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Re:

17 Nov 2018 08:49

Robert5091 wrote:http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/turkey/071120182
The political umbrella group of the PKK denounced US bounties on their top leaders as an attack against all Kurds.

"This aggressive, political decision and stance issued against the freedom movement has no political, social, ethical, conscious, or universal truth basis to it," said the Kurdistan Communities Group (KCK) in a statement on Wednesday.

The US announced rewards for information on three senior PKK leaders on Tuesday: up to $5 million for Murat Karayilan, up to $4 million for Cemil Bayik, and up to $3 million for Duran Kalkan.

The move came after two days of meetings with Turkish officials.

The PKK is a named terror organization in Turkey, the US, and Europe. Ankara also considers Kurdish groups in Syria – the PYD, YPG, YPJ, and SDF – as branches of the PKK and has denounced US support for these groups in the war against ISIS.
...
The KCK defended the PKK’s record – it has fought alongside Kurdish forces in the war against ISIS.

"In Shingal, the PKK prevented the decimation of the Yezidi community, one of the oldest and most established of humanity, and gave a moral lesson to regional and international political forces," KCK stated,


more at http://www.rudaw.net/NewsDetails.aspx?pageid=410502

So the guys the US backed to fight IS in Iraq & Syria are now terrorists ... Anything to do with Khashoggi's murder & appeasing Erdogan?


http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/turkey/161120182
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again urged the US to end its ties with Kurds in Syria.

Erdogan spoke with US President Donald Trump by phone, his office announced on Friday evening.

The Turkish president “expressed his expectations from the USA to end support for the Syrian branch of the terrorist organization PKK,” his office stated.
...
Ankara has accused Washington of supporting terrorists and has threatened military action against the Kurdish groups.

Balancing the demands of Turkey with the needs in the war against ISIS has meant greater American involvement on the ground in northern Syria, US Ambassador James Jeffrey said on Thursday.

Because of Turkey’s objections, the US has not given heavy weaponry to their Kurdish allies, instead having to supply that themselves, he explained.

Turkey is hoping that Washington’s attitude may be shifting, however.

In his same speech, Jeffrey described the Syrian Kurds as an “offshoot” of the PKK – a first for a member of Trump’s administration.
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
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17 Nov 2018 23:06

Israelis don't want to upset the Saudis -

nov 1 https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5386269,00.html
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken with senior US administration officials and defended Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in light of the ongoing investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

According to the report, Netanyahu and other leaders in the region, including Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, told the Americans that Saudi leader is an important strategic partner.



nov 2 https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5386744,00.html
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz on Friday called the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul "despicable" but said that co-operating with Riyadh against their common foe Iran was Israel's priority.

Steinitz's remarks appeared to break with Israeli government reticence over last month's killing, which has caused global outrage.

It was not clear if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared his views and Netanyahu's office did not respond to a request for comment.

The Saudi government initially denied Khashoggi had been killed then later said he died in an unplanned "rogue operation". Last week, the kingdom's public prosecutor Saud Al Mojeb said the attack was premeditated.

Asked about Khashoggi on Tel Aviv radio station 102 FM, Steinitz, a member of Netanyahu's security cabinet, said: "It was a despicable action. It's worthy of all reproach. This was a civilian, a journalist, not a terrorist."

He went on to say, however, that Israel's struggle against Iran was more pressing.

"We have a threat that can become an existential threat - the threat of a nuclear Iran, the threat of terror, the threat of spreading through Syria and Lebanon. And Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, are our allies in recent years against the spread of Iran and against the Iranian nuclear threat," he said.


https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5386824,00.html
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday condemned the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, but said the bigger problem facing the region was Iran.

"What happened in the Istanbul consulate was horrendous and should be duly dealt with. At the same time, it is very important for the stability of the world, for the region and for the world, that Saudi Arabia remain stable,” Netanyahu told reporters.
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
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18 Nov 2018 07:55

PTSD & trauma can come to all -
http://www.rudaw.net/english/culture/17112018
A group of children giggle as they play in a dusty, barren landscape near their home in northern Syria, but this is no ordinary game of catch, for their ball is a live bomb.

