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 31 
 on: Apr 16, 2014, 10:01 AM 
Started by Steve - Last post by Rad
Bombshell Study Links Epic California Drought, ‘Frigid East’ To Manmade Climate Change

By Susie Madrak April 15, 2014 3:05 pm
CrooksAndLiars
 
It's not as if we didn't already assume this was happening, but scientists have been reluctant to draw a definitive line. But the right-wingers will quickly explain this is simply part of that liberal agenda-driven excuse for science:

Natural variability alone cannot explain the extreme weather pattern that has driven both the record-setting California drought and the cooler weather seen in the Midwest and East this winter, a major new study finds.

We’ve reported before that climate scientists had predicted a decade ago that warming-driven Arctic ice loss would lead to worsening drought in California. In particular, they predicted it would lead to a “blocking pattern” that would shift the jet stream (and the rain it could bring) away from the state — in this case a “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge” of high pressure.

A new study in Geophysical Research Letters (subs. req’d) takes the warming link to the California drought to the next level of understanding. It concludes, “there is a traceable anthropogenic warming footprint in the enormous intensity of the anomalous ridge during winter 2013-14, the associated drought and its intensity.”

The NASA-funded study is behind a pay wall, but the brief news release, offers a simple explanation of what is going on. The research provides “evidence connecting the amplified wind patterns, consisting of a strong high pressure in the West and a deep low pressure in the East [labeled a 'dipole'], to global warming.” Researchers have “uncovered evidence that can trace the amplification of the dipole to human influences.”

 32 
 on: Apr 16, 2014, 09:59 AM 
Started by Steve - Last post by Rad
In the USA..United Surveillance America

Oklahoma Governor Signs Bill Banning Mandatory Minimum Wage, Vacation & Sick Leave

By John Amato April 16, 2014 6:00 am
CrooksAndLiars

Raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, overtime and unemployment insurance has dominated the political landscape which has conservative politicians and talking heads making all kinds of asinine analogies to try to bloody the nose of the working class. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin stepped forward and dwarfed her talk show dummies by taking extraordinary measures to thwart the will of the voters and any progress for her constituents. Fallin made a nonsensical case for signing a bill which blocks mandatory minimum wage, vacation and sick-day requirements.

Oklahoman: Cities in Oklahoma are prohibited from establishing mandatory minimum wage or vacation and sick-day requirements under a bill that has been signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Fallin signed the bill Monday that supporters say would prevent a hodgepodge of minimum wages in different parts of the state that could potentially harm the business community.

Opponents say those decisions should be left up to individual communities. They complain the bill specifically targets Oklahoma City, where an initiative is underway to a establish a citywide minimum wage higher than the current federal minimum wage.

Fallin signed three other bills Monday dealing with tax credits for banking institutions, public investments, and membership of the Alarm and Locksmith Industry Committee.

Aren't Republicans always screaming about "We The People?" I forgot-- IOKIYAR!

Think Progress:But that’s not what the typical American minimum wage worker looks like. Nearly 90 percent of workers who would be impacted by an increase in the wage are older than 20, while the average age is 35. More than a quarter have children to support. More than half work full time, and 44 percent have at least some college education, while half a million minimum wage workers are college graduates.

Meanwhile, experts have analyzed state minimum wage increases over two decades and found that even at times of high unemployment, there is no clear evidence that the hikes affected job creation. Five other studies have come to the same conclusion. The same has held true for the city of San Francisco, where employment grew by more than 5 percent after it passed a higher minimum wage while nearby counties experienced declines..

 33 
 on: Apr 16, 2014, 09:28 AM 
Started by cat777 - Last post by Rad
Hi Kristin, cat, Linda, and Skywalker,

Ok, we have now reached our final step in our Neptune thread. Yesterday I posted a little part of the Neptune transit and now the rest is being posted. So here it is.

THE TRANSIT OF NETPUNE

The bottom line in this transit is the ongoing evolutionary nature of the totality of all consciousness on Earth, and how this comes into the individual consciousness of the Soul. Each individual within the totality is affected in their own unique way relative to their total evolutionary conditions and, at the same time, experiencing what all other humans are experiencing in the world: the individual country where they live, and the specific groups of people in that country: whether it is Iraq, Rwanda, Ukraine, Samoa Island, etc. All of these individual consciousnesses all add up to and correlate with the total amount of humans which creates the collective consciousness so that each individual Soul’s consciousness is then simultaneously evolving at every moment in time as a REACTION to the collective consciousness ! In turn each individual Soul consciousness that is evolving according to it’s own evolutionary condition then affects the collective at any moment in time that then correlates to the evolutionary nature of the human race itself.

All of the archetypes that we have talked about that correlate with Neptune, Pisces, and the 12th House are occurring and interacting at every moment in time for each individual as well as the totality of all humans: the collective consciousness. The planetary rulers of the North and South Nodes of Neptune, Uranus and the Sun, correlate to additional archetypes that, in total, correlates to individual and collective dynamics that SERVE TO DEFINE THE NATURE OF EACH MOMENT THAT THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE COLLECTIVE IS CREATING AND EXPIERNCING.

As you at this very moment are reading these words you are experiencing the ‘world’ around you as it is: all the events going on in the world, your country, your region, your city, your group or tribe of like minded Souls, and your own individual Soul reality within all of this.

THIS IS YOUR LIVING EXPERIENCE OF NEPTUNE ! THESE IS NEPTUNE’S CONSCIOUSNESS. RIGHT NOW, AND IN EVERY OTHER MOMENT IN TIME. THIS IS THE NATURAL TRIAD OF CONSCIOUSNESS SYMBOLIZED BY THE MOON, YOUR EGO, PLUTO YOUR SOUL, AND NEPTUNE ITSELF: YOUR INDIVIDUALIED CONSCIOUSNESS RELATIVE TO THE COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS OF ALL HUMANS.  

With the transit of Neptune in Pisces the core issues for each individual, and thus the collective, correlate to that which is true, and that which fiction is where fiction is a function of projected beliefs that are only ‘real’ because they are ‘believed’ in. Remember the projection that occurs relative to Neptune manifests from it’s S.Node being in Aquarius. Aquarius correlates with projection just as the Source of All Things, Neptune, projected the manifest Creation in the first place. Thus, the individualized consciousness of each Soul as well as the collective of other Souls manifesting as groups of people of like mind, whole races of humans, countries, regions within countries, all project beliefs that define the nature of individual and collective consciousness relative to the specific nature of whatever the beliefs are.

As a result individuals and whole groups of humans everywhere can create a ‘reality’ that is defined by these projected beliefs whether those beliefs are actually true or not. Each individual can be influenced by the collective group consciousness in the form of behavioral contagion because, in the end, the human species is a innately social in nature: like cows.

Relative to the four natural states of evolution where the consensus state is roughly seventy percent of all humans this then means that seventy percent of any population will desire to CONFORM with the consensus beliefs of whatever groups of people they find themselves in: countries, races, religions, and so on. As a result of this we can then have the majority of peoples in various groups around our Earth who ‘believe’ in the projected ‘realities’ that they manifest whether they are actually true or not. Thus, whole populations and groups of people, Souls, can be living in an almost total state of delusion yet believe those delusions to be real. Such delusions are then reinforced within these various groups because such groups will rebel, Uranus/Aquarius, against any other group whose realities defined by their own projected beliefs differ from their own.

The sad fact is that human beings can literally make themselves believe anything. It is only limited by the power of imagination. All’s one has to do is open up any newspaper, visit the Internet, listen television and the radio, tune into some random conversation going around oneself, etc, to know just how unhinged and ‘crazy’ human beings can make themselves relative to their beliefs. With Neptune transiting Pisces this craziness of what people can make themselves believe accelerates and infuses the collective consciousness as a result. Since all human Souls are part of the collective consciousness this can create a real feeling in Souls that remain grounded in that which is true versus not to feel like they themselves are going crazy. This can lead to a real sense of exasperation that affects the individual Soul consciousness to either try to do something about it and/or to desire to withdraw from the increasingly crazy world where white seems to be black, up seems to be down, and chaos seems to just around the corner.  

Differing beliefs within the collective consciousness of various groups of humans creates a psychological insecurity that is perceived as threatening to their need to be consistent in their delusive beliefs. So we end up will all kinds of groups of people who then desire to self segregate from other groups in order to feel secure where security is dependent on the need to be self consistent. To be self consistent each group self segregates in such a way as to reinforce TOGETHER their delusive projected beliefs.

These binding archetypes in the consciousness of the Soul thus can cause groups of people conflicting with one another where the nature of the conflicts can be as small as they can be large and traumatic. Human history from the time of around 7,200 B.C.E, the South Node of Aquarius, forwards is testimony enough to this fact. The most extreme examples of this correlate with genocides of one group attempting to exterminate another group of peoples.

At the time of this writing the transit of Uranus, the planetary ruler of the S.Node of Neptune, is in Aries. All over our Earth we have large and small conflicts, wars, and one group attempting to dominate into submission, Neptune in Pisces, other groups of people who differ in their own projected beliefs. The underlying issue, again, in the nature of beliefs that they define the nature of the consciousness whether that is an individual, or whole groups of people. The Sun rules the N.Node Of Neptune in Leo. Thus, this gives ‘purpose’ to that which is believed in, it gives a way to actualize that purpose where that purpose is defined by the nature of the beliefs themselves, and for the individual and the group to integrate, Sun, their whole lives around.  

With Pluto transiting in Capricorn as of this writing we can now understand how all the different ‘strata’ of each countries societies interacts within themselves as defined by the nature of the projected beliefs existing in all the different strata of whatever societies of peoples in whatever countries: Capricorn. Within this we see yet again the specter of nationalism in almost all lands and how nationalism is used as propaganda, beliefs, to justify the actions of the leaders of various countries who are creating conflicts with other countries, and their populations of people.

