Foreign media digest 13 November 2014


Ukrainian officials estimate the number of Russian soldiers in Donbass at 8 000.
AFP, Deutsche Welle:
8 thousand Russian soldiers are located in the east of Ukraine, AFP agency informed on November, 13 quoting the representative of Ukrainian law enforcement. According to the source, the figure is a rough estimate. “Maybe, the number is ever higher”

Nato accuses Moscow of helping Ukraine rebels to carve out state.
The Financial Times:

In the end it comes down to the simple arithmetic of will: Putin wants to carve up Ukraine more that the West wants to exert itself to keep a broken vase glued together. In the end he will take the Donbass.
New Republic:
“Why has the West insisted on talking about a ceasefire that went up in smoke as soon as it was signed? Because the West is tired and bored with Ukraine, and with long, messy wars in small, distant countries. Europe is not particularly eager to bring a penniless, corrupt country that has become a warzone into its embrace. The White House has been distracted by ISIS and Ebola and the GOP. And both Washington and Brussels are out of options. Rachet up sanctions against Russia? German Chancellor Angela Merkel just ruled that out. Arm the Ukrainians with lethal force? Putin will just do what the West does, plus one,” journalists Julia Ioffe and Linda Kinstler have no doubts about it. “In the end it comes down to the simple arithmetic of will: Putin wants to carve up Ukraine more that the West wants to exert itself to keep a broken vase glued together,” the authors sum up. They insist on their own prediction in March that in the end Putin will take the Donbass.

Russian tanks in Ukraine. Nato should declare itself. If the alliance does not answer properly, Putin could achieve the main goal: prove that the West is just a paper tiger.
Corriere della Sera:

Western officials say they fear Russia intends to turn eastern Ukraine into a permanently unstable “frozen conflict” area.
The Wall Street Journal:
“U.S. officials said they couldn’t confirm the new incursion into Ukraine announced by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and an international monitoring group in the region, but accused Russia of repeatedly violating the terms of a peace pact signed two months ago,” the article says.

A conflict in eastern Ukraine has transformed into a war. No matter how dangerous is the current situation, it would be unwise to wipe Minsk agreements off the table and let the weapons speak. Moreover, all sides of the conflict, including Ukraine, insurgents and Russia above all, signed the agreement. To repudiate the agreement, as Petro Poroshenko has recently proposed, isnot a good idea, as far as there is no other alternative.
Die Zeit:

Russia looks to be rolling into Ukraine again.
Business Week:
The edition gives 4 reasons why Russian forces has come back to Eastern Ukraine.
1. First, the political. Ukraine’s Oct. 26 parliamentary elections produced a landslide for pro-Western parties, with a pro-Russian bloc winning less than 10 percent of the popular vote. The result was “a slap in the face to the Kremlin,” which seeks to keep Ukraine within its orbit, says Joerg Forbrig, program director with the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. in Berlin. In stirring a new military confrontation with the government in Kiev, President Vladimir Putin seeks “to undermine, weaken, and challenge that government,” Forbrig says.
2. Pro-Russian rebels don’t have an ironclad grip on eastern Ukraine. “There is a push now to militarily create an entity that is more sustainable logistically,” Forbrig says.
3. Crimea is an additional Kremlin worry. It’s been annexed by Moscow but has no land connection to Russia, which has to supply it by sea and air. Putin might try to “punch through a corridor by force,” opening a supply route via eastern Ukraine, Igor Bunin of the Center for Political Technologies in Moscow said.
4. Putin may also be trying to reassert Russian influence over the Ukrainian rebel movement, which “has developed a bit of a life of its own” and can’t always be counted on to do his bidding, Forbrig says.

Beyond the EU published the list of 10 Western myths about Ukrainian crisis. One of them is the myth that there is a ceasefirenow in Ukraine according to Minsk resolutions, that Russian speaking population of Ukraine wants to join Russia, and that Maidan took place only in Kyiv.


