Ukraine

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Russia Accuses US Of Fabricating MH17 Evidence As US Reveals More "Evidence" Of Russian Military Involvement





The farce of facts continues to grow as Ukraine's national security council head says US is wrong and claims to have proof MH17 was shot down by Russians... and then the US State Department unleashes another statement of alleged 'proof' that Russia is sending rockets to separatists and firing on Ukraine's military from within Russia. And then Russia hit back, blasting Washington's claims that pro-Russian rebels fired a missile that hit the plane on July 17 "mostly cited social networks" and did not correspond to reality.

 
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Meanwhile, Ukraine's Government Collapses, PM Yatsenyuk Resigns





As if Ukraine was not struggling through enough turmoil currently, Bloomberg reports that the fragile coalition government has collapsed after two parties quit. The UDAR and Svoboda parties said they’d leave the government and seek a snap parliamentary ballot. Tempers have been fraying recently as numerous brawls have broken out in parliament ahead of President Poroshenko's pledge to call elections this year. All we have to do now is find out who Washington would like to see in power? The end result... Prime Minister Yatsenyuk just resigned... The big question now is what will the IMF do about the remaining tranches of its loans?

 
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Dutch Investigators End Another Ukraine Conspiracy: No Evidence Black Box Was Tampered With





Another day, another Ukraine conspiracy disproved by fact. Despite the Ukraine government's insistence that the Malaysian Airlines black-boxes had been taken (and possibly manipulated), the investigators from The Dutch Safety Board have issued a statement confirming, "no evidence or indications of manipulation of the recorder was found."

 
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Europe Unleashes Sanctions On 15 Individuals And 18 Entities (But No Russian Companies)





We had a glimpse of what the sanctions could be but European leaders have just released the draft list of who may be affected:

  • *DRAFT EU SANCTIONS LIST TARGETS 15 INDIVIDUALS, 18 ENTITIES

Individuals include the head of Russian intelligence and Secret Service and focuses on Eastern Ukraine and Crimea entities (and no Russian companies). So just enough to please Washington, but not enough to really piss Putin off... How long before the boomerang rotates back?

 
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Europe's Proposed Russian Sanctions Leaked: Full Report





It appears the European leaders, rather than actually unleash sanctions (as the US has dictated asked), has decided to 'warn' of possible sanctions with a 10-page memo of options available to them. As The FT reports, the memo (full memo below) prepared by the European Commission and distributed to national capitals, includes a proposal to ban all Europeans from purchasing any new debt or stock issued by Russia’s largest banks and also proposes barring the Russian banks from listing new issues on European exchanges, preventing them from using London or other EU stock markets to raise funds from non-Europeans. While Germany (and many other EU nations remain nervous of the blowback) the 'options memo' is extensive and would likely have significant impact on the Russian economy.

 
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Obama Prepares To Send National Guard To Texas As Flood Of Immigrant Children Overwhelms US





With America's attention, diverted for the past week to events in the middle east and Ukraine, once again returning to domestic issues, Obama is coming under renewed pressure to address the immigration issues that has gripped the southern states as this will certainly be a hot topic issue during the midterm elections. Which is probably why the president has sent a team to Texas to assess whether a National Guard deployment would help to handle an immigration crisis at the Mexican border having so far resisted Republican calls for such a move, Reuters reports. Meanwhile, the underlying problem is getting from bad to worse, and as Bloomberg reported overnight, the flood of children at the border is now overwhelming the US, and as a result "President Obama and congressional Republicans have begun to offer the same simple-sounding solution for dealing with the flood of children crossing the U.S. border alone: Send the kids home."

 
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Russian Boomerang Hits UK, Oligarchs Shift Assets From London





We warned 4 months ago that the UK especially should be fearful of sanctioning Russia and biting the hand that feeds its real estate recovery. However, it appears Cameron's ire has got the better of him, as The Telegraph reports, allies of Vladimir Putin are understood to be moving assets after British demands to punish the Russian president’s 'cronies' in the wake of the Malaysia Airlines disaster in Ukraine. The EU said Tuesday (albeit somewhat confusingly) that it had agreed to draw up a list of Russians who will face sanctions but the UK government refused to say which 'oligarchs' were being targeted as it was fearful of the risk of 'asset flight'. It appears that backfired...