This then applies to all kinds of human issues such as immigration issues, economic issues, educations issues, one country trying to dominate or take over another country, and so on. The events that lead to World War Two started with Uranus in Aries, and Pluto in Cancer: the natural polarity to Capricorn. As these initial events in the early 1930’s lead to the actual war  as Uranus moved into Taurus, survival, and Pluto moved into Leo that lead to the need to recreate the world after this war. And because of this war it also lead to the invention, Uranus/Aquarius of the atom bomb: Pluto. The ‘belief’ of the one who invented it, Oppenheimer, was that if he created such a weapon of massive destruction that this would end all wars. Oppenheimer convinced himself, made himself believe, that GOD gave him this power to invent this atom bomb. Of course his personal belief system came from India and focused on the God “Shiva”: the power of destruction and creation.

When the USA dropped the bombs on Japan the transiting Pluto was exactly conjunct it’s N.Node. It not only changed the world, but propelled that country into becoming what it became. Whole groups of people, countries, suddenly, S.Node of Neptune in Aquarius, became realigned because of this new power caused by the invention of this weapon. The affect within the collective consciousness of all humans was unalterably changed.

We all know this recent history. It included the evil of Hitler that lead to the genocide of the Jews, Gypsies, and all who considered as ‘undesirables’. And, again, it was the function of beliefs that was the fuel of collective and individual Soul consciousness that created these events.

In the 1820’s the transit of Neptune, with Uranus, were both in Capricorn. Remember Uranus is the natural ruler of Neptune’s S.Node in Aquarius. As an example of beliefs being used to justify one group of people creating genocide on another group of people this correlates with the ‘Monroe Doctrine’ and ‘Manifest Destiny’ that was used by the government of America to commit genocide upon it’s native population: the American Indians. Here again see the specter of nationalism being used as the rationale as well as the artificial beliefs that the Caucasian people were far superior to brown skinned American Indians.

That transit also correlated to the Industrial Revolution which needed to occur for the humans race because of the increasing amount of the human population that required a radical alteration of how humans organized themselves in order to met the needs and demands of the increasing population of humans. A classic example of ‘need being the mother of invention’. And what was then invented altered forever how the human race lived on this planet, and with one another.

And, as an example of how history can repeat itself when Neptune was in Pisces the last time in conjunction with Uranus in Aries this correlates with the CRIMIAN WAR.  

So the underlying issue within this is whether that which is believed in actually true or not. Beliefs have many forms and types. From religious, cosmological, philosophical, political, economic, to human interactions of all kinds: family members, wives and husbands, lovers, friendships, employee and employers, to specific events where humans interact in some way.

When beliefs that are projected into any of these humans dynamics that are not true it will cause some kind of wounding to those whom are the recipient of such projections. Those who have been wounded by such projected beliefs can, in turn, can project back upon the source of their wounding with their own projected beliefs. This cycle can become un-ending. Within this is the fact that any Soul who projects beliefs of any kind that are not actually true is in reality wounding themselves. They wound themselves because they are believing in something that is not true. This type of wound is the wound of delayed evolution until the nature of the delusive belief(s) are pierced with the actual truth.

There always in an underlying truth to any given phenomena. That underlying truth is not a function of beliefs because the truth does not require beliefs BECAUSE IT IS TRUE. When that which is actually true interfaces with delusive projected beliefs that result leads to a disillusionment that itself leads to a potential variety of reactions depending on the underlying and existing context of the individual Soul’s overall reality, specific types of groups of people, races of people, and whole countries.

The Neptune archetype of disillusionment is necessary to counteract any delusion or illusion so that an alignment with what is actually true can occur. When such a realignment takes place this then allows for an acceleration in the evolutionary intentions for each Soul, and it’s consciousness. To the extent that any Soul continues to blind themself to the actual truth, to hang on to their delusions and illusions at all costs, which means to sustain their delusive sense of security that is defined by the need to self consistent, such a Soul is essentially marking time relative to their own ongoing evolution. The sense of psychological security and the need to be self consistent correlates to Cancer which is part of the natural triad with Scorpio and Pisces.

The opportunity that the transit of Neptune provides for all Souls is to become aware of that which is delusional and illusionary in their lives versus what the actual truth is. To become aware of the truth of something, despite how bitter that may be, or how revelatory it can also be, is allow the evolution of the consciousness of the Soul to proceed. The realization of what is true about something does not always mean this occurs through the experience of disillusionment. The truth of something can be realized relative to something that the Soul has been wondering about, pondering about, or attempting to know in various activities like astronomy, some mystical need defined by a question, the motives of another, the reasons for this or that, and so on. The need to know the truth in this way for those types of reasons is also a key to accelerating the evolution of the Soul’s consciousness.

If we remember that one of the core archetypes of Neptune is that which correlates with the need for meaning in our lives, including ultimate meaning, we can also see how it can correlate with meaninglessness. During the Neptune transit this can correlate to a progressive inner sense of meaninglessness relative to something that had held real meaning, including ultimate meaning, up until the transit impacted on that. With the S.Node of Neptune in Aquarius in mind this starts with a progressive detachment that leads to dissolving of the prior meaning totality. As this occurs the consciousness of the Soul can feel very adrift, out to sea, no land in site, floundering within a sense of meaninglessness that is not immediately replaced by anything.  

The temptation when this occurs is to replace, immediately, that which is dissolving into meaninglessness with something, anything, that will recreate a sense of meaning for which has been lost. Temptation, as an archetype, correlates with Pluto, Scorpio, and the 8th House which is, again, part of the natural trinity or triad with Neptune, Pisces, and the 12th House, and Cancer, the Moon, and the 4th House. This then correlates with a time frame in which the Soul must be very careful in terms of what it is choosing to do, that which will recreate the sense of meaning that was lost. This is a natural time in which the Soul by way of the ‘inner whispers’ from the Source of All Things is being asked to have an essential ‘faith’ that what the next steps are to recreate that sense of lost meaning will reveal or present itself in it’s own time.

The problem and issue for most Souls is that the actual whispers from the Source Of All Things that correlate with those steps is initially ever so faint. The whispers initially are sporadic as well. This is exactly where the temptation of the Soul asserts itself where whatever the temptations are that offer some ‘quick fix’ from the sense of meaningless, the sense of despair, of sorrow even, are all to often set into motion by the opposite of the Source Of All Things. That which we call Evil, or the Devil. The reason that this can occur is the very existence of what we call Evil, Lucifer, the Devil is dependent on Souls doing anything other than desiring to know their true Source, to replace that which is lost with something that directly leads the way back HOME where home is the Source Of All Things.

So the quick fix manifesting as this temptation or that can seem so attractive, so ‘right, that whatever it is is the actual answer to the Soul’s prayers or anguish. When any Soul makes choices to follow such quick fixes in the form of these types of temptations then, of course, the very thing that recreates the sense of meaning in order to replace the meaningless itself becomes a source of meaninglessness itself. Round and round the Soul will go until it realizes that it must be patient so that the original whispers that actually come from the Source Of All Things, whispers that actually reflect the individual consciousness of the Soul, it’s existing context, correlate with it’s own next evolutionary steps in some way, become ever louder, more frequent, and create a real sense of Soul meaning.

When the consciousness of the individual Soul responds in this way to that which has been dissolved into meaninglessness by making choices to act upon the whispers from the Source Of All Things then this will lead to a true and real sense of meaning that will be sustained for some time, as well as allowing the Soul to actually evolve according to it’s own individual evolutionary journey.

Beyond the immediacy of whatever the circumstances that have lead to this the opportunity within the Neptune transit is to reflect, to turn inwards, in such a way as to have a determined intent to reflect in hindsight upon the Souls entire life in order to become aware of any and all delusions, illusions, self deceptions, being deceived by others, and deceiving others. Once identified the next step is then to make the effort to understand the inner dynamics within the consciousness of the Soul that have been responsible for this. The self-knowledge that is thus gained and APPLIED allows the Soul to accelerate upon it’s own evolutionary path and trajectory.

This is why it is essential as Evolutionary Astrologers to understand the individual context of any Soul’s reality: where it has been, where it is now, and where it intends to go. The entire Evolutionary Paradigm that exists in all birth charts for all Souls is that which allows us to understand this. It is the exact individual context of the consciousness of the Soul. So when trying to understand the Neptune transit in our or our clients lives it is essential to understanding as deeply as possible the individual evolutionary journey for the Soul relative the the Evolutionary Paradigm: the natal position of Pluto, it’s polarity point, the S.Node of the Moon by it’s own house and sign, the location of it’s planetary ruler by it’s own house and sign with aspects to all these points from other planets, the N.Node of the Moon by it’s own house and sign, the location of it’s planetary ruler by it’s own house and sign, and all the aspects to these points from other planets.

Wherever the actual transit of Neptune in Pisces is, or whatever sign it can be in, relative to the house it is transiting must involve the understanding of the Evolutionary Paradigm. In addition, it is necessary to locate and understand the transits of the natural planetary rulers of Neptune’s South and North Nodes: Uranus, and the Sun. All the archetypes that correlate to Neptune, as detailed in this book, as well as Uranus and the Sun are active at any moment in time as symbolized by the location of the houses and signs that they are transiting.

