‘Common sense prevailed’: Ukraine releases Russian paratroopers
Published time: August 30, 2014 20:38
Edited time: August 31, 2014 09:27
All Russian paratroopers who were detained earlier in the week in eastern Ukraine have been handed over to the Russian side, deputy commander of the Airborne Forces, Major-General Aleksey Ragozin has confirmed.
“The negotiations were very difficult. However, common sense prevailed, and all ended well,” Ragozin said on Saturday night, cited by RIA.
“The most important thing – all the guys are now back with us, in Russia. I want to emphasize that we never abandon our own," he added.
From the very first minute the patrol was caught after accidentally crossing the border the Russian side was doing everything possible to secure their release, Ragozin said.
“Our guys feel sorry that this happened,” he said, adding that they will be provided with all necessary “psychological and other assistance.”
"I consider it unacceptable that for so many days our soldiers were held by the Ukrainian side and, moreover, were transferred to Kiev,” he stated. “At the same time, hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers who found themselves on the territory of Russia, after the provision of comprehensive care by the relevant authorities were immediately transferred back to Ukraine."
Russia demands publication of recordings from downed flight MH17
The data from the black boxes should be published, says Russia’s deputy defence minister, saying the ‘Boeing catastrophe throws up more and more questions’
11:51AM BST 30 Aug 2014
Russia is demanding to know why international investigators have yet to publish the black box data from a Malaysian airliner that was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July, a deputy defence minister said in an interview published on Saturday.
Moscow blames Ukraine for the disaster, in which all 298 passengers and crew were killed. In a version of events widely believed in the West, Ukraine says the Boeing 777 was shot down by pro-Russian separatists with a surface-to-air missile.
"The Boeing catastrophe throws up more and more questions. But lately not many people are talking about this," Anatoly Antonov, deputy defence minister, told RIA news agency.
"Why have the data still not been published about the conversations between the air traffic controllers and the pilots of the Boeing? Why haven’t the data been presented from the international investigation of the black boxes? Who doesn’t want this to happen?"
The interview marked the latest example of Moscow’s attempts to go on the media offensive at a time when it faces intense international pressure over mounting evidence of its military support for the rebels, something it continues to deny.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Is there a tear in universal capitulation to USD hegemony?
Several Swiss banks pull out of U.S. tax program: paper
Sun, Aug 31 05:37 AM EDT
ZURICH (Reuters) – At least 10 Swiss banks have withdrawn from a U.S. program aimed at settling a tax dispute between them and the United States, Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag said on Sunday, quoting unnamed sources.
Around 100 Swiss banks came forward at the end of last year to work with U.S. authorities in a program brokered by the Swiss government to help the banks make amends for aiding tax evasion.
"At least 10 banks that had decided at the end of 2013 to pay a fine have withdrawn their decision," NZZ am Sonntag said, quoting unnamed lawyers and auditors. It did not name the banks concerned.
The newspaper said the banks were convinced they had not systematically broken U.S. law and lawyers of the U.S. Department of Justice had actually been surprised to see them take part in the program and did not object to the banks leaving the program.
Liechtenstein-based VP Bank came forward last week to say it had concluded that it no longer needed to take part in the program.
About a dozen Swiss banks face a U.S. criminal investigation as part of the tax probe. Credit Suisse has already settled by agreeing to plead guilty and pay a fine of $2.6 billion earlier this year.
Slovakia says it may veto new EU sanctions against Russia
August 31, 6:10 UTC+4
BRUSSELS, August 31 /ITAR-TASS/. Slovakia said it might veto new EU sanctions against Russia, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said after the EU summit on Sunday.
“I believe that the sanctions will become senseless and counter-productive. Slovakia may use its right of veto,” Fico said, explaining Slovakia would use its right of veto if it decided that the new anti-Russian sanctions would undermine its economic growth.
The Slovak prime minister said there was no point in imposing new sanctions until the EU knew the results of the previously adopted penalties.
In July, the European Union imposed economic sanctions against Russia over it policy in eastern Ukraine. They include a ban on conclusion of military contracts; restrictions on acquisition of some new technologies, equipment and materials for its oil sector as well as some restrictions on banking services.
Maja Kocijanic, a spokeswoman for the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said last Friday that the EU Commission was still to analyze the consequences of the EU-imposed anti-Russian sanctions.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
They should. It is the IMF war
IMF approves massive funding for Ukraine
Last Updated: 2014-08-30 10:57 | Xinhua
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday announced a disbursement of 1.4 billion U.S. dollars to crisis-torn Ukraine, but warned that the program remains highly challenging and continues to hinge on the development of the conflict.
The new funding was approved after the IMF’s Executive Board, its decision-making body, completed the first review of Ukraine’s performance under an economic program. That brings the total disbursements to about 4.51 billion U.S. dollars.
