup against former president Mohamed Morsi and Cairo’s harsh response to protests that followed it.

According to Brennan, Egyptian authorities have said they are not seeking to move away from their relationship with the US, but are instead working to diversify and add to their list of international allies.

Civilian clothes

Sisi made a rare appearance in civilian clothes on his way to Moscow, fuelling speculation he was trying to appear more presidential before announcing a bid for top office. The country’s top military body  recently endorsed his candidacy .

He has become hugely popular among a large segment of Egyptians who see him as the nation’s saviour for ending the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, who many accused of dominating power under Morsi.

Still, a deadly security crackdown on supporters that has left hundreds dead and a subsequent campaign of intimidation and arrests of secular-leaning critics have raised concerns about Sisi’s tolerance for dissent.

The government says it is in a war against terrorism, citing a wave of bombings and suicide attacks that have targeted police and the military, leaving scores dead and wounded.

Thousands of Anti-Putin Protesters March in Moscow » The Epoch Times

Thousands of Anti-Putin Protesters March in Moscow » The Epoch Times.

Opposition demonstrators carry posters of imprisoned protesters during a protest rally in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. Several thousand Russian opposition supporters gathered for a protest on Sunday, venting anger against the Kremlin and demanding the release of political prisoners. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Opposition demonstrators carry posters of imprisoned protesters during a protest rally in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. Several thousand Russian opposition supporters gathered for a protest on Sunday, venting anger against the Kremlin and demanding the release of political prisoners. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

MOSCOW— Several thousand protesters have marched through central Moscow to call for the release of 20 people who were arrested after clashes between police and demonstrators in May 2012.

Some of them face up to 10 years in prison if convicted for the protest, held on Bolotnaya Square on the eve of President Vladimir Putin’s inauguration to a third term as Russia’s president.

The protesters marched Sunday with a banner stretching across the street reading: “Freedom to the Bolotnaya heroes, the hostages of Putin.” Others held portraits of the jailed protesters.

Of the 28 people who were rounded up in the case, eight were recently freed on amnesty. Several defendants are under house arrest, but most of the others have been in jail for more than a year and a half.

Russia Ruble Collapse Escalates To Record Low | Zero Hedge

Russia Ruble Collapse Escalates To Record Low | Zero Hedge.

With all eyes on Russia over the next month as the Sochi Winter Olympics ramps up, we are sure having the market’s attention on a collapsing currency is not what Putin had in mind before he dropped $50 billion to make it snow. While the Ruble remains just above record lows against the USD, Bloomberg reports that it has dropped to a record low against the central bank’s dollar-euro basket. Russia’s finance minister proclaimed today (Erdogan style?) that Bank Rossii should not raise rates (which has been unchanged at 5.5% for the last 15 months). Russian CDS is widening (193bps at 4 month highs) but not cratering like other EM currencies but MICEX (stocks) have had their longest losing streak since April.

 

 

As Bloomberg adds,

The ruble depreciated 1.2 percent to 40.9632 versus the central bank’s dollar-euro basket by 6:01 p.m. in Moscow. A weaker ruble encourages Russians to withdraw and convert local- currency deposits, Sberbank’s main source of funding, while hurting retailers by making imports more expensive in ruble-denominated prices.

 

Investors are scared of the ruble devaluation,” Sergey Vakhrameev, an analyst in Moscow at AnkorInvest LLC, which manages about $30 million in assets, said by phone. “During strong devaluations, stock markets fall, investors become scared of indexes in countries where the devaluation isn’t controlled.”

Of course, this will only make the bank run problems worse…

Ukrainian Protesters Chant “Yankees Go Home”; Klitschko Warns Of “More Deaths” | Zero Hedge

Ukrainian Protesters Chant “Yankees Go Home”; Klitschko Warns Of “More Deaths” | Zero Hedge.

Ukrainian protesters erected more street barricades and occupied another government ministry building on Friday after the failure of crisis talks with President Yanukovich, as opposition leader Klitschko feared “more deaths” pointing to a weekend of increasingly violent protests. Reuters reports that Yanukovich’s party stated “the situation has grown sharper throughout the country,” and called on people to disregard the calls of “radical troublemakers” to turn out for protest rallies. Klitschko punched back, “Yanukovich has declared war on his own people. He is trying to hold on to power at the price of blood and de-stabilization of the situation in the country. He has to be stopped.” The international community is getting involved with Hollande calling for “dialogue” but it is Biden’s threat of “consequences” that spurred a different protest at the US embassy – “The US is behind everything that is happening in Kiev’s downtown right now.”

 

“Not A Step Back” – warns opposition:

 

Via Reuters,

The problem started…

Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in the capital after Yanukovich backed away from signing a free trade deal with the European Union, which many people saw as the key to a European future, in favor of financial aid from Ukraine’s old Soviet master Russia.

 

But the movement has since widened into broader protests against perceived misrule and corruption in the Yanukovich leadership.

