Russia will send ‘humanitarian’ mission into Ukraine

posted at 2:41 pm on August 11, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Russia’s anticipated direct “humanitarian” intervention into the crisis in eastern Ukraine may soon be underway.

In a telephone call with European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed that Russia will send a convoy of humanitarian aid to Ukraine in cooperation with the International Red Cross. The ICRC reportedly said that it did not coordinate with Russia and was not aware of a Kremlin plan to send a humanitarian convoy to Ukraine.

“For the past weeks, Russia has been urging Ukraine to allow it to send humanitarian aid to the residents of its eastern regions engulfed by pro-Russian insurgency, but Ukraine and the West have opposed the move,” The Daily Mail noted.

The Associated Press reported that Ukrainian officials confirmed a genuine humanitarian mission led by Russia in conjunction with the Red Cross would be heading to eastern Ukraine and has the “blessing” of the United States. A Russian spokesman said that the humanitarian mission would not be accompanied by any armed personnel or soldiers.

The Guardian reported that President Barack Obama has provided Ukrainian officials with reassurances that the humanitarian mission to Ukraine would be a peaceful one.

In a phonecall with his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, on Monday night, the US president, Barack Obama, promised to take an active part in an aid mission to the rebel-held city of Luhansk, where residents have been cut off from water and electricity amid shelling that has claimed civilian casualties.

There remains, however, reason to be skeptical of Russia’s motives.

Multiple reports indicated last week that Russian military vehicles marked with the words “peacekeeping force” had been on the move toward the border with Ukraine. NATO also warned that Russia’s United Nations ambassador indicated his country’s call for a Ukraine peacekeeping force indicates Moscow’s willingness to intervene directly in Ukraine under the guise of a humanitarian mission.

On Monday, Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko warned that a Russian invasion force is positioned along the border:

“As of 11 o’clock today, about 45,000 troops of the armed forces and internal forces of the Russian Federation are concentrated in border areas,” Lysenko told a briefing.

He said they were supported by 160 tanks, 1,360 armored vehicles, 390 artillery systems, up to 150 Grad missile launchers, 192 fighter aircraft and 137 attack helicopters.

With conflict appearing imminent, the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council reportedly warned residents in the eastern cities of Donetsk and Lugansk to evacuate the area as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, in an exceedingly disturbing development flagged by The Interpreter Magazine, the Russian scientist and political commentator Andrey Piontkovsky, writing for Kasparov.ru, warned that Putin may intend to shatter NATO through provocation and believes he can use nuclear weapons with impunity in order to achieve that end.

Piontkovsky warned that Putin’s aim is “the maximum extension of the Russian World, the destruction of NATO, and the discrediting and humiliation of the US as the guarantor of the security of the West.”

To accomplish this, the Kremlin analyst wrote, the application of the Ukraine model to a NATO member state like Estonia – wherein native Russian speakers would declare independence from Tallinn – could force NATO to blink in response to what would likely be the ensuing invocation of the NATO treaty’s Article 5.

Even if NATO did respond militarily to Russian aggression, a display of maximum force from Moscow would likely force the Western powers to back down.

“Putin knows that they know that if they come to the assistance of Estonia, then Putin can respond with a very limited nuclear strike and destroy for example two European capitals,” Piontkovsky wrote. “Not London and not Paris, of course.”


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And it will be dropped from 15,000 feet,

Oil Can on August 11, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Breaking News..

zerohedge ‏@zerohedge 43s
MALIKI SAYS NO ONE BUT HIM HAS RIGHT TO REPRESENT STATE, DAWA

Oil Can on August 11, 2014 at 2:44 PM

“Putin knows that they know that if they come to the assistance of Estonia, then Putin can respond with a very limited nuclear strike and destroy for example two European capitals,” Piontkovsky wrote. “Not London and not Paris, of course.”

To be honest, I think Putin’s right. I think even if a US city or major European capital was nuked, we would probably not retaliate.