A right-wing radical has become the police chief in Kyiv.
Die Welt:
In the beginning of November the minister of internalaffairs Arsen Avakov has appointed the former deputy commander of Ukrainian far-right Azov battalion Vadym Trojan the chief of police in Kyiv region. Vadym Trojan has rewards from ministry of internal affairs for “за боротьбу з сепаратистами”. Andre Eichhofer writes this decision has become a shock for Ukrainian human rights activists.
“This is unacceptable and dangerous,” says Galya Koynash, a leading activist of Kharkiv Human Rights Group. According to her information, Trojan belonged to the semi-military organization “Patriots of Ukraine” which was founded in 2005. The right-wing extremists attacked foreigners, beat foreign students and destroyed newsstands. On top of that the nationalist was close to the organization Wotanjugend “The young people of Wotan” “It was a terrible mistake to make someone like Trojan the police chief,” the activist continues.
On the other hand, Avakov thinks that political views are not the prime importance, what is taken into account is his success in fighting separatists in eastern Ukraine. Moreover, Avakov underlines, Trojan has gained public’s approval.
Trojan has received his post as a result of political lustration, which has started in October.


A $1million bounty has been put on the head of a sniper who was said to have shot dead British terror suspect the White Widow. She was said to fight on the side of Ukrainian volunteer battalion Aidar as a sniper.
The Mirror:
According to mass media information, one of the world’s most wanted woman Samantha Lewthwaite has been killed by a Russian sniper in Ukraine. According to Regnum, the 30-year-old was killed two weeks ago after joining the conflict in Ukraine, fighting for a pro-government group. Muslim convert Lewthwaite – who was married to London 7/7 suicide bomber Germaine Lindsay – went on the run three years ago after being linked to a failed plot to blow up hotels and a shopping centre in Mombasa, Kenya, in 2011.

No, The White Widow Was Not Just Killed In Ukraine, Despite What The British Papers Say.
Ukraine’s armed forces have said that a Russian news story claiming that a British terrorism suspect — the so-called White Widow — was killed fighting pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine is an obvious fake. “The story, which emerged from a Russian news agency, made the the front page of the Daily Mirror and was prominently reprinted in the Evening Standard and the Daily Mail”, Max Seddon points out.

Ukraine gets into the suspects list after killing of Red Cross representative.
Le Temps:
“Was Laurent DuPasquier killed as a result of Ukraine bomb shelling?” Simon Petit from Switzerland edition Le Temps asks. The Red Cross representative was killed on October, 2 in Dontest, which is under control of pro-Russian separatists. “On Wednesday in Zheneva Human Rights Watch (HRW) provided a report on using cluster bombs in the Donbass region,” the author writes. This weapon is abandoned by international law, which neither Russia, nor Ukraine have signed.
“HRW is categorical: the Red Cross representative was killed when Donetsk had been under attack of this type of weapon. According to HRW, 5 Hurricane cluster munition rockets were fired at the city on October, 2, the day when Laurent DuPasquier died, and on October, 5. As the newspaper writes, the usage of cluster bombs, dead body of Swiss and assembled on-site evidence pointedto the Ukrainian force, which at that time were in the south-ease of Donetsk.
“Ukrainian mission in Zheneva denied allegations and said Ukraine is not responsible for cluster bomb shelling of Donetsk, which is under control of separatists backed by Moscow,” Petit writes. “You have been victims of terrorists performance,” Ukrainian diplomat said HRW researchers.


China is financing Putin’s aggression.
The Daily Beast:
“Russia’s economy is tanking, but Putin is sending long-range bombers on sorties in the Gulf of Mexico and combat troops into Ukraine—thanks to billions in new energy deals from Beijing”, The Daily Beast columnist Gordon G. Chang writes.
“But we have the ability to make the world better. Ronald Reagan employed an economic strategy to get rid of the Soviet Union, intentionally forcing commodity prices downward to starve its military,” the author assures. In the next few years, before Chinese money flows in great quantities to the Russians pursuant to the newly signed deals, Putin is vulnerable.

Russia in weak position for new gas deal with China.
The Christian Science Monitor: