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Poet and Efran Kaye's tribute
to everyone killed in wars.
Bless the large numbers of Ethiopians, the many good people in Indonesia, and the folks of Russia, Greece and Egypt, who are now playing it.
100% CERTAIN 9/11 WAS MOSSAD OPERATION
Most US people polled believe that 9/11 was an "inside job", but what would they feel if they found out that it was designed by Zionists, who deliberately killed thousands of innocent US citizens to drive the US into wars on Muslims?
They'd be angry, right?
Fernando Imposimato, President of the Italian Supreme Court, calls for a criminal investigation of 9/11, comparing the attack to false flag incidents carried out by the CIA in Italy: Operation Gladio.
"The 9/11 attacks were a global state terror operation that was permitted by the US administration, which had foreknowledge of the operation, yet remained intentionally unresponsive in order to make war against Afghanistan and Iraq," Imposimato declares in a letter published by the Journal of 9/11 Studies.
Ferdinando Imposimato is the Honorary President of the Supreme Court of Italy and a former Senator who served on the Anti-Mafia Commission in three administrations. He is the author or co-author of 7 books on international terrorism, state corruption, and related matters, and a Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy.
As a former state prosecutor, Imposimato has extensive experience in investigating high- profile crimes, including the kidnapping and assassination of Italian Prime Minster Aldo Moro & the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II. He also worked on the Anti- Mafia commission as a Senator, giving him a wealth of knowledge on the inner workings of organized crime syndicates.
Imposimato points to several facts contradicting the official 9/11 story, including the free-fall collapse of WTC Building 7, the report that the CIA met with Osama Bin Laden in a Dubai hospital in July 2001, and the overwhelming evidence of insider trading before 9/11 that didn't lead to any criminal charges, reports digitaljournal.com
The following is an excerpt from Imposimato’s letter published by the Journal of 9/11 Studies on Sunday:
The reports of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), November 20, 2005, set forth the following conclusions:
The airplanes that struck each of the Twin Towers caused a breach as well as an explosion evidenced by a giant fireball. The remaining jet fuel flowed onto the lower floors, sustaining the fires. The heat from the fires deformed the building structures and both towers collapsed completely from top to bottom.
Very little that was of any size remained after these events except steel as well as aluminum fragments and the pulverized dust from the concrete floors.
The World Trade Center 7 also collapsed–in a way that was inconsistent with the common experience of engineers. All three buildings collapsed completely, but Building 7 was not hit by a plane. WTC7’s collapse violated common experience and was unprecedented.
The NIST report does not analyze the actual nature of the collapses. According to experts at the Toronto Hearings (Sept. 8-11, 2011), the collapses had features that indicate controlled explosions. I agree with architect Richard Gage & engineer Jon Cole both highly experienced professionals [from Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth – now numbering 1,700 strong], who have arrived at their conclusions through reliable tests, scientific proof, and the visual testimony of people above suspicion, including firefighters and victims.
The authoritative theologian David Ray Griffin has described very precisely why the hypothesis of controlled demolition should be considered. Various witnesses heard bursts of explosions.
According to NIST the collapse of Building 7 was due to fires provoked by the collapse of the twin towers. Chemist and independent researcher Kevin Ryan, however, has demonstrated that NIST gave contradictory versions of the collapse of Building 7.
In a preliminary report NIST declared that WTC7 was destroyed because of fires provoked by diesel fuel stored in the building, while in a second report this fuel was no longer considered the cause of the building’s collapse. Additional comments on the NIST version of events have been made by David Chandler, another expert witness at the Journal of 9/11 Studies Letters, September 2012 Toronto Hearings.
Despite NIST’s claim of 3 distinct phases of collapse, Chandler pointed out that many available videos show that for about two and a half seconds the acceleration of the building cannot be distinguished from freefall. NIST has been obliged to agree with this empirical fact as pointed out by Chandler; now understood by everyone.
The only possibility for achieving justice is to submit the best evidence concerning the involvement of specific individuals in 9/11 to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and ask him to investigate according to the articles 12, 13, 15 and 17, letters a and b, of the Statute of the ICC, recalling the preamble of the Statute:
“Recognizing that such grave crimes threaten the peace, security and the well being of the world,”
“Affirming that the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole must not go unpunished and that their effective prosecution must be ensured by taking measures at the national level and by enhancing international cooperation, ”
“Determined to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes and thus to contribute to the prosecution of such crimes, recalling that it is the duty of every state to exercise its jurisdiction over those responsible for international crimes." reports infowars.com.
More and more people from all walks of life and all professions seem to be questioning the “official” narrative of what happened on 9/11. Those who are questioning the events of 9/11 may be moving under the radar of the corporate media from being labeled “conspiracy theorists” to legitimate investigators with legitimate questions and concerns, reports examiner.com
Theorists believe that the World Trade Center buildings were demolished by bombs, phone calls from the planes were made up, and the former President George W. Bush secretly profited from the attacks, reports newsone.com
The World Trade Center collapse appeared similar to a controlled demolition. Many speculate that the towers were in fact blown down with explosives placed in selected locations. Some witnesses heard explosions inside the building as they attempted to escape. Many architects & scientists maintain that plane fuel couldn't produce enough heat to melt the steel frame of the buildings that collapsed, reports newsone.com
WESTERN MEDIA LIES LEAD TO WAR
Article by Finian Cunningham.
100 years ago, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in the Bosnian city of Sarajevo, was the fatal spark that ignited a geopolitical powder keg in Europe.
Within a month, all the major powers of Europe would be embroiled in the First World War, which also dragged in Russia and the US. The war would last for nearly five years and resulted in at least 20 million deaths.
That catastrophe has perplexing resonances with today. One incident set off a conflagration back then, because it came amid simmering rivalries among imperial powers. Another resonance is how historians recount that, in the run-up to the First World War few believed that a war in "modern, civilized" Europe was likely, because of the belief that diplomacy would prevail.
Today, we see a similar reckless goading by imperial powers across Europe. The US and its European NATO allies are embarked on a 25-year expansion towards Russia's heartland.
The dynamic of encroachment has only sped up, not lessened. This expansion is provocative, aggressive and duplicitous, because it not only presents a military threat to Russia, it also flies in the face of past commitments by the US-led NATO alliance not to do so, such as in the 1997 Founding Act, signed with Moscow.
Russia has every right to feel threatened by ever- encroaching ballistic missile systems on its borders that could be used in a pre-emptive nuclear strike by the US and its allies. That concern is heightened ever since Washington invoked a "first strike doctrine" under President George W Bush, which Obama still retains.
Yet, provocatively, Washington dismisses Russian President Vladimir Putin's concerns about NATO expansion, as if they are the deliriums of a Soviet revanchist.
The complacency of the present time towards the dangers of war, has disturbing echoes of the past - on the eve of World War I. A major factor in the present complacency is that the Western mainstream media are failing, woefully, to properly report on the gravity of the situation in Ukraine, and just how provocative that parlous situation is to Russia's vital interests.
This week saw the signing of a trade pact between the European Union and Petro Poroshenko, the declared president of Ukraine. The Western media have hailed it in glowing terms as "a landmark event" and a positive outcome of democracy in the former Soviet Republic. That blithe assessment invites dangerous ignorance and complacency.
The truth is that the signing of the EU trade pact is the outcome of an illegal regime-change operation in Ukraine fomented by Washington and its NATO allies.
That regime change involved CIA-backed mass murder of civilians (the February 20 sniper shootings in Kiev's Maidan Square) and the overthrow of an elected government.
Since the illegal coup against President Viktor Yanukovych, the Western-backed Kiev regime has been waging war on ethnic Russian populations in the east and south of the country, who refuse to recognize the regime as legitimate.
Poroshenko, the billionaire oligarch who is now signing over the sovereign affairs of Ukraine to the US, NATO and the EU, was elected president in a farcical vote last month, where only 45% of the electorate turned out and large sections of the east and south did not even cast a ballot amid a murderous "anti-terror" crackdown by Kiev troops and paramilitaries.
The campaign of terror by the Kiev forces against pro-Russian civilians was launched at the end of April, days after CIA chief John Brennan made a secret visit to the Kiev regime. Brennan briefed the Kiev leadership, including the so-called Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who only last week used Nazi language to vow that his military forces would "cleanse sub-humans" from the country - referring to the ethnic Russian populations and the self-defence militias they have set up in the Donetz and Lugansk regions.
The impostor-President Poroshenko may have declared a ceasefire over the past week, but the hostilities against civilian centres continue unabated. Crimes against humanity include the bombing of homes, churches, schools & hospitals, the use of White Phosphorus incendiary bombs and exploding bullets, as well as the shelling of electricity and water supplies.
Western media have largely ignored these violations by the "new democratic Ukrainian government", or at best have reported them as "unverified" or merely as "breaches of the ceasefire by both sides".
Western governments and media have gone into denial mode, refusing to acknowledge what even the United Nations this week confirms as a massive displacement of over 150,000 people from eastern Ukraine. Why are such numbers fleeing, if the violence is not also massive?
Another example of the Western cover-up over state terrorism in Ukraine, is the recent killing of three journalists. Earlier this month, Russian journalist Igor Kornelyuk and his colleague Anton Voloshin were killed near Lugansk when they were hit with a mortar shell. Survivors of the attack said it was deliberate targeting by Kiev troops. Previously, Italian journalist Andrea Rochelli was slain near Slavyansk in another incident that bore the hallmarks of shoot-to-kill.
In the past week, by contrast, there was an outpouring of condemnation from Washington and other Western governments, as well as widespread media coverage, of the jailing of three Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt. Those sentences were no doubt a gross miscarriage of justice. But what about the taking of journalists' lives in Ukraine? Where is the Western condemnations and media coverage?
Western-backed regime change and genocidal repression in Ukraine, is a collision course of extreme provocation towards Russia and its vital interests. Yet it is presented to the Western public as if it is a "good news" story about democratic European enlargement, which, perversely, is being spoiled by Russian "interference".
This is a powder-keg situation in Europe, led by US geopolitics and its European henchmen, and which is wrapped up in an explosive shell of ignorance, by a lying Western media.
The repetition of history is not inevitable. But the chances are increased when people are kept in the dark about the underlying causes of war and conflict.
Petko Ganchev, wrote this article for Pravda.Ru.
Today it is absolutely clear that there is a multipurpose strategic operation being conducted on the territory of the former Soviet Union. Ukraine plays a key role in the operation. Why Ukraine?
It's an open secret - the West has always wanted to master the vast territories of Russia and Eurasia, the axial space of the Earth, with its enormous natural resources.
To achieve this goal, there was the outer belt (Turkey, Pakistan, South Korea, Japan) built around Russia-Eurasia after World War Two. The inner belt (Georgia, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) was built after the collapse of the USSR.
Successively, after the Cold War, almost all East European countries - Soviet satellites - were admitted to NATO under the condition of their membership in the European Union.
But the West didn't get closer to Russia's western borders. There were 2 Russia- friendly countries left - historically, culturally and economically - Belarus and Ukraine.
Belarus is closely tied to Russia ethnically, culturally and economically. Ukraine, with its failed state organization was a weak link.
The reason for that is that the regions from which Ukraine was created after World War II (1945), were formed by areas with very different religious and value systems.
In his famous book "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order" by Samuel P. Huntington, the author described Ukraine as one of civilizational "splits," where one can expect clashes, i.e. wars.
That's why Ukraine was chosen by the US as the key to implement a multi-purpose strategic operation.
In the Middle East, the US has always used monarchies from the Middle Ages as allies - Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In Ukraine, the most loyal ally of the United States was Poland. The country was used to train "Right Sector" fighters and other figures from anti-Russian ultranationalist structures.
What are the main objectives and directions of this geo-strategic operation, the implementation of which began immediately after the US was forced to freeze its activities on Syria and Iran?
First and foremost, the goal is to strike a blow on Russia as the most active US geopolitical rival in the new millennium. When Ukraine leaves Russia's orbit, the US will implement several geostrategic objectives:
- to move air defense systems and other NATO systems closer to Russian borders: neutralizing its defense, including its nuclear capability;
- to undermine the Russian economy by cutting relations with the economy of Ukraine (Poroshenko has already ordered, following instructions from the US, to cease cooperation with the Russian defense industry);
- to burden the budget of the Russian Federation with bigger spending to maintain refugees from Ukraine and substitute imports from Ukraine;
- to close Russia's gas and oil pipelines to the EU to thus block the inflow of foreign currency into the Russian economy;
- to prevent creation of the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union;
- to destabilize the political system in Russia, accusing its leadership of what is happening in Ukraine;
- to stop or minimize economic cooperation between Russia and the EU;
- to sow distrust between Russia and other BRICS countries - Brazil, India, China, South Africa.
Secondly, the U.S. plans to strike a blow on the European Union, which, along with China, acts as a major competitor in the economic sphere. The EU needs to be reminded of its secondary role.
The United States seeks to confirm the assessment of Russophobe Brzezinski in his book "The Grand Chessboard" (1997), according to which the EU was a "U.S. protectorate."
For the U.S. it is vitally important to strengthen the economic dependence of the EU in light of their signing the "Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement" to turn the EU towards the consumption of US shale gas. In this regard, the EU is the most developed market.
To achieve this, Ukrainian company Naftogaz (the largest company in Ukraine) became the property of a new consortium, whose leadership includes the son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and former Polish President Kwasniewski.
At the same time, Chevron is preparing shale gas production in south-eastern Ukraine - in the areas of the towns of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk.
Chervon, directly or indirectly, through the European Commission, put pressure on Bulgaria, forcing the country to abandon the South Stream project.
At the same time, the U.S. continues to put pressure on France, to make the country freeze the sale of two Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia. France's largest bank PNB faces a fine of $10 billion for violating the financial embargo that the U.S. put on Cuba, Sudan and Nicaragua.
At the same time, the United States, with its national debt of 17 trillion dollars and GDP of 14 trillion, prepares to grant NATO's Eastern European members $1 billion for new weapons.
Fortunately, on the "grand chessboard" of world civilization, the U.S. does not play against virtual opponents. The geo-strategy of the United States does not unfold like the Desert Storm Operation in 2 003. Today, the US is playing against experienced players.
Russia is rising after the disgrace of the Yeltsin era, and the EU becomes increasingly aware of the fact that the only chance to survive is hidden in the slogan "More Europe for Europeans!"
The last elections to the European Parliament have confirmed the trend. Hitherto, with so many large- scale geopolitical operations after World War II (Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.), the US has not been able to boast considerable achievements.
Through all those wars, as George Friedman says in his book "The Next 100 Years," America has stimulated the growth of the national economy.
America was gradually and steadily evolving from a manufacturing economy to the economy of a military-industrial complex. In history, such a condition has always heralded the end of any empire.
US "A CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE"
The US government is a “criminal enterprise” with a foreign policy that places the well- being of Israel ahead of America’s, a political commentator in San Antonio, Texas says.