 
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Frontrunning: July 24





  • EU to weigh extensive sanctions on Russia (FT)
  • U.S. lifts flight ban to Israel (Reuters)
  • Russia says will cooperate with MH17 probe led by Netherlands (Reuters)
  • Norway faces ‘concrete and credible’ terrorist threat (FT)
  • Don’t Tell Anybody About This Story on HFT Power Jump Trading (BBG)
  • But... but... PMI: Unilever Sales Growth Misses Estimates on Asian Slowdown (BBG)
  • World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Reviews $8 Billion Russian Stake (BBG)
  • Qualcomm latest US tech company to reverse in China (FT)
  • Hamptons Home Sales Rise as Buyers Find More Inventory (BBG)
 
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Another Airplane Tragedy: Air Algerie Plane Carrying 116 Crashes Over Mali





Update: According to AP, the  missing Algerian plane went down in central Mali, citing a U.N. representative,  contradicting earlier reports that it crashed in Niger.

Not a day seems to pass in the past week without some airplane catastrophe: first over Ukriane, next over the South China Sea, now in western Africa over Mali where moments ago Air Algerie reported said that it had lost contact with one of its passenger aircraft carrying 116 people on board, nearly an hour after takeoff from Burkina Faso bound for Algiers. And what is most stunning is that just like in the MH17 case, the flight lost radio transmission shortly after it was ordered to change its course due to "poor weather." According to an Air Algerie source "the plane was not far from the Algerian frontier when the crew was asked to make a detour because of poor visibility and to prevent the risk of collision with another aircraft on the Algiers-Bamako route. Contact was lost after the change of course."

 
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It's Time For The BRICS To Act To Counter US Destabilization Efforts





It had to happen! The blame game on that horrendous airline incident has reached the expected loud monotone of pointing fault, lock, stock and barrel at Russia... and, more specifically, to that villain ex-KGB Slav, Vladimir Putin. The US media barrage of grotesque and obscene propaganda against America’s former foe and competitor has found a leader of this warring marching band in Barack Obama. If the UN is incapable to change or influence the hegemonic geopolitical behavior of the United States... where else can the world look to find resolution to conflicts such as we have in Gaza and Ukraine today? Enter the BRICS group of nations...

 
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Goldman Goes Schizo On Gold: Boosts Price Target To $1200 Even As It Is "Selling It With Conviction"





With less than 6 months to go until the end of the year, with various gold ETFs suddenly seeing the biggest buying in years, and with gold continuing to outperform most asset classes YTD, what is Goldman to do? Why follow the trend of course, and just like David Kostin had no choice but to boost his S&P 500 price target using the idiotic Fed model as a basis, so earlier today Goldman just upgraded its gold price target from $1,066 to $1,200. Probably this means that after accumulating it for the first half of the year, Goldman is finally preparing to sell the precious metal. Not so fast: because while Goldman did just raised its price target, it continues to have a Conviction Sell rating on Gold, which is its second most hated commodity after iron ore. Go figure.

 
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The Decline Of Influence





From Alexander the Great to British rule, history, if it has a lesson, teaches us that no group of men can conquer the world. It’s simply too big, too vast, and too complex. Humanity is far too restless to sit and take orders from dictators halfway across the globe. The mindset that wishes one country to have an iron-grip on world affairs is horribly naïve. Empires are not free. Washington’s credit card can’t be charged to infinity. The need for prudence is growing larger by the day. For the sake of average Americans, and peaceful citizens across the world, let’s hope it gets here sooner than later.

 
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Putin Recalls State Duma From Vacation, "Planning Something" On Ukraine Situation





In a somewhat disconcerting move, Russian President Vladimir Putin has recalled The State Duma from a planned vacation to participate in an unscheduled meeting because of the situation in eastern Ukraine. As Ukrinform reports, sources confirm "Something is being planned, because many deputies come, probably for a quorum." Rumors are spreading that Putin is set to issue Kiev an ultimatum over recognizing separatists or face military intervention.

 
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Rebels Shoot Down Two Ukraine Fighter Jets, Defense Ministry Reports - Video Coverage





At this point it is beyond any one (or countless number of) human beings to distinguish truth from lies from epic propaganda, so we won't even try. Here is the latest relevant news that just crossed the stream from Ukraine's defense ministry, according to which moments ago Pro-Russian rebels have shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets, a spokesman for Ukraine's military operations said on Wednesday. The spokesman said the two were downed near Savur Mogila in eastern Ukraine. No details were known about the pilots.

 
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An Annotated History of World Oil Price Shocks





A sharp increase in Middle East geopolitical tensions, first with the resurgence of a radical al-Qaeda affiliate – now called the Islamic State – making substantial territorial gains in major oil producer Iraq, and more recently with an escalating military conflict between Israel and Hamas, has barely caused a blip in global markets and even in oil prices despite the fact that oil supply today is tight. At the same time, the conflict between Ukraine and Russia – the largest oil producer globally – has reached a more dangerous level, also with little oil price response. Indeed, it is difficult to identify another point in recent history when the Middel East – for all its troubles – was in such a precarious state; yet, as Goldman, rather rhetorically asks, this raises the question of whether the markets are being too dismissive about the recent turn of events.

 
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