Doomberg on August 11, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Yea… All the Hot Air Russia haters get a special lets hate on Russia thread…

oscarwilde on August 11, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Obama doesn’t have the balls to go to war with Russia. He’d start a hashtag campaign though. #Dontnukeourcitiesplz

Revenant on August 11, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Russian “Humanitarian” aid involves preventing Ukraine from retaking the Russian “rebel” held stronghold.

ConstantineXI on August 11, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Breaking News..

zerohedge ‏@zerohedge 43s
MALIKI SAYS NO ONE BUT HIM HAS RIGHT TO REPRESENT STATE, DAWA

Oil Can on August 11, 2014 at 2:44 PM

At this point we should cut off the Baghdad regime completely and only deal with Kurdistan.

ConstantineXI on August 11, 2014 at 2:54 PM

And it will be dropped from 15,000 feet,

Oil Can on August 11, 2014 at 2:43 PM

In Soviet Russia, Parachute forgets you.

ConstantineXI on August 11, 2014 at 2:55 PM

To be honest, I think Putin’s right. I think even if a US city or major European capital was nuked, we would probably not retaliate.

Doomberg on August 11, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Unfortunately I think MAD still applies. If putin dares to use nukes, it’s game over, earth.

triple on August 11, 2014 at 2:55 PM

We need Putin to deal with the cretins in Ferguson, Missouri.

sentinelrules on August 11, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Meanwhile, in an exceedingly disturbing development flagged by The Interpreter Magazine, the Russian scientist and political commentator Andrey Piontkovsky, writing for Kasparov.ru, warned that Putin may intend to shatter NATO through provocation and believes he can use nuclear weapons with impunity in order to achieve that end.

Of course he does.

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Unfortunately I think MAD still applies. If putin dares to use nukes, it’s game over, earth.

triple on August 11, 2014 at 2:55 PM

If Putin wanted to nuke a US city and get away with it, all he would have to do is give one to the muzzies.

Fortunately Putin and the muzzies are at each other’s throats and this isn’t likely. But when Iran gets nukes this is exactly what is going to happen.

ConstantineXI on August 11, 2014 at 2:57 PM

The Guardian reported that President Barack Obama has provided Ukrainian officials with reassurances that the humanitarian mission to Ukraine would be a peaceful one.

pssst….hey…Ukranian officials…..you need to Google “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan”……

BobMbx on August 11, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Russia will take part but the mission will be a Red Cross project with European aid involved as well. So they say.

But Ukraine should be on the look out and inspect every bag of grain from Russia.

coolrepublica on August 11, 2014 at 2:59 PM

There remains, however, reason to be skeptical of Russia’s motives.

You don’t say?

forest on August 11, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Unfortunately I think MAD still applies. If putin dares to use nukes, it’s game over, earth.

triple on August 11, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Not a chance. Don’t forget our land-based missile silos are being manned by officers who have to cheat to stay qualified, and the nuclear bombers…well….they haven’t been “nuclear” in decades. Except by accident.

BobMbx on August 11, 2014 at 3:01 PM

If Putin wanted to nuke a US city and get away with it, all he would have to do is give one to the muzzies.

Fortunately Putin and the muzzies are at each other’s throats and this isn’t likely. But when Iran gets nukes this is exactly what is going to happen.

ConstantineXI on August 11, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Nothing gives me more pleasure than hearing people who clearly know jack diddly squat about iran talking about “when iran gets nukes”

coolrepublica on August 11, 2014 at 3:01 PM

The Guardian reported that President Barack Obama has provided Ukrainian officials with reassurances that the humanitarian mission to Ukraine would be a peaceful one.

In a phonecall with his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, on Monday night, the US president, Barack Obama, promised to take an active part in an aid mission to the rebel-held city of Luhansk, where residents have been cut off from water and electricity amid shelling that has claimed civilian casualties.

Barry to be implicitly involved with Russian invasion of Ukraine???

Does Valerie know about this?

For that matter, has Barry read about this in the papers yet?

parke on August 11, 2014 at 3:02 PM

At this point we should cut off the Baghdad regime completely and only deal with Kurdistan.

