Thursday, March 27, 2014

WORLD WAR III & GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: The Ukrainian Fallout - United Nations Declare Russian Annexation Of Crimea As "Illegal," Adopts Resolution Backing Ukraine's Territorial Integrity As Putin Says Russia Will Launch National Payment System, Like China And Japan!

March 27, 2014 - UNITED NATIONS - The UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly voted for a resolution submitted by Ukraine denouncing the referendum in Crimea that made the Black Sea peninsula an integral part of the Russian Federation.

General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York (Reuters / Emmanuel Dunand)

One hundred UN member countries voted in favor of the resolution, while 11 voted against and 58 abstained. The resolution is non-binding.

The 193-nation assembly also voted on the Crimea referendum, which the Ukraine resolution says contains “no validity, (and) cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea or of the City of Sevastopol."

The resolution "calls upon all states to desist and refrain from actions aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including any attempts to modify Ukraine's borders through the threat or use of force or other unlawful means."

And the resolution invites "all parties to pursue immediately the peaceful resolution" of the crisis "through direct political dialogue."

In an effort to attract votes in the General Assembly, where there appears to be little enthusiasm for allowing the situation to create an irreparable rift with Moscow, the draft made no direct mention of Russia.

"The draft resolution is not aimed at condemning any member state," said Ukraine's UN envoy Yuriy Sergeyev in a letter accompanying the draft.

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Ukraine's territorial integrity.

On March 19, Russia voted down the Ukrainian resolution denouncing the Crimea referendum, while China said it would abstain from the vote.

Russia also vetoed a Security Council resolution that said the Crimean referendum to join Russia would have "no validity" in an emergency session held the day before Crimea headed to the polls.

On March 16, an overwhelming majority of Crimean residents voted in favor of joining the Russian Federation, following violent protests in the capital Kiev, which forced out democratically elected president Viktor Yanukovich.

WATCH: UN Assembly adopts resolution backing Ukraine's territorial integrity.


Putin Says Russia Will Launch National Payment System, Like China And Japan
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (AFP Photo / Alexey Nikolsky)

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia should create its own national card payment system, following the example of China and Japan. They diversified away from global monopolies like Visa and MasterCard and launched their own systems years ago.

"These systems work in countries like Japan and China, and they work very well. At first they worked nationally, circulating in their own market in their own territory, for their citizens, and now they are becoming very popular," Putin told the upper house of parliament on Thursday.

"Why don't we do that? We have to do this and we will do this," the president said.

The president said the Japanese payment system first operated domestically is now used in 200 countries.

In his speech the president warned that Visa and MasterCard, that control about 85 percent of all card transactions in Russia, are doomed to lose if they choose to withdraw from the Russian market.

The recent block of certain banks by Visa and MasterCard pushed Russia to speed up the development of its own national payment system. On Monday, Russia’s biggest lender Sberbank said the PRO 100 payment system, that’s been in development for a couple of years, will be launched on a massive scale within months.

So far there are no strong reasons for Russia to abandon western payment systems all together, the Finance Minister said in an interview to Vesti 24 TV channel. But “a backup variant for different cases” should always be available, he said. Anton Siluanov added that the new payment system will operate within Russia. - RT.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Burp Event Recorded At The Giant Louisiana Sinkhole - Trees Slough-In Near Pad #3, Slight Odor Of Hydrocarbons Present! [LATEST FLYOVER & PUBLIC BRIEFING VIDEOS]

March 27, 2014 - LOUISIANA, UNITED STATES - According to the Assumption Parish Police Jury, at approximately 3:45pm on March 26, 2014, a burp and slough-in occurred at the giant Louisiana sinkhole.

Photo: Assumption Parish

Debris is present and floating on the sinkhole and trees near Pad #3 sloughed in. A slight odor of hydrocarbons is present in the Bayou Corne community.

As more information develops on the extent and repercussions of the event, it will be shared here.

WATCH:  Latest flyover video - March 26, 2014.