The macabre game of chicken is one of the most blood-chilling scenes in "Of Fathers and Sons," filmmaker Talal Derki's disturbing new expose on the grip of Islamism in his native Syria.

"This is the scene that broke my heart," Derki told AFP in an interview in Los Angeles this week, recalling the blood-chilling episode.

"I was seeing my six-year-old boy through the lens."
...
Derki said "Of Fathers and Sons" has had such a profound psychological impact on him that he has put down the camera for now as he concentrates on healing.

"I am still recovering," he said. "I have to take medication to fall asleep, otherwise I have nightmares."

He added that after the final shoot he got his right arm tattooed and his ear pierced to ensure he would not be tempted to try and embed with jihadists in the future .

"If you have tattoos or piercings, you cannot be with them," he said. "So this was my way of making sure I don't go back."


https://www.thenation.com/article/afghanistan-war-veterans-ptsd-personal-essay/
I’m here in Chicago, 7,000 miles and 15 years away from Jalalabad, a desolate town in southwestern Afghanistan. Yet sometimes it seems to me as if it were yesterday, or even tomorrow, and anything but thousands of miles distant.

There are moments when it feels like I never left—or maybe I mean, when it feels like it left with me, like Afghanistan and my once-upon-a-time life as a US Army Ranger are all right here, right now, in my unheated garage workshop. Right here, right now, in fact, the sawdust is swirling as I run a two-inch slab of walnut through my lousy Ryobi table saw. The dust and the noise from that saw instantly bring to mind an image of an American helicopter landing in the Afghan countryside, not too far from Jalalabad. It all seems suddenly to flash before my eyes—only the dust in Afghanistan was chalkier and finer than the dust from this walnut slab, which is old, but not Afghanistan old.

Each of those dusts has dry, earthy, almost sugary smells. It’s hard right now for me to tell which is louder, the helicopter still in my head or the table saw in front of me. That helicopter is taking away two Afghan men with sandbags over their heads. It’s dark out, but my night vision goggles make everything seem eerily bright green.

I helped snatch those two men—or were they teenagers?—from a house in the middle of the night. That was in May of 2003 and sometimes, right here in my workshop, I can still hear the screams of the little kids inside that house. They’re louder than the helicopter, louder than the saw. Maybe one of those men had info that would help lead us to Osama bin Laden, then missing in action somewhere, it was believed, in Pakistan—or so we were told anyway. My job wasn’t to ask or understand; it was just to snatch people, sandbag them, and ship them out. Others higher up the chain of command would ask the questions under conditions that we now know—and I guessed then—were anything but pretty.
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
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18 Nov 2018 16:26

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2018/11/taliban-hold-talks-envoy-qatar-181118085252177.html
Taliban officials have held three days of talks with the United States' special representative for Afghanistan in Qatar, Zalmay Khalilzad, aimed at renewing the peace process in the war-torn country, an official of the armed group said.

The talks, which ended on Sunday, were confirmed by other individuals close to the group, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the negotiations.

The Taliban said its dialogue process with Washington was aimed at securing a timetable for the withdrawal of all the US and NATO troops from Afghanistan to pave the way for an intra-Afghan dialogue.
...
It was reported that Khairullah Khairkhwa, the former Taliban governor of Herat, and Mohammed Fazel, a former Taliban military chief, attended the marathon talks.

Khairkhwa and Fazel were among five senior Taliban members released from the US prison at Guantanamo Bay in 2014 in exchange for US soldier Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban after walking off his base in Afghanistan in 2009.

US President Donald Trump had harshly criticised the 2014 prisoner exchange and in a speech last August pledged to send in additional troops and redouble efforts to defeat the Taliban.
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
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19 Nov 2018 13:35

If GE did not have enough problems -
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ge-seeks-power-sales-iraq-150000924.html?guccounter=1
General Electric Co. learned from a consultant’s report this past summer of corruption allegations against key business partners in Iraq, where the company is trying to shore up its position in one of the most important foreign markets for its struggling power business.
...
The study, prepared for GE by corporate intelligence firm Hakluyt & Co., paints a portrait of widespread corruption and bribery in the Iraqi power sector, accusing high-ranking officials in the Ministry of Electricity, from which GE is currently vying with Siemens AG for $15 billion in new power contracts. Siemens declined to comment.