Neptune correlates to that which needs to be dissolved in order for Soul growth to occur, with the nature of our existing delusions/ illusions can exist that need to be confronted with actual reality so that evolution of the Soul can proceed by way of replacing them with the actual truth, of where emotional and instability of the consciousness of the Soul can occur and for what reasons, how to heal that emotional and instability if it is existing, of where we have been and are deceiving ourself and for what reasons and/or how we have allowed ourselves to be deceived and for what reasons, of where our Souls are creating events and circumstances that do not take responsibility for which leads to the feeling of being victimized, of where we can be victimizing others by way of making others scapegoats for that we, in the end, we are responsible for, of where the impact of the collective consciousness on our individual lives can be the most extreme leading to a feeling being out of control in our own lives, of where the Soul can actually influence the existing state of the collective consciousness by way of their own actualization of their unique Soul consciousness and it’s capacities, AND WHERE THE WHISPERS FROM THE SOURCE OF ALL THINGS manifest within each individualized Soul consciousness that allow for a quickening of the evolutionary pace if acted upon. Such whispers from eternity, God/ess, are the individualized messages that allow of an inner alignment of the individualized Soul consciousness WITH IT’S SOURCE.

In conjunction with Neptune the transiting Uranus, the planetary ruler of Neptune’s South Node, correlates with the archetype of FREEDOM FROM THE KNOWN. Wherever this transit is by house and sign location, aspects that it is making to other planets, correlates simultaneously with the past of the Soul that is interfacing in each moment, Neptune, that then allows from a freedom the that known past by way of liberating from it. Liberating from it means to become inwardly aware, attuned, to messages, whispers, from the Source Of All Things wherein the nature of those messages is to not only leave the past behind, the parts of the past that are no longer necessary, for the ongoing evolutionary growth of the Soul itself. These whispers, messages, reflect and symbolize a revolutionizing of that past that metamorphose into the Soul’s evolutionary future: to sustain the parts of the past, the inner dynamics that have caused it, that are still relevant to the Soul’s evolving future with the messages that allow that future to manifest.  

In combination with Neptune these messages, whispers, directly correlate with the individual consciousness of the Soul: where it has been, where it is now, and where is going as defined and symbolized the the EVOLUTIONARY PARADIGM itself. As such, the nature of the whispers and messages are directly linked with that unique nature of any given Soul. Uranus correlates with an acceleration of the evolutionary intentions of any given Soul when the messages, whispers, from the Source Of All Things become ‘quickened’ by way of Uranus. So the originally faint and relatively distant messages that correlate with Neptune become ever more conscious within the consciousness of the Soul by way of this quickening. The once distant billboard is now becoming ever closer.

Sometimes the nature of these message and whispers demands a complete break from the past: a total letting go in order to start anew. Other times these messages and whispers simply demands that we add onto some existing reality that is in place, a reality that is still serving the evolutionary intentions of the Soul. In either case a quickening of the evolutionary pace will take place. Sometimes these messages and whispers will seem to be very radical to the individualized consciousness of the Soul as compared to what the existing reality is. It is not uncommon for Soul’s to resist these messages and whispers, to detach from them, to create the rationalization that, indeed, they are to radical that would require, if acted upon, to total upsetting of their existing reality. In other words, the Soul can make itself feel insecure and ungrounded, Neptune, if it actually considered taking action of these messages. A typical reaction of this type manifests as ‘well, this is crazy, this is delusional, or I will do this at some other time’. In so doing the Soul then creates a reality for itself that is essentially marking time in an evolutionary sense.

The natural quickening of the messages of Neptune to Uranus manifests wherein the messages and whispers become progressively repeating within the individualized consciousness of the Soul. This is intentional from the point of view of the Creator Of All Things. This is how God/ess attempts to get the ATTENTION OF THE SOUL ITSELF. These messages will now be a combination, a synthesis, of whatever the house and sign of the Neptune transit is taking place within with the house and sign of the Uranus transit. Within this the aspects that both planets are making to other natal planets, their own house and sign locations, will contribute to what the very nature is of these whispers and messages from eternity.  

Again, these messages and whispers will become progressively repetitious: like a knocking on the door. Relative to the temptations of Evil. of Lucifer or the Devil, these repeating and progressively repetitious messages and whispers will be interfered with. This interference will manifest ‘sudden’ ideas that seem to come from nowhere that create a real sense of Soul excitement in terms of how tempting they can be. Yet these types of Lucifer induced messages do not have the ongoing repetitious nature of the actual messages and whispers from God/ess. They come, and they go. If a given Soul chooses to act upon them they are inevitably met with some kind of traumatic event that pops the balloons of delusion being influenced by Lucifer itself. The intent, from Lucifer's point of view, is to keep the Soul ensnarled with delusions in such a way as to prevent the inner alignment of the Soul with it Maker by way of the whispers from eternity that the Maker is inducing in the individualized consciousness of the Soul.

There are of course times in the life of almost all Souls in which the very nature of the circumstances that it has created for itself that ignite and inner feeling of hopelessness, of reaching a dead end with no way out, of desperation's that can be so intense that they induce an inner feeling of hysteria, an sense of not being able to change or alter the circumstances themselves. At these times many Souls inwardly or outwardly pray, or ask for some kind of divine or supernatural help from whatever the circumstances are that are causing this psychological state for the Soul. The Soul needs help, an intervention, to change that which can seem so hopeless and futile.

Many times, not always of course, if the Soul is sincere enough, and it not bound by some karmic determinant that requires that whatever the conditions are that are causing this inner psychology of the Soul, The Source Of All Things can in fact intervene to help change or create relief in some way from those conditions. When this happens it seems to the Soul that some kind of miracle has taken place, that the answers to the prayers have been realized.

The N.Node of Neptune in Leo, again, is ruled by the Sun. The Sun correlates to how we integrate the very purposed of our lives, of how we go about actualizing and integrating those purposes. Thus, the natal Sun in combination with the transiting Sun both correlate to how the Soul is meant to integrate, actualize, and give purpose too the ongoing evolution of the Soul relative to all the archetypes of Neptune and Uranus that we have been discussing.

It should be clear from the point of view of Evolutionary Astrology that a total and complete understanding of the natal Evolutionary Paradigm serves as the foundation, the individualized consciousness of the Soul, needs to be understood. From that foundation the Evolutionary Astrologer then understands how to understand an integrate the evolving, transiting, nature of this paradigm manifesting as the transits of Pluto, the North and South Nodes of the Moon, and the transits of their natural planetary rulers but to now add to that foundation and context the understanding of the Neptune transit itself which includes the transits of the natural planetary rulers of its’s own North and South Nodes.

If you have any questions please ask them of me now.

I would also like to have us work with any birth chart of your choosing to do an EA analysis of the Neptune transit that involves all or some of the archetypes that have just been discussed.

God Bless, Rad

 34 
 on: Apr 16, 2014, 08:22 AM 
Started by Deva - Last post by Deva
Hi, Susan. Thanks for your post about transits! Yes, we are going to start with Pluto transits to each house/sign and ruling planet (i.e, the next post is about Pluto transiting the first house or to Mars). In terms of understanding the core evolutionary intentions of Pluto transits it is important to remember that any planet that Pluto aspects through transit symbolizes a deep metamorphic process of that planetary function (Mars, Venus, Sun, etc). This process occurs, in a broad sense, through exposing and transmuting dynamics that are specifically linked with the planet that Pluto is transiting which have become limited and creating blocks towards further evolution. Please let me know if there are any questions before we move forward.  Pluto transiting Mars/1st house post will be ready by Monday next week!

Namaste

Deva

 35 
 on: Apr 16, 2014, 06:02 AM 
Started by Steve - Last post by Rad
 SPIEGEL ONLINE
04/15/2014 06:11 PM

'We Will Shoot Back': All Eyes on Russia as Ukraine Begins Offensive in East

By SPIEGEL Staff

Many in the West believe that Russia is behind the separatist movement in eastern Ukraine. Kiev on Tuesday launched an offensive to retake control of the region, but the biggest question still looms: Will Russia invade?

The last village on Russian territory, located just off the M3 highway where it enters Ukraine on the way from Moscow, is called Amon. Previously, motorists hardly took notice of the settlement and the border behind it was largely symbolic. But times have changed. Lena Mayorova, a nurse, is standing in front of her house and pointing out the positions taken up by Russian soldiers, where troops have dug trenches and hidden machine guns behind mounds of sandbags. A military helicopter is roaring overhead. Mayorova has never before seen such a thing, at least not here.

But the military presence, seven kilometers (4.3 miles) from the border, meets with her approval. She and others in the area believe that "over there, they are facing a civil war and fascist mercenaries are marching in from Kiev." That, at least, is what Mayorova learned from Russian state television.

Her view of the situation is not likely to have changed on Tuesday. Ukrainian troops began moving into the eastern part of the country as part of the "anti-terror operation" Kiev threatened to launch last week. The operation, targeting pro-Russian separatists in the region, had been scheduled to begin on Friday, but Kiev opted to give activists more time to stand down. A new deadline had been established for Monday.

Acting Ukrainian President Oleksander Tuchinov said that the operation began on Monday night north of Donetsk. "It will take place in stages, responsibly, in a considered way," he told parliament, according to Reuters. On Tuesday afternoon, Ukrainian forces were reportedly at the airport in Kramatorsk, just outside the city of Slovyansk.

The advance into eastern Ukraine has loomed for days as rhetoric between the West and Russia has become increasingly pointed. The Kremlin, Western military sources said last week, had deployed 10 brigades of up to 4,000 soldiers each on the border with Ukraine, with witnesses reporting several bus convoys bringing soldiers to the border. "But we don't know for sure how many troops are there," one NATO general said. NATO intelligence, he continued, had not been able to identify a command center in the border region. Still, he added, an invasion cannot be ruled out. Either way, he said, the Ukrainian army would not be able to resist an offensive for long.

