When asked for India’s official assessment of the events in Ukraine, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon responded: “We hope that whatever internal issues there are within Ukraine are settled peacefully, and the broader issues of reconciling various interests involved, and there are legitimate Russian and other interests involved…. We hope those are discussed, negotiated and that there is a satisfactory resolution to them.”
The statement was made on the same day that Crimea’s parliament voted to hold a referendum for secession from Ukraine.
Ukraine Turmoil: Live Updates RT ~ link ~
"The Ukrainian economic ties with Russia, its not something that you can just wipe off the table. If you ask people now, if you look at what Ukraine is looking forward to in terms of being addled down with billions of debt - the country is an absolute mess economically and then to have the IMF to allow transnational corporations to come in and scoop up Ukrainian state assets and rise gas and electricity prices. I think if you ask Ukrainians in about two year time, they would rather have the stability of local partnership with Russia. I don't think they're going to see that in the very near future, but they will in long term possible," said Hennigsen.
Pro-Russian protesters take over Ukraine's Lugansk City - with video ~ link ~ In reality there are two Ukraines; one in the west that wants to be independent, the other in the west and southwest that is full of Russian speaking people, in lands that were traditionally a part of Russia proper. It only makes sense to have a peaceful split here, or have NATO/EU/USA stay the hell out of their affairs and not be doing crazy things (like spending US$5 BILLION to create a global war endangering crisis). Stirling
According to recent reports, the demonstrators stormed the Municipal Administration building in Lugansk on Sunday, brought down the Ukrainian flag and hoisted the Russian one instead.
They also urged authorities to hold a referendum over joining Russia.
Meanwhile, Lugansk's governor has fled the city, and a pro-Russian figure has been elected as the city’s new governor, Russian media reported.
Pro-Russia rallies are also being held in Ukraine’s eastern city of Donetsk and across the autonomous region of Crimea.
Putin defends Crimean referendum legitimacy to EU leaders as Ukraine's southeast rises ~ link ~ Crimea’s upcoming referendum will reflect the legitimate interests of its people, Russian President Vladimir Putin told two EU leaders over the phone. Inspired by Crimea’s actions, eastern Ukraine is also protesting the coup-imposed government in Kiev.
Putin on Sunday had a top-level conversation on the situation in Ukraine with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister David Cameron, according to a statement issued by the Kremlin press service.
Ukraine gripped by rival rallies ~ link ~ Tens of thousands of people in Ukraine have held rival pro-unity and pro-Russian rallies, as Moscow continues to strengthen its grip on Crimea.
Ukrainian drone captures video of Russian troops fortifying in Crimea - with videos ~ link
Crimea move lawful insists President Putin ~ link ~ Russian President Vladimir Putin has defended the separatist drive in the disputed Crimean Peninsula as in keeping with international law, as Ukraine's prime minister vowed not to relinquish "a single centimetre" of his country's territory.Over the weekend, the Kremlin beefed up its military presence in Crimea, a part of Ukraine since 1954, and pro-Russia forces keep pushing for a vote in favour of reunification with Moscow in a referendum the local parliament has scheduled for next Sunday.
Klitschko forced to cancel rally as violence flares in eastern Ukraine - with video ~ link ~ Vitaly Klitschko, the former boxer turned Ukranian presidential hopeful, has been forced to cancel a rally in the eastern city of Donetsk, as pro-Russian protests in the city turned violent.
Across the eastern regions of the divided nation, efforts to stage "Ukrainian unity" rallies were crushed by an angry pro-Russia backlash.
Has Blackwater been deployed to the Ukraine? Russia: 300 hired guns now in the Ukraine ~ link ~ Same old evil crap that we have seen the neocons use in multiple places!!! Stirling
Thousands gather in the Crimea for rival pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian rallies ~ link ~ Tens of thousand of people across Ukraine have taken to the streets in rival pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian rallies.
In Luhansk, eastern Crimea, pro-Russian demonstrators seized the regional government offices and forced the governor to resign.
Merkel raps Putin as Russian forces tighten grip on Crimea ~ link ~ Germany's Angela Merkel delivered a rebuke to President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, telling him that a planned Moscow-backed referendum on whether Crimea should join Russia was illegal and violated Ukraine's constitution.
Putin defended breakaway moves by pro-Russian leaders in Crimea, where Russian forces tightened their grip on the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula by seizing another border post and a military airfield.
Clashes in the Ukraine as Putin stays defiant - with video ~ link ~ In phone conversations with Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron, Putin in turn accused Ukraine's new leaders of failing to rein in "ultra-nationalist and radical forces". Defying Western condemnation of the March 16 referendum, he asserted the pro-Russian authorities in Crimea organising the vote were legitimate and acting "based on international law".
But Kiev got crucial backing as US President Barack Obama invited interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to the White House on Wednesday to show support.
Former US Secretary of Defense Gates: Crimea Is Gone ~ link ~ "I do not believe that Crimea will slip out of Russia's hand," said Gates while appearing on Fox News Sunday.
When host Chris Wallace asked him again that "You think Crimea's gone?" Gates replied: “I do.”
Gates also predicted that the Russian president will do his best to even take control of the rest of Ukraine.
