суббота, 14 февраля 2015 г.

Doctors without borders about Gorlovka in Donbass.Ukraine:At times you're just waiting for the next blust

Manu Brabo/MSF

Galina, 86, looks at the hole where a shell hit her apartment in Kievsky district in Donetsk, Ukraine.

"'m a surgeon, but I have never in my life seen so many amputaded people- people go shopping and one hour later they are without their legs,The surgeons here -who have never had to deal with war -wounded before -are having to carry out at least one or two amputations every day."
DR.MICHAEL ROSH/MSF SURGEON. 
February 13, 2015
The industrial city of Gorlovka in eastern Ukraine is under constant shelling, its hospitals are overwhelmed with wounded, and medical supplies have run out, leaving many doctors no choice but to stitch up patients with fishing line. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) surgeon Dr. Michael Roesch is supporting the Ukrainian surgical team in Hospital #2. Here, he describes his experience:
I arrived in Gorlovka six days ago and went straight to the hospital. The main operating theaters up on the sixth floor are no longer functioning because they’re just too dangerous with all the shelling. There’s one working operating theater on the ground floor. Every day they receive between five and twenty victims of shelling.
Last week, 60 injured people were brought in on one day. But for three days there was no running water in the hospital, and so they had to cancel all but the most urgent operations. Without water, you can’t sterilize anything.
The city isn’t in ruins, as the shells and rockets don’t destroy buildings completely, though smaller houses in the suburbs can collapse. But all the buildings have shattered windows—an issue when the temperature goes down to 10 below zero at night. Yesterday we passed a children’s playground with scorch marks on the ground from where a shell had exploded. And there are bomb craters everywhere, including one right in front of the children’s hospital.
But you hardly see any children. Most of the families with small children have left. It feels like a ghost town. Most of the shops are closed, there are no cafes or restaurants. If people have to go out, they walk very swiftly. No one stands around unless they’re waiting for a bus.

Random Shelling

MSF first came to Gorlovka in September [2014] and since then, my colleagues have been regularly providing this hospital with much needed medical supplies and drugs. When the conflict escalated in January, we decided to have a team based here so we could directly support the local doctors to provide emergency surgical care to influxes of wounded.
Every hour or two, a shell or rocket hits somewhere in the city, completely randomly. Most victims are hit in the open air, when they’re walking down the street or waiting for the bus. Inside houses, you’re mostly safe as long as you stay away from the windows.
Two days ago, a house 200 meters from where we are living was hit. We were woken at 5 a.m. by a sudden blast. The windows were shaking, and we knew it had to be a bomb. I jumped up, gathered some essentials together—my computer, reading glasses, penknife, and warm clothes—and ran down to the basement for shelter. I’d already stashed an emergency medical kit downstairs. At times like that you’re just waiting for the next blast to happen.

"At Times You're Just Waiting for the Next Blast to Happen"

The hospitals are running out of basic medical supplies. Doctors in other hospitals have told us they have no surgical sutures left, so the surgeons are stitching people up with fishing line.
As the water supply worsens due to the shelling, diarrhea amongst infants is increasing, but the children’s hospital has run out of the infusions they need to prevent dehydration. Supplies of all sorts of drugs have run out—we’ve been asked for insulin, antibiotics, disinfectants for wounds—we’ve already received a huge list of things they urgently need beyond what we’ve already brought in.
But getting supplies into the city is not easy. Gorlovka is basically surrounded by the frontline, and can only be reached on one narrow entry road. The area gets shelled often, so it’s dangerous to pass through it, and frequently it is closed.  
I’ve visited three hospitals in the city [that] are still functioning, but many health centers and clinics are closed, partly due to the shelling, but also because around half of the medical staff have left the city. Those who remain haven’t been paid for seven months.

