Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Ukraine: Rumors Of War

The entire situation in the Ukraine - from the very beginning has been a constant and ongoing rumor of war...We can add it to the list of ongoing rumors of war (Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt, China/Japan, North/South Korea, Lebanon, Turkey, etc.) from around the world:

If Russia's intention was to give Ukraine enough "escalation" rope with which to hang itself once again, it may have succeeded when a little over an hour ago acting president Oleksander Turchinov said in a televized address that Ukraine has mobilized its armed forces to launch a "full-scale anti-terrorist operation" against pro-Russian separatists. Furthermore, knowing the only real escalation Kiev can engage in is in the war of words department, Ukraine set an 0600 GMT Monday deadline for pro-Russian separatists to give up their weapons and leave buildings they have occupied in the east of the country, a presidential decree said. It is unclear if this would be the catalyst to launch the military operation, but should Kiev indeed bring in the army it is certainly clear that Russia will respond in kind.

Reuters reports:

Angered by the death of a state security officer and the wounding of two of his comrades near the flashpoint eastern city of Slaviansk, Turchinov gave rebels occupying state buildings until Monday morning to lay down their weapons.

He blamed Russia, which opposed a pro-Europe uprising that forced Moscow-backed former president Viktor Yanukovich to flee, for being behind the rash of rebellions across Russian-speaking towns in eastern Ukraine.

"The blood of Ukrainian heroes has been shed in a war which the Russian Federation is waging against Ukraine," he said in an address to the nation. "The aggressor has not stopped and is continuing to sow disorder in the east of the country."

Russia promptly responded, alleging Ukraine's planned operation is criminal:

Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that an announcement by the authorities in Kiev that they will mobilise the army to put down a rebellion by pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine was a "criminal order".

The ministry said the West should bring its allies in Ukraine's government under control. "It is now the West's responsibility to prevent civil war in Ukraine," it said in a statement posted on Facebook.

It also said that Russia would put an urgent discussion of the situation in eastern Ukraine on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council.

"The situation in southeastern Ukraine is taking on an extremely dangerous character. The authorities in Kiev, who put themselves in power as a result of a coup d'etat, have set a course to use force to put down popular protests," the statement said.

"We decisively condemn attempts to use brute force against protesters and activists ... We are particularly indignant about the criminal order of (Ukrainian Acting President Oleksander Turchinov) to use the army to put down protest."

Looking ahead in terms of immediate catalysts, 0600 GMT is in a few hours hours, and certainly well before the US market opens. What happens then, certainly nothing if Russian response to previous Ukraine ultimatums is any indication, may determine of last week's sell off continues in earnest on Monday or if, by some surprising development, there is a relief rally.
Or just in time for the Nikkei open.

Three people were killed Sunday when a gunman opened fire outside the Overland Park Jewish Community Center in suburban Kansas City, Kansas and at the nearby assisted living residence Village Shalom, authorities said.
One of the victims was reportedly a 15-year-old boy. A spokeswoman for a local hospital had initially said the boy was in critical condition.

The attack began at about 1:00 p.m., local time, when the gunman shot the first two victims, both male, in a parking lot near the JCC’s theater. The man then got in his car and headed to Village Shalom, where he killed a woman in her 70s about 15 minutes after the first shooting

Rabbi Herbert Mandl, who serves as chaplain for the Overland Park Police Department, told CNN the suspect asked people whether they were Jewish before opening fire, though this claim could not be independently confirmed.

About 75 people were inside the JCC’s theater, most of them children, during the shooting, though the center stressed the incident took place inside the parking lot, according to KCTV television.
Police took one person into custody at the Valley Park Elementary School, several blocks from Village Shalom.
Local news outlets reported that the man was heard yelling “Heil Hitler” as police took him into custody.

Three people are dead in a pair of shootings at a Jewish community center and retirement community in Overland Park, Kansas, police said.
Two people were killed in the town's Jewish Community Center, Sean Reilly of Overland Park Police said. Another person was killed at a second location, he said, but he did not disclose where.
ABC News affiliate KMBC-TV in Kansas City reported that police said the third person was killed at Village Shalom, which is nearby.
Police have a person of interest in custody but would not confirm motive or whether the attack was being considered a hate crime.
The Jewish Community Center confirmed the shooting on its Facebook page and said it occurred near the Lewis and Shirley White Theater entrance and that the building was put on lockdown. According to the center's website, a production of "To Kill a Mockingbird" was scheduled to start at 2 p.m.

According to KMBC-TV the police took a man into custody near an elementary school several blocks from Village Shalom.
Rabbi Arthur Nemitoff, senior rabbi at The Temple, Congregation B'nai Jehudah, located about a mile from the Jewish Community Center told ABC News that police arrived after the shooting around 1:45 p.m. and have stationed a police car there as a precautionary measure.
Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder said he was "heartbroken" over the shootings.
"Brooke and I send our prayers and thoughts to the families and victims of this tragedy and our office stands ready to provide any needed assistance," Yoder said in a statement.
As a matter of protocol the Los Angeles Police Department has stepped up patrols around Jewish-oriented locations. The New York Police Department said it was already in a heightened state of alert due to Passover holiday.

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