Permalink David Axelrod hired as Ed Miliband’s communications manager [Svengali]

David Axelrod, recognized for creating a winning campaign strategy for Barack Obama’s senatorial race (2004) and presidential elections (2008 and 2012), will spearhead Labour leader Edward Miliband’s campaign for the United Kingdom 2015 General Election. The author of the "Yes we can" slogan promised to project an image of Labour as the bearer of hope, as he had done for his other clients, including President Obama. According to him, the Labour campaign should focus on social inequalities and Ed Miliband’s ability to reduce them.

Permalink Citing ‘Coup’ in Ukraine, Putin Reserves Right to Use Force

Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, in his first comments since the crisis in Ukraine boiled over, said on Tuesday that he saw no reason for Russia’s army to intervene in eastern Ukraine at the moment, but left open the possibility of military action, saying that Russia “reserves the right to use all means at our disposal to protect” Russian speakers in the country’s south and east if they are in danger. “We are not going to fight with the Ukrainian people,” he said. “I want you to understand me clearly. If we make such a decision, it will only be for the protection of Ukrainian citizens. And God forbid if any of the servicemen tries to shoot their own people, we will be standing behind them — not in front, but behind. Let them try to shoot women and children!” (Source: NYT)

Warsaw Business Journal: Putin accuses Poland of 'training' Ukrainian revolutionaries
Thierry Meyssan: Ukraine: Poland trained putchists two months in advance


Permalink Right Sector thugs on the prowl...

The situation in the Ukraine continues to be characterized by complete chaos and a gradual and steady strengthening of the resistance in the East. Following the attack by pro-regime forces on a resistance checkpoint in Slaviansk over the week-end Foreign Minister Lavrov has accused the revolutionary regime in Kiev of breaking the terms of the accord. One could argue that this attack was decided by the Right Sector (that is the conclusion that the Russian-speakers have come to based on the weapons and documents they seized) and that the cannot control them. That is probably quite true (even though the Right Sector has denied being involved). But the regime also declared that the demonstrators which are currently occupying the Maidan square in Kiev have a permit and are there legally. Truly, whether the regime does not want to enforce the terms of the agreement or whether it cannot do so make very little difference to the Russian-speakers in the East: they still have to bury the same number of people and they still face the same threat. Take a look at what Right Sector thugs did to a Russian-speaker yesterday: (no translation needed). And this is just one example amongst many. To be really honest, I have the feeling that a negotiated solution is pretty much impossible at this point. The East really has nobody to negotiate with.

Andrew Korybko: Voter Intimidation and Collective Punishment: Western Democracy at Work in Ukraine Ukraine is in the throes of an imminent human rights crisis, as the red flags of oppression are visible to all objective observers that care to acknowledge the obvious. The near-death beating of Oleg Tsarev and the intimidation of Mikhail Dobkin, both Eastern Ukrainian presidential candidates, are proof, if any more was even needed, that the upcoming “elections” in Ukraine will be neither honest nor representative of the population at large. On top of that, the Kiev junta’s military operations against the pro-reform activists in the east accentuate the violent oppression that has become characteristic of EuroMaidan and its coup plotters. With all of this occurring, the West is ignobly turning a blind eye towards the same human rights values it bombastically (in a literal sense) promoted in Resistant and Defiant (R&D) states such Serbia and Libya.

Permalink US vice president arrives in Ukraine amid violent provocations

Bill Van Auken Vice President Joseph Biden began his two-day trip to Ukraine Monday as the country continued to teeter on the edge of civil war. Tensions are mounting over killings in the eastern part of the country, where demonstrators calling either for union with Russia or a federalized system of government have seized control in at least ten towns and cities. Biden’s visit is intended to signal support for the US-backed regime that was installed last February in a fascist-led coup orchestrated by Washington. He is to meet today with the leaders of the unelected government in Kiev, including its president, Oleksandr Turchynov, and its prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Beyond that, the visit is aimed at ratcheting up Washington’s threats against Russia, including not only economic sanctions, but also the steady escalation of US and NATO military deployments right up to Russia’s borders.