The Hakluyt report, based on interviews with business people and political officials working in the power sector, provides a broad overview of the corruption concerns in the industry and advises GE to distance itself from at least one of its contractors. Hakluyt’s staff includes former British MI-6 officers and strategic consultants from the business world.

One Iraqi government official is quoted in the report estimating that “not one single contract” in a recent wave of power agreements “has been done without some kind of deal benefiting one of the religious and political parties.”

The report, prepared for GE this spring, follows a previously unreported Justice Department inquiry into corruption allegations against GE employees in Iraq in April. That inquiry was triggered by a whistleblower complaint alleging employees of GE Power, the conglomerate’s power unit, in the country were involved in corruption, according to people familiar with the complaint.


Then again Iraq ranks 169 out of 180 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index - see https://www.transparency.org/country/IRQ
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
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19 Nov 2018 14:06

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/features/2018/11/18/Ten-Iranian-political-factions-form-coalition-aiming-to-overthrow-regime-.html
Iranian parties and political forces have reportedly agreed to ally together to set plans and political preparations in motion that aims at “overthrowing the regime in Tehran”, according to sources familiar with the groups.

Al Arabiya English received a copy of the statement which stated: “Political parties and forces started a ‘joint activity’ to ‘form a broader coalition’ despite their clear ideological differences”.

According to the statement the forces and parties which agreed to align are the following:

“The Azerbaijan Democratic Alliance, the Democratic and secular republic advocates movement, the Ahwazi Democratic Solidarity Party, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan, the Baluchistan People’s Party, the organization of Iranian People's Fedai, the Provisional Council of the Socialist Left, the Kurdish rebels movement (Komola)”.

The statement signed by these movements explained that they all aim to achieve “a democratic regime by establishing a republic regime based on separating the religion from the State.
...
In the signed statement of the political forces that it does not expect that the Islamic Republic regime would witness real and influential reforms; meaning that none of the demands of these forces can be achieved under the dominance of this group which is controlling the regime inside Iran. Thus, the solution from the point of view of these forces is to “overthrow the Islamic republic regime, and the dissolution of all its institutions to establish a democratic regime in Iran” according to what was mentioned in the statement.
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
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20 Nov 2018 13:29

Pompeo gives the Saudis the "blame it on a dead man" plan -
https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/saudis-using-pompeos-plan-shield-leadership-khashoggi-fallout-says-source-1684431379
Saudi Arabia's king and crown prince are shielding themselves from the Jamal Khashoggi murder scandal by using a roadmap drawn up by the US secretary of state, a senior Saudi source has told Middle East Eye.

Mike Pompeo delivered the plan in person during a meeting with Saudi King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, last month in Riyadh, said the source, who is familiar with Pompeo's talks with the Saudi leaders.

The plan includes an option to pin the Saudi journalist’s murder on an innocent member of the ruling al-Saud family in order to insulate those at the very top, the source told MEE.

That person has not yet been chosen, the source said, and Saudi leaders are reserving the use of that plan in case the pressure on bin Salman, also known as MBS, becomes too much.


and to deflect the criticism about the war in Yemen, help the refugees caused by the Saudis in Yemen (genius move!)
https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/11/20/Saudi-Arabia-UAE-announce-new-initiative-in-Yemen.html
Saudi Arabia and the UAE announced the launching of a $500 million initiative to address the humanitarian situation in Yemen at a joint press conference on Tuesday.

They also announced that the kingdom and the UAE will launch another initiative for food security that will reach 10-12 million Yemenis.
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
User avatar Robert5091
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23 Nov 2018 13:39

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-46313136
Gunmen have killed at least four people in an attack on the Chinese consulate in the Pakistani port city of Karachi.

Gunshots were heard at about 09:30 local time (04:30 GMT) outside the consulate in the upmarket Clifton area. Police shot dead three attackers.

Separatist militants who oppose Chinese investment projects in western Pakistan say they carried out the attack.
...
A separatist group, the Balochistan Liberation Army, said it had carried out the attack. It is one of a number of separatist groups operating in the restive province, which has seen a long-running nationalist insurgency.

"We have been seeing the Chinese as an oppressor, along with Pakistani forces," a spokesman for the group told the AFP news agency.

Over the years, construction projects and Chinese workers in Balochistan have been repeatedly targeted by militants but this is one of the most prominent such attacks to date.

Balochistan is at the heart of an ambitious Chinese project, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The corridor is a string of huge investments by China in Pakistani infrastructure seeking to link its western Xinjiang province with the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar in Balochistan, as part of the One Belt, One Road initiative.

As China is such a close ally to Pakistan and has poured billions into the nation, this incident will deeply concern authorities who have described this investment as a "game changer", says the BBC's Secunder Kermani in Islamabad.

Balochistan itself is a sparsely populated region, rich in gas and coal reserves, as well as copper and gold.


In Iran too, the Baluchistan People’s Party one of 10 in anti-regime coalition
https://english.alarabiya.net/en/features/2018/11/18/Ten-Iranian-political-factions-form-coalition-aiming-to-overthrow-regime-.html
Ten Iranian political factions form coalition aiming to ‘overthrow regime’
...
The parties signed on this statement belong to different Iranian peoples and nationalities, like “the Ahwazi Democratic Solidarity Party” that represent the Arab Ahwaz, Balochistan, Kurdish and Azerbaijani parties.


I just hope this is not the result of US/Israeli anti-Iran "assistance" with more killing to come.
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
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24 Nov 2018 17:22

https://issafrica.org/iss-today/mozambiques-apparent-islamist-insurgency-poses-multiple-threats
The apparent Islamist insurgency in Mozambique’s northernmost province, Cabo Delgado, had gone quiet – until last Wednesday night’s attack in the village of Nagulué in the Macomia district. The village chief was decapitated and mutilated, several villagers were injured and 18 homes destroyed, according to various sources. It was a brutal reminder that Maputo is far from getting this crisis under control.

Independent security analyst Johann Smith warns that ‘al-Shabaab’ or ‘Ansar al-Sunnah’ or ‘Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jamo’ (no one is sure what to call the attackers) is regrouping and that more assaults could occur soon. He suspects that foreigners could for the first time become targets of what has so far been an assault only on local security forces and citizens.

He also warns that, having failed to respond in a coherent way, including tackling root causes, Mozambique’s government is about to hand over responsibility to a private security company. This could aggravate the problem.

One security source said the L6G security company, owned by Erik Prince, founder of the notorious Blackwater US private security company, is promising to flatten al-Shabaab in three months. This is in exchange for a hefty slice of oil and gas revenues when those large reserves come on stream sometime after 2023. The equally controversial Russian private security company Wagner is bidding against L6G for the contract, the source said.


see for background my post in June http://forum.cyclingnews.com/viewtopic.php?p=2275830#p2275830

EDIT- update 25 Nov - Iran's PressTv on same story -
https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/11/25/581104/Mozambique-Tanzania-villages-militants-police-oil-and-gas-

Heroin -
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-03/heroin-may-be-mozambique-s-second-biggest-export-research-shows
“Mozambique is a significant heroin transit center and the trade has increased to 40 tons or more per year, making it a major export which contributes up to $100 million per year to the local economy,” Hanlon said. “With an export value of $20 million per ton, heroin is probably the country’s largest or second-largest export after coal.”


Blood rubies -
https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/05/03/the-blood-rubies-of-montepuez-mozambique-gemfields-illegal-mining/
Some 40 percent of the world’s rubies lie in one mining concession in Mozambique, where a troubling pattern of violence and death contradicts the claim of “responsibly sourced.”
...
Discovered by a local farmer in 2009, the ruby deposit in Montepuez has been hailed by the Gemological Institute of America as “the most important ruby discovery” of the 21st century. The gems are of exceptional quality, color, and clarity. So it’s little wonder that the find has attracted foreigners and Mozambicans alike, all driven by the same desire: To strike it rich.