“This is a criminal enterprise that has the support of both of the major political parties in the United States,” Mark Dankof, a broadcaster and former US Senate candidate, says.
This criminal enterprise “principally involves conducting a foreign policy firstly for Israel, secondly for the international central banks and thirdly for the oil and natural gas consortiums,” Dankof says.
There is no difference between the policies of the Obama and Bush administrations, he notes. Both “are supporting the criminal policies of Benjamin Netanyahu,” he adds.
Dankof dismisses as a deception the recent remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry that the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq was a serious mistake:
“This is an attempt to absolve John Kerry and Barack Obama of the responsibility for all the criminal policies that they have carried out.”
In an interview with Chinese news agency Geo News, Kerry acknowledged that many problems in the Middle East, have their roots in that war.
George W. Bush, ordered the invasion of Iraq under a pretext --- that former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, possessed weapons of mass destruction.
In October 2004, a CIA report revealed that Saddam Hussein did not possess any weapons of mass destruction at the time of the invasion.
In a survey out on Wednesday 2nd June, by Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, 33% of registered voters name Obama as the worst president since 1945.
28% choose his predecessor, George W. Bush, as the worst.
By Jim Jones
For many, myself included I suppose, the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine have been riveting over the last couple of months. No need here to go into the sordid history of Coloured Revolutions and the CIA/NATO role in them; most reading this medium as opposed to CNN/SKY/VOA, are informed people and are aware of the manoeuvrings of the West and the associated puppet states in trying to embroil Russia in a war it doesn't want and in extending NATO frontiers to the heart of Russia.
Missile strikes from Ukraine, for example, would be in Moscow in 10 minutes, leaving no reaction time and fits neatly within the new US policy of a "first Strike" nuclear capability. [As opposed to the retaliatory strike doctrine of the last 40 years].
We all know what happened in 1961, when Khrushchev put Soviet Missiles into Cuba after the US put missiles into Turkey. The US wasn't very impressed at all. What is not well known is that Kennedy asked Khrushchev to "cut him some slack" and withdraw the missiles without reference to the US' withdrawal of its missiles from Turkey!
The US had upped the rhetoric so much, that it couldn't be seen to lose face in the public arena - condescendingly, Khrushchev accommodated.
Hold that thought of "face saving" as we explore the current Ukraine Crisis.
The US/NATO pushed the EU to pressure the Ukraine to join the EU and swing to the West. They almost succeeded 4 years ago with their Orange Revolution.
But Russia had learnt a thing or two about the Coloured Revolutions and mounted a successful and embarrassing reversal of the revolution and installed their own man in Ukraine who was leading Ukraine back along the Russian brotherhood line.
Four years later, after over $5 billion in NGO funding and a huge amount of State Department scheming and CIA covert action, the US finally got a chance to redress the "egg on face incident" that the Russians had made for them.
The US played a "background role" in this - preferring to have the EU seen as the driving force behind the Maidan. However, leaked phone calls, like that made to Cabinet Minister Ashton, which clearly identified the role of paid mercenaries in killing both Police & protesters, and later, Viktoria Nuland [US State Dept] hand-picking who will be in the Ukraine government and saying the EU can go get fucked - did nothing to endear the US to the EU -- it came hard on the heels of revelations of extensive phone tapping of EU leaders' phones etc. by the US.
Then we have the unsavoury influence of the Right Sektor in Ukraine being pushed, funded and trained by NATO and the US's Kerry, Nuland, John McCain, Mark Twain and all, were seen in public endorsing the very Right Sektor extremists that the German government was in the process of declaring as criminals!
Europe could see itself being plunged back 70 years with the rise of neo Nazi's, not just in Germany - but across Europe. [Remember Anders Behring Breivik and his mass killings in Norway: an ultra nationalist].
Europe also asked the question, what is the US going to lose over this? If Russia turns off the gas, Europe freezes: the economy of Europe goes down the toilet!
Already Germany is losing billions of Euros in trade with Russia, France has several military deals with Russia, the supply of Mistral Class ships for one, and Putin has promised follow-ons from that. Italy is supplying armour vehicles, many EU nations trade with Russia - so, US, what sanctions are going to hurt you, the EU asks?
Germany has a growing discord there over the 70 year occupation of Germany by US forces - we see demonstrations - Yankees go home! Europe is realising that the US cares, not for them, but only for US and US businesses.
Against this background, we are witnessing the separation of the US/EU and a drawing closer of EU/Russia on common grounds & shared interests.
I was appalled: driven to tears by the criminal acts of the Kyiv Junta's ex facto war crimes/ crimes against humanity. The shelling and bombing of civilians [non-combatants the Junta declares are Terrorists]. The targeting and destructionof schools, kindergartens and hospitals - with the murder of 25 wounded in the hospital - shot by Junta troops!
Destruction of the means of support of life - with water supplies destroyed, electrical installations and sanitary plants destroyed by shelling. The shooting of women and children leaving the region for shelter in Crimea, by bus. The execution style killing of civilians in a town by Junta forces, who lined the people up and shot them in the back of their heads. The use of chemical weapons against civilians - chlorine gas [where is Obama's Red Line on this?]. The targeting of TV reporters in the area trying to objectively record events. I'm sure that I have missed some others.
I cried out from the depths of despair for justice - surely Russia would intervene; surely Russia would protect it's people like it has said it would?
And all along, that is exactly what the US has been saying too - telling the Ukrainian Junta to commit further acts and atrocities against the people who simply want true democracy in the East.
To help them in this, they even get them to demonise and degrade the people there. Junta leaders have called the Russians in the East, "sub-human" - those of you as old as I am, will have heard that phrase before.
They are called parasites and vermin by the new Choco King Junta leader Poroshenko. Such a debasing of the population makes it more acceptable to murder them and commit atrocities against a subhuman species - not much higher than animals really, are they?
The provocation of Russia in this regard has been carefully stage managed by the US, intent as always to let it appear as the EU 's doing, while all the time ensuring that their people are the ones pulling the strings in Kiev - the CIA/FBI and State Department are up to their proverbial balls in Kiev's business.
Don't see the EU featuring though. The US has pushed the warmonger Russian story all through Europe - putting the fear of the bogyman into all ex Soviet states, and determined to show them all how much they need NATO's protection. [In truth, the world needs to be protected from the US].
However, Russia has consistently demonstrated restraint and maturity in handling the world crisis.
Since the failed US--led revolution in Georgia, Russia has been seen to be taking the moral high ground from the US and their consistent lies [WMD et.al].
The lies over Georgia were exposed and eventually the EU came out & confirmed that Georgia started the war. Reluctantly, the Western media has had to admit to "errors" in reporting - all of which have favoured the Russian position. Remember the incredible piece of statesmanship from Russia in pulling the war rug out from under the US's feet over Syrian Chemical weapons?!
Russia has quietly been cementing relationships in Europe - building "partnerships' with European countries, and is doing so in accordance with international law and through responsible, mature actions. All of this has been driving a wedge between the US and the EU. This hasn't gone unnoticed - the US cannot accept that they are not in the driving seat of a single seater any more. Goading and provoking Russia into attacking the Ukraine is how they will demonstrate that the Russia of today is what they told everyone that the USSR of old, was.
Putin has been smarter than they realised.
Reuters reported on July 1st:
Ukrainian forces struck at pro-Russian separatist bases in the eastern regions with air and artillery strikes on Tuesday, after President Poroshenko announced he would not renew a ceasefire, but go on the offensive to rid Ukraine of "parasites".
His decision quickly drew fire from Russian President Vladimir Putin who said Poroshenko had disregarded the advice of himself & German and French leaders. Putin said Poroshenko would now have to bear full responsibility for veering off the road to peace.
Poroshenko, who accuses Russia of fanning the conflict and allowing fighters and equipment to cross the border to support the rebels, then turned his back on another renewal of a 10- day unilateral ceasefire after the phone talks involving Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and President Francois Hollande.
The important thing here is that Putin obtained consensus from France and Germany in a four- way dialogue. This consensus was broken by Poroshenko, under pressure from US handlers.
The facts are obvious. What it also shows, is that once again the US has marginalised the EU and shown scant regard for the EU position.
This now opens the door for Russia to reiterate its threat; "Putin said Moscow will continue to defend the interests of ethnic Russians abroad - up to 3 million of whom live in the east of Ukraine, which has been in separatist ferment since April."
By obtaining consensus to a path of peace, and seeing it broken, Moscow now has the mandate to use force... IF it wants to.
The question is, does Russia want or need to? That famous General of Guerrilla warfare, Vo Nguyen Giap [Incidentally, his book Peoples War, People's Army is worth reading] said, "we do not want to defeat the enemy, we simply want him to leave our country!". In this regard, the Ukrainian Junta cannot win the war in Novorussiya.
Firstly, they have completely lost the battle for the hearts and minds of the people --- through the brutal atrocities they have committed.
Their transparent attempt at a Kosovo type ethnic cleansing, has been seen for what it is and has made people more determined to "hold their ground". Their brutality has now created a generational animosity, which will not be resolved in our life-time.
Secondly, militarily they can't succeed - every day, Novorussiya is gaining in strength and skills. The skill level of Novorussiya's troops is much higher than those of the basic conscripted Junta forces and they're much more motivated than the Junta forces - they are fighting for their existence and homeland. Conventional military doctrine states that we require a 10 to 1 advantage to press a successful attack against a defending enemy.
1,000 to 1 is not enough to succeed in a Guerrilla war scenario. Look at the hiding the Yanks got in Vietnam and they poured hundreds of thousands of troops into there, used the might of total air superiority and naval bombardment etc, and still got their arses kicked. Ask them how many they and NATO had in Afghanistan fighting "towel heads"? [and still lost].
The Ukrainian Army has about 30,000 troops committed against 10,000 in the Novorussiya Army, and many Junta forces are actually surrendering without a fight, handing over their gear, getting on a bus and going home with mum who came to collect their sons.
Also, the Junta is bankrupt. They can't even feed their army; people are deserting and walking home, because of no food or pay.
To save face: that wonderful US terminology again; I see it is proposed that Novorussiya become a Russian protectorate! The US is looking to stem the Junta's haemorrhaging.
All Russia needs to do, is open a humanitarian corridor into Novorussiya and maintain/police it and supply Novorussiya with what war materiel they ask for. And it can do all that with the tacit approval of Europe - the US having gone a bridge too far in Ukraine. Russia can allow the Junta to bleed to death here and like Georgia before; the US will be powerless to stop it.
The US has had it's last Tango in Europe.
Urgent appeal: Message from Slavyansk
Igor Strelkov makes an urgent appeal to the international community as western-backed Ukrainian forces slaughter Russian-speaking citizens, strafing women and children with military hardware.
Washington, Paris and London look on and continue to support the Ukrainian government. A massacre is taking place, the west is dancing with the Devil.
Urgent Appeal by Igor Strelkov, July 4, 2014
I would like to make a short statement with respect to what is happening around Slavyansk. With respect to what is happening here. And, well, to make an appeal, if you will.
Yesterday, the enemy completely surrounded Nikolayevka. The enemy shelled the city in the fiercest possible way, using all types of weapons. Using heavy MLRS systems, howitzers, mortars, tanks, APCs. The destruction is enormous. It is simply impossible to determine the numbers of casualties, because nothing works in the city now.
Our units that are in Nikolayevka at this moment continue the battle in complete encirclement. We have no communications with them.
Nikolayevka has been completely cut off from Slavyansk. At this very moment, a large enemy column of armoured vehicles is moving toward Semyonovka from the south, along the Kharkov- Rostov highway. At the same time, the enemy is continuing uninterrupted artillery shelling of the city and of Semyonovka.
Yesterday, the Nikolayevka Thermal Power Plant was destroyed to the ground and set on fire.
To put it bluntly, we are dealing here with unconcealed genocide. In other words, to break the resistance of the Militia, the enemy is using all the available types of weaponry against the civilian population.
Naturally, seeing the destruction and the death of the civilian population, militiamen are starting to lose the will to continue fighting.
I would like to say to you that, in Slavyansk, there is not one Chechen, not one mercenary. There is not a single person here who did not come of their own good will. If, before, 90% of the fighters were local, now the ratio is 95%.
Out of the entire garrison, there are maybe several dozen people who came from Russia. The majority, the overwhelming majority are citizens of Ukraine. Among them, the overwhelming majority are Donbass residents.
These are people who consciously took up arms to defend their homes, their families, their Motherland. To defend their language and their culture. To defend Russia. Because these people never separated from her. They consider themselves Russian. They want to live in Russia.
This right was taken from them a long time ago. And now, when they tried to restore this right, Russia does not want to help them reunite with their people, with their big Russian family.
It is difficult to understand and accept, that, over three months (it will soon be three months since we arrived in Slavyansk to help the local population defend their rights), that, over these three months, no real help has arrived.
I do not claim that Russia does not help. A huge stream of humanitarian cargo, equipment, uniforms, comes to us through private channels. But, that, which we desperately need, does not, at this time, arrive.
Please understand, that even if we get two tanks, four, even ten tanks, five-six artillery pieces, even if a plane flies here once, this will have no impact whatsoever. Over the course of the ceasefire, the Ukrainian army performed a full mobilization and concentration of forces.
Over sixty heavy artillery pieces are pointed a t Semyonovka and at Slavyansk at this time. At Kramatorsk. Two dozen MLRS systems, including Grad, Uragan and Smerch Heavy mortars. All of them are pointed here.
The enemy has so much ammunition - I did not see so much in Chechnya. In our time, we did not have so many shells. And the entire set of this artillery is shelling us without a stop. The supply columns are coming in continuously. They are transferring in more equipment.
Kharkov diligently repairs a dozen and a half armoured vehicles a day. We hit one or two armoured vehicles a day. No more than that. The enemy is able to grow its forces faster than it expends them. Not just faster - much faster.
If Russia is not able to secure an immediate termination of fire and the execution of a truce, or if it does not step in with its armed forces to protect us, to protect the Russian people that reside here, who are a part of the Russian nation, we will be exterminated.
We will be exterminated in the course of a week, two weeks at most. And Slavyansk will be the first to be exterminated, together with its still- numerous population. Over thirty thousand civilians are still left here.
I am being asked to take on the responsibility for their death. And for the death of the Militia brigade under my command. We are ready to fight. We are ready to die. But we do not want to die senselessly, burying beneath the ruins of the city of those people who believed in us.
Some believe that I am panicking, that I am nervous. Yes, I am nervous. Every day, my soldiers are dying. The hospitals are overflowing with wounded. It is very difficult to see children without legs, torn apart by exploding shells.
We will continue to fight. But we desperately need help.
Washington's War Crimes Spread from Africa and the Middle East to Ukraine
By Paul Craig Roberts
A person might think that revulsion in "the world community" against Washington's wanton slaughter of civilians in eight countries would have led to War Crimes Tribunal warrants issued for the arrest of presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama & many officials in their regimes. But the vocal part of "the world community"-- the West -- has become inured to Washington's crimes against humanity and doesn't bother to protest. Indeed, many of these governments are complicit in the US's crimes, and there could just as well be arrest warrants for members of European governments.
