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Ukraine suffers setback in attempts to regain control in east

Ukraine suffers setback in attempts to regain control in east

The efforts of Ukraine’s government to crack down on pro-Russia separatists who have recently seized various government and security buildings in the east appeared to suffer setbacks Wednesday.

From CNN:

Pro-Russian militants appeared to tighten their grip on Ukraine’s eastern town of Slaviansk on Wednesday as Ukrainian military forces massed nearby in an uneasy standoff.

On a day of fast-moving events in the restive region, officials in Transnistria, a separatist region in Moldova on Kiev’s other border, turned to Moscow for recognition — taking example from Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula Russia annexed from Ukraine last month.

In Donetsk, six armored vehicles sent into the nearby city of Kramatorsk in the morning later showed up carrying Russian flags in Slaviansk.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said the vehicles had been seized by militants after they were “blocked by local residents, including representatives of Russian labeled subversive and terrorist groups.”

As of mid-afternoon local time, the vehicles were located “near an administrative building in the center of Slaviansk, surrounded by men in armed uniform not related to the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” it said. It was not immediately clear what had happened to the personnel in the cars.

State-run Russian news agency RIA Novosti said the crew of the vehicles had switched sides to join the protesters, while other reports said they had been seized by militants.

An earlier report from Reuters news agency also confirmed that the vehicles were later seen under control of pro-Russia separatists.  The article indicates there were reports that Ukrainians gave up the vehicles to the separatists but notes that it was unclear whether there was any threat of force.

And the Wall Street Journal reports that in Donetsk, separatists took over the city council building with little effort and apparently without intervention.

It’s been a difficult start after Ukraine announced in recent days that it had launched a “full-scale anti-terrorist operation” against separatist forces in the east. Ukraine’s acting president and other government leaders have repeatedly blamed Russia for agitating the unrest, while Russia has denied such accusations.

The White House meanwhile again signaled Wednesday that it is prepared to impose new sanctions against Russia, according to another Wall Street Journal report.

The Obama administration said on Wednesday that it has readied fresh sanctions to punish Russia for fomenting unrest in Ukraine, but wants to hear whether Moscow will offer conciliatory steps at a Thursday meeting before imposing the penalties.

“We’re prepared to impose new sanctions,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters traveling with President Barack Obama aboard Air Force One en route to an event near Pittsburgh. Mr. Carney didn’t say what penalties the U.S. is prepared to issue. He said the U.S. wants to find a diplomatic solution and is approaching the talks on Thursday in Geneva with “an eye toward evaluating whether or not Russia is serious about de-escalating” the crisis.

The meeting, which includes representatives from the U.S., Russia, Ukraine and the European Union, will help decide the West’s response to growing unrest in Ukraine. It comes as the Ukrainian military’s efforts to regain control of eastern Ukraine from pro-Russian separatists stumbled, raising more concerns about bloody clashes.

[Featured image: CBS News video]


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Doug Wright Old Grouchy | April 16, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Hey, no worries! Recall the campaign song from those heady days of 2008: “He’s going to change it, he’s going to rearrange it!” Well, he’s getting ever so closer to his goal.

Our real concern should be that a weak leader, like Obama, can only respond to such demands by either giving in or with overwhelming force with all the might available to him, US.

Pray, except the DoJ has not allowed that in public anymore.

Uncle Samuel | April 16, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Pro-Russian separatists order all Jews to register and list property or be deported for supporting Ukrainian rule:

This reeks of the vile Nazis.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Uncle Samuel. | April 16, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    The current mod on WZ is his own one man anti Putin army . He is unhinged & logs on to attack those that are not 100% his view. He actually calls them Putin paid trolls.

    Afrer following this on US ‘conservative ‘ sites I can only think of Krushev who said something about just waiting for America to defeat itself..

    Putin has cleaved the American left & the right into factions within themselves & on his terms & sent them into IQ black holes. He understands the weakness of emotional reaction.

    Putin is also exploiting the very fast growing anti EU movement before upcoming elections . If anyone can spot an EU Commissar it is Putin.

    Think outside the squate Samuel.

      Uncle Samuel in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | April 16, 2014 at 9:40 pm

      There seem to be no ‘good guys’ in this fight, nor in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, etc…and very few in DC.