ConstantineXI on August 11, 2014 at 2:54 PM

At this point the US Embassy in Baghdad will become a market where they sell towels, goat heads, and AK-47′s. Of course, after we run from it by the end of the week. All Shitte is break lose there.

Oil Can on August 11, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Nothing gives me more pleasure than hearing people who clearly know jack diddly squat about iran talking about “when iran gets nukes”

coolrepublica on August 11, 2014 at 3:01 PM

You mean it surpasses the thrill of signing up for ObamaCare?

BobMbx on August 11, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Jay Leno: ‘I’m on That New Obama Diet. Every Day I Let Vladimir Putin Eat My Lunch

Schadenfreude on August 11, 2014 at 3:03 PM

To be honest, I think Putin’s right. I think even if a US city or major European capital was nuked, we would probably not retaliate.

Doomberg on August 11, 2014 at 2:47 PM
Unfortunately I think MAD still applies. If putin dares to use nukes, it’s game over, earth.

triple on August 11, 2014 at 2:55 PM

I think Doomberg is closer with respect to a European capital, but a US city? Yeah, we’d have to hit them with everything to make sure it was over. How about Pakistan and India? I say we’d sit back and suck fallout on that one.

rhombus on August 11, 2014 at 3:03 PM

For that matter, has Barry read about this in the papers yet?

parke on August 11, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Newspapers are not allowed on the golf course, so, no.

BobMbx on August 11, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Nothing gives me more pleasure than hearing people who clearly know jack diddly squat about iran talking about “when iran gets nukes”

coolrepublica on August 11, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Dude, aren’t you like the Jar Jar Binks of this comment board?

Oil Can on August 11, 2014 at 3:04 PM

pssst….hey…Ukranian officials…..you need to Google “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan”……

BobMbx on August 11, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Funny, but damn if it isn’t the truth.

parke on August 11, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Nothing gives me more pleasure than hearing people who clearly know jack diddly squat about iran talking about “when iran gets nukes”

coolrepublica on August 11, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Iran having nukes is inevitable. It’s not as if Obama even OPPOSES IT except by lip service.

The atomic bomb is technology that is now nearly 70 years old. Even muzzies can comprehend it.

And with our wide open southern border (which Obama refuses to secure) getting it to DC or New York (one or both WILL be targets) will be child’s play.

ConstantineXI on August 11, 2014 at 3:04 PM

If Putin wanted to nuke a US city and get away with it, all he would have to do is give one to the muzzies.

Fortunately Putin and the muzzies are at each other’s throats and this isn’t likely. But when Iran gets nukes this is exactly what is going to happen.

ConstantineXI on August 11, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Unlikely. You can test and figure out what plant the radioactive material came from. If a bomb was detonated by a mystery group, we’d figure it out after we could get in and test the aftermath.

triple on August 11, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Not a chance. Don’t forget our land-based missile silos are being manned by officers who have to cheat to stay qualified, and the nuclear bombers…well….they haven’t been “nuclear” in decades. Except by accident.

BobMbx on August 11, 2014 at 3:01 PM

You ever heard of these things called submarines?

triple on August 11, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Nothing gives me more pleasure than hearing people who clearly know jack diddly squat about iran talking about “when iran gets nukes”

coolrepublica on August 11, 2014 at 3:01 PM

About Iran? Or about nukes? Please share, uncle jack.

rhombus on August 11, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Unlikely. You can test and figure out what plant the radioactive material came from. If a bomb was detonated by a mystery group, we’d figure it out after we could get in and test the aftermath.

triple on August 11, 2014 at 3:04 PM

That may be so, but don’t expect the Soviets to just give us the information we’d need to figure out which plant produced the nuclear material.

ConstantineXI on August 11, 2014 at 3:09 PM

He looks so gay.

Schadenfreude on August 11, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Unlikely. You can test and figure out what plant the radioactive material came from. If a bomb was detonated by a mystery group, we’d figure it out after we could get in and test the aftermath.

triple on August 11, 2014 at 3:04 PM

This isn’t “The Sum Of All Fears”, where some dude in a tent analyzed some fallout within hours of a blast and proclaimed “745 E. Lombard St., Peshawar, Pakistan!”

