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Through confusion and panic, Ukraine digests what martial law will mean

Increased security around ports and stations already being reported, but consequences for ordinary Ukrainians are unclear.

The Duran

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Via The Independent…


A day after the Ukrainian parliament voted to introduce martial law across 10 border regions, there was little clarity about what it would actually mean in practice.

With parts of the government on different pages, and the introduction of measures that could cover most aspects of life, even family, some areas of the country bordered on panic mode.

In the southern city of Odessa, there were rumours of forced mobilisation, though these turned out to be false. In other cities across the region, shortages of foreign currency were reported.

The text of the law eventually voted on was considerably watered down from the edict originally presented by President Petro Poroshenko on Monday afternoon. That contained provisions for a state of martial law lasting 60 days across the whole country. By logical extension, that would have meant delaying next March’s presidential elections, a point that caused uproar among the opposition.

The eventual compromise saw a commitment to fix the date of the elections, the duration reduced to 30 days, and the zone of coverage reduced to 10 border regions. The Independent understands that these concessions were made only at the last moment, and the vote would not have passed without them.

There was considerable confusion as to when martial law would even begin, the catalyst for which was an incident in the Azov sea on Sunday, when Russia opened fire and seized three Ukrainian vessels, which were sailing in shared waters. Russia has now formally begun charging some of the sailors it has detained.

In the text agreed by the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, the state of martial law was due to start on Wednesday morning at 9am local time. But on Tuesday morning, the secretary of the national security council, Oleksandr Turchynov, said that a state of martial law was already in effect.

To make matters even more complicated, the Government Courier, the state newspaper where all laws are published, printed a version of the original law, including provisions for 60 days of restrictions across all of Ukraine.

Late on Tuesday evening, parliamentary speaker Andrei Paruby adopted a position apparently contrary to the national security council by insisting the law had no effect until he had signed it. That would happen, he said, “at some point tomorrow”.

Oleksiy Ryabchyn, a high ranking deputy in the Fatherland faction, headed by presidential frontrunner Yulia Tymoshenko, said that the confusion was a natural consequence of a poorly drafted law that the president had attempted to drive through parliament.

Petro Poroshenko had insisted on his version of martial law without even consulting with party leaders, said Mr Ryabchyn. Party leaders found out about shifts in the president’s position “either via press conferences or new edits of his speech” that appeared in the autocue in parliament.

“Our party does not agree with Poroshenko on everything, but on this issue we were prepared to show unity in the national interest,” said Mr Ryabchyn. “He refused to listen to us, so parliament had to show its will and demand a compromise that came. In the end, it was a victory for parliamentary democracy”

Those compromises represented a face-saving exercise that seemed to leave a “pointless” law, suggested another deputy, Sergii Leschenko.

But in the 10 border regions at least, the law potentially has a very wide scope.

The presidential amendments introduce few restrictions on the overarching 2015 legislation covering martial law. In other words, it allows for extrajudicial searches of property, travel bans, closing media deemed against national interests, bans on rallies and demonstrations, limitations on private correspondence and communications, and even introducing limitations on education, private and family life.

Mr Ryabchyn said opposition parties asked for clarity about why such “extreme” limitations were needed, but Mr Poroshenko “refused to meet with any of our representatives”.

“All throughout the parliamentary session people I knew – politicians, journalists, friends, bankers – were calling me, asking me what to do, and I simply could not tell them. None of us has concrete information to pass on.”

Reports of several dozen Russians being turned away from Kiev airports on Monday evening seemed to suggest that that border control had already begun working under the auspices of the new law.

Unsurprisingly, the informational vacuum surrounding the new measures has also begun to be filled with scare stories.

In Odessa, there were reports of young men being mobilised directly in the city’s railway station. These reports eventually turned out to be fake, but they had added to a general sense of panic, local journalist Iryna Kiporenko told The Independent.

“We are already seeing some changes in increased security around the ports and station,” she said. “Police are telling us they will introduce additional measures at the first sight of Russian provocation.”

In written comments to The Independent, a press secretary for the national security council refrained from offering any concrete examples of how the new law would affect ordinary citizens. The measures were, she said, “a legal mechanism allowing Ukraine to react expediently … in the event of open aggression from Russia”.

“Be prepared,” the spokesperson added in English.

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Olivia KrothPlaton Recent comment authors
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Great job nation-building, Americunts and USSD Khazar fake-jews.

The half Bedlam-half whorehouse called Ukropian Nulandistan, looks like the inside of your minds.

At this rate life there will be as fabulous as at the start of the Genocide of Christian Slavs in Russia, by the people noted above, in 1917.

Olivia Kroth, author and journalist
Member

“Martial Law” cannot hide the fact that Ukraine is a failed state.

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Trump Has Gifted “No More Wars” Policy Position To Bernie Sanders (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 148.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss how US President Donald Tump appears to have ceded his popular 2016 ‘no more wars’ campaign message and policy position to Bernie Sanders and any other US 2020 candidate willing to grad onto a non-interventionist approach to the upcoming Democrat primaries.

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“Is Bernie Stealing Trump’s ‘No More Wars’ Issue?” by Patrick J. Buchanan…


The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting toward the Trump position of 2016.