      Uncle Samuel in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | April 17, 2014 at 6:55 am

      You may disagree with the Weazel Zippers moderator, but the evidence is the evidence. The alleged ‘pro-Russians’ are evidently long-time anti-semites with Nazi/fascist leanings.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Uncle Samuel. | April 17, 2014 at 7:36 am

    More about Russian anti-semitism in Ukraine here:,7340,L-4510688,00.html

    Technically, we don’t know that it were the separatists who distributed the leaflets, only that the leaflets were distributed. I wouldn’t put is past the separatists, though. There is plenty of anti-Semitism in Ukraine across the political spectrum. WW2 revisionism is mainstream, especially now, and rumors of Jewish roots can sink a presidential candidate.
    The west of the country, however, has bigger fish to fry at the moment than to chase the few remaining Jews. They actually parade Jewish supporters of the Maidan. In Ukraine, that’s nothing new. When pogroms were happening in the 1910’s, Ukrainian governments included Jews in high positions, and those Jews were willing to speak up on behalf of those governments.
    I’m not saying that pogroms will start tonight, but it’s a good idea for Jews to leave Ukraine. I can also add that this is why we left.

Has Obama called to surrender on behalf of Ukraine yet?

Henry Hawkins | April 16, 2014 at 8:48 pm

“He (Carney) said the U.S. wants to find a diplomatic solution and is approaching the talks on Thursday in Geneva with “an eye toward evaluating whether or not Russia is serious about de-escalating” the crisis.”

Obama is evaluatiing whether Putin is serious about de-escalating the crisis Putin purposely caused.

Our president is a moron.

    The crisis was caused by a Western backed coup. It has escalated because of the intransigence demonstrated by Western leaders, most notably Americans, and specifically Obama. Putin’s response to the requests from many of Ukraine’s people for intervention was wholly predictable. It is exactly what would happen if Russia backed a coup in Canada, Mexico, or some other nation on America’s border, and the illegitimate government persecuted Americans living within its borders.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to n.n. | April 17, 2014 at 10:21 am

      How certain are you that Putin/Russia had nothing to do with it? It played right into Putin’s wheelhouse.

      AConsidiot in reply to n.n. | April 17, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      Yes, there was a coup. But the coup was against a guy who thought the entire Ukraine economy was his personal piggy-bank.

      Besides, do you really think that Putin is seeking justice?

      Kozak in reply to n.n. | April 17, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Hogwash. There was no coup. Yanukovych was legally impeached and removed from office. After he had had demonstrators shot.

stevewhitemd | April 16, 2014 at 9:27 pm

From everything I’ve read the eastern Ukraine is not only pro-Russian, but pretty much Russian. From language to culture to political beliefs, the east and southeast are more than willing to join the Russian Federation. This is just as the Crimea did: yes, the Russians fomented that revolution but they really didn’t have to work that hard.

If Ukraine wants to salvage anything it just might be best to let the east go and concentrate on saving the west and northwest, where the sentiment is (somewhat) more anti-Russian.

Note to those who are criticizing Obama: I yield to no one in criticizing Champ, but there’s nothing in the Ukraine worth the life of one American soldier.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to stevewhitemd. | April 16, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    And who among us is advocating war in Ukraine?

    The best preventive for war is to show one is ready, willing, and able to engage in it *if necessary*. Obama has shown, via his fake red lines and puny ‘sanctions’ that he is not willing no matter what. This empowers and provokes aggressors, and thus Obama unknowingly is inadvertantly advocating war by encouraging all those steps that lead to it.

      stevewhitemd in reply to Henry Hawkins. | April 17, 2014 at 7:55 am

      Henry: “The best preventive for war is to show one is ready, willing, and able to engage in it *if necessary*. ”

      I don’t argue the concept, just the practice.

      There’s nothing in the Ukraine that makes it necessary for America to go to war. Half of that country is Russian or pro-Russian Ukrainian. The other half aren’t able to save themselves from the Russian bear. Ukraine is at the far end of NATO. Our NATO allies might puff themselves up a bit but none of them (except perhaps for Poland) are willing to go to war.

      We could only go to war if we stripped most of what we had currently elsewhere. We’d have a hard time getting it to Ukraine (it took us 6 months to prep for Desert Storm). And we have no guarantee that our allies would go along. And, of course, no reason to think that our home front would support a military intervention in Ukraine of whatever size.

      So we’re not ready, willing and able for multiple reasons.

      Good concept, though.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to stevewhitemd. | April 17, 2014 at 10:19 am

        Again, who here is calling for the US to go to war over Ukraine? That’s a strawman.

        My greater point is that prevention of war is a proactive endeavor, not a reactive one. Obama’s long parade of international weenie-ism -apology tours, empty rhetoric, red lines drawn in chalk dust, etc. – have encouraged belligerance and will continue to do so.

    Doug Wright Old Grouchy in reply to stevewhitemd. | April 16, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Exactly, so true. Yet, with Obama, the most likely options could turn out to be total and complete surrender to Putin’s desires or a massive bloodletting. The history of such weak leaders is that they tend not to elect rationale choices. Chamberlain desired peace and and he got war of a kind not seen before.