Abandoned by the Outside World

The past six days have been really overwhelming for me. I’m a surgeon, but I have never in my life seen so many amputated people—people go shopping and one hour later they are without their legs. The surgeons here—who have never had to deal with war-wounded before—are having to carry out at least one or two amputations every day.
It’s difficult for the hospital staff, but they are coping remarkably well. Like the rest of the people here, they have a very stoic attitude. They are very brave, very calm and contained; they are doing their best to cope.
But you can sense that underneath they are very close to desperation. They feel abandoned by the outside world. Apart from MSF, there are no other international organizations here. People are desperately waiting for a sign from the rest of the world that they haven’t been forgotten. 

среда, 11 февраля 2015 г.

The world of russian fairy-tales: A.S.Pushkin "The tale of tsar Saltan"

The Tale of Tsar Saltan-Сказка о царе Салтане  1/6


​‘Last chance’ Ukraine peace talks to start in Minsk


Leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany are expected to gather in Minsk, Belarus, for what is widely viewed as a last attempt to stop the violence in Eastern Ukraine. The talks come as deaths continue to pile up in the civil war-torn nation.
Wednesday’s meeting in Minsk has drawn worldwide attention, with some 400 journalists covering the event. Even on Wednesday morning there was no certainty that the talks would actually go as planned.
"There are a number of problems which remain to be resolved ... but it is very likely to go ahead," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told France Inter radio. He added that "it is really a last chance negotiation."
Later it was confirmed by the office of French President Francois Hollande that both he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were going to Minsk for the talks. The Kremlin officially confirmed that President Vladimir Putin will participate in the meeting.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is going to Minsk as well, said he was certain that the talks would result in a political settlement of the conflict.
“The experts are working. There is considerable progress,” the minister said, declining to reveal any details of the draft agreement.
A Russian diplomatic source told Reuters that there was 70 percent chance that that the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany would reach an agreement.
"The presidents aren't traveling for no reason," the source said.
Representatives from the Ukrainian rebel forces were not invited to the talks, but they are taking part in a separate meeting of the so-called “contact group,” which also includes Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
The group’s meeting on Tuesday saw no breakthrough, although sources familiar with the issue said that a ceasefire plan was agreed upon. The parties provided guarantees that the plan would be implemented if Wednesday’s negotiations produce concrete results, according to a RIA Novosti source.
“Yesterday the parties agreed to stop fire and pull back the weapons. Kiev, for its part, guaranteed that. Representatives of [the self-proclaimed republics] declared that they guaranteed it as well,” the diplomatic source told.
The rebels indicated that it would be up to Kiev to demonstrate a willingness to reach a peace deal. The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics reportedly want their latest land grabs amid escalated violence to be part of the peace settlement.
Kiev apparently resists such demands and wants their opponents to fall back to where they were in early January.
“The key position is ceasefire without any conditions,” Ukrainian President Poroshenko described his negotiating position on Wednesday at a cabinet session. He added that if no deal is reached, Ukraine will declare martial law, a move his government has previously rejected.
“The cabinet, the parliament and I are all prepared to declare martial law,” he warned.
The Ukrainian government wants to take back control of the land it lost after launching a failed massive offensive in January. The situation is not unlike that in August 2014, when a Russia and OSCE-brokered truce put an end to a string of military defeats of the troops loyal to Kiev. Some rebel officials accused Ukraine of agreeing to the first ceasefire only to build up their troops and prepare for a new crackdown.
Poroshenko is going to Minsk a day after visiting Kramatorsk, a city where 16 people were reported killed from a rocket attack on Tuesday. Kiev was quick to blame the rebel forces for the attack, an accusation that the militias denied, saying they had no artillery units close enough to fire at Kramatorsk.
Meanwhile the rebel stronghold of Donetsk suffered yet another shelling by artillery, which they blamed on an infiltration group sent by Kiev. At least four people reportedly died from the attack, which hit a bus station just a few hours before the talks were scheduled to begin.
Few details are known about the proposed new peace deal on the table in Minsk. It would reportedly involve a wide demilitarized zone along a disengagement line to prevent artillery attacks, political reform in Ukraine to offer wide autonomy to its dissenting regions and possibly a contingent of international peacekeepers to monitor the situation. If the talks do produce a truce document, implementing it in practice would be a challenge on its own.
The alternative to striking a deal, however, is further escalation of the conflict. The US and some European countries, such as Britain and Poland, said they were considering supplying arms to Ukraine. European heavyweights Germany and France, as well as several other EU members, spoke sharply against such a move.
The West’s arming Kiev is bound to further alienate Moscow, which already sees some of the troops fighting for Kiev as “a NATO legion,” to cite President Putin.
Kiev and some Western nations accuse Russia of fanning the flames in Ukraine by supporting the rebels, providing them arms and sending troops to fight by their side. Moscow denies the accusation and blame Washington’s unconditional support of Kiev’s aggressive policies for the continued hostilities.