PressTV: Russia faces more costs, isolation: Joe Biden
PressTV: Treason: Ukraine calls for US military support
RT.com: US confirms $5bn spent on Ukraine "Democracy"


Permalink Treason: Ukraine calls for US military support

Serious Plotting in Ukraine: Biden Arrives.

Letting the fox into the hen house The Ukrainian acting prime minister says his country needs to be militarily and economically supported from the United States in its standoff with Russia. “We need a strong and solid state. We need financial and economic support. We need to modernize our security and military forces. We need the real support,” said Arseniy Yatsenyuk while appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. He made the remarks ahead of a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden to Ukraine this week. Accusing the Russian President of undermining global stability and nuclear nonproliferation efforts, Yatsenyuk claimed Moscow is now not only a threat to Ukraine and the EU and but the world. “How can you stop the nuclear-powered state, which is Russian Federation, that spent billions of dollars to modernize their military instead of Ukraine?” he asked. "And it's crystal clear that for today Russia... is the threat to the globe and the threat to the European Union and a real threat to Ukraine." The Ukrainian premier added that Kiev in addition to financial and economic support needs US help to renovate its military. “We need to be in very good shape in order to stop Russia. And for this shape, we need to have and to get the real support from our Western partners.” “We need financial, economic support. We need to modernize Ukrainian military and to overhaul all structures of Ukrainian defense system.”

PressTV: Biden arrives in Kiev amid tensions
PressTV: Biden to meet with Ukrainian putschist leaders
RT.com: ‘Kiev desperately pushing for greater conflict with Russia’
Alex Lantier: Western powers, Ukrainian regime call for military buildup against Russia

RT.com: Lavrov: US should face responsibility for powers it installed in Kiev "Before giving us ultimatums, demanding that we fulfill demands within two or three days with the threat of sanctions, we would urgently call on our American partners to fully accept responsibility for those who they brought to power,” said Lavrov during a press conference with his colleague from Mozambique, Oldemiro Baloi. All attempts to isolate Russia will lead to a dead end because Russia is "a big, independent power that knows what it wants," he added. Meanwhile, the Russian FM also criticized statements from Western countries and Kiev’s authorities, which “invent possible and impossible arguments against Russia,” claiming that a large amount of Russian arms in the conflict zones proves Russian interference in Ukrainian affairs. He called the statements absurd as Ukraine has traditionally used Russian-made arms. “This statement is ludicrous. Everyone has Russian arms in Ukraine,” Lavrov said.

Permalink NATO Military Dolphins to Roam Black Sea

US military-trained dolphins and sea lions will participate in upcoming NATO military exercises in the Black Sea, the Russian Izvestiya newspaper reported Monday. The paper, citing a spokesman for the US Navy’s marine mammals program, said some 20 dolphins and 10 sea lions will participate in exercises. The exercises will test new equipment designed to "disorient enemy sonars, while sea lions and dolphins are looking for mines and military divers," the newspaper wrote. The exercises will be held under the marine mammals’ training program, which trains animals to protect ships and harbors and detect mines. The animals are to be airlifted to Ukraine. This will be the first NATO drill to involve military dolphins. The US military now has more than 100 bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions and beluga whales.

Permalink Ukraine: The Bloody Eastern Escalation

The gun battle was evidence that Ukraine is not reining in
gun-wielding far right extremists, Russia claimed.

This is very bad news. The OSCE had reported that Pravyi Sektor paramilitaries were moving to the eastern Donbass region. It looks like they have arrived. It seems the U.S. neocons found out that they can not have the Ukraine and are responding like they always do. "Can't have it? Will destroy it!" This is likely the beginning of an intense civil war in Ukraine. One that is sure to draw external powers into it. Let us not forget who started this. The EU made an "offer" to Yanukovich which could not accept without destroying the Ukrainian economy, especially the eastern industries. When he rejected the "offer" a "color revolution" was instigated in Kiev and the democratically elected Yanukovich was removed by force. The new coup government, a mixture of oligarchs and western Ukrainian fascists, wants to suppress the Russian affine eastern Ukraine. The east responded by calling for greater regional autonomy.