Meanwhile, the Office of Conservation has provided the following update on response activity around Bayou Corne/Grand Bayou:

Sinkhole Activity Code 1 – indicating work is allowed on sinkhole and within containment berms. Seismic monitoring indicates low levels of subsurface activity near sinkhole/Oxy 3.

Air Monitoring/Sub-slab Sampling and Ventilation
- Conducting ventilation system inspections

- Ending ORW 21 pump test (north of Sauce Piquante, west of Crawfish Stew)

- Continuing de-watering test on ORWs 4 (northwest of containment berm) and 14 (Oxy 9 well pad), 48 (north of containment berm) and OGRW 1 (Oxy Geismar 2 well pad)

- Continuing pump test on ORWs 1 and 32 (north of La 70, east of Gumbo St.)

- Flushing out ORW 39 (north of containment berm)

- Installing electrical equipment ORW 57 (southeast of Oxy 9 well pad)

- Depressurizing Oxy Geismar 3A (working from Oxy 9 well pad)

Containment/ Roads/ Sinkhole/Survey
- Continuing work on west end of south containment berm reroute, covering geotextile fabric with clay

WATCH:  Videos from the latest public briefing - March 26, 2014.


According to Deborah Dupre of the Louisiana Sinkhole Examiner, the swamp monster sinkhole has established a pattern in the area: seismic activity occurs, the monster sinkhole burps up debris it had swallowed, a slough-in occurs, and the sinkhole grows accordingly.

It burps when air and gas from deep in the sinkhole bubbles up, causing not only debris, but also a hazardous oily substance to float to the top.

It has a "slough-in," swallowing trees and land on its edge.

In June 2012, locals reported gas bubbles in Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou. By early August, 200 feet of ground had opened in the swamp. The Earth's surface slid sideways up to 10 inches (26 centimeters) before it collapsed into the Bayou Corne sinkhole, according to a new study based on recordings of what happened when the hole formed.

Cathleen Jones, a radar scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. said about the report of the slide, "Usually at a sinkhole, we expect to see vertical movement at the surface, some sort of subsidence. This horizontal motion is actually a new indicator people should be aware of."

Live Science reported last month:
The subtle surface changes revealed in the new study, published in the Dec. 13 issue of the journal Geology, could improve models of how the sinkhole formed, Jones said. "I think this can tell you something about the path between the cavern collapse, which is about a mile deep, and the surface," she said. The sideways flow was like water slipping into a bathtub drain, Jones said. "The fact that the movement was toward a center point might tell you something about the geometry of the path that went down to the void," she said. The subtle flow forms a pattern like a two-leafed clover, consistent with a cavern sidewall collapse as suspected by the USGS, Jones and NASA colleague Ronald Blom report.

The pit opened into a natural underground oil reservoir, releasing oil and toxic gases, such as methane and hydrogen sulfide throughout the hole and into the communities.

The disastrous hole has now grown to 26 acres and become a chemical lake. Officials had predicted it could grow as large as 30 football fields.

One of Texas Brine salt caverns that it leases from a salt dome company collapsed, causing the sinkhole.

That cavern had problems years ago. State officials knew that and quietly turned a blind eye to it, even when the problems prompted the company to abandon it.

Scientists now say that Texas Brine's cavern was too close to the outer edge of the entire 1-mile by 3-mile Napoleonville Salt Dome salt dome housing it.

Texas Brine is one of seven companies storing oil and gas-related chemicals, including butane, in the salt dome.

A class-action lawsuit against mining companies Texas Brine and Occidental Chemical was filed in federal court in May 2013.

Residents were told to evacuate and began receiving weekly checks from Texas-Brine in the amount of $875 per week.

The sinkhole is still growing, gobbling hundred-year-old trees and threatening Highway 70 south of Baton Rouge and west of New Orleans.

When Jones first learned about the sinkhole in April 2013, she suspected NASA's radar data would show little extra information, due to soggy ground in Louisiana's swamps interfering with radar imaging. She was wrong.

"The signal was so big it overwhelmed all that noise [from the soil moisture]," Jones said. "When I looked at the data, I thought, 'Wow, this is an enormous signature.'

"I couldn't believe it," she said. "The whole area was being pulled toward the sinkhole."