A Further Escalation

Russia has repeatedly denied that it is mobilizing its forces on the Ukrainian border and dismissed satellite photos released by NATO last week -- designed to prove the contrary -- as being out of date. On Tuesday, Moscow said claims that some Russian troops were in eastern Ukraine were "absurd." Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he hopes that Kiev has "enough brains" to prevent a further escalation.

But efforts at de-escalation have taken a backseat in recent days. NATO General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen spoke recently of "illegal and illegitimate aggression" perpetrated by Russia and warned against further bolstering the Russian military presence on the Ukrainian border. "My message … to Russia is: You have a choice," Rasmussen said. The Western alliance said it was prepared to help Kiev defend sites in the country and has pledged the delivery of uniforms, spare parts and aircraft fuel.

The focus of the Ukraine conflict, which began in Kiev before moving to Crimea, is now squarely focused on the eastern part of the country. The front runs east of the Dnieper River, through cities like Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk. As the barricades in Kiev are being dismantled, new ones have been erected here amid demonstrations in favor of annexation to Russia, even if enthusiasm hasn't reached the fever pitch seen in Crimea.

The industrial city of Luhansk lies almost directly on the border with Russia, on the highway to Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad. People like Alexei Relke are on the rise these days in Luhansk. The 41-year-old can be found in the occupied local headquarters of the Ukrainian state security agency SBU. He has a Kalashnikov hanging around his neck; by way of greeting he snaps a new clip into place. "I am at war," he says.

Relke has taken charge of several hundred pro-Russian insurgents who have holed up in the state security building. He goes by the alias, "the German," a nickname he brought home with him from southern Germany, where he lived for 16 years, working in construction. Ten additional Kalashnikovs can be found in a wooden crate behind him. But the assault rifles aren't the only weapons Relke has at his disposal and he calmly runs through his inventory, which includes hand grenades, mines and rocket-propelled grenade launchers. He knows how to use them all; he was born in the Soviet Union and served as an officer in the Russian army.

'We Will Shoot Back'

Thus far, he hasn't had to use them. But Relke makes it clear what Ukrainian forces should expect if they come to Luhansk: "If they shoot, we will shoot back," he says.

It was "the German" who triggered the Luhansk insurgency in the first place. He was arrested on April 5, with a Kiev special forces unit forcing its way into his apartment at 4 a.m. and dragging him into custody. The charge? Treason and sabotage. That evening on television, the SBU displayed 300 machine guns, a grenade launcher and several knives that had, they claimed, been confiscated in Relke's flat.

On the same day, secret service agents arrested several dozen additional pro-Russian activists. Relke says the accusations are fictitious, claiming that he merely established a "coordination center" in February with like-minded Luhansk residents "when we saw what was happening in Kiev." Following his arrest, though, Relke's comrades stormed the state security headquarters and forced his release. But that wasn't all: Insurgents were also able to wrest control of the weapons depot at the local secret service headquarters, which explains why Relke is now wearing camouflage and a bullet-proof vest emblazoned with the letters "SBU".

Relke says that would-be insurgents have also crossed into Ukraine from Russia: "Two or three from every city," he claims. The sounds of several hundred followers singing the Russian wartime folksong "Katyusha" can be heard through the window.

When asked about his political aims, Relke quickly loses his confident demeanor. "The people here were so oppressed, you wouldn't believe it," he says and begins speaking about the late February campaign to remove Russian as Ukraine's second official language. He leaves unmentioned the fact that the attempt was ultimately unsuccessful. He then speaks of freedom and democracy; eventually he mentions the idea of a referendum. "We would welcome military support from Russia, but we don't believe it will happen," Relke says. "We will have to do the job alone."

The regional parliament in Luhansk was at first hesitant to support the pro-Russian activists, but then it released a statement offering an amnesty and demanding a countrywide referendum on transforming Ukraine into a federation.

A Surprise

Luhansk, though, is not alone. Activists remain in control of the administration building in the mining city of Donetsk as well. But who gave the order for the operation? "It came as a surprise to us," says Miroslav Rudenko in the 13th floor of the provincial headquarters, where he and other "members of government" are consulting over the next steps that the newly proclaimed "Donetsk Republic" should take.

Hardly any of the current leaders in Donetsk were part of the initial occupation, Rudenko, 31, explains. "The mood wasn't actually quite prepared for an insurgency." But the government's announcement that inefficient mines in the region would be closed, combined with rising fuel prices, quickly changed the mood in the city.

Rudenko is one of the leaders of the People's Militia of Donbass, a well-organized movement; an image of its founder, Pavel Gubarev, is plastered on his T-shirt. Following deposed President Viktor Yanukovych's flight from Kiev, Gubarev proclaimed himself the "people's governor" of Donetsk and was arrested by Ukrainian secret service agents. He is still behind bars; his wife, Yekaterina Gubareva, fled to the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.

Gubarev's "militia" maintains close contacts with the Eurasian Youth Union, headed by the Moscow ideologue Alexander Dugin. At the end of March, a conversation between him and Yekaterina Gubareva was made public in which the two discussed the strategy that should be followed in Donetsk. In the conversation, Dugin promises Russian support and advises the establishment of citizen defense initiatives in opposition to the "Kiev junta" in addition to the demand for a referendum on Donbass independence. That is exactly the scenario that insurgents are now pursuing.

Nevertheless, the situation here is not as unambiguous as it was on the Crimean Peninsula. According to surveys carried out by the Institute of Social Research in Donetsk, even as the fear of "radical residents of western Ukraine" are widespread and roughly half of those polled are frightened of the government in Kiev, three-quarters reject the occupation of buildings in the region. Half of those surveyed demand more regional rights, but within a sovereign Ukraine. Only one-third are in favor of being annexed by Russia. But nothing changes in Ukraine these days as quickly as the mood of the populace.

Demanding Talks

Last Friday, interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk finally took a step that was long overdue: He made a visit to Donetsk. During his stay, he met with Rinat Achmetov, the country's wealthiest oligarch, whose network of companies employs some 300,000 people worldwide. Still, the primary focus of Achmetov's business interests remains heavy industry in the Donbass region. Achmetov was a significant financier of the Party of Regions, the party that propelled Yanukovych to power, and the new government in Kiev can ill afford to ignore him. A billionaire who shuns the limelight, Achmetov has visited several hotspots in eastern Ukraine in recent weeks, speaking with those occupying administrative buildings and demanding talks with Kiev.

The situation is similar across the region, with the population of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, just as divided as that of Donetsk. "Ten percent at the most are in favor of Russian annexation," says Mayor Hennadiy Kernes, adding that "40 percent are in favor of close cooperation with Russia within a customs union, 30 percent want to become part of the European Union and the rest don't care." Kernes is popular in Kharkiv, primarily because he is seen as having cleaned up the streets and built playgrounds and parks.

Russia had hoped that Kernes would be instrumental in splitting off eastern Ukraine. But he quickly headed for the exits during a February meeting of the separatist movement Ukrainian Front. He knows that a majority of his constituency is opposed to becoming part of President Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Nevertheless, the new Kiev government longs to be rid of the mayor. A long-time Kernes detractor currently heads up the Interior Ministry and has initiated an investigation, meaning that the mayor must travel to the capital on a weekly basis for hearings.

"Everyone who stormed the governor's palace in Kharkiv last week is to be dragged into court, but those who occupied Kiev city hall are now seen as heroes," he says. "That is not a good recipe for rapprochement." Kernes is demanding that access to Russian television, cut off by a Kiev court to the chagrin of many in the east, be restored.

The mayor's primary adversary can be found two kilometers away in the governor's palace on Freedom Square. A massive man, Ihor Baluta was installed by the new government and is protected by a contingent of 250 heavily armed police. His office is still dominated by the smell of smoke, the result of a raid on the building 10 days ago perpetrated by several hundred pro-Russian activists. Baluta's office windows were shattered, bullets hammered into the walls and a fire broke out on the ground floor. Early last week, special forces regained control of the building.

Information and Disinformation

"We have arrested 62 people," Baluta says. "Russians were not among them. But our secret service personnel know that Russians took part in the raid on my headquarters. They were able to get away in time." Later, an advisor to the governor led a tour through the destroyed offices. "The whole thing was controlled and financed by people in the Russian consulate," he says, "but the governor can't be quite that open." Still, proof to back claims of Russian involvement is scant, just as it is for the assertion made by pro-Russian activists that personnel from the private US security firm Greystone were among the special forces troops dispatched by Kiev.

It is almost impossible these days to distinguish information from disinformation; the political camps are irreconcilable and no accusation is beyond the pale. And perhaps the most important question is impossible to answer: Will Russia invade Ukraine?

Even in Moscow, nobody can say for sure, with political analysts enjoying close ties to the Kremlin unsure about the president's intentions. Stanislav Belkovsky, the author of a book critical of the Pig, wrote in the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets that the president has clearly stated what might prevent him from marching into Ukraine: "The introduction of Russian as the country's second official language and the federalization of Ukraine with extensive rights for the regions." Neither condition would be easy for Kiev to fulfil.

Pig, whose popularity ratings shot up to over 82 percent following the annexation of Crimea, has triggered a sense of expectancy among his followers. Were he now to lose Ukraine to the West, he would find himself in the company of predecessors Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin, neither of whom have been forgiven by a majority of Russians for sacrificing the country's superpower status.

'Controlled Chaos'

The Kremlin, it is clear, is prepared to do all it can to prevent Ukraine from turning westwards. In recent days, Moscow has been putting its instruments of economic torture on display. Not only did Russia revoke the natural gas rebate for Ukraine once negotiated by the country's toppled president Yanukovych, but it also jacked the price up to $486 per 1,000 cubic meters. That is roughly $100 more than Russia's Western European customers pay on average. And from now on, Ukraine will have to pay in advance.