воскресенье, 8 февраля 2015 г.

Munich conference: Russia ‘hate fest’ or split between Western allies?

World leaders gathered in Germany to discuss international security on Saturday, with the meeting somewhat descending into ‘Russia-bashing’. But the West showed itself to be more divided than ever on Ukraine, with the EU and US drifting further apart.
The Americans led the harsh anti-Russian rhetoric at the conference, and once again, they did not exclude the possibility of lethal arms deliveries to Ukraine in the future.

Speaking to reporters, NATO’s top commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, said that although no troops would be sent to Ukraine, providing Kiev with lethal weapons and equipment was on the cards.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, British Conservative politician and former foreign secretary Malcom Rifkind, and US senator Lindsey Graham notably took a pronounced anti-Russian stance, blaming the Kremlin for the violence in Ukraine.
Moscow hit back, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressing in his Munich speech that it is the US and its European allies who have played the key destabilizing role in Ukraine, from helping to overthrow the democratically elected government to failing to condemn the new Kiev government for shelling the civilian population in the east with cluster bombs. 

“Through every step, as the crisis has developed, our American colleagues and the EU under their influence have tried to escalate the situation,” Lavrov said, adding that the West has always been urging world governments to enter into dialogue with opposition groups or figures, even when it came to extremist groups such as the Taliban. However, in Ukraine it has bluntly been supporting every one of Kiev’s actions.
Lavrov then spoke with US Secretary of State John Kerry, warning him that Washington’s plans to supply Kiev with military equipment might have “unpredictable consequences”, including “disrupting the efforts to resolve the crisis in southeastern Ukraine,” according to a Facebook statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry. He stressed that Russia and the US agree that the only basis for any solution is a comprehensive national dialogue on constitutional reform in Ukraine. 

Russia will not sacrifice its national interest, but is ready to “engage constructively” with the US, Lavrov stressed.
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko meets U.S. Vice President Joe Biden as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Victoria Nuland (L-R) at the 51st Munich Security Conference on February 7, 2015. (Reuters/Michaela Rehle
At the press conference, the Russian top diplomat was pelted with questions implying that Moscow is responsible for the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. 

“It felt like orchestrated hate fest. Obviously these people live in a surreal world. The US try to change the balance of forces in eastern Europe and the EU join the band wagon,” Srdja Trifkovic, foreign affairs editor of the Chronicles magazine told RT, adding that “whenever a major power wants to change the status-quo, the result is a crisis.” 

Despite the recent efforts to try and to stop the violence and find a peaceful way out of the Ukrainian conflict, with French and German leaders having taken an initiative to discuss a peace plan with Russia’s President Putin and Ukraine’s President Poroshenko, the actions of the West are still“profoundly self-righteous,” critics say.
“What I saw today in the press conference is a total unwillingness from the European, Western side to even take into consideration the arguments of the other side...the questions they pose are so selective, so predetermined by their self-righteousness – that is not the way you try to get peace,” former security consultant at the OSCE Lode Vanoost told RT, adding that the West is hypocritical to a level “so profound that [its behavior] is not a serious way to try to get peace.”
However, despite the overwhelmingly anti-Russian rhetoric coming from the West, there are increasingly numbers of politicians who are softening their stance. 