The area has become a "national sacrifice zone" for the oil and gas industry.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: "I've Never Seen Dead Fish Like This" - Thousands Of Fish And Frogs Found Dead In A Pond In Killingly, Connecticut?!

March 27, 2014 - CONNECTICUT, UNITED STATES - Thousands of dead fish found in a pond in Killingly happened naturally, according to environmental officials.

A fish kill in Killingly happened naturally, DEEP said. (iWitness photo)

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said thousands of fish and frogs died at Colwell Pond, also known as Lions Park Pond. Many of them froze in clusters along a very popular neighborhood pond.

It was first reported by a neighbor who said she noticed it in an area off of Lewis Boulevard. She said she was concerned that chemicals may have caused it.

"We've never seen so many dead fish," said Malinda Frantz, of Killingly. "In 30 years, I've lived in the neighborhood and I've never seen dead fish. I've never seen dead fish like this."

The DEEP classified it as a winter fish kill, which meant the amount of dissolved oxygen in the pond had been depleted. It said snow or thick ice that can cover ponds blocks sunlight, and that prevents plants in the water from producing oxygen.

WATCH: Fish kill in Killingly a natural event.

DEEP said fish typically die in the winter and are usually noticed after the ice melts.

Employees with the town's parks and recreation department told Eyewitness News the fish will be cleaned up when the pond thaws out a little bit more. - WFSB.

ICE AGE NOW: A Year Without Spring - Powerful Spring Snowstorm Lashes U.S. East; Blizzard Cuts Power To Thousands In New England! [PHOTOS+VIDEO]

March 27, 2014 - UNITED STATES - Mother Nature proceeds to show no mercy, as only a few days after the official start of spring, the East Coast was blasted with yet another major snowstorm.

Wind-driven waves crash on a sea wall in Scituate, Mass., Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Cape Cod and the islands were
expected to bear the brunt of the spring storm that struck full force Wednesday. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Spanning from Virginia up through New England and parts of Atlantic Canada, the system brought snow to regions in Maryland and Washington, D.C., before heading up the coast and slamming Cape Cod, Mass., with blizzard conditions.

Grounding flights, causing traffic accidents and knocking out power to nearly 6,000 people throughout Massachusetts, the storm was accompanied by howling winds that gusted up to more than 80 mph in Nantucket.

Commuters endure the cold as a storm system brought snow and bitter temperatures to the Burke Centre VRE
station, Va., on Tuesday morning, March 25, 2014. (Photo/Jeffrey W. Comer)

Snow blows everywhere on Cape Cod, as winds pick up during a storm that moved through the area on Wednesday,
March 26, 2014. (Twitter Photo/@Mrsmermommy)

Waves crash over onto walkways on Easy Street in Nantucket, Mass., as a major storm pummels the island on
Wednesday, March 26, 2014. (Photo/Katie Kaizer Photography

A cardinal sits in a snow-covered tree after a spring snow blanketed Potomac, Md., in snow on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (Photo/Karen Bryant)

Wind-driven waves come ashore in Scituate, Mass., Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Cape Cod and the islands were
expected to bear the brunt of the spring storm that struck full force Wednesday. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The severity of the winds also generated dangerous travel conditions, as blowing and drifting snow whipped the island and surrounding areas.

As the storm moves out of the United States and into Atlantic Canada, the Maritimes and western Newfoundland, it will be accompanied by hurricane-force winds, producing treacherous travel conditions. - AccuWeather.

WATCH:  Spring blizzard batters Mass., Maine.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - Citigroup Fails Federal Reserve's Stress Test As Goldman Sachs Group, Bank Of America Alter Plans!

March 27, 2014 - UNITED STATES - Citigroup Inc.’s capital plan was among five that failed Federal Reserve stress tests, while Bank of America Corp. won approval for its first dividend increase since the financial crisis.