The Kremlin, wrote the Pig Putin-critical newspaper Vedomosti last week, is eager to create "controlled chaos." A second step, the paper wrote, would be that of sabotaging Ukraine's presidential elections and promoting the creation of a confederation, with the goal of ultimately paving the way for regions in eastern Ukraine to join Moscow's customs union.

But does Pig still have the forces he has unleashed under control? Last week, a high-ranking Russian official laid claim to the country's "historical right" to territories of the former Soviet Union, including the eastern regions of Kazakhstan.

In response, Kazakhstan immediately recalled its Moscow ambassador for consultations.

BY MORITZ GATHMANN, CHRISTIAN NEEF, WLADIMIR PYLJOW AND MATTHIAS SCHEPP

Translated from the German by Charles Hawley

***************

Troops fire as locals in Kramatorsk confront Ukraine general Vasily Krutov

Protesters injured as anti-terrorist operation announced by acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, begins

Alec Luhn   
theguardian.com, Tuesday 15 April 2014 21.59 BST   

Angry locals surrounded General Vasily Krutov, yelling questions about what he and his troops were doing in their city.

"We are conducting an anti-terrorist operation," the senior Ukrainian officer began, but he was interrupted by angry shouts of "What terrorists?"

As the crowd surged towards the airfield entrance in Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine, waving a Russian flag on a long branch, the Ukrainian troops inside unleashed a volley of shots into the air.

After a failed ultimatum for pro-Russian protesters to lay down their arms and vacate government buildings they have occupied in at least nine cities across eastern Ukraine, yesterday Kiev attempted to flex its military muscle. But the anti-terrorist operation announced by the acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, got off to a rough start when security service troops took control of the military facility, firing shots and injuring at least two protesters. The air base is an obvious staging point for any operation in the larger nearby city of Slavyansk, where well-organised gunmen seized the police and security service building last weekend. A similar group of armed men later stormed a government building in Kramatorsk with a flurry of gunfire, although no one was injured.

The casualties angered still further locals opposed to the Kiev government. Men quickly hemmed the troops inside the air base with tyres, pallets and small trees they had uprooted, vowing to guard the barricade through the night and set it on fire if anyone tried to come out. A few dozen molotov cocktails stood on the road nearby.

Although officials blame the unrest on Russian agents, including a man who identified himself on camera as a lieutenant general in the Russian army, local protesters say they are acting on their own initiative, out of their hatred for the new regime. The mayor of Slavyansk said on Ukrainian television on Tuesday that soldiers from Russia and Crimea had led the building takeovers there.

Speaking with Krutov, the crowd demanded to know why the troops, sent by Kiev to quell an uprising in eastern Ukraine that officials say Russia is inciting, had fired on locals, with one man displaying a wound on his thigh he said was from a bullet graze. The general said about 30 armed men were operating in the area and his men had been forced to open fire, but he was quickly drowned out by shouts and chants of "Lies!" and "Donbass!," the historical name of this coal-mining region with close economic and cultural ties to Russia.

At one point, a group of men began punching Krutov in the head, knocking off his military-issue fur hat. Yelling "jail him", they attempted to drag him away, but others stopped them and escorted him to the base's entrance.

A man who identified himself only as Sergei said he had been in the group of men that had come under fire at the airfield, saying two of them had been wounded. He said after they saw two helicopters land and unload special forces, he and a dozen or so others advanced on the base armed with clubs. After they passed through the gates, soldiers began shooting at them, he said, denying reports that men in the party were carrying firearms.

Arriving at the facility, the Guardian also saw a fighter jet resembling a Su-27 circling around the airfield. Locals claimed it had strafed the airfield earlier.

Speaking to journalists, Krutov said the wave of unrest was being led by Russian forces. He said more than 300 Russian forces had infiltrated neighbouring Luhansk region the day before.

"We need to destroy this foreign invader. We have among these spies Russian military, professionals with long experience in all sorts of conflicts."

Asked if another ultimatum would be given to those who had seized buildings, Krutov said that would be "too humanitarian". Civilian casualties were possible, but his forces would try to "make sure not one innocent person suffers".

"Unfortunately we face a difficult situation because those realising their plan are hiding behind human shields," he said, apparently referring to the many pro-Russian locals who have taken part in building takeovers.

"People don't want to turn in their weapons. As soldiers, we are obliged to defend our land," said a paratrooper with the anti-terrorist force who declined to give his name. "We believe in everything we're doing to preserve our government, our territory and peace here. No one is planning to fight with protesters."

"Some of them are cynically working towards their own ends, but many are under the influence of propaganda," Krutov said about the pro-Russian protesters. Russian media have painted the new Kiev government as dominated by nationalists who want to crack down on Russian speakers in the east.

"We're not separatists," a man who identified himself only as Valery said outside the barricaded airfield. "I don't want Ukraine to be divided. I don't want to give our land to Russia … I want a referendum because we can't work with this regime any other way."

****************

Pro-Russian separatists seize Ukrainian armoured vehicles

About 100 armed men ride on top of seized vehicles in central Kramatorsk as Ukrainian military helicopters hover above

Luke Harding and Alec Luhn in Slavyansk
theguardian.com, Wednesday 16 April 2014 10.13 BST   
    
Pro-Russian armed separatists have seized five armoured personnel carriers and a tank from the Ukrainian army, which they then drove in a victory lap through the centre of Kramatorsk in Ukraine's east, where government forces are attempting to wrest back control of the city.

About 100 heavily armed men, some in balaclavas and wearing military fatigues, rode on top of the seized armoured vehicles, the first of which was flying a Russian tricolour. Several hundred locals gathered around the convoy, cheering, tooting their car horns and waving in support as it rolled past Kramatorsk's railway station, not far from the airfield where Ukrainian soldiers clashed with separatists on Tuesday.

Ukrainian military helicopters hovered above the dramatic scenes in central Kramatorsk but there seemed to be no attempt by government forces to try to wrest back control of the situation.

The seized armoured personnel carriers were driven to Slavyansk, where a Russian flag had been raised above a checkpoint at the city entrance. A jet plane resembling a Su-27 circled low over the town's square.

The pro-Russian militiamen who drove the troop carriers into Slavyansk refused to say where they had got them.

"From space," one said. "They came on their own," said another.

There were, however, reports that six Ukrainian pieces of armour in Kramatorsk had fallen into the hands of pro-Russian militia. Reuters reported that at least three of the armoured troop carriers were under the control of the Ukrainian army in Kramatorsk earlier on Wednesday. The troop carrier driven into Slavyansk did not look modern enough or well kept enough to be Russian.

One soldier siding with the separatists in Slavyansk told a Reuters reporter he and others in his group were part of a Ukrainian paratroop unit who could not shoot "our own people".

Locals gathered as the militiamen parked the vehicles near city hall. A pair of women recognised one man and hugged him, suggesting that at least some of them were local.

The new "people's mayor", Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, arrived and greeted the men, then led a group of them off the square towards other occupied buildings.

But not all the locals who had gathered joined the hero's welcome. One man who identified himself only as Valery angrily asked the militiamen, who were enforcing a wide perimeter around the armoured vehicles, what they were doing.

"Part of the population supports them," he said. "But people who work, like me – I'm an entrepreneur – they don't want this."

Valery said he did not support calls for a referendum and wanted to vote in the presidential elections planned for 25 May, which many here say they will boycott.

"People think everything in Russia is spread with honey," Valery said – a statement that provoked angry exclamations and arguments from nearby crowds.

Separately, there were unconfirmed reports that armed men had captured the city administration building in nearby Donetsk.

Pro-Russian protesters seeking independence from Kiev have occupied at least nine government buildings in the region for more than a week – but this is the first time that separatist forces deep inside Ukraine have managed to seize heavy military equipment and a further sign that the situation in the east is slipping out of Kiev's grip.

Ukrainian government forces launched their first significant military action in the east of the country on Tuesday, clashing with about 30 pro-Russian gunmen at a provincial airfield and heightening fears that the standoff could escalate into a major armed conflict.

Shots were fired in Kramatorsk airport as Ukrainian special forces stormed in to reassert Kiev's control. As troop helicopters hovered above and tempers flared, a Ukrainian general was set upon by a group of local people incensed that two protesters had been injured, knocking off his military-issue fur hat and yelling: "Jail him."

At the same time as Kramatorsk airport was being seized, elite Ukrainian units were also gathering outside the nearby city of Slavyansk in an operation aimed at taking back control from armed pro-Russian groups.

Ukraine's acting president said the recapture of the airport was just the first such action aimed at restoring Kiev's control over the east.

"I just got a call from the Donetsk region: Ukrainian special forces have liberated the airport in the city of Kramatorsk from terrorists," Oleksandr Turchynov told parliament.

"I'm convinced that there will not be any terrorists left soon in Donetsk and other regions and they will find themselves in the dock – this is where they belong."

Russia's president, Pig Putin, declared the Ukrainian moves "anti-constitutional acts" and in a phone call to the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, demanded that the UN condemn them. But the US voiced strong support for the Ukrainian operation, arguing that the government in Kiev had to respond to armed groups.

"We understand the government of Ukraine is working to try to calm the situation in the east and note the measured approach of the Ukrainian security forces thus far," said the White House press secretary Jay Carney.

Representatives from Ukraine, Russia, the US and the European Union are due to meet in Geneva on Thursday for the first time since the crisis began in February, but there were clear signs that the situation in eastern Ukraine risked spiralling out of control before the diplomats could meet.