One such individual is Gen. Raimundo Pachinuapa, a member of the ruling Mozambique Liberation Front, or Frelimo, and former governor of Cabo Delgado province, where Montepuez is located. Pachinuapa allegedly appropriated land belonging to the farmer who initially discovered the rubies.


Ivory - 2011 https://africanconservation.org/chinese-flee-mozambique-over-ivory-smuggling-6/
Two employees of a Chinese company have fled Mozambique after police stopped the smuggling of 166 elephant tusks and other animal parts, state media reported on Tuesday.

The manager and a machine operator for Chinese firm Tienhe returned to their home country after authorities discovered 161 containers of unprocessed timber at Pemba port in northernmost province Cabo Delgado, according to Noticias newspaper.

Elephant ivory, excrement and internal organs, as well as pangolin scales were found hidden between the wood in some containers, implicating Chinese company Miti, the largest logging company in the province.


2018 - https://clubofmozambique.com/news/cabo-delgado-police-accuse-fishermen-of-joining-insurgents/
This is not the first time that the police have frustrated an alleged attempt to recruit people from Nampula to Cabo Delgado since attacks on civilians began in the province. At the beginning of June this year, police in Nampula detained around 40 national and foreigner citizens (?) who were allegedly travelling to Palma to join the group that has been responsible for terror attacks in Cabo Delgado.

Remote villages in the province of Cabo Delgado have been ransacked since October 2017, causing an undetermined number of dead and displaced persons.

The groups that have attacked the villages have never claimed responsibility or made their intentions known , but investigators suggest that violence is linked to trafficking in heroin, ivory, rubies and wood. The attacks come at a time when the investments of natural gas oil companies in the region are underway, but have not yet affected the enterprises directly.
Last edited by Robert5091 on 25 Nov 2018 16:48, edited 1 time in total.
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
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25 Nov 2018 16:20

More on the Saudis & Khashoggi
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/saudi-prince-turki-cia-trusted-khashoggi-181125060414841.html
A senior Saudi prince cast doubt on the reported CIA finding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, saying the agency could not be counted on to reach a credible conclusion.

"The CIA is not necessarily the highest standard of veracity or accuracy in assessing situations. The examples of that are multitude," Prince Turki al-Faisal, a senior member of the royal family, told journalists in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

The prince, a former Saudi intelligence chief who has also served as ambassador to the United States, said the agency's conclusion that Iraq possessed chemical weapons before the US invasion in 2003 showed it could be unreliable.

(Throwing old mud & hoping it sticks)

MbS's hunt for dissidents - (& not good news for iPhone fans)
https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israeli-firm-spyware-deal-saudi-arabia-ahead-purge-report-70248154
A Tel Aviv-based company offered Saudi Arabia a system that hacks mobile phones a few months before Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) began his purge of regime opponents in 2017, according to a complaint to the Israel police now under investigation, an Israeli newpaper has said.

Haaretz reported on Sunday that a series of meetings involving technology supplied by the company NSO Group led to the signing of a deal with Saudi intelligence in the summer of 2017.

The findings tie in with ongoing remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has repeatedly expressed his wish to strengthen ties with Gulf states, particularly through the sale of advanced Israeli technology.

While Netanyahu has defended the sales as part of a strategic battle against Iran, several reports have shown the technology being used by Gulf states against their own citizens.

Haaretz said its investigation into the deal were "based on testimony and photos, as well as travel and legal documents".

According to the newspaper, one of a series of meetings centered around the deal took place in June 2017 at a hotel in Vienna.

It said those attending the meeting included Abdullah al-Malihi, a close associate of Prince Turki al-Faisal – the former head of Saudi Arabia's intelligence services – and another senior Saudi official, Nasser al-Qahtani, who presented himself as the deputy of the current intelligence chief.

Two Israeli businessmen, representatives of NSO, then showed the company's latest technology to the Saudis, Haaretz said.