"Overall, economic policies have generally been implemented as agreed in the program, as the Ukrainian authorities have persisted in taking difficult measures despite the volatile political situation," the world lender said in a statement.
"However, the conflict in the eastern part of the country is taking its toll on the economy and society, and compensatory measures will be critical to achieve key program targets agreed for 2014 and beyond," noted the statement.
It stressed that the program "remains highly challenging and continues to hinge crucially on the assumption that the conflict will subside in the coming months."
Ukrainian Coast Guard Attacked Near Russian Border, Some Killed
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/31/2014 12:33 -0400
A Ukraine military spokesman has confirmed that some sailors were killed and more injured when 2 Ukraine Coast Guard cutters came under attack by artillery from onshore near the village of Bezimenne (close to the Russian Border). This is believed to be the first such incident since the conflict began.
As Bloomberg reports,
Some killed when cutters attacked near village of Bezimenne near border w/ Russia, wounded are being transported to hospitals in Mariupol, Oleksiy Metasov, aide to Ukrainian lawmaker Yehor Firsov, comments by phone from Mariupol.
The naval cutter is reported to have been attacked by artillery from the shore.
"Dawn Of Libya" Islamist Militia Group Seizes US Embassy In Tripoli, Holds Pool Party
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/31/2014 12:50 -0400
Probably the ‘oddest’ headline of the day but in yet another show of disdain towards US military might, the Islamist militia group known as "Dawn Of Libya" has ‘secured’ an annex of the U.S. embassy in Tripoli. As Reuters reports, the United States evacuated its embassy in Tripoli on July 26, driving diplomats across the border into Tunisia; but a YouTube video showed the breach of the vacated diplomatic facility by an armed group, with fighters seen milling around a swimming pool. A rebel takeover of the compound would now deliver another symbolic blow to U.S. policy toward Libya, which Western governments fear is teetering toward becoming a failed state.
As Reuters reports,
Members of a Libyan rebel militia have entered an annex of the U.S. embassy in Tripoli but have not broken into the main compound where the United States evacuated all of its staff last month, a U.S. official said on Sunday.
It was not immediately known how close the annex, apparently made up of diplomatic residences, is to the embassy itself. Libya has been rocked by the worst factional violence since the 2011 fall of Muammar Gaddafi.
The United States evacuated its embassy in Tripoli on July 26, driving diplomats across the border into Tunisia. A rebel takeover of the compound would now deliver another symbolic blow to U.S. policy toward Libya, which Western governments fear is teetering toward becoming a failed state.
Cameron faces Ukip by-election bloodbath: Party set to win first Commons seat after shock poll reveals Farage’s staggering 44-point lead over the Tories
By Simon Walters for The Mail on Sunday
Published: 18:37 EST, 30 August 2014 | Updated: 21:22 EST, 30 August 2014
Ukip are set to win their first Commons seat with a landslide 64 per cent of the vote following the biggest swing in modern political history.
Turncoat MP Douglas Carswell is set to humiliate David Cameron at the Clacton by-election sparked by his defection, a Survation poll for The Mail on Sunday has revealed.
The figures – the first test of public opinion since the politician rocked Westminster by defecting to Nigel Farage’s party – predict a record 48 point swing towards Ukip.
And they put the anti-Brussels party a staggering 44 percentage points ahead of Mr Carswell’s former party in the Essex constituency.
If the results are repeated in the by-election, expected in October, the swing would exceed the current record 44 points achieved by Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes when he thrashed Labour’s Peter Tatchell, the gay rights campaigner, in a by-election in Bermondsey, South London, in 1983.
Moscow, Kiev swap troops as Ukraine port girds for pro-Russian assault
By Mark Trevelyan of Reuters
Ukrainian troops and local residents were reinforcing the port of Mariupol on Sunday, the next big city in the path of pro-Russian fighters who pushed back government forces along the Azov Sea this past week in an offensive on a new front.
The new rebel advance has drawn increasing concern from Ukraine’s Western allies, who say its success is a result of reinforcement by armoured columns of Russian troops.
European Union leaders agreed on Saturday to draw up new economic sanctions against Moscow, a move hailed by the United States, which is planning tighter sanctions of its own and wants to act jointly with Europe.
Some residents of Mariupol have taken to the streets to show support for the Ukrainian government as the pro-Russian forces gain ground. Many others have fled from the prospect of an all-out assault on the city of nearly 500,000 people.
"We are proud to be from this city and we are ready to defend it from the occupiers," said Alexandra, 28, a post office clerk wearing a ribbon in blue and yellow Ukrainian colours.
"We will dig trenches. We will throw petrol bombs at them, the occupiers," she said. "I believe our army and our (volunteer) battalions will protect us."