The one exception is Russia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has published a White Book on violations of human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine. Propagandized Americans think that all the violations in Ukraine are made by Russians. The White Book carefully and accurately documents reported violations that occurred in Ukraine for four months from December 2013 through March 2014.
You will not hear much or anything about it from the presstitute US media, & it's unlikely to receive much coverage in Europe. The facts are so greatly at odds with the West's position, that the White Book is a huge embarrassment to the West.
The slaughter of Ukrainians on Washington's orders by Washington's stooge government in Kiev, has worsened considerably in the past three months, producing more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees fleeing into Russia for protection from strikes against civilian housing, from the air, artillery, and tanks.
Every effort by Russia's government to involve Washington, the European Union, and Kiev in negotiations to find a peaceful settlement, has failed.
Washington is not interested in a settlement. Disturbed by its NATO vassals' dependence on Russian energy and the growing economic relationships between Russia and Europe, Washington is at work through its Kiev proxy murdering citizens in eastern and southern parts of present-day Ukraine that once were part of Russia.
Washington has declared these civilians to be "terrorists" and is trying to force Russia to intervene militarily in order to protect them.
Russia's protective intervention would then be denounced by Washington as "invasion and annexation." Washington would use this propaganda, which would blare from the Western media, to pressure Europe to support Washington's sanctions against Russia. The sanctions would then effectively destroy the existing economic relationships between Russia and Europe.
Washington hasn't had success in imposing sanctions, because, although Washington's European vassals, such as Merkel, are willing, business interests in Germany, France, and Italy stand opposed.
Washington is hoping that by forcing Russia to act, Washington can sufficiently demonize Russia and silence the European business interests with propaganda.
To counter Washington's ploy, Putin had Russia's Duma rescind his authority to send Russian forces into Ukraine. Unlike US' presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, Putin does not claim the authority to use military forces without permission from the legislature.
Washington's response to Putin's stand down is to increase the slaughter of civilians, all the while denying that any such slaughter is occurring.
Washington is determined not to acknowledge the existence of the slaughter for which it is responsible, although everyone knows that Kiev would not dare to take on Russia without Washington's backing.
Putin's bet is that European business interests will prevail over Washington's European lap dogs.
This is a hopeful and optimistic bet, but Washington is already at work to threaten and undermine the resistance of European business interests. Using concocted charges, Washington has stolen $9 billion from France's biggest bank --- for doing business with countries disapproved of by Washington.
This was Washington's warning to European business to comply with Washington's sanctions. Washington even told France that the fine would be rescinded or reduced if France broke its contract with Russia to supply 2 helicopter carriers. Other such moves against European businesses are in the works. The purpose is to intimidate European businesses from opposing sanctions against Russia.
Washington's arrogance that Washington can decide with whom a French bank can do business is astonishing. It is even more astonishing that France and the bank would accept such arrogance and infringements of France's sovereignty.
France's acceptance of Washington's hegemony shows that one risk in Putin's bet is that the bet assumes that European business interests can prevail over Washington's strategic interests.
Another risk in Putin's bet is that by standing down and tolerating Washington's slaughter of civilians, Putin is becoming complicit in Washington's crimes against humanity. The longer the slaughter goes on, the more complicit Russia's government becomes.
Moreover, the passage of time allows Kiev to increase its forces and NATO to supply these forces with more deadly weapons. A Russian intervention, which previously would have met with easy success, becomes more costly and more drawn out as Kiev's forces increase.
Washington's puppet in Kiev makes it clear --- that he is not going to accommodate any Russian interests or any opposition of the Ukraine's provinces, to the radical anti- Russian policies of Washington's stooge government.
As Washington acknowledges no responsibility whatsoever for the situation, how long can Putin wait for Merkel or Hollande to break ranks with Washington?
Putin's alternative is to come to the defense of the Ukrainians who are being attacked. Putin could accept the requests of the rebellious provinces to rejoin Russia, as he did with Crimea, declare Washington's stooge, Petro Poroshenko, to be a war criminal and issue a warrant for his arrest, and send in the Russian military to face down the forces sent by Kiev.
Outside the West, this would establish Putin as a defender of human rights. Inside the West, it would make it completely clear to Washington's European vassals that the consequence of their alignment with Washington is that they will be drawn into a war with Russia and, likely, also with China. Europeans have nothing to gain from these wars.
Sooner than later Putin needs to realize that his reasonableness is not reciprocated by Washington. Washington is taking advantage of Putin's reasonableness, and Washington is pushing Russia harder.
Putin has done what he can to avoid conflict. Now he needs to do the right thing, as he did in Georgia and Crimea.
Paul Craig Roberts
Guilt by insinuation: How American propaganda works
By Paul Craig Roberts
Why hasn't Washington joined Russian President Putin in calling for an objective, non-politicized international investigation by experts of the case of the Malaysian jetliner?
The Russian government continues to release facts, including satellite photos showing the presence of Ukrainian Buk anti-aircraft missiles in locations from which the airliner could have been brought down by the missile system, and documentation that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet rapidly approached the Malaysian airliner prior to its downing.
The head of the Operations Directorate of Russian military headquarters said at a Moscow press conference on July 21st, that the presence of the Ukrainian military jet is confirmed by the Rostov monitoring centre.
The Russian Defense Ministry pointed out that, at the moment of destruction of MH-17 an American satellite was flying over the area. The Russian government urges Washington to make available the photos and data captured by the satellite.
President Putin has repeatedly stressed that the investigation of MH-17, requires "a fully representative group of experts to be working at the site under the guidance of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)."
Putin's call for an independent expert examination by ICAO does not sound like a person with anything to hide.
Turning to Washington Putin stated: "In the meantime, no one (not even the "exceptional nation") has the right to use this tragedy to achieve their narrowly selfish political goals."
Putin reminded Washington: "We repeatedly called upon all conflicting sides to stop the bloodshed immediately and to sit down at the negotiating table. I can say with confidence that if military operations were not resumed [by Kiev] on June 28 in eastern Ukraine, this tragedy would not have happened."
What is the American response?
Lies and insinuations.
On July 20, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry confirmed that pro-Russian separatists were involved in the downing of the Malaysian airliner and said that itwas "pretty clear" that Russia was involved. Here are Kerry's words:
"It's pretty clear that this is a system that was transferred from Russia into the hands of separatists. We know with confidence, with confidence, that the Ukrainians did not have such a system anywhere near the vicinity at that point and time, so it obviously points a very clear finger at the separatists."
Kerry's statement is just another of the endless lies told by US secretaries of state in the 21st century. Who can forget Colin Powell's package of lies delivered to the UN about Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction" or Kerry's lie repeated endlessly that Assad "used chemical weapons against his own people" or the endless lies about "Iranian nukes"?
Remember that Kerry on a number of occasions stated that the US had proof that Assad crossed the "red line" by using chemical weapons.
However, Kerry was never able to back up his statements with evidence. The US had no evidence to give the British prime minister whose effort to have Parliament approve Britain's participation with Washington in a military attack on Syria was voted down. Parliament told the prime minister, "no evidence, no war."
Again here is Kerry declaring "confidence" in statements that are directly contradicted by the Russian satellite photos and endless eye witnesses on the ground.
Why doesn't Washington release its photos from its satellite?
The answer is for the same reason that Washington will not release all the videos it confiscated and that it claims prove that a hijacked 9/11 airliner hit the Pentagon. The videos do not support Washington's claim, and the US satellite photos do not support Kerry's claim.
The UN weapons inspectors on the ground in Iraq reported that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. However, the fact did not support Washington's propaganda and was ignored. Washington started a highly destructive war, based on nothing but Washington's intentional lie.
The International Atomic Energy Commission's inspectors on the ground in Iran and all 16 US intelligence agencies reported that Iran had no nuclear weapons program. However, the fact was inconsistent with Washington's agenda and was ignored by both the US government and the presstitute media.
We are witnessing the same thing right now with the assertions, in the absence of evidence, that Russia is responsible for the downing of the Malaysian airliner.
Not every member of the US government is as reckless as Kerry and John McCain. In place of direct lies, many US officials use insinuations.
US Senator Diane Feinstein is the perfect example. Interviewed on the presstitute TV station CNN, Feinstein said: "The issue is where is Putin? I would say, 'Putin, you have to man up. You should talk to the world. You should say, if this is a mistake, which I hope it was, say it.'"
Putin has been talking to the world nonstop, calling for an expert non-politicized investigation, and Feinstein is asking Putin why he is hiding behind silence. We know you did it, Feinstein insinuates, so just tell us whether you meant to, or whether it was an accident.
The way the entire Western news cycle was orchestrated with blame instantly being placed on Russia long in advance of real information suggests that the downing of the airliner was a Washington operation. It is, of course, possible that the well-trained presstitute media needed no orchestration from Washington in order to lay the blame on Russia. On the other hand, some of the news performances seem too scripted not to have been prepared in advance.
We also have the advanced preparation of the youtube video that purports to show a Russian general and Ukrainian separatists discussing having mistakenly downed a civilian airliner.
As I pointed out earlier, this video is twice damned. It was ready in advance and, by implicating the Russian military, it overlooked that the Russian military can tell the difference between a civilian airliner and a military airplane. The existence of the video itself implies that there was a plot to down the airliner and blame Russia.
I have seen reports that the Russian anti-aircraft missile system, as a safety device, is capable of contacting aircraft transponders in order to verify the type of aircraft. If the reports are correct and if the transponders from MH-17 are found, they might record the contact.
I have seen reports that Ukrainian air control changed the route of MH-17 and directed it to fly over the conflict area. The transponders should also indicate whetherthis is correct.
If so, there clearly is at least circumstantial evidence that this was anintentional act on the part of Kiev, an act which would have required Washington's blessing.
There are other reports that there is a divergence between the Ukrainian military and the unofficial militias formed by the right-wing Ukrainian extremists who apparently were the first to attack the separatists. It is possible that Washington used the extremists to plot the airliner's destruction in order to blame Russia and use the accusations to pressure the EU to go along with Washington's unilateral sanctions against Russia. We do know that Washington is desperate to break up the growing economic and political ties between Russia and Europe.
If it was a plot to down an airliner, any safety device on the missile system could have been turned off, so as to give no warning, or leave any telltale sign. That could be the reason a Ukrainian fighter was sent to inspect the airliner. Possibly the real target was Putin's airliner and incompetence in implementing the plot resulted in the destruction of a civilian airliner.
As there are a number of possible explanations, let's keep open minds and resist Washington's propaganda until facts and evidence are in.
At the very least, Washington is guilty of using the incident to blame Russia in advance of the evidence. All Washington has shown us so far is accusations and insinuations. If that is all Washington continues to show us, we will know where the blame resides.
In the meantime, remember the story of the boy who cried "wolf!" He lied so many times that when the wolf did come, no one believed him. Will this be Washington's ultimate fate?
Instead of declaring war on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, and Syria, why did Washington hide behind lies? If Washington wants war with Iran, Russia, and China, why not simply declare war?
The reason that the US Constitution requires war to begin with a declaration of war by Congress is to prevent the executive branch from orchestrating wars, in order to further hidden agendas.
By abdicating its constitutional responsibility, the US Congress is complicit in the executive branch's war crimes. By approving Israel's premeditated murder of Palestinians, the US government is complicit in Israel's war crimes.
Ask yourself this question: Would the world be a safer place, with less death, destruction and displaced peoples, and more truth and justice, if the United States and Israel did not exist?
Paul Craig Roberts
Does Russia have a future? By Paul Craig Roberts
The Russian government has finally realized that it has no Western “partners,” and is complaining bitterly about the propagandistic lies and disinformation issued without any evidence whatsoever against the Russian government by Washington, its European vassals, and press-titute media.
Perhaps the Russian government thought that only Iraq, Libya, Syria, China, and Edward Snowden would be subjected to Washington’s lies and demonization.
It was obvious enough that Russia would be next.
The Russian government and Europe need to look beyond Washington’s propaganda, because the reality is much worse.
NATO commander General Breedlove and Senate bill 2277 clearly indicate that Washington is organizing itself and Europe for war on Russia.
Europe is reluctant to agree with Washington to put Ukraine in NATO. Europeans understand that if Washington or its stooges in Kiev cause a war with Russia, Europe will be the first casualty.
Washington finds its vassals’ noncompliance tiresome. Remember Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s “fuck the EU.” And that is just what Washington is about to do.
The US Senate’s Russian Aggression Prevention Act, about which I reported in my previous column, does even more mischief than I reported. If the bill passes, which it likely will, Washington becomes empowered to bypass NATO and to grant the status of “allied nation” to Ukraine independently of NATO membership. By so doing, Washington can send troops to Ukraine and thereby commit NATO to a war with Russia.
Notice how quickly Washington escalated the orchestrated Ukrainian “crisis” - without any evidence - into “Russian aggression.” Overnight we have the NATO commander and US senators taking actions against “Russian aggression”, of which no one has seen any evidence.
With Iraq, Libya, and Syria, Washington learned that Washington could act on the basis of bald- faced lies. No one, not Great Britain, not France, not Germany, not Italy, not the Netherlands, not Canada, not Australia, not Mexico, not New Zealand, not Israel, nor Japan, nor S. Korea, nor Taiwan, nor (substitute your selection) stepped forward to hold the US accountable for its blatant lies and war crimes.
The UN even accepted the package of blatant and obviously transparent lies that Colin Powell delivered to the UN. Everything Powell said had already been refuted by the UN’s own weapons inspectors. Yet the UN pussies gave the go-ahead for a devastating war.
The only conclusion is that all the whores were paid off. Whores can always count on Washington paying them off. For money, the whores are selling out civilization to Washington’s war, which likely will be nuclear and terminate life on earth. The whores’ money will incinerate with them.
It is hardly surprising that Washington now targets Russia. The world has given Washington carte blanche to do as it pleases. We have now had three administrations of US war criminals welcomed and honored wherever the war criminals go. The other governments in the world continue to desire invitations to the White House as indications of their worth. To be received by war criminals has become the highest honor.
Even the president of China comes to Washington to receive acceptance by the Evil Empire.
The world did not notice Washington’s war crimes against Serbia and didn’t puke when Washington then put the Serbian president, who had tried to prevent his country from being torn apart by Washington, on trial as a war criminal.
The world has made no effort to hold Washington responsible for its destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria and Gaza. The world has not demanded that Washington stop murdering people in Pakistan and Yemen, countries with which Washington is not at war. The world looks the other way as Washington creates the US Africa Command. The world looks the other way as Washington sends deadly weapons to Israel, with which to murder women and children in the Gaza Ghetto. Washington passes Senate and House Resolutions cheering on the Israeli murder of Palestinians.