‘Easter truce’ broken: Five deaths reported in overnight checkpoint raid in E. Ukraine
Russia on Eastern Ukraine shooting: Kiev must fulfill Geneva de-escalation pledge


Permalink Ukraine: Poland trained putchists two months in advance

Thierry Meyssan Lies have shorter and shorter legs. Two months after the change of regime in Kiev, the Polish press has disclosed the role of Donald Tusk’s government in preparing the coup. The new revelations belie Western discourse and demonstrate that the current interim government of Oleksandr Tourtchynov was imposed by NATO in violation of international law. || he Polish left-wing weekly Nie (No) published a startling witness account of the training given to the most violent of the EuroMaidan activists. According to this source, in September 2013, Polish Foreign Minister Rados³aw Sikorski invited 86 members of the Right Sector (Sector Pravy), allegedly in the context of a university exchange program. In reality, the guests were not students, and many were over 40. Contrary to their official schedule, they did not go to the Warsaw University of Technology, but headed instead for the police training center in Legionowo, an hour’s drive from the capital. There, they received four weeks of intensive training in crowd management, person recognition, combat tactics, command skills, behavior in crisis situations, protection against gases used by police, erecting barricades, and especially shooting, including the handling of sniper rifles. Such training took place in September 2013, while the Maidan Square protests were allegedly triggered by a decree suspending preparations for the signing of the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement, which was issued by Prime Minister Mykola Azarov on November 21, i.e. two months later. The Polish weekly refers to photographs attesting to the training, which show the Ukrainians in Nazi uniforms alongside their Polish instructors in civilian clothing.


Permalink US prepares to send troops to Poland

Johannes Stern The Washington Post reported Friday that Poland and the United States would announce next week the deployment of US ground troops to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO military forces in Central and Eastern Europe, in response to the crisis in Ukraine. According to the Post, Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak, visiting the newspaper after meeting with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon, said, “the decision has been made on a political level and that military planners are working out details.” The article continued: “There will also be intensified cooperation in air defense, special forces, cyberdefense and other areas. Poland will play a leading regional role, ‘under US patronage,’ he said.” The report makes clear that the US entered into the Geneva agreement with Russia, purportedly to “deescalate tensions” in Ukraine, in bad faith, intending to use Russia’s supposed breach of the deal as justification for expanded sanctions and a further aggressive buildup of US and NATO forces in Eastern Europe aimed at encircling and strangling Russia.

translate.google.no: Norwegian warships inserted in Ukraine crisis

Permalink Deconstructing the results of the four-party talks

Alexander Mercouris The media refers to the document that emerged out of yesterday’s four party talks as an “agreement”. This is not strictly correct. The text of the document is here. As its text makes clear what this document is in reality is not an an agreement to settle the Ukrainian crisis or even an outline of such an agreement but rather a statement of basic principles around which an agreement should be negotiated. The real agreement (if it comes about) will emerge from negotiations based on the principles set out in this document.

Stephen Lendman The ink wasn't even dry. On April 17, deal terms was struck. A previous article discussed them. Hold the cheers. They're not worth the paper they're written on. Washington negotiates duplicitously. Promises made are systematically broken. Don't expect this time to be different. Kiev's illegitimate putschists didn't surprise. They violated agreement terms. They did so straightaway. They acted with full US support.

Permalink Eric Draitser discuss the recent deal struck between the US, Russia, and Ukrainian junta

Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org appears on RT to discuss the recent deal struck between the US, Russia, and Ukrainian junta. Draitser explains that the US is employing a seemingly conflicted strategy, on the one hand posturing as honest peacemakers interested in negotiation, while on the other hand continuing to escalate tensions. He notes that sanctions, NATO mobilization, and other issues continue to lie at the heart of US-NATO policy vis-a-vis Russia and that, until these toxic aspects of US foreign policy are removed, the diplomatic conflict will continue.