Middle East Eye has previously reported on NSO's Pegasus spyware, known as a "one-click system," whereby the victim has to press a link sent to them through phishing.

NSO's latest Pegasus 3 system no longer requires this, with only the number of the SIM card needed to hack into the phone.

Once a phone is hacked, the speaker and camera can be used for recording conversations, while even encoded apps such as WhatsApp can be monitored.

According to Haaretz, the NSO representatives sent Qahtani to a nearby shopping centre to buy an iPhone and give them its number.

They then demonstrated how this was enough to hack into the new phone and record and photograph the participants in the meeting.
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
User avatar Robert5091
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26 Nov 2018 13:46

a major military escalation is taking place...ukraine is about to impose a martial law over the entire country. i found this brirish article both informative (with maps) and attempting to sort out both sides versions objectively.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46340283

in summary.
3 ukrainian warships attempted to pass a strait currently controlled by russia. the warships were told to stop by the coast guard as, according to russia, they were in their 12 mile zone territorial waters (ukraine does not recognize russian water) the ships ignored the commands and were fired upon with onboard casualties. the ships were seized.
Last edited by python on 26 Nov 2018 14:13, edited 2 times in total.
DJPbaltimore:'John Kerry is an honorable person and would not call out the Russians if there was not evidence', 'the 2 of you are russia stooges'
in foreign policy there are no eternal friendships or eternal enemies, only eternal interests
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26 Nov 2018 14:05

He said, she said ... and "all foreign policy is domestic policy".
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46340283
Under a 2003 treaty between the governments in Moscow and Kiev, the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov are shared territorial waters.
...
Ukraine says that it informed the Russians in advance of its plan to move its ships through the sea to Mariupol.
...
There have been growing tensions between the two sides over access to the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

In recent months, Russia has begun inspecting all vessels sailing to or from Ukrainian ports.

The inspections began soon after Ukraine detained a fishing vessel from Crimea in March. Moscow says the checks are necessary for security reasons, pointing to a potential threat to the Kerch bridge from Ukrainian radicals.
...
Martial law could give the government the power to restrict public demonstrations, regulate the media, suspend elections, and oblige citizens to carry out "socially necessary" tasks such as working at a defence facility, local media report.

Ukraine's parliament will discuss the proposal at 16:00 local time (14:00 GMT).

If approved, it would be the first time Ukraine has enacted martial law since the beginning of the Ukraine-Russia conflict in 2014.

However, politicians are split on the issue, with some expressing concern that it could lead to the 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections being cancelled.
"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
User avatar Robert5091
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26 Nov 2018 14:19

my own tentative evaluation of the above escalation.

similar things took place in the south china sea many times. but i do not recall any shooting. china was wise not to face a huge naval power. ukraine is not.

if knowing in advance that ignoring a warning from a militarily superior side may produce the use of force, then a total ignoring of the warning, may be interpreted as an invitation for the force. or a deliberate provocation in plain speak.

that russia took up the open challenge THIS TIME (according to the above article, they were more restrained before) may indicate either the readiness for a wider conflict or a miscalculation on the either side. my hunch is it's the serious signal. just as firm as a no-looking-back acquisition of crimea 4 years ago. hard to calculate who is going to suffer more, but, besides the ineffective sanctions, the west cant really do much. except telling the uki prez to cool off. or ukraine may find itself permanently short of a lot more territory ?
DJPbaltimore:'John Kerry is an honorable person and would not call out the Russians if there was not evidence', 'the 2 of you are russia stooges'
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26 Nov 2018 22:26

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46352367
After heated debate in Ukraine's parliament, 276 lawmakers voted in favour of martial law covering:

- Five regions bordering Russian territory
- Two regions bordering Moldova's breakaway Transdnistria region (Ergh? why this?)
- Three regions on the Black Sea/Sea of Azov coast

Thirty lawmakers voted against the move. Martial law will enter into force at 09:00 local time (07:00 GMT) on 28 November and will end on 27 December.