Washington is accustomed to its free pass, granted by the world, to murder and to lie, and now is using it against Russia.
Russian President Putin’s bet that by responding to Washington’s aggression in Ukraine in an unprovocative and reasonable manner, would demonstrate to Europe that Russia was not the source of the problem --- has not paid off.
European countries are captive nations. They are incapable of thinking and acting for themselves. They bend to Washington’s will. Essentially, Europe is a nonentity that follows Washington’s orders.
If the Russian government hopes to prevent war with Washington, which is likely to be the final war for life on earth, the Russian government needs to act now and end the problem in Ukraine by accepting the separatist provinces’ request to be reunited with Russia. Once S.2277 passes, Russia cannot retrieve the situation without confronting militarily the US, because Ukraine will have been declared an American ally.
Putin’s bet was reasonable and responsible, but Europe has failed him. If Putin does not use Russian power to bring an end to the p roblem with which Washington has presented him in Ukraine while he still can, Washington’s next step will be to unleash its hundreds of NGOs inside Russia to denounce Putin as a traitor for abandoning the Russian populations in the former Russian provinces that Soviet leaders thoughtlessly attached to Ukraine.
The problem with being a leader is that you inherit festering problems left by previous leaders. Putin has the problems bequeathed by Yeltsin. Yeltsin was a disaster for Russia. Yeltsin was Washington’s puppet. It is not certain that Russia will survive Yeltsin’s mistakes.
If Washington has its way, Russia will survive only as an American puppet state.
In a previous column I described the article in Foreign Affairs, the journal of the Washington foreign policy community, that makes a case that the US has such strategic advantage over Russia at this time that a “window of opportunity” exists for the US to remove Russia as a restraint on US hegemony --- with a preemptive nuclear attack.
It is almost certain that Obama is being told that President John F. Kennedy had this window of opportunity and did not use it, and that Obama must not let the opportunity pass a second time.
As Steven Starr explained in a guest column, there are no winners of nuclear war. Even if the US escapes retaliatory strikes, everyone will die, regardless.
The view in Washington of the neoconservatives, who control the Obama regime, is that nuclear war is winnable. No expert opinion supports their assumption, but the neocons, not the experts, are in power.
The American people are out to lunch. They have no comprehension of their likely fate. Americans are an uninformed people distracted by their mounting personal and financial problems. If Europeans are aware, they have decided to live for the moment, on Washington’s money.
What life is faced with is a drive for hegemony on the part of Washington and ignorant unconcern on the part of the rest of the world.
Americans, worked into a lather about Washington’s unfunded liabilities and the viability of their future Social Security pension, won’t be alive to collect it.
World doomed by Western insouciance By Paul Craig Roberts
European governments and the Western media have put the world at risk by enabling the US’s propaganda and aggression against Russia.
Washington has succeeded in using transparent lies to demonize Russia as a dangerous aggressive country led by a new Hitler or a new Stalin, just as Washington sought to vilify Assad in Syria, Chavez in Venezuela, and, of course, Iran.
The real demons – Clinton, Bush, Obama – are “the exceptional and indispensable people” above the reach of demonization. Their horrific real crimes go unnoticed, while fictitious crimes are attributed to other people and countries.
The reason that Washington demonizes a leader and a country is to permit the creation of circumstances that Washington can use to act with force against a leader and a country.
Washington’s incessant lies alleging “Russian aggression” have created Russian aggression out of thin air. John Kerry and the State Department’s Marie Harf issue new lies daily, but never any supporting evidence. With the stage set, the US Senate, the NATO commander and the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff are busy at work energizing the wheels of war.
Senate bill 2277 provides for beefing up forces on Russia’s borders and for elevating Ukraine’s status to “ally of the US” so that US troops can assist the war against “terrorists” in Ukraine.
NATO commander Breedlove is preparing his plans for stockpiling war material on Russia’s borders so that US/NATO troops can more quickly strike Russia.
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, is at work preparing American opinion for the upcoming war.
On July 24, Dempsey told Aspen Security Forum, a high level group where US opinion is formed, that Putin’s aggression in Ukraine is comparable to Stalin’s invasion of Poland in 1939 and that the Russian threat was not limited to Ukraine or Eastern Europe, but was global.
The intellects in the Aspen Forum did not break out laughing, when Dempsey told them that Russia’s (alleged but unproven) involvement in Ukraine was the first time since 1939 that a country made a conscious decision to use its military force inside another sovereign nation to achieve its objectives.
No one asked Dempsey what Washington has been doing during the last three presidential regimes: Clinton in Serbia, Bush and Obama in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen, Obama in Libya and Syria.
Here are Dempsey’s words: “You’ve got a Russian government that has made a conscious decision to use its military force inside another sovereign nation to achieve its objectives. It’s the first time since 1939 or so that that’s been the case. They clearly are on a path to assert themselves differently not just in Eastern Europe, but Europe in the main, and towards the United States.”
Washington’s view that the world is its oyster is so ingrained that neither Dempsey nor his upper echelon audience at the Aspen Forum noticed the absurdity of his statement. Washington and the brainwashed US population take if for granted that the “exceptional, indispensable nation” isn't limited in its actions by the sovereignty of other countries.
Washington takes for granted that US law prevails in other countries over the countries’ own laws – just ask France or Switzerland, that Washington can tell foreign financial institutions and corporations with whom they can do business and with whom they cannot – just ask every country and company prevented from doing business with Iran, that Washington can invade any country whose leader Washington can demonize & overthrow – just ask Iraq, Honduras, Libya, Serbia, and so forth, and that Washington can conduct military operations against peoples in foreign countries, such as Pakistan and Yemen, with which Washington is not at war.
All of this is possible, because Washington has claimed the title from Israel of being “God’s Chosen People.” Of course, Israel’s loss of the title has not stopped Israel from acting in the same way.
Washington has put in motion the wheels of war. Once the wheels of war begin to turn, momentum carries them forward. The foolish, indeed utterly stupid, governments and media in Europe seem unaware of Washington’s orchestration of their future or lack thereof, or they are indifferent to it.
They are dooming themselves and all of humanity by their insouciance.
Readers who cannot tolerate problems without solutions always request solutions. OK, here is the solution:
The only possibility of avoiding war is that Putin take his case to the UN. If Washington can send Colin Powell to the UN unarmed with any truth to make Washington’s case for war against Iraq, Putin should be able to take his case to the UN against Washington’s war against Russia.
The case that the emperor has no clothes is an easy one to make.
Unlike Washington, Putin is willing to share the evidence that Russia has about who is doing what in Ukraine. It is a simple matter to establish that Washington organized a coup that overthrew an elected government, supports violence against those who object to the coup, and has turned a deaf ear to Russia’s repeated pleas for Kiev and the separatists to negotiate their differences.
Putin should make it clear to the world that Washington continues with provocative military steps against Russia, with force buildups on Russia’s borders and calls for more buildups, with S.2277 which reads like a US preparation for war, with provocative actions & accusations by top US generals and government officials against Russia, and with efforts to isolate Russia and to inflict economic and political injury on Russia.
Putin should make it clear to the world that there is a limit to provocations that Russia can accept and that Russia believes that Russia is in danger of a preemptive nuclear attack by Washington.
Putin can describe Washington’s withdrawal from the ABM treaty, the construction of ABM bases on Russia’s borders, and the announced change in Washington’s war doctrine that elevates US nuclear forces from a retaliatory role to a preemptive first strike role. These actions are clearly directed at Russia (and China–wake up China! You are next!).
Putin must state clearly that the likely consequence of the world continuing to enable Washington’s lies & aggression will be not merely another disastrous war, but the termination of life.
The governments of the world, especially Washington’s vassals in Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan, need to be told that it is their responsibility to stop their enabling of Washington’s aggression or to accept their responsibility for World War III.
At least we could all have the enjoyment of watching the arrogant Samantha Powers and the craven British lapdog rise and walk out of the UN proceedings. There is no doubt what- soever that Washington is unable to answer the charges.
Here again is the Wolfowitz Doctrine that controls US foreign policy and that condemns Planet Earth to death:
“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that posses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union.
“This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”
A hostile power is defined as any country that is not a Washington vassal.
The Wolfowitz Doctrine commits the United States, its peoples, Washington’s gullible EU allies and those peoples, to war with Russia and China.
The destruction of the world is what the idiot EU governments and the presstitute Western media are fostering by their enablement of Washington’s lies and aggression.
WHY RUSSIA REFUSES WAR
Two thirds of Russians say in the latest poll that they are against sending troops to Ukraine, despite the latest US' moves.
WHY EU LEADERS ARE FOLLOWING US SANCTIONS TO HURT RUSSIA
The European Union is expanding anti-Russian sanctions against its own interests under tough pressure from the US in favour of the American military-industrial complex, say experts.
“This week, the EU is to expand and toughen anti-Russian measures. This is obviously an operation staged by Washington that is using the Malaysian airliner downed in Ukraine with most of its passengers being Europeans, as an excuse to defeat Russia,” says the director of the strategic analysis & developments dept, at the sanctioned Vnesheconombank, Vladimir Andrianov.
“The unprecedented propaganda campaign on Russia has turned the Old World's public against Russia, to such an extent that its politicians are afraid of looking indecisive and losing voters' support, to blindly take their cue from the US”
“The EU has no chance to withstand US pressure over anti-Russian measures,” the expert explains: “Washington overtly interferes with Russian-EU gas supply talks & blackmails France over its contract on helicopter carrier Mistral supplies to Russia.
“The US is flagrantly pursuing its own policy in Europe and is appointing its own people to key posts in the EU.”
“EU countries have a deficit of strong leaders now, and European governments are weak. Meanwhile, the EU's bureaucratic machine is proving to be incompetent on issues of global politics and economics and totally dependent on the US will,” Andrianov says.
“The fact that even German Chancellor Angela Merkel suddenly switched tactics after several months of a moderate approach shows the EU leaders’ dependence on the US.
“Washington keeps files on all prominent politicians. It certainly has blackmail evidence against Merkel. It’s no coincidence that her cellphone was bugged by US special services. For this reason, the German chancellor yielded to pressure from Washington.”
“All US foreign policy starting from Vietnam, has been tailored to its military's needs. Amid global competition, the US - as the world’s gendarme - cannot bear the thought that Russia remains the only major geopolitical opponent which it can't control,” the expert says.
Washington aims to arm the Ukrainian army with modern weapons and equipment, and pull Russia into a confrontation with Ukraine, Mr Andrianov believes.
“For this purpose, the US Congress plans to recognise Ukraine as a major non-NATO ally and provide it with direct military aid.
“The S.2277 - Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014 - has passed two readings in the US. These moves are clearly designed to serve the interests of the US military-industrial complex in order to kindle the fire in Europe and line US pockets on weapon supplies to the crisis zone,” Andrianov says.
“The scenario of pulling Russia into armed conflict with Ukraine is so dangerous that it's unacceptable,” the dean of the Higher School of Economics Faculty for World Economy and International Affairs, Sergey Karaganov says.
“But the EU sanctions already announced, and those on the table, mean that the large-scale US's anti-Russian campaign, caused by the Boeing's downing in Ukraine, is bearing fruit.”
“US pressure for the EU to adopt anti-Russian sanctions aims at splitting Europe, weakening Germany and inflicting as much grave damage as possible on Russia, to deprive the country of its power in the world,” the expert says.
“Europe is blindly obeying the US by imposing anti-Russian sanctions, because EU welfare directly relies on the US in financial terms, the Deputy Director of Russia's Academy of Sciences Institute for the USA and Canadian Studies, Major General Pavel Zolotarev says.
“In terms of its security policy, the EU is peace- ful under the US umbrella. Washington bears the lion’s share of NATO spending, enabling the EU countries to reduce defense spending to 2% of their gross domestic product.”
“EU countries lay out 6-7 times more for education and healthcare than defense,” the analyst adds.
“Russia cannot afford such a budget distribution, while EU countries can, thanks to the US. Hence their obedience to Washington.”
The video above shows a mob of about 50 men in Kiev, attacking one of the few news outlets left which Kiev does not control. A legal case has dragged on for months, threatening its closure.
This week, a Kiev interior official said "this is the last peaceful attempt" to resolve the stand off - now this -
The US and UK say that the US-backed Kiev coup, was a "people's revolution"...
we say it's fascism.
LATEST NEWS ON THURSDAY
Ukrainian parliament rejects PM's resignation
The Ukrainian parliament on Thursday failed to approve the resignation tendered by Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk last week, the parliamentary press service said.
Yatsenyuk's resignation was backed by only 16 of 339 deputies present at the 450-seat assembly.
The decision means that Yatsenyuk and the current cabinet will continue to fulfill their duties until parliamentary elections, which are widely expected to be held in October.
Yatsenyuk, a 40yr-old pro-European technocrat, took charge of Ukraine's cabinet in late February, following the anti-government street rallies which toppled ex-President Viktor Yanukovych and the former government.
Last week, Yatsenyuk tendered his resignation in protest against the "ineffectiveness" of Kiev's parliament after the collapse of the ruling group.
UN Rights Chief: Israeli Attacks in Gaza “Deliberate Defiance” of International Law
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay lashes out at the Zionist entity on Thursday, over its attacks in Gaza, saying that such attacks are considered as Israel's "deliberate defiance" of international law.
Pillay slams the country's attacks on homes, schools, hospitals and United Nations facilities, which shelter 250,000 civilians in Gaza.
"There appears to be a deliberate defiance of the obligations that international law imposes on Israel," the South African tells reporters.
Pillay says that repeated calls to respect the laws of war have gone unheeded during the latest crisis and in previous spikes in the Israeli offensive.
"The same pattern of attacks is occurring now on homes, schools, hospitals, UN premises. None of this appears to me to be accidental," she says.
She speaks 1 day after Israeli shells slammed into a UN school in Jabalia refugee camp, which was sheltering some 3,300 homeless Gazans, killing at least 16 people.
Pillay says that, under international law, civilian facilities should not be attacked, noting that due warning must be given before an attack, in order to allow civilians to be evacuated.
"It is completely unconscionable that the proportionality & precaution international law requires, is being ignored," says Pillay.
She also criticizes Israel's strikes on Gaza's only power plant, and on its water and sewerage systems.
The UN Human Rights Council has voted to open an inquiry into the Gaza offensive, despite fierce opposition from the Zionists and their global sponsor, the United States.
"We cannot allow impunity. We cannot allow this lack of accountability to go on," Pillay says, calling into question any investigation by Israel into its own abuses.
"I join the world in condemning the aggression that is taking place in Gaza, and particularly the killing of civilians. This is wrong and it will always be wrong," she concludes.
Egypt must reopen Rafah crossing soon: Iran diplomat
A senior Iranian diplomat says Egypt’s delay in issuing permits for the delivery of Iran’s humanitarian aid to Gaza is “unacceptable”, urging Cairo to immediately reopen the Rafah border crossing.