A customer uses an automated teller machine (ATM) inside of a Citibank bank branch on Park Avenue in New York.
Photographer: Craig Warga/Bloomberg

Lenders announced more than $60 billion of dividends and stock buybacks after the Fed approved capital plans for 25 of the 30 banks in its annual exam. Citigroup, as well as U.S. units of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, HSBC Holdings Plc and Banco Santander SA, failed because of concerns about the quality of their processes, the central bank said yesterday in a statement. Zions Bancorporation failed after its capital fell below Fed minimums in a simulation of a severe economic slump.

The results show lenders may still face obstacles to boosting dividends and buybacks even as regulators say the firms have doubled their capital since the first public stress test in 2009. The Fed is increasing scrutiny of the industry’s controls and planning processes as concerns about capital levels wane.

Bigger Payout
Banks in this year’s test collectively received approval to pay out about 60 percent of their estimated net income during the next four quarters, according to a Fed official. That ratio is closer to the 69 percent that lenders were returning to shareholders in 2005 before the crisis, according to data from Bloomberg Industries.

Citigroup was denied in its attempt to quintuple its dividend to 5 cents a quarter and put in place a $6.4 billion buyback. Bank of America and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. each had to cut their planned capital return to gain approval.

Citigroup, which last year asked for the least capital return among the five largest U.S. banks, would have passed this year’s test on quantitative grounds alone. It had a 6.5 percent Tier 1 common ratio, above the Fed’s 5 percent minimum.

Multiple Defects
The central bank found defects in Citigroup’s planning practices that included areas the Fed flagged before. The regulator expressed concern with the New York-based company’s ability to project losses in “material parts of its global operations” and to reflect all business exposures in its internal stress test.

“Taken in isolation, each of the deficiencies would not have been deemed critical enough to warrant an objection, but when viewed together, they raise sufficient concerns regarding the overall reliability of Citigroup’s capital planning process,” the Fed said of the third-largest U.S. bank.

Mike Corbat, the bank’s chief executive officer, said in a statement that Citigroup is “deeply disappointed” by the rejection and will “work closely with the Fed to better understand their concerns so that we can bring our capital planning process in line with their expectations.” The timing of any resubmission hasn’t been decided, he said.

Mexico Fraud
The Fed made no mention of the bank’s discovery of a $400 million loan fraud last month at its Mexico unit, which had stirred speculation that regulators might fault Citigroup’s controls. Corbat has vowed that the people involved will be held accountable.

Citigroup shares fell 5.2 percent to $47.55 in extended trading yesterday in New York. It’s the second time the Fed has failed one of the bank’s capital plans. The last rejection came in 2012, when Vikram Pandit was the CEO, and the defeat played a role in Pandit’s ouster later that year, a person with knowledge of the board’s discussions said at the time.

“It came as a surprise,” said Michael Scanlon, managing director at Manulife Asset Management in Boston, who helps oversee $3 billion, including shares of Citigroup. “It can be a significant ding to confidence when these companies have failed in the past. Sometimes it’s short-lived and they resolve the issues, resubmit and move forward, and ultimately that is what Citigroup is going to have to do.”

Clambering Back
Two of the main gauges in the Fed’s test were the Tier 1 common ratio and the leverage ratio. The first measures a bank’s core equity, made up of common shares and retained earnings, divided by its total assets adjusted for risk using global banking guidelines. The leverage ratio makes no distinction among risks and is considered a stricter standard by some regulators.

Bank of America and Goldman Sachs saw each of their Tier 1 leverage ratios drop to 3.9 percent in their original capital plans, below the required 4 percent. Both firms lowered their requests and were approved, meaning they don’t have to resubmit.

The two firms asked for too much in buybacks and dividends after their own internal stress tests showed better performance than in the central bank’s exam. New York-based Goldman Sachs predicted its Tier 1 common ratio would be about 3.8 percentage points stronger than the Fed estimated in a worst-case scenario. The gap for Bank of America was 2.7 percentage points.

Moynihan’s Quest

Bank of America, ranked second by assets, raised its quarterly payout to 5 cents from 1 cent after the Fed’s decision and authorized a $4 billion stock buyback. The increase is a victory for CEO Brian T. Moynihan, who has pressed to raise the payout from the token level that prevailed since the financial crisis.