Following the Friday meeting of President Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande in Moscow, which was said to be “constructive,” the French leader revealed that the discussion included the creation of a larger demilitarized zone between the Kiev and militia-controlled territories. He also called for “quite strong” autonomy for Ukraine’s eastern regions.
While the European leaders have largely been united in their support for the Kiev government, only a few have agreed with the United States on supplying weapons to Ukraine. Instead, the German leader stressed that the crisis “cannot be resolved militarily” and that sending more arms can only worsen the conflict.
The issue of military aid to Ukraine is now considered to be the main subject causing the divide in the West, with many in Europe realizing that the potential threat of an escalating conflict on its territory exists. 
Political analysts agree that hidden from the public eye, “there is definitely a big divide between the US and the EU on the whole issue of Ukraine,” Vanoost told RT. “It’s very difficult to know how the game will finish, because it's not an open game, it's behind the scenes,” Bruno Drweski, an analyst specializing in eastern Europe, said.

Sanctions against Russia have economically hit the EU itself, but have not affected the US. The conflict is also happening on the European continent, not in America, with the EU generally not eager to further escalate it.

“First of all, the European Union is directly involved if the conflict escalates – which is not the case for the United States. Secondly, in the EU they are realistic enough to know that the government in Kiev is very unstable, that they don't even have full control of all parts of their own military,” Vanoost explained, while speaking about the Western split in regard of the Ukrainian crisis.
However, toning down rhetoric puts some in the firing line, too.

After Merkel said that Europe wants security alongside with Russia, rather against it, and reiterated Berlin’s stance that the Ukrainian conflict must be resolved peacefully, US senator Graham lashed out at the German leader for her refusal to send arms to Ukraine.

“She can't see how arming people who are willing to fight and die for their freedom makes things better,”the US politician said, adding that the West cannot “turn [its] back on the struggling democracy.”
In an effort to silence voices against harsher anti-Russian measures, US Vice President Joe Biden has labeled those questioning sanctions against Moscow “inappropriate and annoying,” Der Spiegel reported, quoting the participants of the Brussels meeting. The US official called on European countries to show unity when it comes to sanctions against Russia. Biden even reportedly added that critics of the policy should be aware that they also benefited from the current low price of oil.
“The Americans want to run this show, and they have no interest in stopping the crisis in Ukraine because it is really driving a wedge between the Europeans and Russia. And to their [the US’] mind, it is only pushing Europe ever so firmly back into the NATO fold,” Trifkovic told RT. 

Meanwhile, Lavrov said Moscow is ready to guarantee agreements between the warring sides if a peaceful solution to the crisis is found, which would satisfy both Kiev and the eastern Ukrainian regions. 
Quoting the “aggression” against the federal republic of Yugoslavia, the current crisis has been named“an ongoing assault against the Russian Federation” by the former deputy head of OSCE, Willy Wimmer. Calling for a hastier end to the conflict, which “is the best for all of us,” the ex official of the European security and cooperation organization said that “it's better to have Polish apples in Russian stores than US tanks at the Russian border.”

Ukraine disrupts evacuation of Debaltsevo civilians — DPR Defense Ministry spokesman

The Ukrainian side had not issued a notification of the opportunity to be evacuated to the DPR, shelling of the evacuation area from the Ukrainian side continued, DPR Defense Ministry spokesman says.

Local woman waiting for evacuation from Debaltsevo, Ukraine

© EPA/ANASTASIA VLASOVA


MOSCOW, February 6. /TASS/. Evacuation of Debaltsevo civilians to the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has been disrupted through the fault of Ukraine, DPR Defense Ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin told the Donetsk news agency on Friday.
Basurin said the residents had not been told of an opportunity to go to Donetsk.
"Forty people arrived at the place of evacuation. People failed to come as the Ukrainian side had not issued a notification of the opportunity to be evacuated to the DPR. People don’t know anything," he said. "When we entered Debaltsevo, there was a provocation, fire was being delivered from the city."