The mayor of Slavyansk said the pro-Russian local people there were being supported by unmarked troops from Russia and Crimea. Turchynov gave pro-Russians in eastern Ukraine until Monday morning to give up their arms and the buildings they had seized, but instead a pro-Russian mob took over yet another government building in Horlivka that day. A man who appointed a new police chief there later said he was a lieutenant colonel in the Russian army.

General Vasily Krutov, the commander of the Ukrainian operation in the region, said the government's ultimatum would not be extended. That would be "too humanitarian", he said. He added that civilian casualties were possible but his forces would try to make sure "not one innocent person suffers".

He said: "Unfortunately we face a difficult situation because those realising their plan are hiding behind human shields" – an apparent reference to the many pro-Russian local people who have taken part in taking over buildings. "Some of them are cynically working towards their own ends, but many are under the influence of propaganda," he said.

At the White House, Carney said the Ukrainian authorities had repeatedly sought to negotiate a peaceful resolution with armed groups occupying buildings in eastern cities, and made clear that use of force was not its "preferred action".

But he continued: "That said, the Ukrainian government has a responsibility to provide law and order. These provocations in eastern Ukraine are creating a situation in which the government has to respond."

Asked what advice the CIA director, John Brennan, who visited Kiev on Saturday, and other US officials had given security forces in Kiev, Carney replied: "We urged the Ukrainian government to move forward, gradually, responsibly, and with all due caution, as it deals with this situation caused by armed militants.

"Let's be clear: the way to ensure that violence does not occur is for these armed paramilitary groups, and these armed so-called pro-Russian separatists, to vacate the buildings and to lay down their arms."

William Hague, the British foreign secretary, said in a speech to the City of London on Tuesday that the EU was completing preparations for "far-reaching economic, trade and financial sanctions whenever necessary" against Moscow.

"In recent days Russia has deliberately pushed Ukraine to the brink, and created a still greater risk of violent confrontation," he said. "We call on Russia to stop these actions and to condemn the lawless acts in eastern Ukraine."

The UN human rights office, meanwhile, said ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine had falsely claimed to be under assault to justify Russian intervention, warning that such propaganda could affect Ukraine's presidential election next month.

Russia condemned the report, saying it was one-sided and seemed to have been "fabricated" to fit pre-formed conclusions.

*************

Russia Is Quick to Bend Truth About Ukraine

By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
APRIL 15, 2014
IHT

MOSCOW — The Facebook post on Tuesday morning by Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia was bleak and full of dread.

“Blood has been spilled in Ukraine again,” wrote Mr. Medvedev, once favored in the West for playing good cop to the hard-boiled president, Pig V. Putin. “The threat of civil war looms.”

He pleaded with Ukrainians to decide their own future “without usurpers, nationalists and bandits, without tanks or armored vehicles — and without secret visits by the C.I.A. director.”

And so began another day of bluster and hyperbole, of the misinformation, exaggerations, conspiracy theories, overheated rhetoric and, occasionally, outright lies about the political crisis in Ukraine that have emanated from the highest echelons of the Kremlin and reverberated on state-controlled Russian television, hour after hour, day after day, week after week.

It is an extraordinary propaganda campaign that political analysts say reflects a new brazenness on the part of Russian officials. And in recent days, it has largely succeeded — at least for Russia’s domestic audience — in painting a picture of chaos and danger in eastern Ukraine, although it was pro-Russian forces themselves who created it by seizing public buildings and setting up roadblocks.

In essence, Moscow’s state-controlled news media outlets are loudly and incessantly calling on Ukraine and the international community to calm a situation that Ukraine, the United States and the European Union say the Kremlin is doing its best to destabilize.

Even the United Nations weighed in. In a report released Tuesday, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said that threats to ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, cited repeatedly by Russian officials and in the Russian news media as a potential rationale for Russian military action, were exaggerated and that some participants in the protests in the region came from Russia.

“Although there were some attacks against the ethnic Russian community, these were neither systematic nor widespread,” said the report, which was based on two United Nations missions to Ukraine between March 15 and April 2.

There is no question that the new Ukrainian government and its Western allies, including the United States, have engaged in their own misinformation efforts at times, with officials in Kiev making bold pronouncements in recent days of enforcement efforts that never materialized. On Tuesday, some American officials were spreading unverified photographs allegedly showing Russian rocket launchers carried by pro-Russian demonstrators in eastern Ukraine.

“It’s all lies,” said Lilia Shevtsova, an expert on Russian politics at the Carnegie Moscow Center. “The Russia leadership doesn’t care about how it’s being perceived in the outside world, in the world of communication, in the world where we have plurality of information and where information can be confirmed and checked. This is a radical change in attitude toward the West.”

Ms. Shevtsova added: “We can’t trust anything. Even with the Soviet propaganda, when they were talking with the Soviet people, there were some rules. Now, there are no rules at all. You can invent anything.”

To watch the television news in Russia is to be pulled into a swirling, 24-hour vortex of alarmist proclamations of Western aggression, sinister claims of rising fascism and breathless accounts of imminent hostilities by the “illegal” Ukrainian government in Kiev, which has proved itself in recent days to be largely powerless.

The Rossiya 24 news channel, for instance, has been broadcasting virtually nonstop with a small graphic at the bottom corner of the screen that says “Ukrainian Crisis” above the image of a masked fighter, set against the backdrop of the red-and-black flag of the nationalist, World War II-era Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which inflicted tens of thousands of casualties on Soviet forces.

Over the course of several hours of coverage on Tuesday, Rossiya 24 reported that four to 11 peaceful, pro-Russian “supporters of federalization” in Ukraine were killed near the town of Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine when a mixed force of right-wing Ukrainians and foreign mercenaries strafed an airfield with automatic gunfire from helicopter gunships before landing and seizing control.

In fact, on the ground, a small crowd of residents surrounded a Ukrainian commander who had landed at the airfield in a helicopter, and while there were reports of stones thrown and shots fired in the air, only a few minor injuries were reported with no signs of fatalities.

Adding to the public frenzy about imminent Kiev-ordered violence, Life News, a pro-Kremlin tabloid television station, offered a bounty of 15,000 rubles, or slightly more than $400, for video of Ukrainian military forces mobilizing in eastern Ukraine — suggesting that such activity was secretly underway.

An official with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which has monitors in Ukraine, said they had not seen any direct threats to pro-Russian citizens in eastern Ukraine, where despite the intense news media attention, protest activity remained relatively isolated, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the continuing mission.

In Slovyansk, where pro-Russian forces seized a police station and the local headquarters of the security service over the weekend, the monitors heard what seemed to be genuine fear of the authorities in Kiev, this official said, but only because they were worried that the government would try to retake the seized buildings. “Part of the reason they had the roadblocks was they were afraid the Ministry of Interior was going to launch an operation,” the official said.

Russia has flatly denied any role in the unrest in eastern Ukraine, and the Russian Foreign Ministry, which normally champions the authority of the United Nations, dismissed the new humans rights report as biased. In a statement, Aleksandr Lukashevich, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, called it “one-sided, politicized and unobjective.”

Mr. Lukashevich said the report ignored “the unchecked rise of aggressive nationalism and neo-Nazism” in Ukraine, adding, “the document abounds in flagrant selectiveness.”

Mark Galeotti, a professor of global affairs at New York University who is teaching in Moscow this semester, said that some of the lies were blatant. “You can have the sight of the Russian state honoring the ‘heroes of Crimea’ without finding any need to reconcile that with the official line that there were no Russian soldiers there,” Mr. Galeotti said in an interview.

Still, he said the propaganda was strikingly effective in Crimea, throwing the West off-balance and buying Russian forces just enough time to solidify their control over the peninsula.

“It was on one level transparent, embarrassingly transparent,” Mr. Galeotti said. “But I know from my conversations with various people in government, it did create that sort of paralysis, or uncertainty.”

He added, “In my estimation, all they needed was a six-hour window and, by that point, they were unassailable.”

In the current situation in eastern Ukraine, the propaganda effort also seems effective, Mr. Galeotti said, adding that some in the West were giving too much credence to the Kremlin’s statements. “If you don’t know any better, Ukraine has descended into this anarchic ‘Mad Max’ wasteland of neo-fascist mobs hunting down ethnic Russians, so of course something has to be done.”

The Pig said in a phone call Tuesday with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, that Ukraine was on the brink of civil war, a point Mr. Medvedev also made at a news conference later in Moscow, adding that the government in Kiev was to blame. Mr. Medvedev also repeated the Kremlin’s frequent assertion that Russian speakers were under threat in Ukraine — the very claim United Nations officials rejected in their report.

“The only way to preserve Ukraine and calm the situation,” Mr. Medvedev said, requires “recognizing that Russian citizens are the same as Ukrainians and, therefore, can use their own language in everyday life.”

Andrew Roth and Noah Sneider contributed reporting from Moscow, and Andrew Higgins from Kiev, Ukraine.

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U.N. Cites Abuses in Crimea Before Russia Annexation Vote

By NICK CUMMING-BRUCE
APRIL 15, 2014
IHT

GENEVA — Amid fears of escalating violence in eastern Ukraine, the United Nations called on Tuesday for action to counter misinformation and hate speech used as propaganda and urged the authorities in Crimea to account for killings, torture and arbitrary arrests in the buildup to the March referendum that led to its annexation by Russia.

“Facts on the ground need to be established to help reduce the risk of radically different narratives being exploited for political ends,” the United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, said in a statement released with a report on human rights in Ukraine and Crimea, which until last month was an autonomous region of Ukraine.

“People need a reliable point of view to counter what has been widespread misinformation and also speech that aims to incite hatred on national, religious or racial grounds,” she added.