Permalink The thing which everybody seems to be missing

The Saker Interestingly, Putin has declared that for him the point of no return was reached when the USA and its allies at the UNSC and NATO clearly and grossly twisted the intention of the UNSC on Libya and "upgraded" what should have been a "no fly" zone to a free-fire zone to attack and bomb Libya. Putin says that from then on he had acquired the conviction that the West could not be negotiated with and had to be simply stopped. Then Syria happened: for the first time since the end of WWII the USA had decided to do something and was stopped by an outside power in the most humiliating way possible. The Russian stance on Syria was an overt challenge to US world hegemony. It was clearly understood as such in Washington and now, following the crisis in the Ukraine, the Russians have openly admitted this. The Russians would have much preferred to wait, to buy time, but the US determination to punish it for daring to oppose it on Syria literally forced them to fold and surrender or openly accept the US challenge and stand firm. I will repeat that again and again - Putin had no other choice. So this is the real stake of the civil war in the Ukraine: for the USA it is to punish Russia for daring to challenge the world hegemon; for Russia it is to unseat this hegemon and replace him by a multi-polar international system in which sovereign countries act within the bounds of international law.

Permalink Europe will now think twice before following Washington's orders - Ex-CIA Officer

The Ukrainian crisis may have seen a flickering light at the end of the tunnel, as politicians from the great powers collided over the former Soviet state are now bringing up the idea of having four-sided talks between the US, EU, Russia and Ukraine itself. But with the east of the Ukraine boiling with new wave of protests, and Kiev's government being fed with unreasonable promises from Washington -- whatwill tomorrow hold for the Ukrainians themselves? Are talks a real possibility? Will there be any use of them? To find this out, Sophie talks to Ray McGovern, retired CIA analyst turned whistleblower.

Permalink Ukrainian Forces [Kiev] Kill 3 Pro-Russian Demonstrators

Ukrainian security forces fascists killed three pro-Russian activists, wounded 13 and took 63 captive in a firefight overnight in the eastern city of Mariupol, the interim Ukrainian interior minister said on Thursday. The clash was the most lethal so far in the east of the country. The minister, Arsen Avakov, said the protesters had tried to storm a base used by troops in the newly formed National Guard, which has drawn from volunteers who took part in last winter’s protest movement against the government. A crowd made up of civilians as well as militants formed outside the base, he said. Mr. Avakov’s description of the conflict indicated another challenge for the new government, as in other cases where pro-Russian groups have seized administrative buildings and police stations.

RT.com: Kiev: Military operation in Ukraine southeast to go on despite Geneva agreement

Permalink Pro-Russia Official Disavows Fliers Ordering Jews To 'Register' In East Ukraine

The head of the self-proclaimed provisional leadership in Eastern Ukraine's Donetsk has disavowed fliers issued in his name that call on the city's Jewish population to "register" with his separatist government. Denis Pushilin, the leader of the pro-Russia "People's Republic of Donetsk," confirmed to the Ukrainian press on Thursday that such fliers were distributed around the city's synagogues. But he both rejected their content and denied that his organization was behind their distribution, according to Think Progress. The fliers, which were first reported by Ukraine's Novosti Donbassa and later picked up by USA Today, instructed Jews to bring proper identification to the regional administration and pay a $50 registration fee. Failure to do so would result in loss of citizenship, confiscation of property and deportation, the pamphlet read.

xymphora: Five men in masks A simply preposterous story, swallowed hook, line and sinker. Why would the Russian-speakers take up this particular cause, one they showed no interest in before, at this time, a time when they face the much more compelling issue that they may be under attack by the Ukrainian army, an army that is under orders from a coup government portions of which consist of neo-Nazis, people with a real demonstrated issue with Jews, especially when the Russian-speakers know for certain that this kind of attack will automatically produce all kinds of problems they don't need. When we read the odious production of presstitutes (and all journalists are presstitutes until proven otherwise), we must first assume it is a lie or false flag, and then consider the unlikelihood that it might have some merit.