I would rather we didn’t need such analysis, and simply neutralized anyone outside of the current nuclear powers who tried to develop their own program, much like I’d rather not have my house burn down instead of hearing about how it was a bad wire in the attic.

Very comforting, though. I see your point.

BobMbx on August 11, 2014 at 3:10 PM

About Iran? Or about nukes? Please share, uncle jack.

rhombus on August 11, 2014 at 3:06 PM

He thinks Obama’s #HASHTAG defense is invincible.

Only Israel has the guts to do anything about Iran. And Hussein will do anything he can to sabotage any such effort.

ConstantineXI on August 11, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Multiple reports indicated last week that Russian military vehicles marked with the words “peacekeeping force” had been on the move toward the border with Ukraine. NATO also warned that Russia’s United Nations ambassador indicated his country’s call for a Ukraine peacekeeping force indicates Moscow’s willingness to intervene directly in Ukraine under the guise of a humanitarian mission.

Slava!

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 11, 2014 at 3:13 PM

You ever heard of these things called submarines?

triple on August 11, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Those are ships that can go underwater? I hear some of them can even carry nuclear missiles.

Full Disclosure:

I’m a former Trident I (C4 Backfit) Missile Technician, I’ve got 1 1/2 years underwater living next to, crawling around inside of, and caring deeply for every need and desire of those missiles.

I’m still involved with the SSBN/SSGN programs.

So, yeah. I’ve heard of them.

BobMbx on August 11, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Russia won’t risk it. John F’ing Kerry told them not to and Putin will listen to the stern, unflappable, bold and no nonsense Vietnam war hero.

Mason on August 11, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Putin’s aim is “the maximum extension of the Russian World, the destruction of NATO, and the discrediting and humiliation of the US as the guarantor of the security of the West.”

Too late. Obama has already accomplished that.

jukin3 on August 11, 2014 at 3:20 PM

Breaking News..

zerohedge ‏@zerohedge 43s
MALIKI SAYS NO ONE BUT HIM HAS RIGHT TO REPRESENT STATE, DAWA

Oil Can on August 11, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Because we gave up our authority under the condition that proper democracy be instituted, if Maliki thwarts democracy then we have every right to threaten and indeed bomb the hideouts of Maliki and his counter-democracy forces in Baghdad.

anotherJoe on August 11, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Russia will send ‘humanitarian’ mission into Ukraine

Or, Pootie Bitch Slaps Barry Yet Again.

formwiz on August 11, 2014 at 3:22 PM

I think Doomberg is closer with respect to a European capital, but a US city? Yeah, we’d have to hit them with everything to make sure it was over. How about Pakistan and India? I say we’d sit back and suck fallout on that one.

rhombus on August 11, 2014 at 3:03 PM

The reason I think the US won’t retaliate is because I can’t see Obama or his advisors giving the “okay” to do it. I can easily see the arguments being made already that “nuking civilian cities would prove we’re just as bad as Russia, so we can’t do it.”

Doomberg on August 11, 2014 at 3:22 PM

With every major power humanitarian exercise come a few air strikes, just ask obama.

GaltBlvnAtty on August 11, 2014 at 3:23 PM

President Barack Obama has provided Ukrainian officials with reassurances that the humanitarian mission to Ukraine would be a peaceful one.

Fools! Never listen to Obama.
Isn’t humanitarian aid how Putin moved into the Crimea?

albill on August 11, 2014 at 3:24 PM

Something tells me they’re not going to stop until they hit Kyiv.

Steve Eggleston on August 11, 2014 at 3:24 PM

Putin is obviously mocking Obama once again. There’s just so much material there, NO?

Armyspouse on August 11, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Once again, Romney is proved to have been correct about America’s top geopolitical foe.

ugottabekiddingme on August 11, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Nothing gives me more pleasure than hearing people who clearly know jack diddly squat about iran talking about “when iran gets nukes”

foolrepublica on August 11, 2014 at 3:01 PM

So you spend a lot of time pleasuring yourself, eh.