The United Nations report came as Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia, on a visit to Crimea, said in a post on Facebook that eastern Ukraine was “on the brink of civil war.”

A visual survey of the continuing dispute, including satellite images of Russian naval positions and maps showing political, cultural and economic factors in the crisis.

It also coincides with preparations for talks on Ukraine in Geneva on Thursday, when Secretary of State John Kerry is due to meet the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov; the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton; and Ukraine’s acting foreign minister, Andrii Deshchytsia.

The talks will focus on de-escalation of the crisis and will not address Russia’s calls for federalism in Ukraine, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Yuri Klymenko, told reporters on Tuesday. Russia is exploiting unrest in eastern Ukraine as a “concocted pretext” to disrupt the meeting, he said, and Ukraine will present “concrete evidence” of the involvement of Russian special forces in the separatist unrest.

The United Nations report, based on investigations by Ivan Simonovic, a United Nations assistant secretary general, and United Nations human rights monitors pointed to evidence that some participants in deadly clashes in eastern Ukraine had come from Russia.

Tracing the roots of Ukraine’s crisis, the report said excessive use of force by Ukraine’s special police forces, the Berkut, against initially peaceful demonstrators against the government had radicalized protesters and led to the violence that erupted in January and February.

Investigators found that 121 people were killed in clashes in February, as a result of severe beatings or gunshots, and that more than 100 people were still missing, a figure a senior United Nations official in Geneva said might rise to 140 or 150.

The dead included 101 people killed in protests in Independence Square in Kiev, the capital, and 17 security officers and two members of a pro-Russian organization, Oplot, who were killed during an attack in the eastern city of Kharkiv. Hundreds were hospitalized and some remain in critical condition, the report said.

Investigators said they had received reports of attacks on Ukraine’s Russian minority, but these were “neither widespread nor systematic.” Instead, the report said, “greatly exaggerated stories of harassment of ethnic Russians by Ukrainian nationalist extremists, and misinformed reports of them coming armed to persecute ethnic Russians in Crimea, were systematically used to create a climate of fear and insecurity that reflected on support to integration of Crimea into the Russian Federation.”

They said they heard numerous reports of vote rigging in the March 16 referendum, when residents of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to unite with Russia, and expressed concerns about the conditions under which the vote took place, citing harassment and abductions of journalists and activists who were opposed to it, as well as the presence of armed militias.

Some of the journalists and activists who disappeared have since been released, but had been tortured, the report said.

Mr. Simonovic, who visited Crimea in March, said he had been assured by the authorities that they would investigate reports of human rights violations. But the United Nations, which has established a human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine with outposts in five cities, reported that Russia said it did not support the deployment of human rights monitors in Crimea.


 36 
 on: Apr 16, 2014, 05:41 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Russia Is Quick to Bend Truth About Ukraine

By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
APRIL 15, 2014
IHT

MOSCOW — The Facebook post on Tuesday morning by Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia was bleak and full of dread.

“Blood has been spilled in Ukraine again,” wrote Mr. Medvedev, once favored in the West for playing good cop to the hard-boiled president, Pig V. Putin. “The threat of civil war looms.”

He pleaded with Ukrainians to decide their own future “without usurpers, nationalists and bandits, without tanks or armored vehicles — and without secret visits by the C.I.A. director.”

And so began another day of bluster and hyperbole, of the misinformation, exaggerations, conspiracy theories, overheated rhetoric and, occasionally, outright lies about the political crisis in Ukraine that have emanated from the highest echelons of the Kremlin and reverberated on state-controlled Russian television, hour after hour, day after day, week after week.

It is an extraordinary propaganda campaign that political analysts say reflects a new brazenness on the part of Russian officials. And in recent days, it has largely succeeded — at least for Russia’s domestic audience — in painting a picture of chaos and danger in eastern Ukraine, although it was pro-Russian forces themselves who created it by seizing public buildings and setting up roadblocks.

In essence, Moscow’s state-controlled news media outlets are loudly and incessantly calling on Ukraine and the international community to calm a situation that Ukraine, the United States and the European Union say the Kremlin is doing its best to destabilize.

Even the United Nations weighed in. In a report released Tuesday, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said that threats to ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, cited repeatedly by Russian officials and in the Russian news media as a potential rationale for Russian military action, were exaggerated and that some participants in the protests in the region came from Russia.

“Although there were some attacks against the ethnic Russian community, these were neither systematic nor widespread,” said the report, which was based on two United Nations missions to Ukraine between March 15 and April 2.

There is no question that the new Ukrainian government and its Western allies, including the United States, have engaged in their own misinformation efforts at times, with officials in Kiev making bold pronouncements in recent days of enforcement efforts that never materialized. On Tuesday, some American officials were spreading unverified photographs allegedly showing Russian rocket launchers carried by pro-Russian demonstrators in eastern Ukraine.

“It’s all lies,” said Lilia Shevtsova, an expert on Russian politics at the Carnegie Moscow Center. “The Russia leadership doesn’t care about how it’s being perceived in the outside world, in the world of communication, in the world where we have plurality of information and where information can be confirmed and checked. This is a radical change in attitude toward the West.”

Ms. Shevtsova added: “We can’t trust anything. Even with the Soviet propaganda, when they were talking with the Soviet people, there were some rules. Now, there are no rules at all. You can invent anything.”

To watch the television news in Russia is to be pulled into a swirling, 24-hour vortex of alarmist proclamations of Western aggression, sinister claims of rising fascism and breathless accounts of imminent hostilities by the “illegal” Ukrainian government in Kiev, which has proved itself in recent days to be largely powerless.

The Rossiya 24 news channel, for instance, has been broadcasting virtually nonstop with a small graphic at the bottom corner of the screen that says “Ukrainian Crisis” above the image of a masked fighter, set against the backdrop of the red-and-black flag of the nationalist, World War II-era Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which inflicted tens of thousands of casualties on Soviet forces.

Over the course of several hours of coverage on Tuesday, Rossiya 24 reported that four to 11 peaceful, pro-Russian “supporters of federalization” in Ukraine were killed near the town of Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine when a mixed force of right-wing Ukrainians and foreign mercenaries strafed an airfield with automatic gunfire from helicopter gunships before landing and seizing control.

In fact, on the ground, a small crowd of residents surrounded a Ukrainian commander who had landed at the airfield in a helicopter, and while there were reports of stones thrown and shots fired in the air, only a few minor injuries were reported with no signs of fatalities.

Adding to the public frenzy about imminent Kiev-ordered violence, Life News, a pro-Kremlin tabloid television station, offered a bounty of 15,000 rubles, or slightly more than $400, for video of Ukrainian military forces mobilizing in eastern Ukraine — suggesting that such activity was secretly underway.

An official with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which has monitors in Ukraine, said they had not seen any direct threats to pro-Russian citizens in eastern Ukraine, where despite the intense news media attention, protest activity remained relatively isolated, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the continuing mission.

In Slovyansk, where pro-Russian forces seized a police station and the local headquarters of the security service over the weekend, the monitors heard what seemed to be genuine fear of the authorities in Kiev, this official said, but only because they were worried that the government would try to retake the seized buildings. “Part of the reason they had the roadblocks was they were afraid the Ministry of Interior was going to launch an operation,” the official said.

Russia has flatly denied any role in the unrest in eastern Ukraine, and the Russian Foreign Ministry, which normally champions the authority of the United Nations, dismissed the new humans rights report as biased. In a statement, Aleksandr Lukashevich, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, called it “one-sided, politicized and unobjective.”

Mr. Lukashevich said the report ignored “the unchecked rise of aggressive nationalism and neo-Nazism” in Ukraine, adding, “the document abounds in flagrant selectiveness.”

Mark Galeotti, a professor of global affairs at New York University who is teaching in Moscow this semester, said that some of the lies were blatant. “You can have the sight of the Russian state honoring the ‘heroes of Crimea’ without finding any need to reconcile that with the official line that there were no Russian soldiers there,” Mr. Galeotti said in an interview.

Still, he said the propaganda was strikingly effective in Crimea, throwing the West off-balance and buying Russian forces just enough time to solidify their control over the peninsula.

“It was on one level transparent, embarrassingly transparent,” Mr. Galeotti said. “But I know from my conversations with various people in government, it did create that sort of paralysis, or uncertainty.”

He added, “In my estimation, all they needed was a six-hour window and, by that point, they were unassailable.”

In the current situation in eastern Ukraine, the propaganda effort also seems effective, Mr. Galeotti said, adding that some in the West were giving too much credence to the Kremlin’s statements. “If you don’t know any better, Ukraine has descended into this anarchic ‘Mad Max’ wasteland of neo-fascist mobs hunting down ethnic Russians, so of course something has to be done.”

The Pig said in a phone call Tuesday with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, that Ukraine was on the brink of civil war, a point Mr. Medvedev also made at a news conference later in Moscow, adding that the government in Kiev was to blame. Mr. Medvedev also repeated the Kremlin’s frequent assertion that Russian speakers were under threat in Ukraine — the very claim United Nations officials rejected in their report.

“The only way to preserve Ukraine and calm the situation,” Mr. Medvedev said, requires “recognizing that Russian citizens are the same as Ukrainians and, therefore, can use their own language in everyday life.”

Andrew Roth and Noah Sneider contributed reporting from Moscow, and Andrew Higgins from Kiev, Ukraine.

*******************

U.N. Cites Abuses in Crimea Before Russia Annexation Vote

By NICK CUMMING-BRUCE
APRIL 15, 2014
IHT

GENEVA — Amid fears of escalating violence in eastern Ukraine, the United Nations called on Tuesday for action to counter misinformation and hate speech used as propaganda and urged the authorities in Crimea to account for killings, torture and arbitrary arrests in the buildup to the March referendum that led to its annexation by Russia.