The Fed blocked plans in 2011 for an increase by the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company, which didn’t ask for anything the following year and won permission for a $5 billion stock buyback last year.

Goldman Sachs said yesterday that its capital plan “provides flexibility,” without saying what it seeks to pay out to shareholders.

Projected losses for the 30 banks under a scenario of deep recession would total $366 billion over nine quarters, the Fed said last week. The aggregate Tier 1 common capital ratio would fall from an actual 11.5 percent in the third quarter of 2013 to a minimum of 7.6 percent, before accounting for capital plans.

Stronger System
“The banking system is much better capitalized at this point in time compared to where it was in 2009,” Sameer Gokhale, an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, said in a Bloomberg Television interview with Carol Massar. “The risk that you see large-scale bank failures has diminished significantly.”

JPMorgan Chase & Co., the U.S. biggest lender by assets, had its capital plan ratified as it maintained a Tier 1 common ratio of 5.5 percent, a half a percentage point above the minimum. Last year, approval for the New York-based bank came with an order to resubmit the plan to fix qualitative weaknesses. The quarterly dividend will rise to 40 cents a share from 38 cents, and the company authorized a $6.5 billion stock buyback, according to a bank statement.

The Tier 1 common ratio at Wells Fargo & Co., the biggest U.S. home lender, was 6.1 percent, while Morgan Stanley’s was 5.9 percent. Wells Fargo boosted its dividend 5 cents to 35 cents a quarter. Morgan Stanley doubled its quarterly payout to 10 cents and announced a $1 billion buyback.

Zions’ Plan
Zions, the Salt Lake City-based bank that had a 4.4 percent Tier 1 common ratio in the test, said before yesterday’s results were announced that it planned to resubmit its capital plan.

The Fed cited Santander Holdings USA Inc., the U.S. unit of Madrid-based Santander, for “widespread and significant deficiencies” across the firm’s processes. The central bank also faulted HSBC North America Holdings Inc. and RBS Citizens Financial Group Inc. for estimates of revenue and losses in the test. The rejection means the lenders won’t be able to increase dividends to their European parent companies, freezing them at current levels, according to a Fed official.

The dividend raises will boost yields closer to the norms that prevailed before the financial crisis, when the stocks were favored by income-oriented investors. The average yield for the 24-company KBW Bank Index stood at 4.9 percent at the end of 2007. It’s now under 2 percent.

The $60 billion of payouts includes dividends that were already being paid in addition to increases and new repurchase plans.

Yields Improve
JPMorgan’s increase boosted its yield to about 2.7 percent annually based on yesterday’s close. Its payout ratio -- dividends plus buybacks -- equals about 56 percent of earnings over the next four quarters, according to figures from the banks and estimates from Stifel Financial Corp.’s KBW unit. That’s up from 48 percent in the last four quarters, said KBW, which made its estimates before stress-test results were announced.

Bank of America’s payout ratio climbed to about 39 percent from 34 percent, bringing the dividend yield to 1.2 percent. U.S. Bancorp’s payout jumped to about 70 percent from 59 percent, and the yield would be 2.3 percent.

SunTrust Banks Inc. doubled its dividend yield to 2 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Discover Financial Services boosted its yield to 1.7 percent from 1.4 percent, while American Express Co.’s climbed to 1.2 percent from 1 percent. - Bloomberg.

MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT: "The Conflict Border Is Back" - Syrian Civil War Spreads To Israel, Turkey!

March 27, 2014 - MIDDLE EAST - When the Syrian uprising turned into a civil war in 2011, most of the trouble stayed inside Syria's borders, but that's changing.

Syrian troops have been deployed to quell the pro-democracy protests [AFP]

This week armored personnel carriers rushed to Beirut, Lebanon, to prevent fighting between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. It's a sign the war has spread well beyond Syria's borders.

Another sign: at an election rally last Sunday, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan praised the Turkish air force for shooting down a Syrian plane after it violated Turkey's air space.

"If you violate our border, our slap will be hard. Therefore, I congratulate firstly our chief of general staff, and our pilots," Erdogan said.