UK Foreign Secretary Hague: Crimea buildup will cost Russia dearly ~ link ~ Bill Hague should start representing the PEOPLE OF THE UNITED KINGDOM INSTEAD OF THE ROTHSCHILDS!!! Stirling
Russia's UN Ambassador: Ukraine events must be investigated - with video ~ link ~ We in the alternative news media are doing just that as it unfolds! Stirling
He was referring to a recent leaked conversation between EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton and Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, which revealed that Ukraine’s opposition had hired snipers to kill both policemen and protesters last month.
In the 11-minute phone call, Paet said the February killings were to blame on the snipers hired by the Maidan coalition, which is the main provocateur of the crisis in Kiev. The Estonian official also noted that ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was not behind the fatal shootings.
“We can learn many interesting things about how the gunmen were trained for weeks, who trained them and sent them over to provoke the use of force in Ukraine,” Churkin concluded.
US military buildup in Baltic region began in January - with video ~ link ~ More evidence of War Crimes by those in power, and those behind the scenes, in the West! Stirling
“So you have a really interesting situation here whereby they (the Americans) are saying they are moving more aircraft into Lithuania, six additional F-15s and refueling KC-135s into Lithuania. This is most definitely an aggressive move, and it really began in January,” he added.
“So there isn’t anything innocent about what the Americans are doing in the Ukraine. I find this extremely aggressive and extremely illegal when it comes to the corruption and the meddling the Americans have done throughout the Ukraine,” Rickard stated.
“No doubt that they (the Americans) are using their Africa, South America and Middle East strategies now on the Ukraine, and you have really another low point in American foreign policy that has unfortunately been going on since the 1850s,” Rickard noted.
Inspections of nuclear forces are the major instrument of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) signed by then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and US President Barack Obama in 2010, and in force since 2011.
In particular, the inspectors should confirm the declared quantity of strategic nuclear weapons, which according to START should be no more than 1,550 nuclear warheads on each side deployed, on no more than 700 strategic nuclear delivery vehicles.
Orthodox nuns kidnapped in Syria's Maaloula set free ~ link ~ Thank God!!! Stirling
Twelve Lebanese and Syrian nuns, who were kidnapped from the historic Christian town of Maaloula in December, have now been released and are on their way to Syria, Lebanese security source said.
The nuns were transferred to the village of Arsal, western Lebanon, earlier in the week, the source told Reuters on Sunday.
Their whereabouts and condition remained unknown for over three months, with first reports of the abduction emerging in early December as Islamic rebels seized the ancient quarter of Maaloula, a predominantly Christian town and UNESCO heritage site in eastern Syria.
"What the Syrian army achieved in Yabroud facilitated this process," Syrian Greek Orthodox Bishop Louka Khoury speaking to reporters at the border.
The letter was signed by 50 teens and published on the Facebook page of an Israeli pacifist group called Yesh Gvul, which means ‘There is a Limit.'
“The main reason for our refusal is our opposition to the occupation of the Palestinian territories by the army,” the teenagers wrote, as quoted by AFP.
The teenagers pointed out that the army plays a huge role in what Israel does in the West Bank, adding that it has a negative effect on both Palestinians and Israeli society.
“There are actions that are considered war crimes according to international law on a daily basis such as assassinations – extrajudicial killings, building of settlements on the Palestinian territories, administrative detentions, torturing, collective punishment and unequal distribution of resources such as water and electricity,” the teens wrote.
“The problem in the military system is not limited to the confines of its effect on the Palestinian society, but seeps into the daily lives of the Israeli society as well.”
Japan scrambles fighter jets in response to Chinese military planes ~ link ~ Just in case the world did not have enough potential geopolitical flashpoints and near-crises, here comes old faithful - the simmering nationalist rivalry between China and Japan, which may have been pushed to the backburner in light of the grand return of Cold War 2.0, but is neither forgotten nor resolved. In fact, recent developments which have seen Japan fully back the US strategy in Ukraine while China has voiced its support for Russia, will probably only enflame the direct tension between the two Asian superpowers. Moments ago we got the latest manifestation of precisely this when Japan scrambled military jets on Sunday to counter three Chinese military planes that flew near Japanese airspace, defence officials said.
Global Debt crosses $100 TRILLION, rises by $30 Trillion since 2007 - $27 Trillion is 'foreign-held' ~ link ~ Gee, I wonder who the biggest beneficiary is to all this debt. Stirling
While the US may be rejoicing its daily stock market all time highs day after day, it may come as a surprise to many that global equity capitalization has hardly performed as impressively compared to its previous records set in mid-2007. In fact, between the last bubble peak, and mid-2013, there has been a $3.86 trillion decline in the value of equities to $53.8 trillion over this six year time period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Alas, in a world in which there is no longer even hope for growth without massive debt expansion, there is a cost to keeping global equities stable (and US stocks at record highs): that cost is $30 trillion, or nearly double the GDP of the United States, which is by how much global debt has risen over the same period. Specifically, total global debt has exploded by 40% in just 6 short years from 2007 to 2013, from "only" $70 trillion to over $100 trillion as of mid-2013, according to the BIS' just-released quarterly review.
It should come as no surprise to anyone by now, but the only reason why global stocks haven't plummeted since the Lehman collapse is simple: governments have become the final backstop for onboarding risk, with a Central Bank stamp of approval - in other words, the very framework of the fiat system is at stake should global equity levels collapse. The BIS admits as much: “Given the significant expansion in government spending in recent years, governments (including central, state and local governments) have been the largest debt issuers,” according to Branimir Gruic, an analyst, and Andreas Schrimpf, an economist at the BIS.