The authorities can now restrict public rallies and regulate the media.
...
In recent weeks, two Ukrainian vessels passed through the Kerch Straight without incident.
...
There have been growing tensions between the two sides over navigation in the area.

Russia has recently begun inspecting all vessels sailing to or from Ukrainian ports in the Sea of Azov.

This began after Ukraine detained a fishing vessel from Crimea in March. Moscow also says the checks are necessary for security reasons.


Are the Russians suspecting that the Ukrainians are re-enforcing the military for a re-take of Russian controlled Crimea & Eastern Ukraine?
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User avatar Robert5091
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27 Nov 2018 06:43

The industrial city of Mariupol is close to the disputed zone. The train line is still open but the port is important to Ukraine. Putin just testing the waters for the response from the West or something else in mind ?
movingtarget
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Re:

27 Nov 2018 15:32

movingtarget wrote:The industrial city of Mariupol is close to the disputed zone. The train line is still open but the port is important to Ukraine. Putin just testing the waters for the response from the West or something else in mind ?
i dont know who was testing whose waters...

since its rather useless to take either side's versions in search of what really happened, yesterday i watched a couple 'round-tables' on france 24, DW and CGTN...some experts explained that based on the existing international and bilateral agreements, BOTH can claim a point in terms of the right of passage/denying the right through that strait. the ukrainians did NOT need the explicit russian permission to pass, but rather just inform them. thus the russian claim of having received no advance request, even if true, is a weak argument. at the same time, the russians had the right to inspect any ship that would stray into their territorial waters. particularly at a time when the ukrainians threatened to blow up the new bridge across the strait. and the ukrainians DID pass into their territorial waters as it appears w/o ill intent.

the dog was in the uki reaction to a warning to stop. mind you, these were ukrainian warships, not some civil boats. for a military vessel to stop on the demands of another military, it is a big deal where the national pride, military discipline and common sense DONT mix well.

it is my understanding that the ukrainians counted on their ships military status to feel they weren't bound by the russian military orders. IOW, the ukis planned to ignore a warning if issued. as such, this element i would NOT call a ukrainian provocation, but knowing the tension between the 2 and the fact the russians were stopping ALL ships under the threatened bridge, i'd say the chance of the russian stop order was was near 100%. ignoring the risk of such an order was imo either foolish or a deliberate plan. i would stick with a deliberate plan.

what happened then was a common game of chicken. several verbal warnings, followed by shooting in the air were ignored. though the ukis reckoned that the russians scared of international condemnation and sanctions wont DARE to shoot. the ukrainian gamble was called and we know the rest. note, despite having plenty of means, the uki vessels wisely did not shoot back. they knew they'd become fish meal if they did.

now you tell me what vlad was up to vs the uki prez gamble ? and to start with, why was martial law declared this time when only 20 bullets flew and NOT during the hot action earlier when 20,000 ukrainians died :Question:

the answer was provided by 2 american analysts on france 24 - he needed the martial law to suppress the coming election, stay in power and to boost his rating.

a different light than you read in the western msm...isn't it ?
DJPbaltimore:'John Kerry is an honorable person and would not call out the Russians if there was not evidence', 'the 2 of you are russia stooges'
in foreign policy there are no eternal friendships or eternal enemies, only eternal interests
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27 Nov 2018 22:25

Questions - Why these 3 Ukrainian boats? Have other military boats been allowed through? When did the Russians decide to park a tanker under the bridge?

the answer was provided by 2 american analysts on france 24 - he needed the martial law to suppress the coming election, stay in power and to boost his rating.


As it stands,(and who knows it might be extended) martial law ends 27 december & the elections are March next year -
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46352367
Martial law will enter into force at 09:00 local time (07:00 GMT) on Wednesday and will end on 27 December.

Monday's vote in parliament came after an emotional address by President Poroshenko, who promised not to restrict basic freedoms. Some MPs expressed fears Mr Poroshenko could suspend a presidential poll on 31 March 2019 - a claim he firmly denied.

But he stressed he needed firm power in case of a full-scale Russian invasion.

Ukraine's national security and defence council had initially recommended a 60-day martial law.