Also last week, Israeli warplanes struck Syrian military posts in the Golan Heights after a roadside bombing wounded four Israeli soldiers. It was some of the worst fighting on Israel's border with Syria in decades.

Israel doesn't want a war with Syria, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government has tried to steer clear of the fight between Assad and his opposition. But the conflict is expanding anyway.

"I think we can already consider now that the Israeli-Syria border is back, is a conflict border once again," Middle East expert Jonathan Spyer, with the Gloria Institute, said.

"And what we're going to see I think as in common with Israel's other conflict borders -- for example vis-a-vis the Hamas statelet -- is that we will have periodic rounds of violence in which the Hezbollah or the Assad regime or whoever it is or perhaps in other sectors of the border the Sunni jihadists on the rebel side will try and redress the balance against Israel," he explained.

Muslim rebel groups, some backed by al Qaeda, are gaining ground near the Turkish border. Recently, they entered a deserted Armenian Christian town.

"Victory from God, we shall soon conquer!" they shouted.

A short time later, they gained their first foothold on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, Israel has been treating Syrians injured in the fighting.

WATCH: Syrian civil war expands to Israel and Turkey.

In February, Netanyahu visited a field hospital and met with some of the Syrian wounded. He also pointed to Iran as Assad's chief sponsor in the widening war.

"Who is supplying these bombs? Who's supplying these weapons? Iran. Who's giving the instructions? Iran. Who's giving the backing for this butchery? Iran," the prime minister said.

Middle East analysts like Spyer warn an Assad victory in Syria is a victory for Iran.

"This would be an enormous victory for the Iran-led regional block. It would mean Iran then conclusively established of a single pro-Iranian block stretching effectively from western Afghanistan from the Iranian-Afghan border all the way to Mediterranean Sea," Spyer said. "This would be an immense victory for the Iranians, and therefore, an immense defeat for the U.S. interests, which sees, or at least ought to see -- I'm not quite sure if the U.S. does right now see it this way -- but ought to see the Iranian regional block as the most potent and powerful challenge to Western interests and Western allies in the Middle East," he warned. - CBN.

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - Despite 18 BILLION Dollar Bailout From The IMF, Without Reforms Ukraine Will Default In 2014!

March 27, 2014 - UKRAINE - Kiev must impose tough reforms and austerity, otherwise even with billions of dollars of aid Ukraine will default in 2014, the coup-imposed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk warns. It comes after the IMF agreed a bailout package worth up to $18 billion.

A customer and street vendor are seen before the background of an outdoor ad with an image of the Ukrainian
hryvnia and U.S. dollar bank notes in central Kiev (Reuters / Anatolii Stepanov)

“Our forecast predicts a 3 percent drop in GDP, provided we pass the stabilization package of laws the government proposes. If the laws are not passed, we forecast a default, and a 10 percent drop in GDP,” Yatsenyuk told the parliament on Thursday.

Ukraine will be short about $28 billion in 2014 due to a ballooning fiscal deficit. The country will also see inflation of 12 to 14 percent, depending on how much the national currency devalues, Yatsenyuk said. The government is not planning to raise minimum wages in response to inflation.

The government's solution to the looming default is to cut budget spending, raise taxes on agriculture and oil and gas companies, as well as introduce a progressive scale for income tax. Excise taxes for tobacco and alcohol will also rise.

Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (Reuters / Yves Herman)

Collecting the taxes may be a challenge for the authorities. According to Yatsenyuk, Ukrainian businesses owe some $13 billion in unpaid tax.

Another point of economic pressure on Ukraine is the forthcoming raise of gas price to consumers. Starting in May, gas would cost 50 percent more for households, while in July businesses will have to pay 40 percent more for what they use, Yuri Kolbushin, representative of Ukrainian gas monopoly Naftogaz, said on Thursday. There will be further price increases until 2018.

Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde (AFP Photo)

The hike was required by the International Monetary Fund before it agreed to grant Ukraine between $14 billion and $18 billion in stabilization loans.

Earlier the Ukrainian government said it needed to borrow $35 billion to avert default. - RT.

WATCH:   Blessing or Curse - IMF agrees $14-18bn bailout for Ukraine?