[Marxism] WWIII called off

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 15 16:52:12 MDT 2014


The AFP version focuses entirely on the cancelled (postponed?) EU trade
agreement.
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/110828/World/International/Ukraine-outrage-over-delay-on-EU-trade-deal.aspx


On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 6:40 PM, Louis Proyect via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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> Washington Post, Sept. 15  2014
> Ukrainian president offers rebels major concessions to end uprising
> By Anthony Faiola September 15 at 2:36 PM
>
> KIEV, UKRAINE — President Petro Poroshenko on Monday proposed a series of
> major concessions to end the uprising by pro-Russian rebels in restive
> eastern Ukraine, offering the separatists a broad amnesty and special
> self-governance status for territories they occupy.
>
> The proposal also includes protections for the Russian language and would
> allow the separatist-controlled regions to elect their own judges, create
> their own police forces and cultivate deeper ties to Russia — while
> remaining part of Ukraine.
>
> It would effectively formalize a concession of power to the rebels after
> sweeping military setbacks in August and September forced Poroshenko to sue
> for peace. Although Ukraine appeared on the verge of ending the rebel
> uprising weeks ago, a reinvigorated separatist campaign — which Ukraine and
> NATO claim has been backed by Russian arms and troops — left the Ukrainians
> facing devastating losses. Russia denies aiding the rebels.
>
> Contained in a draft bill that Poroshenko has submitted to parliament, the
> proposal fleshed out a cease-fire deal reached with the rebels earlier this
> month and provided the most complete view yet of just how far Kiev may be
> willing to go to end an uprising that has cost almost 3,000 lives since
> April.
>
> Poroshenko’s offer came as the truce, which entered its 10th day Monday,
> was already fraying, with intense fighting in pockets of the east now
> threatening to destroy the cease-fire. On Monday, mortar rounds continued
> to strike residential neighborhoods in the city of Donetsk a day after two
> vehicles carrying international observers were struck by shrapnel.
>
> Some of the elements of Poroshenko’s plan resembled the so-called frozen
> conflicts in which Russian-backed partisans have seized control of
> territories in Georgia and Moldova, thus giving Moscow leverage over those
> countries and complicating their efforts to join NATO. But Poroshenko
> defended his proposal, insisting that despite the broad concessions, it
> would succeed in maintaining the rebel-held territories within the
> boundaries of Ukraine and prevent their independence.
>
> “There is nothing more important for us than peace,” Poroshenko told
> Ukrainian political leaders Monday. “These are the key positions that will
> ensure it.”
>
> But the proposal also put Poroshenko on a likely collision course with
> pro-Western activists and politicians in Kiev who believe he may be
> conceding far too much to the Russian-backed rebels. In turn, some
> separatists — a band of aligned militias that have called for the creation
> of an independent state called “New Russia” — offered highly skeptical
> assessments of the offer, while others dismissed it outright.
>
> “We will take care of our land by ourselves,” Alexander Zakharchenko, the
> self-declared prime minister of the separatists’ Donetsk People’s Republic,
> told Ukraine’s Vesti news Web site. “On our land, it will be our people and
> our laws. There have been no discussions about staying within the territory
> of Ukraine.”
>
> Poroshenko called for new local elections in the rebel-controlled regions
> on Nov. 9. Miroslav Rudenko, an official with the Donetsk People’s
> Republic, told the Interfax news agency that such a ballot would “be held
> only if the situation at the front becomes stable and if these elections
> unfold in compliance with the laws of the people's republics, not Ukraine.”
> He vowed that “neither Poroshenko nor Ukrainian state institutions will
> have anything to do with these elections.”
>
> Although the special self-governance status would be guaranteed for only
> three years, it appeared to allow the separatists a chance to solidify
> their power in the regions where they have seized control, allegedly with
> the aid of Moscow.
>
> Poroshenko’s proposal — which must still be debated and approved by
> parliament — came on the heels of a decision by Kiev to postpone Ukraine’s
> full entry into a trade treaty with Europe, a move that fueled further
> concerns among pro-Western groups in Ukraine that the government is
> sacrificing too much. Although Poroshenko said the worst offenders in the
> conflict would not be granted amnesty, critics said he was effectively
> rewarding violence and leaving thugs in charge in the east.
>
> “This is a bad proposal,” said Ekaterina Butko, one of the leaders of the
> Maidan movement that toppled Ukraine’s pro-Russian president, Viktor
> Yanukovych, in February. “It goes too far. After so many people have died,
> so many houses destroyed, so many lives ruined, this would reward the
> people who did this.”
>
> In the east, the fragile truce has been shaken in recent days by
> escalating violence. Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko accused
> the rebels Monday of having attacked checkpoints and other positions in
> intensified fighting over the weekend. The Ukrainian military, he said, was
> forced to respond.
>
> “The attacks of Russian mercenaries have become more active to provoke our
> units to retreat from their positions,” he said.
>
> For their part, the rebels charged Monday on their Web site that Ukraine
> had “repeatedly violated the cease-fire.” They said the Ukrainian military
> fired on separatist militias as well as residential targets in Donetsk,
> killing 20 people.
>
> Russia’s envoy to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
> (OSCE), which is observing the cease-fire in Ukraine, accused the Ukrainian
> military of shelling rebel and civilian positions. On Sunday, two OSCE
> vehicles were damaged when observers were caught in the shelling.
>
> “OSCE observers obtained vivid evidence that the Ukrainian military
> violates the cease-fire and shells civilians with heavy weapons,” the
> envoy, Andrei Kelin, told Interfax.
>
> Lysenko, however, denied that the Ukrainian military had shelled “any
> residential areas and settlements” and claimed that rebels had committed
> hundreds of cease-fire violations over the weekend, including an assault by
> more than 200 rebels near the Donetsk airport.
>
> Ukrainian officials also said two drones were spotted over the weekend,
> one traveling toward the strategic port city of Mariupol, where heavy
> fighting was recently reported.
>
> Russia still has about 25,000 troops along its long border with Ukraine
> and more than 3,000 soldiers inside the country, according to the Ukrainian
> government.
>
> The United States and other NATO countries started military exercises in
> Ukraine on Monday. Ukraine has recently sought to join the NATO alliance,
> but given that the uproar such a move would provoke in Moscow, there is
> almost no chance of that happening.
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