“The president has said that he does not want to see this country involved in endless wars… I agree with that,” Bernie Sanders told the Fox News audience at Monday’s town hall meeting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Then turning and staring straight into the camera, Bernie added:

“Mr. President, tonight you have the opportunity to do something extraordinary: Sign that resolution. Saudi Arabia should not be determining the military or foreign policy of this country.”

Sanders was talking about a War Powers Act resolution that would have ended U.S. involvement in the five-year civil war in Yemen that has created one of the great humanitarian crises of our time, with thousands of dead children amidst an epidemic of cholera and a famine.

Supported by a united Democratic Party on the Hill, and an anti-interventionist faction of the GOP led by Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee of Utah, the War Powers resolution had passed both houses of Congress.

But 24 hours after Sanders urged him to sign it, Trump, heeding the hawks in his Cabinet and National Security Council, vetoed S.J.Res.7, calling it a “dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities.”

With sufficient Republican votes in both houses to sustain Trump’s veto, that should be the end of the matter.

It is not: Trump may have just ceded the peace issue in 2020 to the Democrats. If Sanders emerges as the nominee, we will have an election with a Democrat running on the “no-more-wars” theme Trump touted in 2016. And Trump will be left defending the bombing of Yemeni rebels and civilians by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Does Trump really want to go into 2020 as a war party president?

Does he want to go into 2020 with Democrats denouncing “Trump’s endless wars” in the Middle East? Because that is where he is headed.

In 2008, John McCain, leading hawk in the Senate, was routed by a left-wing first-term senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who had won his nomination by defeating the more hawkish Hillary Clinton, who had voted to authorize the war in Iraq.

In 2012, the Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who was far more hawkish than Obama on Russia, lost.

Yet, in 2016, Trump ran as a different kind of Republican, an opponent of the Iraq War and an anti-interventionist who wanted to get along with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and get out of these Middle East wars.

Looking closely at the front-running candidates for the Democratic nomination of 2020 — Joe Biden, Sanders, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker — not one appears to be as hawkish as Trump has become.

Trump pulled us out of the nuclear deal with Iran negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and reimposed severe sanctions.

He declared Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, to which Iran has responded by declaring U.S. Central Command a terrorist organization. Ominously, the IRGC and its trained Shiite militias in Iraq are in close proximity to U.S. troops.

Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moved the U.S. Embassy there, closed the consulate that dealt with Palestinian affairs, cut off aid to the Palestinians, recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights seized from Syria in 1967, and gone silent on Bibi Netanyahu’s threat to annex Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

Sanders, however, though he stands by Israel, is supporting a two-state solution and castigating the “right-wing” Netanyahu regime.

Trump has talked of pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the troops are still there.

Though Trump came into office promising to get along with the Russians, he sent Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and announced a pullout from Ronald Reagan’s 1987 INF treaty that outlawed all land-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

When Putin provocatively sent 100 Russian troops to Caracas — ostensibly to repair the S-400 anti-aircraft and anti-missile system that was damaged in recent blackouts — Trump, drawing a red line, ordered the Russians to “get out.”

Biden is expected to announce next week. If the stands he takes on Russia, China, Israel and the Middle East are more hawkish than the rest of the field, he will be challenged by the left wing of his party, and by Sanders, who voted “no” on the Iraq War that Biden supported.

The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting toward the Trump position of 2016. And the anti-interventionist wing of the GOP is growing.

And when added to the anti-interventionist and anti-war wing of the Democratic Party on the Hill, together, they are able, as on the Yemen War Powers resolution, to produce a new bipartisan majority.

Prediction: By the primaries of 2020, foreign policy will be front and center, and the Democratic Party will have captured the “no-more-wars” political high ground that Candidate Donald Trump occupied in 2016.

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Over 200 killed, hundreds injured in series of blasts at Sri Lankan hotels & churches

A series of bombings hit churches and hotels across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing more than 200 people.

RT

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By

Via RT…


A series of eight explosions rocked Catholic churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka as Christians began Easter Sunday celebrations, with over 200 killed and hundreds injured, media reported, citing police.

The blasts started at around 8:45am local time at St. Anthony’s Church in Colombo and St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a Catholic-majority town outside of the capital. The Zion Church in Batticaloa on the eastern coast was also targeted. At around the same time, the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury five-star hotels were also hit, police confirmed.

Two more explosions happened later in the day, targeting two more locations in Colombo. All attacks appear to have been coordinated.

At least 207 people were killed, Reuters reported, citing police. More than 450 were injured in the attacks.

Alleged footage of the aftermath, shared on social media, showed chaos and large-scale destruction inside at least one of the churches.

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Mike Pompeo reveals true motto of CIA: ‘We lied, we cheated, we stole’ (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 147.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at a Texas A&M University speech, and subsequent interview, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The former CIA Director admitted, ‘as an aside’ to the question asked, that the Intelligence agency he headed up before being appointed as the top US Diplomat had a motto “we lied, we cheated, we stole”…which, according to Pompeo, contained entire CIA training courses based on ‘lying, cheating and stealing.’

Pompeo finally speaks some truth.

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