Cairo’s long delays in issuing permits to flights carrying Iran’s food and medical aid to people in the besieged Gaza Strip through Egypt is “unacceptable”, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab/Africa Affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, says.
“We strictly call on the relevant officials in Cairo to speed up the issuance of permits,” the Iranian official says.
He adds that 57 Palestinian infants, children and women, who've been critically injured in the Israeli regime’s atrocities in the coastal enclave, are waiting for Egypt to allow them to fly to Iran for medical treatment.
Amir-Abdollahian notes that Iran’s first cargo of 100 tons of humanitarian aid, and the list of injured Palestinians ready for transfer to Iran, were placed at the disposal of Egypt's Foreign Ministry & Egypt’s interest section in Tehran, a few days ago, “but no flying license has yet been issued.”
Despite the international outcry, Cairo is keeping the Rafah border crossing closed. The 12-kilometer crossing links Egypt to the Gaza Strip, which has been under a crippling Israeli siege, since 2007.
On July 24th, Amir-Abdollahian said that the consignment of relief aid provided by the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) for Gazans had been flown into Cairo & was waiting to be cleared for transfer into Gaza, via the Rafah border crossing.
At least 1,262 people have been killed in Israel's aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip since July 8th. Over 7,000 - mostly civilians - have been injured.
The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing, has been launching retaliatory attacks against Israel. Tel Aviv confirms 53 Israeli soldiers as having been killed in the Gaza war, but Hamas puts the number at over 100.
Criticizing Israel ends political careers in US: Rozzo
What Israel is doing in the besieged Gaza strip is a “massacre” and the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians & US officials “can’t say anything, because this can end a lot of political careers,” an American political analyst in New Jersey says.
“The US and its political structure supports Israel because Israel is the largest military client in the Middle East,” says Constantino Rozzo, a former candidate for the second Congressional district in New Jersey.
“Palestine seems to be the largest open-air prison camp in the world, and what’s going on with Israel now (& our politicians won’t reveal this or condemn what’s going on) but what’s going on is a massacre, what’s going on is a human rights abuse,” Rozzo says on Wednesday.
The Zionist regime’s mission is “ethnic cleansing and destroying the Palestinian people,” he notes.
US lawmakers from across the aisle on Capitol Hill have said they will “stand with Israel” in its deadly offensive on Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.
On Monday, Republican & Democrat lawmakers gathered at an event hosted by the National Leadership Assembly for Israel, to express their opposition to any kind of criticism of Israel’s atrocities.
“Nobody can say anything, because it’s pretty hard to say anything, because this can end a lot of political careers, because Israel has a lot of power, a lot money behind this,” he says.
Israel has been pounding Gaza, killing innocent residents of the impoverished Palestinian strip since July 8th.
The Palestinian death toll from over 3 weeks of air, sea and ground assaults on the block- aded coastal sliver, is now over 1,300, with more than 7,500 people wounded.
UK, US AND LITHUANIA BLOCK UN ON BOEING CRASH SITE SAFETY
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expresses his disappointment over the UN Security Council’s inability to confirm the key provisions of resolution 2166, on the Malaysian Boeing crash.
"Ending hostilities in territory where the Malaysian Boeing’s wreckage is still lying, should be a priority step to be taken to fulfill resolution 2166,” he says.
He recalls President Poroshenko ordering an end to military attacks within 40 kilometers around the Boeing crash site - and how his order was followed by Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council stating that Ukraine's army would stop the security operation, only after the militias were squeezed out of the crash area.
On Tuesday night, the US, UK & Lithuania, rejected Russia's proposed statement on the need to respect resolution 2166.
Lavrov denies that Russia and militia fighters are keeping international inspectors from the Boeing crash site.
“I've seen an interview with OSCE representatives, including the Dutch, who were trying to get to the crash area accompanied by militias protecting them.
“But they couldn't do it, because the Ukrainian army grossly violated the UN Security Council resolution,” states Lavrov.
Given the absurdity of the current situation, Lavrov dares to suggest that perhaps Russia should send peacekeepers there, to provide international access to the Boeing crash site.
“Against the background of these obvious facts -- plus calls on Russia to ensure the access of international experts to the crash site -- I don't have any other reaction than to urge the UN Security Council to pass a resolution inviting Russia to deploy its peacekeepers on the perimeter of the Boeing crash area for security reasons -- if everybody is so sure that only Russia can do anything about it, and it is impossible to do business with the Kiev authorities any longer,” he says.
LATIN AMERICA LEADS HUMANITY
As Chile, Peru, recall envoys from Israel, tyrant Israel earns nothing but hatred...
Israel’s international isolation is growing, as Chile & Peru join other Latin American countries & recall their envoys from Tel Aviv.
"Given the escalation of Israeli military operations in Gaza, the government of Chile, in coordination with others in our region, has decided to call in for consultation Santiago's ambassador for Chile in Tel Aviv, Jorge Montero," the Chilean Foreign Ministry statement says.
The statement adds that Israel's acts in Gaza “breach fundamental norms in international humanitarian law” --- referring to the civilian victims and strikes on hospitals and schools.
A similar statement is also published by the Peruvian Foreign Ministry, condemning the Israeli operation in Gaza.
Santiago and Lima’s move comes nearly two weeks after Brazil and Ecuador recalled their ambassadors, in protest against Israel’s atrocities in the tiny coastal sliver.
Venezuela & Bolivia, who cut ties with Tel Aviv over Israel’s 2009 war on Gaza, have also strongly condemned Israel's actions.
Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela, are among the 29 countries that voted in favor of a probe by the UN Human Rights Council into Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.
Kiev's bloody eastern Ukraine campaign
Ukraine's President Poroshenko has called a ceasefire within a 40km radius of where the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crashed.
Russia urges all parties in east Ukraine to lay down their arms while inspectors investigate what caused the tragedy.
Kiev is ready for a cease-fire “now,” US Secretary of State John Kerry claims, after seeing Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, in Washington.
Kerry says Poroshenko is also ready to start talks with militias in the southeast.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in a 'phone conversation with Kerry, had earlier urged Washington to influence Kiev to achieve a prompt ceasefire and start negotiations with the southeast.
Lavrov stressed the need to return to the accord agreed at Geneva on July 17, including an end to the use of force, and to promptly start an open, accountable process of constitutional reform which includes all the regions of Ukraine.
The two diplomats agreed to implement the UNSC resolution which demands an international, independent investigation into the causes of the MH17 disaster & a ceasefire in the region surrounding the crash site.
Today, Monday, a nusing home is hit, killing several residents, and Kiev immediately blames anti-fascist self defence forces, in Gorlovka.
31 civilans were killed there over the last 24 hours, as Kiev's forces pound the city with high powered shells and rockets - with no guidance systems.
ISRAEL AND USA COMMIT WAR CRIMES
The Israeli regime is intensifying its attacks on hospitals in the Gaza Strip, as a shortage of medicines hits the tiny besieged enclave.
Basman Alashi, director of Wafa Hospital, says hospitals there cannot cope with the rising number of wounded in Israeli attacks.
The humanitarian aid body ‘Doctors without Borders’ (MSF) strongly condemns Israel’s attack, particularly on Gaza’s Shifa hospital, where women and children were sheltering.
“Targeting hospitals and their surroundings is completely unacceptable, and a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law,” says Tommaso Fabbri, MSF’s head of the mission in the Occupied Territories, adding:
“Whatever the circumstances, health facilities & medical staff must be protected & respected. But in Gaza today, hospitals are not the safe havens they should be.”
Israeli warplanes & tanks have already bombed several hospitals across the besieged strip, over the past few days.
Senior Palestinian officials describe the multiple attacks as a "brazen violation of international norms."
The UN says over 80% of Palestinian fatalities have been civilians, including over 250 children.
The UN Human Rights Council recently passed a resolution, calling for an independent probe into Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.
The US Congress says that it is completely on Israel's side, and will support it "come what may." The Congress is about to now approve a rise in war weaponry funding to "help" Israel's Gaza slaughter.
Iran's leader says no human being can stay indifferent to the slaughter of the innocent women and children of Gaza.
Massacre of Gaza's Civilians Continues
At least 100 people have been killed by Israeli shelling since midnight, as Operation Protective Edge enters its 22nd day on Tuesday.
The Israeli Defense Forces bombing of Khan Yunis and Rafah in southern Gaza has almost completely erased five whole families, writes Haaretz.
Reporters present at the site of the intense shelling say that for now it is impossible to tell for sure how many people have been killed, as many are missing or buried under the rubble of ruined buildings.
The attacks on Gaza intensified shortly after Prime Minister Netanyahu announced Monday that Israel had to be prepared for a “prolonged” campaign and warned that Israeli troops will not leave Gaza until they destroy Hamas' tunnel network. Ahead of the strikes, the Israeli army advised Palestinians to flee their homes in areas around Gaza City.
Palestinians, including Hamas, reportedly offered a 24-hour truce in war-torn Gaza. The groups added that - at a UN request - they would prolong it for 72 hours.
Late on Monday, it was reported that it was the PLO that actually declared a unilateral 24-hour truce to push forward the Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire and advance its implementation.
Hamas’ spokesperson in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, denounced reports that it had agreed to the PLO-announced truce.
“We will not agree to calm until Israel commits to quiet. If we get an international commitment regarding an Israeli agreement for calm, we will consider it,” the spokesperson says, as cited by Haaretz.
Israeli attack knocks out Gaza’s only power plant
The only power plant providing electricity for the people in the besieged Gaza Strip is knocked out of commission by an Israeli attack.
“Gaza’s sole power plant stopped working due to Israeli shelling last night, which damaged the steam generator & later hit the fuel tanks which set them on fire,” Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil, the deputy director of the energy authority in the tiny coastal enclave, says on Tuesday.
Huge fires raged near the plant on Tuesday morning, reports say. Fire service vehicles are reportedly still unable to reach the area.
The damage to the power plant worsens the huge damage to infrastructure inflicted during the 22 days of Israel’s deadly offensive in Gaza.
The Palestinian death toll from Israel’s military offensive against the blockaded Gaza Strip has now risen to at least 1,130.
A Palestinian health official announced the new figure on Tuesday morning. Over 6,000 have been injured in the Israeli onslaught.
Israel says 53 Israelis have been killed so far; however, Palestinian fighters say they have killed over a hundred Israeli soldiers.
The new figures come as nearly 30 Palestinians are killed and dozens more injured in the latest Israeli attacks overnight. The houses of several Hamas officials, including that of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, also came under fire.
“My house is not more valuable than the houses of other people: destroying stones will not break our determination,” Haniyeh said in a statement after the attack.
At dawn on Tuesday, plumes of smoke rose above the Al-Shorouq media building in central Gaza City, which houses the offices of the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa television and radio. Hours earlier, at least 2 major blasts hit the media building.
On Monday at least 10 people, mostly children, lost their lives, as Israel struck Shati refugee camp on the edge of Gaza City. Israeli tanks also killed 5 people, including three children and a 70-year-old woman, and wounded 50 in Jebaliya town, according to the Red Crescent.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says Tel Aviv needs “to be ready for a prolonged campaign.”
Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri reacts by saying, “His threats don't scare Hamas or the Palestinian people, and the occupation will pay the price for the massacres against civilians and children.”
Israel has rejected a recent call by the United Nations for a ceasefire, which the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas had endorsed.
TEN ISRAELI SOLDIERS KILLED
As Netanyahu refused to accept UN security Council resolutions calling for a ceasefire, ten Israeli soldiers were killed on Monday, fighting Palestinian resistance fighters.
However, the heavy Israeli onslaught on the besieged Gaza strip, continues regardless.
Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, says in a statement that Palestinian resistance fighters killed the soldiers east of Shujaiyya.
The military wing of Hamas says its fighters infiltrated "behind enemy lines" and killed the soldiers.
The Israeli army also issues a statement after the incident, saying Hamas fighters infiltrated into Israel through a tunnel and opened fire on Israeli soldiers.
Elsewhere, in the city of Eshkol, at least four Israelis were killed and nearly a dozen others injured after Palestinian rockets hit the city.
The Israeli army has confirmed the casualties, which brings the total number of Israelis killed since the beginning of the war on Gaza to over 50, with 140 wounded.
Palestinian fighters, however, say they have killed over a hundred Israeli soldiers alone.
Palestinian rockets targeted several other Israeli cities including Be’er Sheva, Ofakim, Haifa and Ashkelon. Resistance brigades also fired over 200 rockets on the Nahal Oz region in the Negev desert.
MORSI PRAISES RESISTANCE
Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi admires the Palestinian "resistance" in the 21-day Israeli war on Gaza Strip.
"A full salute to those who resist and to the revolutionaries," Morsi says on his Facebook page.
"Our compass is set on supporting Palestine against the usurping occupier and we are with any resistance against any occupier."
He also praises his supporters for "the pursuit of their revolution."
Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, was toppled in 2013 in a military coup led by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt’s current president and then, its army chief.
In Gaza, Israeli warplanes are pounding sites in the enclave for the 22nd day.
Medics say over 1,095 Palestinians have been killed so far in Israel's attacks and over 6,500 others, injured.
Top Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh says the besieged Gaza Strip will become “a graveyard for Israeli soldiers” who are committing crimes against Palestinians.
Ukrainian attempt to take control of Boeing crash site to violate UN resolution - Russia
The Ukrainian military’s attempt to take control of the site where a Malaysian Airlines Boeing recently crashed, violates UN Security Council resolution 2166, says Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin.
Kiev's announcement of the Boeing's black box data also violates ICAO rules, says the ITAR-TASS news agency.
Resolution 2166 specifically says the Security Council “condemns in the strongest terms the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on 17 July in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine resulting in the tragic loss of 298 lives” and “supports efforts to establish a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines.”
The Council also “demands that the armed groups in control of the crash site & the surrounding area refrain from any actions that may compromise the integrity of the crash site” and “demands that all military activities, including by armed groups, be immediately ceased in the immediate area surrounding the crash site to allow security & safety for the international investigation.”
Mr Churkin enthusiastically greets news that the Netherlands and Ukraine have signed up to establish an international mission believed to ensure experts' security at the site of the plane crash. He says Russia supports the idea to send a police and investigator group there.
“We said we were ready to immediately adopt a UN Security Council resolution that would support such steps on the part of the Dutch and Australians.
They responded to us that they want to first of all agree about everything with the Kiev authorities, which is quite logical,” he says.
“But then, as far as I understand the situation, the Ukrainian side started protracting the talks. I don’t know if it was dictated by their plans to seize the crash site --- or for other reasons. But the fact remains - they could have signed the agreement minutes ago,” Churkin says.
The diplomat stresses that Russia wants a thorough and unbiased investigation into the tragedy and that it helped the work on the relevant UN Security Council resolution. “We don’t want anyone to interfere in the investigation,” he says.