    And, of course if Putin does in fact take parts of Ukraine he wants, what else is on his list of wants and needs? Assume, for the moment, that Ukraine’s troubles settle down or go away, Putin knows how far he can push Obama and that Obama will not engage in a mere tit for tat, as the USA should not.

    The issue is far more than whether the USA will engage, it might be where, and when, does this game stop and what’s the cost? Might be fascinating to do a psychological evaluation of Obama versus Putin! Also, if we survive, there might be a good novel there!

      Weak fools like Obama generally overreact when they finally take action because they want to prove that they have the balls to be tough. Real men don’t have to do that.

        AConsidiot in reply to Juba Doobai!. | April 17, 2014 at 12:47 pm

        What did the Soviet Union do when we ‘liberated’ Grenada? Wasn’t that Reagan’s great military engagement?

        What did we do when Russia fought Georgia. Bush did nothing – not even sanctions. I forgot – he was still busy finding the WMD .

        Do you really want to go to war for a country that is NOT part of NATO? Legally, we cannot even put an aircraft carrier in the Black Sea. If we did, it would be a sitting duck.

          Doug Wright Old Grouchy in reply to AConsidiot. | April 17, 2014 at 10:21 pm

          You said this: “Legally, we cannot even put an aircraft carrier in the Black Sea. If we did, it would be a sitting duck.”

          Wow, the Law of the Sea doesn’t apply? Where did you get “Legally?” Putin perhaps?

          However, you did have one aspect correct regarding the Black Sea and that any naval shipping on it is a sitting duck for any opposition aggressive party.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to stevewhitemd. | April 17, 2014 at 1:03 am

    So we should let CA, TX, NV, and such go to Mexico? That’s the argument you’re making.

    Usually, I agree with you, but not on this point. Fighting for a country’s sovereignty is a worthy fight. If we let Russia do as she pleases here, the Mexicans are already doing as they please by crossing our border; their military is already challenging our border guards on our own soil. What is to prevent them from using Russia’s rationale for territorial conquest? What is to prevent Russia for casting eyes at Alaska once again? Putin can clearly see Alaska from his house.

BannedbytheGuardian | April 16, 2014 at 9:42 pm

Sky News which is part of the Murdoch Empire has a reporter on the scene who Kiev has lost the east. Men in balaclavas are just walking in & taking over govt offices & no one os objecting.

This would be similar to taking over a EPA office in Okhlahoma ( of course not blowing it up. More than a few would cheer oN the sidewalk & DC would have to think about it. Ditto Nevada BLM .

I doubt the US army would move but the Parks & Wildlife staff would as we saw in the shutdown. What is perhaps stopping this is the Federated arrangement of states ( fractured as it is ) something Putin suggested for Ukraine. Yes he could pick them off easier but it adds a new momentum & one that shouls stall civil war. & maybe another eurowar.

Those freaks still need to answer for WW1 .

“From everything I’ve read the eastern Ukraine is not only pro-Russian, but pretty much Russian…”

Imagine if the majority of Mexicans in SoCA and El Paso said the same (nonsensical) thing to justify the destruction of our sovereign borders. And why wouldn’t they since CA and Texas was once Mexican territory.

I very much doubt whether it is “pro-Russian separatists” who are giving all this trouble. Instead, it is more likely it is Russian soldiers who are taking over Ukraine under the guise of “separatists”. Meanwhile, Barack Hussein Obama plays golf, issues meaningless warnings to Putin, adds to the regulations killing the American economy at every imaginable level, and is using the Justice Department, the IRS, the government bureaucracy, Democrats in Congress, and every tool he can at every level to subvert the American Constitution, enslave the people, and push us towards civil war.All the while, Michelle Ma Belle spends taxpayer dollars like water on her various global junkets. Nice.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Juba Doobai!. | April 17, 2014 at 3:02 am

    In that case they must be better soldiers rank & file than we can manage. They deserve success because they are fooling the lcals. Dey got all cem Uke moves down pat. Even if US soldiers spoke Mexican they got no chance of passing off as one ,ditto if they were to walk into Canada.

    More likely they are part of the Russian trained units which were & are completely legit..Kiev forgot about those.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Juba Doobai!. | April 17, 2014 at 6:49 am

    There have to be some Islamo-nazis Iranians or Chechens in there somewhere. Why else would King Wannabe Obama show any interest?

    AConsidiot in reply to Juba Doobai!. | April 17, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I’ll bet you carefully weighed the alternatives and then didn’t vote for him. You seem very fair minded and not prone to hyperbole.

    If Obama is busy playing golf and issuing meaningless warnings, he is wasting time that he could use to subvert the Constitution and enslave us. Which is it?

In fact, Ukraine is now the site of the largest and most important free media in the Russian language