Jason Ditz: Mythical “Jew Registration” in East Ukraine a Media Sensation Determined not to let a good piece of rhetoric go to waste just because it was untrue and discredited nearly 24 hours ago, Western media outlets are running frenzied stories about Jews in the protester-held Eastern Ukraine cities being forced to register, providing a new chance to make World War 2 comparisons, and advancing the US narrative that the Russians, and not the “pro-West” protesters with swastika stickers on their helmets, are the “real anti-semites.” Incredibly, the State Department is endorsing the myth as absolute fact, because what USA Today claims unnamed Israeli media claims they saw posted outside a synagogue in Donetsk is good enough for them. The truth, not so much.

RT.com: ‘Letter to Jews’, Kerry cited, appears to be fake
The Daily Dot: That flyer about Jews needing to 'register' in Ukraine is fake - Jewish advocacy group


Permalink Four-party meeting approves document on deescalation of tensions in Ukraine

A four-party meeting on Ukraine with Russia, the United States and the European Union was held in Geneva on April 17.. Four-party meeting has approved a document on deescalation of tension in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. The Geneva statement calls for national dialogue in Ukraine, Lavrov emphasized. Russia, US, EU urge all sides in Ukraine to refrain from violence, the Russian foreign minister stressed. Russia will support OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) mission in Ukraine towards dialogue, Lavrov noted. All illegal armed groups in Ukraine must be disarmed, he added. “The steps that must be taken include the following: all illegal armed groups must be disarmed, all administrative buildings must be returned to their legitimate owners,” Lavrov said after four-party talks on Ukraine in Geneva. “All protesters must be amnestied except for those who committed grave crimes,” he stressed.

The Telegraph: Ukraine crisis: Russia announces deal to disband illegal armed groups - LIVE
RT.com: Kiev: Military operation in Ukraine southeast to go on despite Geneva agreement

Permalink Putin reveals NATO chief secretly recorded their talk, leaked it to media

Vladimir Putin says that current NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen secretly recorded and leaked a private conversation with him, when he was the head of the Danish government. During his time as Prime Minister he once requested an unscheduled meeting with me, and we met and talked. As it turned out, he had a voice recorder on him, and surreptitiously recorded our conversation, and leaked it to the press,” the Russian president recounted during his annual TV hotline. “I couldn’t believe my ears and eyes – what nonsense!” The Russian president didn’t specify when the meeting took place, but Rasmussen was his country’s Prime Minister between 2001 and 2009. “He explained to me that he recorded the conversation for posterity. I am flattered, of course, but he should have warned me, or at least asked permission to make the content public,” continued Putin. “How can you trust someone after an incident like that?

RT.com/International Clearing House: Putin's Annual Q&A Session 2014 - FULL VIDEO
RT.com: Putin on Kiev op: 'Tanks, jets against own people?! Are they nuts?!'
PressTV: Kiev plunging Ukraine into abyss: Putin
RT.com: Snowden asks Putin LIVE: Does Russia intercept millions of citizens’ data?

Permalink French intelligence collects all data of France Telecom/Orange

Documents revealed by Edward Snowden and analyzed by the daily Le Monde reveal the role of French Telecom/Orange in the collection of data by the French intelligence services over a period of decades. France’s General Directorate of the External Security (DGSE) freely obtains the data of all Orange’s customers, apparently in a totally illegal manner. Le Monde relied upon British signals intelligence spy network (GCHQ) documents extracted from the American National Security Agency (NSA) by Snowden. They show, according to the newspaper, that the co-operation between the DGSE and Orange was “maintained by people cleared for defence secrets, at the heart of the company, and ongoing for at least thirty years, by engineers who liaise between the two institutions.” In an article titled “The DGSE reportedly has total access to the Orange network,” Reuters stresses that intercepts were carried out within the framework of the July 10 1991 law, which concerns only cases related to the fight against terrorism and organised crime. This procedure operates on the prime minister’s authorisation, after being checked by the National Commission for Security Intercepts (CNIS), for a period of four months on the basis of a documented request.