Churkin says warfare that the Ukrainian army keeps conducting in the vicinity of the crash site “is clearly out of line with the resolution that the UN Security Council adopted July 21.”
He says Kiev’s actions are beyond reasonable limits. “They shell residential neighborhoods with long-range artillery. Civilians die in tens,” he says.
Churkin recalls that Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko pledged his army would not open fire on civilians. “But they DO hit civilians, plus residential districts, apartment buildings, hospitals and parks,” he says. He urges Kiev to think of its fellow Ukrainian nationals.
“If the goal of the operation is to reunite the Ukrainian nation, then Kiev is making a tragic mistake that may have very serious long-term consequences,” the Russian permanent representative warns.
Russian General Staff Main Operations Directorat chief Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartapolov says a Buk system was discovered in the locality of Zaroshchinskaya (50 kilometers east of Donetsk) on the morning of July 17th, yet was not there on July 18th.
Kartapolov urges Ukraine's military to explain the Buk's movements and stresses once again that Russia has not supplied the missile system, or any other weapons, to anti-coup militiamen. He calls video footage allegedly showing Buk’s movement from Ukraine to Russia, fake.
During the military operation, conducted since mid- April, Kiev has used armored vehicles, plus heavy artillery and attack aviation. Hundreds of civilians have been killed and over 1,300 wounded in it.
Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people forced to flee Ukraine’s war-torn Southeast.
ISRAEL's UNLIMITED CEASEFIRE A LIE
Israeli strikes leave 10 more Palestinians dead in Gaza
At least 10 people, mostly children, are killed today, when the Israeli military hit a medical complex and a playground in the blockaded Gaza Strip.
Palestinian media and medical sources say an Israeli missile struck the building in the compound housing al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on Monday. The building is close to the main gate of the hospital.
Another missile reportedly landed in a playground in Gaza City's Shati refugee camp, where a group of children was running around, leaving several children dead.
Statistics published by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) show that 22 hospitals, clinics and medical centres have been hit and damaged by Israeli shells since Israel’s attacks began on July 8th.
The World Health Organization said in a statement issued just before the hospital strike, that it was “appalled by the continuing trend for healthcare facilities, staff and vehicles to come under direct fire in Gaza since the escalation of violence on the 8th of July 2014,” adding, “It is vital for health facilities and staff to be able to perform their life- saving work without fear of attack.”
Palestinian medics say that nearly 1,050 people, including a large number of women and children, have lost their lives in the Israeli onslaught since July 8th and more than 6,200 have been wounded.
Israel says 43 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the war, but Hamas sources say it is over 100.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday dismissed a UN-brokered truce proposal endorsed by Hamas, saying Tel Aviv will take "whatever action necessary: to fight Palestine's resistance fighters.
Israel embarks on "unlimited ceasefire" policy in Gaza, (or so Netanyahu said)
Israel is now on an "unlimited ceasefire" after 21 days of conflict and rising world pressure to halt hostilities, an Israeli official stated on Sunday.
According to the official, the new policy meant that the Israeli military would halt its deliberate attacks on Gaza, and open fire only in retaliation for militant attacks.
"We're now on an 'unlimited ceasefire,' as decided by the political echelon," a source said. The PM's Office was 'not available' to comment.
However, according to local media reports the military did appear to be holding fire from the ground and air, but continued to destroy Hamas' cross-border tunnels.
The rocket fire from Gaza declined sharply Monday morning, with a single incident in which a rocket was fired this morning at the city of Ashkelon on Israel's southern coast, and hit an open field.
A spokesperson with the Israeli military said that after the incident, "Israel Defense Forces retaliated towards Beit Lahyia area, from which the rocket was fired."
The new lull policy came one day after US President Barack Obama spoke by 'phone with Israeli PM B. Netanyahu, demanding "an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement" brokered by Egypt.
On Monday morning, the UN Security Council joined Obama's call and urged "an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed assistance" in Gaza.
The pressure for a ceasefire came after Israel and Hamas on Sunday launched fresh attacks at each other, despite proposals for another temporary truce.
After intense US and UN mediation efforts, both sides agreed on a 12- hour ceasefire Saturday, but that lull could not be sustained.
Intl. teams find ‘no violations’ by Russia along Ukrainian border
Inspectors who came to check the state of Russian troops along the Ukrainian borders, have found no violations, Russia’s Ministry of Defense says.
This came as a response to the US allegation that Russia had amassed 15,000 troops on the Ukraine/Russia border.
No ‘rainbow families’: Canadian fertility clinic bans patient from using non-white donor
A single Canadian woman, who sought in vitro fertilization in the only local clinic in Calgary, has been prohibited from using donors of a different ethnicity, to avoid “creating rainbow families.”
"WE FIGHT ILLEGITIMATE OCCUPIERS" NOT JEWS
Hamas Political Bureau chief Khaled Meshaal demands that Israel lift its blockade of Gaza, and warns that “Palestinians cannot coexist with the occupiers.”
“I do not coexist with the occupiers," Meshaal says in an interview.
He adds that the Palestinians are not fighting Israelis because they are “Jews,” saying, "We are not actually fighting the Jews because they are Jews, per se. We do not fight any other races. We fight the occupiers.”
The Palestinian death toll from 20 days of aerial and ground assaults on Gaza, now stands at 1,062, with over 6,000 injured.
Gaza has been blockaded by the Israeli regime since June 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in standards of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment & unrelenting poverty.
The apartheid regime of Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights.
The Orthodox Jews who do not embrace Israel, say The Torah expressly forbids any separate Jewish state's existence, especially on land already occupied by another people.
UKRAINE "FALSE FLAG" COMING...
This weekend, spokesperson Anton Guryanov, of the South East Ukraine independent authorities, issued the following statement:
"According to our information, the Nazis of the Kiev Junta plan to conduct a major terrorist act in the next several days. Or a series of terrorist acts, on the territory of Ukraine".
"For the past several days, Mr. Avakov and his assistant Shkiryak have conducted preparations for this, in the mass media. The goal is to blame the terrorist acts on Russia, and to introduce a total dictatorship regime on Ukraine's territory."
"The maximum goal is to create the conditions for a NATO military intervention, and of the Polish-Lithuanian contingent, in particular".
The operation's code name is "Spalokhutemreve", and the Resistance Forces state that Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) Major Aleksei Nikonov, is the person in charge of the operation.
The Resistance quotes as its source for this, as "high-ranking officials in Kiev" who fear for their future, after Poroshenko has fallen.
The Resistance warns the Ukrainian people:
"What should the common people, now listening to this address, do? In the next several days, do not visit places with public concentrations of people. Try not to use public transportation either, or use it as sparingly as possible. In particular, this concerns the metro system.
"Pay close attention to looking after your children. Look after your buildings' cellars & entranceways, to ensure that no strangers go there, and that no unknown cargos are deposited in your cellars and entranceways. Please pass on this information to your acquaintances, friends and neighbours - to anyone that you can. And may God help us".
Please stop fighting worldwide: Pope
Pope Francis makes a direct appeal for fighting to end all around the world.
During his weekly Angelus address in Saint Peter's Square on Sunday, the pontiff makes an emotional plea for peace around the world, saying his thoughts are on the Middle East, Iraq & Ukraine, in particular.
“Please stop!, I ask you with all my heart, it's time to stop. Stop, please,” he says.
The Pope makes no direct reference to the blood- shed in the Gaza Strip, but his comments come after a humanitarian truce, brokered by the UN, broke down on Sunday.
“Brothers and sisters, never war, never war! I am thinking above all of children, who are deprived of the hope of a worthwhile life, of a future,” the pope says.
“Dead children, injured children, mutilated children, orphaned children, children whose toys are things left over from war, children who can't smile anymore,” he adds.
Sunday - Dozens, including 2 children, die, as Kiev troops shell Gorlovka in E. Ukraine
At least 13 civilians and probably dozens more, are killed today by continuing artillery barrages, as Kiev's troops close in on the militia positions around Gorlovka city in eastern Ukraine.
A 1-year old - killed next to her parents - and a 5-year old, are among the dead, according to information published by Donetsk's regional administration. Several local journalists on the ground, have reported that as many as 30 have been killed, as fighting continues.
Government troops reached the outskirts of the city of 250,000 people late on Thursday, and pushed militants back into positions inside residential areas.
From about 5am Sunday morning, heavy artillery shells began to explode along- side several of the main highways.
"They were aiming for our headquarters, but missed and hit residential areas instead," a local militant source reports.
“One of the mortars hit the top floor of a popular supermarket with customers inside. Another hit exploded in a courtyard outside an apartment block, and another, next to a maternity hospital. We still don’t know how many are dead ---- there are ambulances everywhere,” local resident Sergey, who did not want to give his surname for fear of reprisals, states.
“My house has been reduced to rubble, and one of my in-laws has a piece of shrapnel lodged in his leg, while another has eye damage,” says Vera, another local resident, by telephone.
Hundreds of houses are without electricity and water, after infrastructure lines were hit, but now the streets of the city are deserted, as civilians cower in their flats.
“Food supplies are increasingly scarce in the city. In the past few days - black market traders seem to have appeared out of nowhere,” writes local blogger, Egor Voronov.
Officials from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic say the government is using powerful but imprecise Grad missiles in densely populated areas.
Kiev’s Anti-Terrorist Operation Headquarters are making a counter-accusation, claiming that anti- government forces are responsible for “bloody acts of terrorism.”
“The criminals are firing indiscriminately upon civilians to recruit more fighters to their cause, and to discredit the Ukrainian government,” officials say on their ATO Facebook page.
ATO officials continue the message, saying that clashes are ongoing in the rural areas around Gorlovka, and claim that all escape routes from the city are now cut off.
Yet DPR field commanders Igor Girkin & Igor Bezler appear to have slipped out of the city, according to sources in the Ukrainian army.
The report comes despite an earlier claim by the government that a targeted airstrike succeeded in destroying their temporary headquarters in a government building.
On Saturday, Ukraine's President Poroshenko (the man who paid for the Kiev riots and coup) promised that the Ukrainian army – which was under-equipped and under-trained from the start of the conflict – has now reached battle readiness, and promised that “new tactics” have been adopted that would allow “large- scale civilian losses” to be avoided.
The Russia-based IGCP monitoring group has concluded, on the basis of collated OSCE & ATO data, that over 1,100 Ukrainians have died in the conflict, since the toppling of Viktor Yanukovich, in February.
Hamas agreed to UN-proposed 24-hour humanitarian truce
According to the media, Hamas would halt fire for 24 hours from 11am GMT, on Sunday.
Afterwards, both sides resumed attacks.
The Israeli army resumed strikes on Gaza 3 hours before the truce, in response to rocket attacks by Palestinian militants on Israel, the army’s press office said.
“We are resuming air, sea & ground strikes on Gaza facilities, due to incessant rocket attacks during the humanitarian truce,” Israel's army press office said.
The Israeli army reported 7 rockets being fired from the Palestinian enclave on Israel on Sunday morning.
Two were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, while the other five exploded on Israeli territory.
A rocket that exploded in Petah Tikva town in central Israel wounded one Israeli citizen. Another three rockets were fired by Hamas militants on Israel on Saturday night.
Mortar fire by Palestinian militants on Saturday killed one and wounded another, Israeli soldier.
Kiev intensifies combat operations in MH17 crash zone to evade exposure - DNR PM
Kiev is seeking to evade exposure of the truth over the Malaysian MH17 crash near Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, by intensifying its combat operations around the crash site, the press centre of Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) said on Sunday, citing DPR's Prime Minister, Alexander Borodai.
Earlier, the mass media reported that the Ukrainian military planned to take control over the Malaysian jet crash area, to which end, they were shelling Gorlovka and other settlements controlled by the DPR forces.
Intensified combat operations “are irrefutable evidence, proving that Kiev seeks to destroy all evidence of the crime committed by its military,” Borodai was quoted as saying.
“The junta is in panic, the only thing that matters to them now, is to evade exposure. Kiev’s actions run counter to [President] Poroshenko’s decision to declare a 40-kilometre zone around the crash site, as ceasefire territory.”
Earlier on Sunday, after visiting the Malaysian embassy in Ukraine, President Poroshenko told journalists he had ordered a stop to all combat operations in a 40-kilometre zone around the Malaysian Boeing crash.
A Boeing-777 of the Malaysia Airlines (flight MH17) en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed on July 17 in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk Region, 60 kms from the Russian border, in the combat zone of fighting between Donetsk self-defence forces and the Ukrainian army.
All passengers and crew members on board the plane - 298 people - died. Travelling on the plane were the citizens of ten countries, including 193 Dutchmen, 27 Australians and 10 UK nationals.
Israel's deadly strikes "mowing the lawn"
Hamas said it would not accept any long-term ceasefire, until Israeli troops withdrew from the Gaza Strip. It also demanded the return of Palestinians to their homes, and the free movement of ambulances.
The Palestinian death toll from three weeks of Israeli strikes has reached about 1,052 and at least 6,000 Palestinians have been injured in the onslaught.
Israel has been carrying out military attacks against the blockaded Gaza Strip since July 8th.
While Israel says 43 Israelis have been killed in the war, Hamas sources put the number at over 100 dead.
Palestinian rockets reach deeper into Israel
Rockets fired by Palestinian resistance fighters from the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the Israeli regime’s military strikes against the besieged coastal sliver, are reaching deeper into Israel each time the two sides fight.
On Sunday, rocket warning alarms went off in several Israeli cities including Petah Tikva, Hod HaSharon and Tel Aviv.
The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, fired five Grad rockets into the port city of Ashdod, about 40 kilometers (24 miles) south of Tel Aviv. There are no reports of the number of casualties.
EX-GEORGIA PRESIDENT HIDING IN KIEV
Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has been summoned to Georgia’s Prosecutor’s Office for questioning, the ex-president’s mother said on Sunday.
Saakashvili who is currently staying in Kiev, was summoned for the first time in March, but he refused to come to Georgia, saying he "does not intend to come to Tbilisi and cooperate with the Main Prosecutor’s Office."
“A European Union official & my friends holding senior positions in the US leadership, earlier advised me to leave Georgia -- due to fears of the institution of criminal proceedings,” Saakhashvili said.
“The representative of the Main Prosecutor’s Office handed this document to me. He acted very politely,” his mother said Sunday.
Georgia’s Main Prosecutor’s Office announced in March that Saakashvili had been summoned as a witness over several cases: eg, the death of Georgian prime minister Zurab Zhvania, the special operation to suppress the rebellion of a battalion of Georgia’s army in Mukhrovani in 2009, illegal acts against the family of business- man Badri Patarkatsishvili, and other cases.
Saakashvili has been staying in Ukraine for the past 6 months where he reportedly is an "unofficial adviser" to Kiev's regime.
If he fails to turn up on Monday, he will be put on the same Interpol wanted list, as several members of Kiev's neo-fascist coup-imposed regime are, already.