 

Protesters have been enraged too by sweeping anti-protest legislation that was rammed through parliament last week by Yanukovich loyalists in the assembly.

and is spreading…

Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions confirmed reports that two months of anti-government protests were spreading to other parts of the country, particularly the west, where “extremists” had seized regional administration buildings.

And will get worse…

Opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko, who with two other opposition leaders failed to wring any concessions from Yanukovich late last night, said the only way out of the impasse lay with international mediation.

 

“Any discussion of how to settle the crisis in Ukraine must take place with the involvement of the international mediators of the highest level,” a statement from his Udar party quoted him as saying.

 

Instead of shifting to solving the situation by common sense, Yanukovich has declared war on his own people. He is trying to hold on to power at the price of blood and de-stabilization of the situation in the country. He has to be stopped,” the boxer-turned-politician said.

 

 

Masked protesters, some carrying riot police shields seized as trophies, stood guard as others piled up sandbags packed with frozen snow to form new ramparts across the road leading down into the square.

 

 

Opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko, after leaving a second round of talks with Yanukovich empty handed, late on Thursday voiced fears the impasse could now lead to further bloodshed.

But at the US embassy, a different crowd is revolting…

As 21st Cetruy Wire reports:

…a new faction of intelligent Ukrainian protesters has sprung up this week.

They see right through the covert western operation:

“The US is behind everything that is happening in Kiev’s downtown right now.”


From yesterday afternoon, this new group have begun to encircle the US Embassy in Kiev. Their demand to the US:

‘Stop meddling in our affairs, and stop sponsoring unrest mobs in our country’. 

KIev-US-Embassy
Following John McCain’s recent trip to Kiev practicing his new brand of international racketeering by threatening the Ukraine if they did not join the EU, it seems that the real Ukrainians have finally figured out that the pro-EU mobs have been staged by a conclave of western NGO’s and ‘democracy foundations’ – the very same nest of hornets who brought on the fabled ‘Arab Spring’ to the Middle East three years ago.

The main goal for Washington and the City of London is to separate Kiev from Moscow, and thus weaken Russia’s hand in Eurasia.

For EU central bankers, the prospect of raping and privatising the Urkraine economy-  is also a big incentive.

It looks like the old tricks are no longer working. At last, the ‘colour revolution’ jig may finally be up…

RT.com
A huge crowd of demonstrators has surrounded the US embassy in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, protesting against Washington’s meddling in the country’s internal affairs.

Follow RT’s live updates.

The event was organized by Kievans for Clean City, a new pro-government activist group which has spoken out against the rioters and violence in downtown Kiev.

Several thousand demonstrators are taking part, urging the US to “stop sponsoring” mass unrests, local media reported.

“The US is behind everything that is happening in Kiev’s downtown right now. The financing is coming from over there. This has to be stopped. That is what we came out here to say to the whole world: ‘US – stop! US – there needs to be peace in Ukraine,’” said Ivan Protsenko, one of the movement’s leaders.

» Harvard Professor Warns of “Devastating” China-Japan War Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!

» Harvard Professor Warns of “Devastating” China-Japan War Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!.

Russian study says U.S. could easily defeat Beijing in nuclear conflict

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
January 23, 2014

Image: Ezra Vogel (Wikimedia Commons).

Harvard Professor Ezra Vogel warned of the devastating consequences of a potential war between China and Japan during a conference in Beijing.

Vogel, a Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard University, is an expert sinologist having written extensively on relations between the two countries for decades.

During his speech, Vogel highlighted Japan’s historical revisionism, characterized by the refusal in Japanese school textbooks to accept responsibility for the second world war, as well as the territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands, as the two key factors driving hostilities.

“Any potential war between the two nations would be devastating to both, Vogel said,” according to the Want China Times, “adding that it would take at least 10 years for Beijing and Tokyo to resume normalized relations if a third Sino-Japanese war were to take place.”

Vogel also urged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to stop visiting the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo that honors 14 war criminals who were executed as a result of post-war Allied tribunals. During his speech at Davos yesterday, Abe warned that the global community must restrain military expansion in Asia. Although he didn’t name them directly, Abe’s comments were obviously aimed at Beijing.

Vogel’s warning arrives concurrently with analysis by Moscow-based Expert magazine which suggests that the United States would easily defeat China in a potential nuclear war because Beijing is reliant on decades-old Soviet technology. Back in November, Chinese state-run media released a map showing the locations of major U.S. cities and how they would be impacted by a nuclear strike launched from the PLA’s strategic submarine force.

Earlier this week, state media reported that China’s new hypersonic missile vehicle is primarily designed to target U.S. aircraft carriers.

A deluge of aggressive rhetoric has emerged out of official Communist Party organs in recent months, including discussion about China’s ability to attack US military bases in the Western Pacific, as well as a lengthy editorial which appeared in Chinese state media last month explaining how the Chinese military’s current reformation process was part of a move by President Xi Jinping to prepare the People’s Liberation Army for war.

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