“Facts on the ground need to be established to help reduce the risk of radically different narratives being exploited for political ends,” the United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, said in a statement released with a report on human rights in Ukraine and Crimea, which until last month was an autonomous region of Ukraine.

“People need a reliable point of view to counter what has been widespread misinformation and also speech that aims to incite hatred on national, religious or racial grounds,” she added.

The United Nations report came as Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia, on a visit to Crimea, said in a post on Facebook that eastern Ukraine was “on the brink of civil war.”

A visual survey of the continuing dispute, including satellite images of Russian naval positions and maps showing political, cultural and economic factors in the crisis.

It also coincides with preparations for talks on Ukraine in Geneva on Thursday, when Secretary of State John Kerry is due to meet the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov; the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton; and Ukraine’s acting foreign minister, Andrii Deshchytsia.

The talks will focus on de-escalation of the crisis and will not address Russia’s calls for federalism in Ukraine, Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Yuri Klymenko, told reporters on Tuesday. Russia is exploiting unrest in eastern Ukraine as a “concocted pretext” to disrupt the meeting, he said, and Ukraine will present “concrete evidence” of the involvement of Russian special forces in the separatist unrest.

The United Nations report, based on investigations by Ivan Simonovic, a United Nations assistant secretary general, and United Nations human rights monitors pointed to evidence that some participants in deadly clashes in eastern Ukraine had come from Russia.

Tracing the roots of Ukraine’s crisis, the report said excessive use of force by Ukraine’s special police forces, the Berkut, against initially peaceful demonstrators against the government had radicalized protesters and led to the violence that erupted in January and February.

Investigators found that 121 people were killed in clashes in February, as a result of severe beatings or gunshots, and that more than 100 people were still missing, a figure a senior United Nations official in Geneva said might rise to 140 or 150.

The dead included 101 people killed in protests in Independence Square in Kiev, the capital, and 17 security officers and two members of a pro-Russian organization, Oplot, who were killed during an attack in the eastern city of Kharkiv. Hundreds were hospitalized and some remain in critical condition, the report said.

Investigators said they had received reports of attacks on Ukraine’s Russian minority, but these were “neither widespread nor systematic.” Instead, the report said, “greatly exaggerated stories of harassment of ethnic Russians by Ukrainian nationalist extremists, and misinformed reports of them coming armed to persecute ethnic Russians in Crimea, were systematically used to create a climate of fear and insecurity that reflected on support to integration of Crimea into the Russian Federation.”

They said they heard numerous reports of vote rigging in the March 16 referendum, when residents of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to unite with Russia, and expressed concerns about the conditions under which the vote took place, citing harassment and abductions of journalists and activists who were opposed to it, as well as the presence of armed militias.

Some of the journalists and activists who disappeared have since been released, but had been tortured, the report said.

Mr. Simonovic, who visited Crimea in March, said he had been assured by the authorities that they would investigate reports of human rights violations. But the United Nations, which has established a human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine with outposts in five cities, reported that Russia said it did not support the deployment of human rights monitors in Crimea.

 37 
 on: Apr 16, 2014, 04:23 AM 
Started by ari moshe - Last post by Katherine
Hi Ari,
I'll be posting soon- no latter than Friday.
(Please don't wait on my behalf.)

Thank you.

God bless,
Katherine

 38 
 on: Apr 15, 2014, 01:16 PM 
Started by Deva - Last post by Susanh
At the risk of exposing my greenhorn naivete I want to share that this recent post of yours, Deva, has shifted me deeply. I tended to think only of the faster moving planets when I thought of transits......

Pluto takes so long I forget about it. Forget it is there in the huge looming background! But when I look at where Pluto is for me right now I am stunned at seeing the matrix it provides for many things that have happened and are happening in my life.

Just like Pluto shapes all the other planets in a birth chart. Of course it must shape the dance of all the transiting planets! Not just from it's place in the natal chart, but also from where it is now. Wow.

So, am I correct to assume we are going to first study transiting Pluto? Smiley

Namaste

Susan

 39 
 on: Apr 15, 2014, 09:52 AM 
Started by ari moshe - Last post by Simon
Hi Ari - been so busy at the moment with stuff , that I have not had a chance to do my post. It's okay if I get it to you but Wednesday.

Blessing Simon

Sorry for the delay group.


 40 
 on: Apr 15, 2014, 07:34 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Obama Urges Pig To Rein In Ukraine Insurgents

(Ukraine) (AFP) ‎4‎/‎15‎/‎2014‎ ‎8‎:‎58‎:‎28‎ ‎AM

Pro-Russian protesters wearing gas masks storm a regional police building as one prepares a petrol bomb in the eastern Ukrainian city of Horlivka (Gorlovka), near Donetsk, on April 14, 2014
 
Alexey Kravtsov/AFP

Pro-Russian protesters wearing gas masks storm a regional police building as one prepares a petrol bomb in the eastern Ukrainian city of Horlivka (Gorlovka), near Donetsk, on April 14, 2014

US President Barack Obama urged Russian leader Vladimir Putin in a phone call to press pro-Moscow groups to lay down their arms in Ukraine, as the Kiev government sought UN help to tackle the growing insurgency.

Tensions between the US and Russia were exacerbated by two episodes at the weekend -- a confrontation in the Black Sea in which a Russian warplane "buzzed" a US destroyer and a visit to Kiev by CIA chief John Brennan.

A White House statement said the telephone call came at Russia's request and that Obama accused Moscow of supporting "armed pro-Russian separatists who threaten to undermine and destabilize the government of Ukraine".

Obama told Pig Putin that all "irregular forces in the country need to lay down their arms".

The Pig denied involvement with the pro-Russian insurgents, but an unconvinced European Union expanded its sanctions against officials accused of seeking to break up the ex-Soviet country.

Pig told Obama that Russia was not sponsoring the Kalashnikov-toting separatists who have seized a string of key state buildings in eastern Ukraine, according to the Kremlin's account of the phone call between the two leaders.

He urged Obama to "do everything possible to avoid the use of force and a bloodbath", the Kremlin added.

- Call for UN help -

Ukraine's Western-backed interim President Oleksandr Turchynov meanwhile sought a way out of the escalating crisis by proposing a referendum on greater autonomy for the country's regions and seeking help from the United Nations.

The Ukrainian leader's office said Turchynov also asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for help "in conducting a joint anti-terrorist operation in the east".

There was no initial response from the UN, and Turchynov's office did not explain what precise help Ukraine was requesting.

Hundreds of people demonstrated in Kiev late Monday calling for a tough response against the pro-Russian insurgents and the sacking of Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.

On Sunday the Kiev government had promised a "full-scale" anti-terrorist operation against the separatists, but that has not materialised.

Russia has deployed 40,000 troops along Ukraine's eastern border, a presence the US and EU sought to counter by approving more than $2 billion in aid for Kiev's embattled interim administration.

EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg announced they were expanding the list of 33 Ukrainian and Russian officials and business leaders hit by asset freezes and visa bans for their role in the Ukraine crisis -- though the bloc stopped short of harsher measures ahead of a Geneva meeting of top EU, US, Russian and Ukrainian officials on Thursday.

Underlining the danger of an escalation into military conflict, the US said a Russian fighter jet had made several low-altitude passes near an American destroyer in the Black Sea at the weekend, branding the flyby "provocative and unprofessional".

- 'People's Republic of Donetsk' -

The White House meanwhile fended off Russian criticism of its own moves in the crisis, acknowledging that Central Intelligence Agency director Brennan had visited Kiev at the weekend but insisting it was part of a routine trip and that claims to the contrary were "absurd".

Russia's Interfax news agency quoted an unidentified source as saying Brennan recommended Kiev use force against pro-Russian militants in eastern districts.

The pro-Kremlin militias who have seized state buildings in coordinated raids across eastern Ukraine only appeared to be gaining confidence while paying little heed to the "full-scale anti-terrorist operation" announced with much fanfare in Kiev.

Protesters armed with rocks and clubs smashed their way inside a police station in Gorlivka -- a coal-mining town straddling a highway between the regional capital Donetsk and the city of Slavyansk to the north that is now effectively under militants' control.

The unrestrained crowd whistled and cheered as they ripped away metal shields from the visibly frightened local force before raising the tricolour flag of the self-declared "People's Republic of Donetsk".

Armed militants in Slavyansk -- already in control of the local police station and security service office -- took command of its administration building before asking the Pig to send in his troops.

"We ask the Pig to help us," rebel leader Vyacheslav Ponomaryov told a group of reporters.

- National referendum -

The spreading unrest is rooted in the deep mistrust in the big industrial cities along Ukraine's Russian border of the new, nationalist government that enlisted Western support in toppling Kremlin-backed president Viktor Yanukovych in February.

Pro-Kremlin protesters in rundown regions such as Donetsk and Kharkiv are now seeking local referendums on either broader rights or an option to join the Russia.

Turchynov made a dramatic about-face aimed at defusing the tensions by backing a national poll on turning the centralised nation into a loose federation in which regions enjoy broader rights.

Washington has previously advised Kiev to devolve powers in order to avoid eastern Ukraine going the same way as Crimea, which Russia annexed last month.

"We are not against holding a national referendum," Turchynov told lawmakers. "I am certain that a majority of Ukrainians will support an indivisible, independent, democratic and united Ukraine."

The announcement stopped well short of meeting protesters' calls for each Russian-speaking region to stage its own referendum.

Polls show most in Kiev and the Ukrainian-speaking west supporting a strongly unified state.

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