Experts urge learning lessons from world wars
Over 200 historians are urging people around the globe, to learn lessons from the two world wars --- and avoid the outbreak of a third one.
Experts from the US, Russia, Serbia, Germany, Japan and other countries held an international conference in Beijing to retrospect World War I and II ahead of the 100th anniversary of WWI, which falls on Monday (tomorrow).
As in 1914, some traces of old security concepts can still be seen in international affairs in 2014, warns Li Chenggang, associate professor of the Academy of Military Sciences of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.
"The US is treating the countries which are rising quickly in a time of globalization as those powers did a century ago, at a time of imperialism and realpolitik," he says.
To ensure its own absolute security, the US has frequently carried out military interventions in other countries, resulting in suspicion, envy and hostility among powers, Li adds, urging people to avoid the same mistakes as those made 100 years ago.
Historians also warn of a revival of militarism in Japan. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policies threaten the peace of Japan and lead it down a dangerous path, says Nakayama Toshio, of the Clausewitz Society of Japan.
Abe Administration's strategy of cornering China by aligning with other nations is not only a comeback under the wing of US' hegemony, but also a demonstration of the Japan-US alliance in the 21st century, that means more than a resurgence of Japanese militarism, he adds.
At the conference, Chinese scholars refuted the "China threat theory," which compares emerging China with the rising Germany that challenged the system, before World War I.
"The view that China is the challenger to the existing world order is extremely wrong as it didn't, doesn't and won't follow the footsteps of those big powers to seek hegemony once they grew powerful," says Lyu Jie, professor with the Chinese Military Academy.
Israel: War criminal
In Israel’s latest attack on Gaza, the Tel Aviv government warned hundreds of thousands of inhabitants of the north of the Gaza Strip to abandon their homes, as the zone would be attacked by bomber jets from Tel Aviv.
The military offensive of Israel’s Zionist army has killed over 1,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the majority, civilians, and between 25-30%, of all those killed, were children.
This has caused an exodus towards the south of Gaza, worsening the already catastrophic conditions in which Palestine's population live.
Thousands of wounded are in over-crowded hospitals, with a scarcity of vital medicines, shortages of water and food and only one access point on Egypt's border, from which Gaza can communicate with the rest of the world.
Over the days of the military offensive, called Border Protector, homes and buildings have been destroyed; with Israel's air force picking - among its targets – a UN hospital, a school and a mosque.
Israeli soldiers have not killed a single leader of Hamas or the Islamic Jihad - the supposed targets of the Tel Aviv government - which has not even been able to significantly reduce the pace at which homemade missiles are fired from Gaza's borders into Israeli territory.
Dozens of these missiles – which cause fear in Israeli neighborhoods bordering Gaza, but possess an insignificant destructive capacity - continue to be launched daily.
They are the only possible defensive response available to Palestinians.
After 2 previous grand scale military offensives against Gaza (2008-2009 and 2012), based on the same pretexts, Tel Aviv authorities have been obliged to admit that no massive bombardments or military raids can stop the manufacture or use of rudimentary arms by Palestinians.
The only real objective of the current attack seems to be to kill civilians, as journalist Gideon Levy writes in Haaretz:
"Israel’s real purpose in the Gaza operation? To kill Arabs," given that overthrowing the Hamas government is an illusory and illegitimate objective, as well as undesirable, since the alternative could be far worse.
Israel sincerely believes that if it kills hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, calm will be restored.
This strategy, as well as the destruction of homes "is a war crime, even if the Israeli solders label them as control and command centres or conference rooms," states Levy, renowned for his critical stance toward the Tel Aviv government.
The brutality and cruelty perpetrated against the defenseless population of Gaza are unfathomable, but the passivity and indifference of the US and EU in the face of a genocidal military operation, is also incomprehensible.
The Western powers mounted campaigns against Syria's government and intervened militarily in Libya to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, for a lot less.
The suffering of the Palestinian population clearly demonstrates the obscenity and hypocrisy of the US and Europe, both accomplices overlooking the war crimes perpetuated by Tel Aviv in martyred Gaza.
Russia Delivering Weapons to Iraq to Thwart Terrorists
Russia has begun supplying military helicopters & fighters jets to Iraq, a report says, after Iraq's defence minister visited Moscow to press for equipment to thwart a terrorist offensive.
"A number of contracts with Iraq have entered into force and are being fulfilled," the Interfax agency quotes a source in Russia's defense export establishment as saying. Deliveries of Mi-35 helicopter gunships and Su-25 fighters that provide close air support for ground troops, have begun, adds the source.
Iraq also has contracts for Mi-28 attack helicopters and mobile Pantsir-S1 surface- to-air and anti-aircraft artillery systems.
Russia's ambassador to Baghdad Ilya Mogunov has said he believes up to 10 Sukhoi fighter jets will be delivered by the end of summer.
The Russian defence industry source tells Interfax that given the increased tensions following the downing of the Malaysian passenger jet over a region in Ukraine controlled by pro-Russia rebels, the US may pressure Baghdad to cancel its orders for Russian weaponry.
3 MORE TEL AVIV TROOPS KILLED
The Israel military confirms three more deaths among its soldiers on Saturday.
The soldiers were killed in attacks by Palestinian resistance fighters.
The three were identified as Roy Peles, Avraham Grintzvaig, and Gal Bason.
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas puts Israel’s military fatalities at over 100.
Death toll from Israel war crimes in Gaza surpasses 1,000.
Palestinian rescue workers pulled over 100 bodies from the ruins of homes on Saturday.
A temporary truce was in effect to allow the delivery of humanitarian supplies to the impoverished region.
The UN says over 80% of Palestinian fatalities were civilians, including 200+ children killed.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has lashed out at Israel, for targeting ambulances & medical staff in the beseiged Palestinian territory.
Separately, in the occupied West Bank, Israeli troops attacked Palestinian protesters after a funeral ceremony for 9 people killed by Israeli forces, during pro-Gaza protests on Friday.
Thousands of angry protesters responded by throwing stones at the heavily armed troops.
At least 11 people have been killed by occupying troops in the West Bank over the past three days.
The UN Human Rights Council has recently passed a resolution calling for an independent probe into Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.
A prominent French lawyer has filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on behalf of the Palestinian government, against the Israeli army, over its obvious warcrimes.
GERMAN PILOTS SLAM RESUMPTION OF FLIGHTS TO ISRAEL
The German pilots’ trade union Cockpit has slammed a decision by Lufthansa to resume flights to Tel Aviv.
The union’s spokesperson, Joerg Handwerg, criticized the move by Lufthansa, Saturday, saying commercial flights should not fly in warzones, or regions in crisis.
He said that many crew members were questioning the decision, as the security situation in the region remains a major concern.
Handwerg said Tel Aviv's advisory warnings were lifted, despite the Israeli war on the besieged Gaza Strip continuing, and the flights continue --- for "political reasons".
The remarks from Cockpit came after Lufthansa and Air Berlin said they would resume flights to and from Tel Aviv’s international Ben Gurion Airport on Saturday, after a 3-day suspension.
A number of the world’s leading airlines also suspended flights to Israel’s main airport.
Despite the instability and insecurity surrounding the area, US airlines resumed their flights to Tel Aviv on July 25th. Washington had suspended all flights to Ben Gurion Airport, after a rocket fired by Palestinians landed near the airport on July 22.
Israeli jets have hit the blockaded Gaza Strip since July 8th. On July 17, thousands of Israeli soldiers launched a ground invasion into the densely-populated strip.
The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian resistance movement, launched retaliatory attacks against Israel.
1,000+ Palestinians, over 80% of whom were civilians, died after the offensive began, and 6,000 more have been injured.
ISIS militants blow up Prophet Jonah's tomb in Iraq
The shrine of Jonas – revered by Christians and Muslims alike – was turned “to dust” near Iraq’s Mosul. Footage of the event was posted online, and witnesses say it took ISIS militants just an hour to fill the mosque with explosives.
“ISIS militants have destroyed the Prophet Younis (Jonah) shrine east of Mosul city after they seized control of the mosque completely,” an anonymous security source tells Iraq-based al-Sumaria News.
Muslims know the tomb as the shrine of Younis, and Christians refer to it as the tomb of Jonah.
Jonah is renowned for having been swallowed by a fish or a whale in the Bible’s Old Testament, with a similar story being present in the Koran.
The site upon which the mosque had been built dated back to the eighth century BC.
“[The] Islamic State completely destroyed the shrine of Nabi Yunus after telling local families to stay away and closing roads 500 meters from the shrine,” an anonymous official from the Sunni Endowment, which manages Sunni religious affairs in Iraq, tells AFP.
After evacuating people from the area, they blew it up in front of a large crowd.
Several religious sites have been destroyed in recent days, but the official citing the Yahya Ibn al-Qassem, Aoun al-Din, and Prophet Daniel shrines as the most important says– “the worst destruction was of Nabi Yunus, which has been turned to dust.”
30 shrines and 15 hussainias and mosques in the Mosul area have been destroyed by IS, Sunni Takfiri terrorists, in recent months.
The tombstone itself was smashed at the start of July.
"Elements of ISIS [have] controlled the mosque of the Prophet Younis since they invaded Mosil,” Ninevah official, Zuhair Al-Chalabi, is quoted as saying, by IraqiNews.com.
Last month, Sunni militants from IS took northern and western Iraq, destroying mosques and shrines and aiming for the society which held, in Islam's early days.
On Friday, the group demanded that all Mosul's women must wear full face veils or risk severe punishment.
“The conditions imposed on clothes and grooming was only to end the pretext of debauchery resulting from grooming and overdressing. This is not a restriction on women's freedom, but it prevents women falling into humiliation and vulgarity,” IS states.
‘Google must not be left to censor history’ – Wikipedia founder
The power to “censor history” should not be left in Google’s hands, Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales warns, after the search engine giant reveals it has approved 90,000+ ‘right to be forgotten’ requests.
Wales says a European Court ruling allowing people to have links scrubbed from the search engine's index, is too "open-ended." He also criticises the law for being unclear.
“The law as it stands right now is quite confusing. We've this one ruling of the ECJ (European Court of Justice) which is very open-ended and very hard to interpret,” he tells BBC Radio 4's Today program.
In May, the ECJ said links to irrelevant, outdated data should be erased from searches on request, sparking fears that news stories and other public information could be concealed from public view.
On Friday, it was revealed that half of all ‘right to be forgotten’ requests had been granted. So far, the internet giant has had requests from 91,000 individuals to block search results for 328,000 websites.
“There is a significant, difficult and philosophical question around the balance between privacy and free speech," Wales said at the time of the ruling. "I think what this decision highlights is that we've got (that balance) all wrong."
Wales says the biggest problem is the law as it stands directs Google to censor links to information “that is clearly public” from reputable news sources.
“That is a very dangerous path to go down, and if we want to go down a path where we are going to be censoring history, there is no way we should leave a private company like Google in charge of making those decisions.”
Wales argues that personal information in this instance is being confused with private information, including personal health and financial information, which in fact, should remain outside the public domain.
“That's a completely different category,” he says.
Google says that over 30% of requests were rejected outright, while additional information was requested in 15% of cases. At this rate, links to 164,000 websites will not be provided via the Google search engine.
Google says the French submitted the most: 17,500 requests relating to 58,000 websites.
16,500 Germans sent 57,000 requests, while the British came third, with 12,000 people submitting requests for 44,000 links.
Spanish, Italian and Dutch citizens submitted 8,000, 7,500 and 5,500 requests, respectively.
Google has previously expressed its displeasure with the ECJ ruling, claiming it conflicts with the firm’s principles, though their hands were tied when it came to implementation.
Google CEO Larry Page even goes so far as to say the decision could encourage repressive regimes to crack down on internet freedom.
According to the Wall Street Journal, other firms like Microsoft have watched Google closely to see how it interprets the ECJ decision.
European politicians, who are debating a law which could potentially tighten up the loose interpretation of the ECJ ruling, are keeping an eye on Google as well.
Over 40 mortar shells ‘fired to kill’ into Russia from Ukraine
At least 45 mortar shells fired on targets in the Russian Rostov-on-Don region have been unleashed by Ukraine’s army, Russia’s border officials say.
The barrages destroyed many houses and forced the evacuation of civilians.
Investigators say they were examining the site of a previous shelling near Primiusskiy hamlet on the southwestern tip of Russia Wednesday, when a barrage of rockets went off from the other side of the border.
“There is no doubt that those shooting from the Ukrainian side picked their target, and tried to kill Russian security officials,” says Vladimir Markin, Investigative Committee representative.
“It's only the poor training of Ukrainian gunners, and the timely evacuation of Russian officials under the cover of armored vehicles, that thwarted their plan.”
Six houses in the village were damaged, and one woman received concussion as a result of a nearby explosion.
“The barrage is continuing from the other side of the border and its intensity hasn't decreased,” says Vasily Malaev, the regional border service spokesperson.
Shells from artillery fights in Ukraine frequently land on Russian territory and have done so ever since summer began. Primiusskiy was shelled previously, just two days ago.
Earlier this week, a temporary refugee camp for Ukrainians fleeing the war was relocated further from the border, after several mortars landed nearby.
A man was killed and two received serious injuries, when a Ukrainian shell hit a house in the region, earlier this month.
The Russian Foreign Ministry then, described the incident as “an act of aggression” and threatened “irreversible consequences”... if the attacks were not discontinued.
Ukrainian officials have denied responsibility, and say that it is Russia using its artillery to support anti-Kiev militants in the Donetsk region across the border.
Ukraine used phosphorous incendiaries, cluster bombs against cities – Russian military
Kiev's troops have used incendiary weapons and cluster bombs against militia-held cities, acts banned by international laws regulating warfare, the Russian military says.
According to Major General Viktor Poznikhir, the deputy commander of the chief operations branch of the Russian General Staff, the Russian military are certain of a number of such attacks by Ukrainian troops.
Those include artillery shelling with incendiary shells on June 12 in Slavyansk, on June 24 and June 29 in Semyonovka and July 7 in Lisichansk.
There were also airstrikes with incendiary bombs on June 21 in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk and on July 23 in Donetsk and shelling with cluster- shells on June 24 in Semyonovka.
“We have sufficient proof that in the cities and villages of Ukraine I mentioned, phosphorus based ammunition was used,” Poznikhir says.
In all those instances characteristic fast-falling clusters of sparks were spotted in the air, and massive fires on the ground were reported, proving that they were not illumination flares.
The evidence behind the ministry’s assessment includes eyewitness accounts, injuries sustained by the victims of the attacks and media reports from Ukraine, the Russian general says.
“Incendiaries were used on residential areas where only civilians were present at the time,” Poznikhir stresses.
“We believe the Ukrainian side wanted to produce a demoralizing effect on the people, and to inflict serious damage to the communal infrastructure, creating conditions for a humanitarian disaster.”
Most of the incidents mentioned by the general happened in or near Slavyansk, once the most defended strongholds of the Ukrainian militia, which for two months held out against a siege by Ukrainian troops.