You’re a moron…but it’s cute you think you know stuff about Iran.

HumpBot Salvation on August 11, 2014 at 3:35 PM

This sounds to me a lot like having a third party say Putin supports an insane position then having him seem oh so reasonable when it is shown he doesn’t.

WitchDoctor on August 11, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Nothing is really surprising. Now, all the O’pologists keep coming back with, “what do you want Obama to do about it?” Missing the point that he has spent years of showing weakness on so many levels. A complete trainwreck of foreign policy…

The One has shown such a complete and astounding level of incompetence, dare I say – unprecedented level – and while his supporters and the media in this country have done everything they can to explain it away and cover it up, the rest of the world has noticed what 48% of this country knew all along.

He could get away with voting “present” as a senator, but here we see what happens when a leader (in name only) votes “present”.

Barry does not want the job of a leader and he is incapable of handling the job of a leader, yet he was placed in that position.

Someday the O’cultists, the media and the passive, implicit GOP will realize what they have done. A lot of people around the world and here at home are going to have to suffer first.

Madness.

reaganaut on August 11, 2014 at 3:41 PM

If a bomb was detonated by a mystery group, we’d figure it out after we could get in and test the aftermath.

triple on August 11, 2014 at 3:04 PM

“You’re right, those isotopic ratios do look like one of ours. Must be one we lost in that chaos during the early ’90s…

We wish we could be of more help.”

DarkCurrent on August 11, 2014 at 3:43 PM

I don’t believe it. Putin is using tactics from Red Dawn and 0bama is falling for it…

chasdal on August 11, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Operation Trojan Horse….Shhhh they won’t know what it means.

Oil Can on August 11, 2014 at 3:49 PM

You ever heard of these things called submarines?
triple on August 11, 2014 at 3:06 PM

According to the CIC, they’re ships that go under water.

Akzed on August 11, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Maybe Putin will have all the Russian “humanitarians” all dressed as the Sochi Olympics mascots:
https://sochi2014.olympics.com.au/images/dmImage/SourceImage/sochi_mascots.jpg

albill on August 11, 2014 at 3:54 PM

I don’t believe it. Putin is using tactics from Red Dawn and 0bama is falling for it…

chasdal on August 11, 2014 at 3:47 PM

I guarantee Obama has never seen that movie.

ConstantineXI on August 11, 2014 at 3:56 PM

“Putin knows that they know that if they come to the assistance of Estonia, then Putin can respond with a very limited nuclear strike and destroy for example two European capitals,” Piontkovsky wrote. “Not London and not Paris, of course.”

My money’s on Rome and Warsaw – a three-for-one if you will because taking out Rome takes out the Pope, and the Catholic head.

Who knows? Teh SCOAMT might flip off a nuke or two to finish off the Vatican if Putin didn’t choose that as ground zero.

Steve Eggleston on August 11, 2014 at 3:57 PM

Someday the O’cultists, the media and the passive, implicit GOP will realize what they have done. A lot of people around the world and here at home are going to have to suffer first.

Madness.

reaganaut on August 11, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Obama’s name will end up as reviled as Hitler’s after the muzzie nuking of DC or NYC.

ConstantineXI on August 11, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Who knows? Teh SCOAMT might flip off a nuke or two to finish off the Vatican if Putin didn’t choose that as ground zero.

Steve Eggleston on August 11, 2014 at 3:57 PM

Obama would never have the stones to launch a nuke. Even if we got nuked.

ConstantineXI on August 11, 2014 at 3:59 PM

In Soviet Russia, Parachute forgets you.

ConstantineXI on August 11, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Lol.

Just some context: humanitarian aid is generally dropped sans parachute. Pallets are designed to drop in at around 90mph. Even if they dropped at 1kft AGL, it’d still be hitting terminal, which is, not coincidentally, around 90mph.