But Mr Poroshenko said he amended the proposal because he did not want martial law to affect the presidential elections.
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28 Nov 2018 02:04

Well the bridge has been open for quite a while but it seems that Russia is looking for some leverage which they have little hope of finding at the moment. There is no sign of the sanctions being softened and the UK and Germany will make sure of that. I wonder if there have been other unreported incidents ? Now the Ukrainian sailors are on film admitting that they were provoking Russia while the Ukrainian authorities are saying they were coerced into making such admissions. If Poroshenko loses the next election in favour of Yuliya Tymoshenko who simply won't go away, I hold out little hope for improvement in Ukraine. She was a disaster last time around and her politics swings wildly following whatever is popular at the time. Surely Ukraine has better candidates.........
movingtarget
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Re:

28 Nov 2018 14:12

.. it seems that Russia is looking for some leverage which they have little hope of finding at the moment. There is no sign of the sanctions being softened and the UK and Germany will make sure of that. I wonder if there have been other unreported incidents ? Now the Ukrainian sailors are on film admitting that they were provoking Russia while the Ukrainian authorities are saying they were coerced into making such admissions.....

to this amateur analyst they have achieved some tangible advantage already. not clear at what cost and if it is a leverage. they de facto took control of the azov sea. by building the bridge across the strait which had a dual purpose:1) linking crimea with the main land and 2) choking the strait for any decent size shipping by limiting passage to a singe span main wide arc, which is easier to patrol and where they placed the barge when the strait blockingf was needed. smart, isn't it - just one 200 meter barge can block a 3 km-wide strait !

it seems, since there are no other states except russia and ukraine in the azov sea, they are trying to send a message: " play nice or we cut you out of the azov sea completely'. this would be a heavy economic blow to the already suffering economy...it is an arrogant power position, but it seems both had given up on talking rationally to each other. the conflict is 4 yo, but it reached the new maritime tension when ukraine seized some russian fishing boats with their crews and started prosecuting them. not dissimilar to what the russians are now doing to the just captured 3 ship crews...may be it is their revenge, since some russian fisherman are still in custody being sued for treason (they are former ukrainians who happened to live in crimea and chose to stay)

i actually think the russians are shooting themselves in a foot by treating the military sailor so harsh. the chaps only followed the orders.
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Re: Re:

28 Nov 2018 14:59

python wrote:
.. it seems that Russia is looking for some leverage which they have little hope of finding at the moment. There is no sign of the sanctions being softened and the UK and Germany will make sure of that. I wonder if there have been other unreported incidents ? Now the Ukrainian sailors are on film admitting that they were provoking Russia while the Ukrainian authorities are saying they were coerced into making such admissions.....

to this amateur analyst they have achieved some tangible advantage already. not clear at what cost and if it is a leverage. they de facto took control of the azov sea. by building the bridge across the strait which had a dual purpose:1) linking crimea with the main land and 2) choking the strait for any decent size shipping by limiting passage to a singe span main wide arc, which is easier to patrol and where they placed the barge when the strait blockingf was needed. smart, isn't it - just one 200 meter barge can block a 3 km-wide strait !

it seems, since there are no other states except russia and ukraine in the azov sea, they are trying to send a message: " play nice or we cut you out of the azov sea completely'. this would be a heavy economic blow to the already suffering economy...it is an arrogant power position, but it seems both had given up on talking rationally to each other. the conflict is 4 yo, but it reached the new maritime tension when ukraine seized some russian fishing boats with their crews and started prosecuting them. not dissimilar to what the russians are now doing to the just captured 3 ship crews...may be it is their revenge, since some russian fisherman are still in custody being sued for treason (they are former ukrainians who happened to live in crimea and chose to stay)

i actually think the russians are shooting themselves in a foot by treating the military sailor so harsh. the chaps only followed the orders.


Yeah it seems like a Chinese, South China Sea kinda move. Interestingly a British destroyer was cruising recently in the Black Sea in international waters and was buzzed quite aggressively by a group of Russian fighters flying very low over the ship. Even the Chinese don't do that.
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