According to the Donetsk news agency (DNA), a convoy of about 20 nearly empty buses is heading for Donetsk. Shelling of the evacuation area from the Ukrainian side did not stop, with both artillery and sniper fire being delivered," a DNA correspondent reported from the site.

Kiev forces’ shelling injures three citizens near Debaltsevo amid evacuation

Kiev military opened fire on Russian reporters and local civilians during evacuation effort

Local citizens before their evacuation from Debaltsevo, Ukraine

© EPA/ANASTASIA VLASOVA
LUHANSK, February 6. /TASS/. Three local citizens were injured as Kiev forces shelled the Chernukhino village, near Debaltsevo, during the evacuation effort, the emergencies minister of the self-proclaimed Luhansk people’s republic said on Friday.
"At the moment, our ambulances have already taken three civilians who tried to get out of the village," Sergey Ivanushkin was quoted by the LuganskInformCentre as saying.
The injured people have been taken to a hospital in the neighboring city Perevalsk, the minister said, stressing that amid the shelling citizens are being evacuated only from a highway close to the village.
"Unfortunately, Ukraine has failed to confirm its readiness to let people go. They were forced to walk to the highway where we are taking them," Ivanushkin said told the agency.
Earlier on Friday, the LuganskInformCentre reported that Kiev military opened fire on Russian reporters and local civilians during evacuation effort in Chernukhino, thus violating the earlier agreed truce.
The Luhansk republic’s leader, Igor Plotnitsky, said earlier in the day that an agreement had been reached with Kiev's military to open a humanitarian corridor at 10.00 a.m. for evacuation of residents from Chernukhino located in the area of combat actions. By mid-day, more than 50 people managed to leave the village in their personal cars.


пятница, 6 февраля 2015 г.

The "phosphorus rain" in Donetsk

 11:17 Message from militia,
"the night of February 4 to 5 in Donetsk passed under the cannonade of incessant explosions. AFU shells fell in almost every district of the city. Residents reported shelling of the city with phosphorus shells. Another school of Donetsk was damaged by Ukrainian military gunfire. Around 2:40 (MSK) it was reported of shelling of Bryanka, Stakhanov, Almaznaya by AFU. Militia opened fire on the positions of the AFU in Debaltsevo from the area at the settlement of Stakhanov. According to reports from local residents there was artillery fire of: Chernukhino, Troitskoye, Zolotoye, Stanitsa Luganskaya, Novotoshkovskoye, Slavyanoserbsk. The shelling by Ukrainian security forces in Makeyevka damaged houses in the district Chervonogvardeysky. Fortunately there were no casualties. At night, there was a powerful shelling with incendiary shells in Donetsk. "

11:48 Message from militias:
"After a morning fire at Teztilschik, in the night shells blanketed neighborhoods Mirny and Solnechny. A terrible cannonade shook Leninsky Prospect, Bus Station Yuzhny, Solovki, Aleksandrovka, Bosse. These areas are covered with smoke, there is the glow of the fires, the locals complain of strong burning smell - Energetic plant was under attack, pipeline was damaged on Smolyanka. Petrovka is under fire of Ukrainian MLRS "Uragan" and howitzers. "

WARNING! Some people could find this footage disturbing!

And it's consiquence....





Source:http://en.voicesevas.ru/news/yugo-vostok/3474-the-war-in-novorossia-online-02052015-chronicle.html

четверг, 5 февраля 2015 г.

