Turkey has opposed the formation of an independent Kurdish state because Turkish leaders judged it would pose an instability threat to Turkey's Kurdish region. Now, even in Ankara, the idea of redrawing the borders of Iraq is more acceptable than it was before the ISIL incursion. A change in Turkey's policy from hostility to support of a Kurdish state would be more revolutionary than the creation of a Sunni state in Iraq.
Ukraine: Situation update. President Poroshenko ordered his forces to cease fire today and to halt military operations in eastern Ukraine for a week. This is part of Petroshenko's peace plan.
Russia immediately dismissed the peace plan, saying that it looks like an ultimatum and lacks an offer to start talks with the insurgents.
Ukrainian parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Turchynov said on 20 June that Ukrainian security forces have shut down the Ukrainian-Russian border. Petroshenko promised the border would be closed by the end of this week.
Russia: The US State Department spokesperson said that the US has information that additional tanks have been prepared for departure. The US also said it has information that Russia has accumulated artillery at a deployment site in southwest Russia, including a type of artillery utilized by Ukrainian forces but no longer in Russia's active forces.
Comment: Separatists reported that Ukrainian forces ceased firing near Slavyansk, but conditions at other cities were not clear. The purpose of the ceasefire is to allow separatists to surrender and give up their weapons.
The Russian leaders distrust Petroshenko because he refuses to talk with the separatists. Russia appears to be making preparations to provide military equipment support to the separatists that will enable them to withstand the Ukrainian offensive and compel Petroshenko to negotiate with them.
If the Russians decide to send military equipment to the separatists, Ukrainian border guards would be noimpediment.
End of NightWatch
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