Ebola on August 11, 2014 at 4:04 PM

I don’t believe it. Putin is using tactics from Red Dawn and 0bama is falling for it…

chasdal on August 11, 2014 at 3:47 PM

I guarantee Obama has never seen that movie.

ConstantineXI on August 11, 2014 at 3:56 PM

He’s seen it, but he was routing for the Soviet/Cuban occupiers.

TarasBulbous on August 11, 2014 at 4:04 PM

“Putin knows that they know that if they come to the assistance of Estonia, then Putin can respond with a very limited nuclear strike and destroy for example two European capitals,” Piontkovsky wrote. “Not London and not Paris, of course.”

Nuclear powers that get nuked will indeed respond; so London and Paris are not very likely. It may be tit for tat but they will not let it go. The question is whether Non-nuclear powers can convince their nuclear power allies to fullfil the NATO obligation. (But of course, the econonomic sanctions following Russia’s nuking the capitals of Eastern Europe would be harsh/s)

KW64 on August 11, 2014 at 4:53 PM

This will end as badly as the democrats “War on Poverty”!

trs on August 11, 2014 at 5:50 PM

“Putin knows that they know that if they come to the assistance of Estonia, then Putin can respond with a very limited nuclear strike and destroy for example two European capitals,”

You know, it’s just a crying shame that nobody thought to put an anti-missile defense system somewhere in Europe. You know, like maybe in Poland? Sure could be handy.

iurockhead on August 11, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Give the Russkies credit, if you are going to do it…now is the time.

This is why I fear Russians and Chinese more than the entire Islamic world. They are not idiots…

William Eaton on August 11, 2014 at 6:20 PM

President Obama not only is pissing away all of the blood and treasure in Iraq, but also the peace dividend won by Magnus Ronaldus…

If we had a real leader we would be forward deploying troops into Poland and the Baltics…

If Putin does go Nuclear on NATO capitals there will be no choice, to retaliate in kind….of course we have the ditherer in chief…

Whole lot more flexible!

abnormal_1 on August 11, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Seriously….This might be the most depressing post ever…Another two years of the feckless dolt at the helm to return the bad old days

abnormal_1 on August 11, 2014 at 7:19 PM

‘humanitarian’ mission

OMG airborne troops disguised as flying nuns.

MaiDee on August 11, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Give the Russkies credit, if you are going to do it…now is the time.

This is why I fear Russians and Chinese more than the entire Islamic world. They are not idiots…

William Eaton on August 11, 2014 at 6:20 PM

This.

Someone was understandably but ignorantly comparing ISIS to the Nazis. After I finished laughing I tried a lengthy “are you serious” post but the system ate it.

Russia made cheap crap copies of a lot of things – but most of their military gear works well enough to blow you to bits on a reliable basis, minus their laughable attempt at VTOL airplanes and a few other notable examples. ISIS is nothing more than rabid dog barbarians who might be useful for making Soylent Green.

If Putin doesn’t overextend himself he is going to show that even a mangy old bear is a dangerous one when roused.

LawfulGood on August 12, 2014 at 3:33 AM

My money’s on Rome and Warsaw – a three-for-one if you will because taking out Rome takes out the Pope, and the Catholic head.

Steve Eggleston on August 11, 2014 at 3:57 PM

No bet from me. That would indeed do a lot of damage; Rome doesn’t have boomers or silos to respond in kind and Catholicism would never recover. It would be a cultural crotchkick of unequaled proportions.

LawfulGood on August 12, 2014 at 3:36 AM

This actually surprises me, and ties in with Iran, with a joke I made about Iran and foreign policy, back when we had a space program.

How to deal with Iran? Send a shuttle up with a nice heaving nickle-iron slug. Drop it into a decaying orbit, slam into Iran (preferably one of their nuclear sites, but I don’t think the math can be that precise.)

Express shock and horror at the ‘meteor strike’ and then send in humanitarian aid, under heavy guard of course, to ‘help’.

Putin just didn’t need the meteor strike.

The_Livewire on August 12, 2014 at 9:41 AM