Turkey and Gazprom. The geopolitics of pipelines

Pyotr ISKENDEROV | 04.02.2015 | 00:00


Russia’s Gazprom, OJSC and the Turkish company Botas Petroleum Pipeline Corporation confirmed their intention to pump the initial shipment of natural gas into Turkey through the new pipeline in December 2016. And by 2019, Russia will be able to deliver gas supplies to Europe while bypassing Ukraine. 
After the negotiations in Ankara between Gazprom’s chairman of the board, Alexei Miller, and Turkey’s minister of energy and natural resources, Taner Yildiz, the head of Gazprom stated, «We have agreed to schedule the work so that we get to the signing stage of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the pipeline during the second quarter of this year, and the first gas shipment will be pumped into Turkey in December 2016... The first leg of the pipeline will have a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters, which we will direct entirely at the Turkish market. Given the readiness of the Russkaya compressor station and of the majority of the offshore pipeline route - this is a totally realistic deadline». 
According to Mr. Miller, «the joint creation of gas-transportation facilities within the framework of this important project makes Gazprom and Botas strategic infrastructure partners... Everyone is focused on results. Our top priorities are to analyze the existing route options within Turkey and to determine the point of emergence from the sea, the point where the gas will be delivered to the consumers in Turkey, and the point where the gas will cross the Turkish-Greek border».


The total capacity of the planned gas pipeline, which has been unofficially dubbed the «Turkish Stream,» will be 63 billion cubic meters of gas per year, supplied via four legs. The pipeline will travel for 660 kilometers along the route planned for South Stream, and for another 250 kilometers along a new corridor toward the European part of Turkey.
Azerbaijan was interested in the news of the Russian-Turkish agreement. Azerbaijani observers immediately commented that the agreement between Moscow and Ankara dealt a blow to the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), for which the EU and the US are lobbying. The website Haqqin.az notes, «In any event, barring anything unforeseen, today Russia has outplayed all the parties involved in the Azerbaijani gas project, including the European Union. While Azerbaijani gas is being shipped to Turkey, the Turkish market will also receive about 35 billion cubic meters of Russian gas from under the Black Sea. And at that point, Turkey is unlikely to need the several billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas that must be sent to the Turks in keeping with existing commitments. And if Gazprom manages to build a hub on the Turkish-Greek border just as quickly, then Russian gas will enter Europe ahead of the Azerbaijani gas. And the first supplier always has the best chance».
Western capitals also reacted sharply to the unfolding Russian-Turkish gas agreement. After the West derailed the rollout of Russia’s South Stream pipeline, the US Department of Energy began to insist that Russian gas projects be seen as primarily political schemes rather than economic. With baffling logic, European Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič called Russia’s decision to «supply the full amount of gas through Turkey instead of Ukraine» a blow to Gazprom’s image as a reliable supplier. Quickly, it seems, the Europeans forgot any problems they had had with Russian gas supplies that stemmed from Ukraine’s unreliability as a transit country.
The West is primarily concerned that redirecting Russian gas to skirt Ukraine will devalue their «Ukrainian card,» which the Western capitals so eagerly play against Russia. In this respect, the West considers both the former South Stream as well as the current «Turkish Stream» equally undesirable. Either of those pipelines would eliminate Ukraine from the geopolitical games being played in accordance with Western scripts. 
Experts, however, see the problem from a different angle. The US business news agency Bloomberg, citing a report from researchers at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, noted specifically that «the cancellation of South Stream is part of a broader change of strategy for Gazprom that plays to the company’s strengths».
And the inexplicable entanglements of the Opal pipeline, an extension of Nord Stream, can help explain exactly who in the gas field is being driven primarily by political rather than economic motives. «For three years, this gas pipeline, which has helped make gas transit less risky for Germany, the Czech Republic, and to a certain extent Austria and Slovakia, should operate at 50% capacity, just because there is Russian gas, but there’s essentially nothing else…» claims the chairman of the board of directors of Gazprom, Viktor Zubkov . 
The European Union does not want to incur additional financial expenses by buying gas from Turkey, but those could have been avoided if Europe had not shot down the South Stream project. At that time the Russians were prepared to finance the construction, but the EU will have to use its own funds to put in the pipelines running from the Turkish border. 
The year 2019, when Russian gas will bypass Ukraine and go through Turkey, will be here soon. Somewhere that is well understood. In particular, in Hungary. The prime minister of that country, Viktor Orban, stated that anti-Russian sanctions «were in conflict with Hungary’s interests,» and that he intends, in his words, «to come to terms with Russia on a gas agreement» during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Budapest. Putin arrives in the Hungarian capital on February 17th.