Permalink NATO’s Pet Nazis Savage Ukrainian Presidential Candidate

US-EU legitimacy is crippled as their Kiev regime uses overt, systematic violence and intimidation to consolidate its hold over Ukraine. Ukrainian presidential candidate Oleg Tsarev was savagely beaten outside a TV studio after an interview for the Ukrainian talk show, ‘Svoboda Slova.’ The studio was apparently surrounded by armed men in masks earlier, preventing Tsarev from leaving after the interview. When he did finally emerge, masked men with Svoboda Neo-Nazi “Wolfsangel” armbands began throwing objects at, choking, and physically beating Tsarev.

Permalink Yet another truly excellent CrossTalk, today about russophobia

What does Russophobia mean? Where does it come from? What are the West's russophobic stereotypes? And why is Russophobia dangerous. CrossTalking with George Szamuely, Alexander Nekrassov and Dmitry Babich.

Permalink Ukrainian soldiers surrender armoured personnel carriers to pro-Russian separatists

Armoured personnel carriers driven into the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk under the control of Ukrainian armed forces are now believed to be in the control of pro-Russian separatists after Ukrainian soldiers surrendered their vehicles. Amid escalating rhetoric between Moscow and Kiev, the incident highlighted defiance by pro-Russian separatists, undermining central government efforts to push armed rebels out of captured buildings in 10 eastern towns without bloodshed. Ukrainian troops had driven armoured personnel carriers flying the Ukrainian flag into the town of Kramatorsk after securing control of a nearby airfield from the rebels on Tuesday, prompting Russian President Vladimir Putin to warn of the risk of civil war.

Oman Daily Observer: US considers arming Ukraine forces


Permalink Putin: Ukraine’s radical escalation puts it on edge of civil war

The sharp escalation of the Ukraine crisis virtually puts the country on the brink of civil war, Russian President Vladimir Putin told German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a telephone call. [The NSA & Obama were listening in on them...] Putin and Merkel discussed the upcoming Ukrainian crisis talks between Russia, Ukraine, the EU and the US, scheduled to be held on Thursday in Geneva. Merkel’s press office noted that, despite some differences of opinion, the upcoming talks were the main focus of the telephone conversation. "While there were differences in the interpretation of current events, preparations for the planned meeting in Geneva...were the focus of the talks," Merkel's office said in a statement. Putin meanwhile expressed hope that the Geneva talks will help to de-escalate the situation, and return it to peaceful cooperation.

Those who don’t lay arms, will be destroyed - Ukrainian military op commander
Military seize airfield controlled by anti-govt activists in eastern Ukraine

Right after CIA director Brennan visited Kiev, then this:
Kiev putschists launches "anti-terrorist operation" in the east
Putschist Ukranian "President" Turchynov announces start of "anti-terror operation" in eastern Ukraine
CIA director in Kiev searching for missing mercenaries

Jason Ditz: White House Endorses Ukraine Crackdown on Protesters
Michael Collins: Triumph of the Ill – Ukraine Coup Leaders Turn on People
Johannes Stern: US-backed crackdown threatens civil war in Ukraine

Permalink UKRAINE WAR: CIA Launches Pre-emptive Attack to Destabilize Russia

In today's video, Christopher Greene of AMTV reports on a CIA led attack in Ukraine.

Permalink Russian State Duma member: Tsoi had his songs written by CIA

‘United Russia’ member Evgeniy Fedorov claims that Viktor Tsoi was assisted by American intelligence officers in writing the ‘Changes’ song. According to the parliament member, dozens thousands experts in the USA worked on the songs of the Kino band’s leader. They studied the situation in the USSR in order to pick the correct words and play on the listeners’ sentiment. “Songs for Tsoi were professionally written in Hollywood in Russian… there was a whole CIA department working for him on breaking up the USSR”, - Evgeniy Fedorov said.

Permalink UK Moves to Block US Senate Report to Protect Blair, Straw and Dearlove

From a British diplomatic source I learn that Britain has lobbied the United States against the publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture and extraordinary rendition. The lobbying has been carried out “at all levels” – White House, State Department and CIA. The British have argued that at the very least the report must be emasculated before publication. The British argument is that in a number of court cases including the Belhadj case, the British government has successfully blocked legal action by victims on the grounds that this would weaken the US/UK intelligence relationship and thus vitally damage national security, by revealing facts the American intelligence service wish hidden.

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