The city was eventually abandoned by militia forces, which regrouped and fortified other Ukrainian cities. They are under attack now.
Using incendiary weapons against civilians or military objects located in civilian areas is forbidden by Protocol III of the UN Convention on Conventional Weapons.
Ukraine is a signatory to the protocol. Cluster munitions are prohibited by the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but Ukraine did not ratify that agreement.
We terminated ten more Israeli soldiers: Hamas
Al-Qassam Brigades said its fighters killed the Israeli soldiers near the northeastern part of the Gaza Strip in the early hours, this Friday.
The resistance group put the death toll then at about 80, including at least 10 Israeli soldiers it says it killed east of Beit Hanoun, earlier that day.
The latest killings came as the death toll among Israeli troops was on the rise.
The Israeli army confirmed the deaths of just 2 of its soldiers over the 24 hours. The Israeli media said the latest deaths brought to 36, the number of troops killed in Tel Aviv’s onslaught.
The Israeli army had informed the family of a missing soldier that he had been killed. But Qassam Brigades said they'd captured the Israeli soldier, Oron Shaul, in an ambush on Israeli forces in Sheja'iyah neighborhood, east of Gaza, on Saturday.
Israel has kept a tight rein on media outlets, regarding the true number of Israeli soldiers captured or killed during its assault on the besieged coastal enclave.
The climbing death toll of Israeli forces in the assault on Gaza Strip, prompted rising opposition amongst the Israeli public.
International bodies & human rights groups said the Israeli military's actions in Gaza... could amount to war crimes.
US LIES SAYS RUSSIA
Russia slams the US's latest accusations against Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis, calling them a baseless “smear campaign.”
The remarks were made by Russia's Foreign Ministry, in a statement released on Friday.
"We reject unfounded public insinuations" by the US, that Russia is involved in the Ukraine crisis, said Russia's Foreign Ministry.
The statement clearly referred to remarks by US State Department spokesperson Ms Harf:
"We deny the unfounded public insinuations that State Department spokesperson M. Harf repeats day after day," said the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The release by Russia's ministry came a day after Harf said Russia fired artillery shells across the border into eastern Ukraine, where Kiev’s coup forces are fighting anti-fascist self-defence militias.
Moscow denies the US allegations, saying it is Russian territory that's being shelled by Kiev's forces.
Russia reports that dozens of shells have fallen on Russia’s Rostov region, fired by Kiev's forces in Ukraine's eastern regions.
On July 13, artillery shells from Ukraine hit the Rostov area, killing a 46-year-old man and seriously injuring two others.
EU CRAWLS A BIT MORE TO USA
EU ambassadors have reached a deal on widening sanctions against Russia, over the crisis in Ukraine, after a propaganda blitz by the US.
The agreement is made on Friday in Brussels during a second day of talks on expanding sanctions against Russia.
The proposed bans target Russia’s access to EU capital markets and trade in defense, dual-use goods and sensitive technologies.
EU spokesperson Maja Kocijancic says the proposals have been submitted to EU officials to codify into regulations, with EU ambassadors meeting again on July 29th, to review the results.
The EU charges Russia with involvement in the crisis in neighboring Ukraine, where government forces are fighting anti-fascist forces. Moscow rejects any involvement with, or link to, the anti fascist regional militias.
The sanctions come just over a week after the crash of a Malaysian Airlines plane over Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
The US and its allies accuse anti-fascists of downing the civilian airliner. They deny any involvement in the tragedy and accuse Kiev of being responsible for the plane’s crash.
The investigation into the crash has barely begun, yet the crash is already yielding a diplomatic edge to US/UK plans to isolate Russia and weaken Europe's economy.
However, there is a long way to go before Europe's leaders commit themselves to sanctions on gas and other major trade links with Russia.
Ukrainian cabinet appoints acting PM
The Ukrainian cabinet on Friday appoints Deputy PM Volodymyr Groysman as acting prime minister, a day after the incumbent, A. Yatsenyuk, announces his resignation.
Groysman will serve as acting PM until the parliament elects a new interim head of the cabinet, Kiev's press service says.
According to the Ukrainian Constitution, only parliament has the power to dismiss the prime minister by voting within 10 days after receiving a written resignation request.
The Ukrainian parliament's deputy speaker, Ruslan Koshulynsky, says that Yatsenyuk has not tendered an official resignation letter to lawmakers, as of Friday morning.
On Thursday, Yatsenyuk said he was stepping down over parliament's "ineffectiveness" after two political parties withdrew from Ukraine's ruling coalition.
After the announcement, President Poroshenko said there was no reason for Yatsenyuk and the rest of the cabinet to resign and asked lawmakers to pass a vote of confidence in the government.
AL QUDS DAY BRINGS FRESH HOPE
Attack on Gaza leads PNA to adopt street views.
Huge numbers of people in the West Bank responded to a call by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to protest for Gaza.
Fury in the Palestinian street at Israel's attacks has led the PNA to change its long-held stance of seeking calmness in the West Bank.
In the past two weeks, PNA police have thwarted angry Palestinians from marching towards an Israeli settlement near Ramallah to protest at the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.
Citizens criticized President Mahmoud Abbas for describing Hamas's rockets against Israel as "futile", in the first few days of the Israeli operation "Protective Edge", and for saying it gives Israel a reason to attack Gaza.
However, this all changed on Tuesday, when Abbas supported public protests, endorsed the Palestinian militant groups led by Hamas in Gaza and adopted their demands for a cease-fire.
Hamas lists six demands to agree on a truce including lifting the Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the Gaza Strip.
Local observers say this is because members of the PNA's ruling party of Fatah are urging the Palestinian President to listen to the Palestinian street.
"There's a growing sensation of Hamas pride in the West Bank, compared to a disappointment at Abbas's failed approach of peace talks which didn't achieve any tangible result," the Political Science Professor in Al-Quds University, Ahmed Rafiq Awad, says, on al Quds day.
Palestinian parties are now racing to catch up with Hamas' success in challenging the Jewish state and raising military fatalities for Israeli soldiers.
Palestinians all applaud the militant groups' performance in the war with Israel, helping the party to put its truce demands on the table, the analyst says.
People in West Bank cities celebrated Hamas' abducting of an Israeli soldier and the 24-hour ban on US flights to Israel (lifted with indecent haste by the US today) after a missile landed near the only Israeli international airport of Ben Gurion.
This gives Palestinians reason to cheer for Hamas - despite their grief at the deaths caused by Israel.
Awad says it is mainly the internal public pressure from the West Bank that drove the PNA to seek a different approach in the hope of keeping its popularity alive:
"The Palestinian people are important for Abbas. The PNA knows if it doesn't listen to the people, it will lose its reputation and its legitimacy as a representative body for the Palestinians."
Sameeh Hamouda, a political science professor in Birzeit University, says that Israel's crimes against people in Gaza proved to Abbas that Israel designed the attack to break the unity government formed a few weeks prior to the operation, and knows it isn't just aimed at stopping Hamas from firing rockets.
"Abbas does not accept giving in to the Israeli will that wants to keep Palestinians fragmented," he explains.
Analysts say that unity between the West Bank and Gaza, empowers Abbas in any future peace talks with Israel, as it shows him as the leader of all the Palestinian people.
ISRAEL CANNOT ATTACK AGAIN AND AGAIN WITHOUT COSTS RISING
Palestinian resistance fighters launched rocket barrages into Israel, to retaliate for the aerial and ground bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip.
The military wing of Hamas, the Qassam Brigades, fired rockets at different cities & areas, including Tel Aviv, Nitzan, Nitzanim, Ashkelon, S'derot, Bir Am, Ganim, Sdot Negev and Netivot.
Media reports say the attacks triggered red sirens, causing panic among the residents. At least two Israelis were injured, one of them critically, after a rocket hit Eshkol city in the south.
Israel’s US-funded Iron Dome missile system has once again proved vulnerable after failing to intercept retaliatory rockets fired into the occupied territories. The failure of the highly- publicized missile system has sparked panic among Israelis.
Israeli military sources say Palestinian fighters targeted the Hatzerim airbase.
Hamas says Palestinian resistance fighters killed eight Israeli soldiers, east of Tofah, after at least 16 Palestinians were killed, among them seven children, in the Israeli shelling of a UN-run school in Beit Hanoun, where many Palestinians were taking refuge.
Hundreds were injured in the attack.
International organizations and rights groups estimate that civilians made up over 80% of the killed, in the besieged coastal enclave.
Ukraine parliament speaker dissolves Communist party
The Speaker of the US installed parliament, Aleksandr Turchinov, announces that he has just dissolved the Communist party in the Verkhovnaya Rada, RIA Novosti says.
He calls the decision “his historic mission” and cites the fact that their numbers have dwindled to 23 deputies from 33, since the US-backed coup began.
A district court in Kiev was expected to start a hearing Thursday, on the Justice Ministry’s order, banning the Communist Party.
Two Ukrainian parties left the coalition in parliament on Thursday, to let President Petro Poroshenko start the process of holding new parliamentary elections.
The neo-fascist nationalist Svoboda party, and the Udar party of former boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko, announced together that they were leaving the coalition, says Reuters.
They already formed the majority in the current rump parliament.
Ukraine's parliament-appointed PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced his resignation, also, on Thursday.
“In connection with the breakup of the parliamentary coalition, as well as the non-adoption of a number of important bills, I announce my resignation,” he said, on Friday.
Rada speaker, Alexander Turchinov, suggests that deputies submit their candidacy for the post of 'technical PM', to the rump parliament, now.
KIEV FORCES DRAFT 60 YEAR OLD MEN
The decree on a partial military draft, which President Poroshenko signed on Wednesday, signals the agony of the Kiev regime and its inability to resolve the problems of its own homeland in a civilized manner, say experts.
Ukraine's media gave evidence of the great pain which accompanied the endorsement of a third phase of a reservists’ call-up, to join the so-called ‘anti-terrorist operation’.
“President Petro Poroshenko was outraged by the fact that voting in parliament took place with a critically low number of votes,” wrote the Ukraine publication Segodnya.ua.
“The whole country is at war and 210 deputies believe that this war doesn’t concern them,” it quoted him as saying.
The Kiev authorities will not reveal how many reservists will be called up. “The case in hand may be tens of thousands of men in 45 days,” says Nedelya.ua portal, adding that, also, the Verkhovna Rada has now revised the upper age limit for individuals liable to be drafted, to 60 years, from the previous 50 years old.
“This mobilization isn't the first one in Ukraine and will turn out to be even more disastrous than the previous army drafts,” Dr. Vladimir Anokhin, a Vice President at the Academy of Geopolitical Problems in Moscow, states.
“The Ukrainian Army is suffering heavy losses and is short of the most elementary things, like meals and uniforms, plus Kiev doesn’t have the money or resources to maintain the servicemen it has already, while the population subjected to being drafted, doesn’t show any enthusiasm to go to the battlefront,” Dr. Anokhin says.
“When the draft engulfs the age bracket of up to 60 years old, this is simply the military and political agony of the Kiev junta,” he says.
“Meetings of women opposed to this draft are taking place in many regions of the country, because it’s one thing if a fair war is under- way and another thing when your child is called up to take part in a punitive expedition.”
“The latter is a shame on the entire family and everyone in the neighborhood will remember it,” Dr. Anokhin says.
“The losses that the Ukrainian Army is suffering are not measured by the numbers of killed and/ or wounded only,” says Alexander Perendzhiyev, a member of the Association of Military Political Scientists. “It includes deserters suffering from enormous stress and morally degenerate people in its ranks.”
“Many of those fighting in combat actions (in the Ukrainian Army) are, in a certain sense, dysfunctional, and can't be used in combat anymore,” Perendzhiyev says.
“A continuation of this war, which is costing an inordinate amount of money, is dealing a heavy blow, not only to the economy, but to Ukraine’s demography,” he says.
“A yet another attempt to reinforce this punitive force, is tantamount to an anti- state policy. All the actions of the Kiev regime aim at destroying the state.”
“All of this will bring a social explosion in Kiev,” Perendzhiyev says. “The Ukrainian authorities will get a reverse reaction from mobilization. Families will be falling apart, people’s futures will be crashing, and the people will eventually be unable to tolerate this situation anymore.”
“The social and economic situation is deteriorating with every passing day,” Perendzhiyev says. “Laws are being eroded and all of this is accumulating, which makes the eventual social explosion, unavoidable.”
“This decision on a new mobilization testifies to the powerlessness of defense officials in Ukraine because this Army draft won't bring any substantial result,” Alexander Golts, a military expert, tells ITAR-TASS.
“Another draft will lead to an expansion of the scale of combat operations, a bigger number of human losses and even greater economic damage,” Dr. Sergei Markov, director of the Institute for Political Research, says.
“People making up the incumbent government in Kiev, are not statesmen,” he says. “They are suppressing by force, any form of protest against the policies they are conducting.”
“They behave towards their fellow-country men like foreign agents & military criminals,” Dr. Markov says.
“This third phase of drafting into the Ukrainian Army, taking place in just over seven months, testifies to a full demoralization of the political establishment in Kiev,” Andrei Klimov, deputy chair of the committee for international affairs in the upper house of Russian parliament says.
“A third drafting of human expendables for participation in the punitive operation in the country’s east where people totally unfamiliar with the battlefield, are immediately thrown into combat action, is a really immoral thing and it savors of a crime,” he says.
“The Ukrainian authorities get persistent proposals to solve the problem of Ukraine’s eastern regions, but they think that the US will continue throwing its support behind the anti-terrorist operation,” Klimov says.
“As long as Washington finds it profitable to fan passions in the region, Ukraine's government will have to carry out a tenth draft, never mind a third one.”
Luhansk Republic announces a voluntary mobilization
“We are urging everyone who can hold arms to join the ranks of the LPR army voluntarily, honestly and consciously,” a statement says.
The Luhansk People’s Republic announced its full voluntary mobilization on Thursday, as fierce fighting continues between local self-defense fighters and Ukraine's forces in the east Ukrainian region.
“The treacherous military attack by fascist Ukraine on our Motherland is continuing,” says a mobilization decree signed by the Luhansk People’s Republic's head, Valery Bolotov.
“Despite the heroic resistance of the army of the Luhansk People’s Republic and despite the fact that the enemy’s best battalions and aviation squadrons have been defeated and found their grave on battlefields, the enemy continues pushing forward, committing new forces to the front,” the decree says.
“Its human resources are not boundless. With some more fighting, the Ukrainian fascists will run out of people capable of conducting combat operations,” the decree says.
“What is needed to crush the enemy? It is necessary for people to understand this, and stop being unconcerned. They need to mobilize themselves and readjust to a new military mode that knows no mercy for the enemy,” the decree says.
Pro-Kiev troops and local militias in Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions are involved in fierce clashes, as the Ukrainian armed forces conduct a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their full independence in local referendums.
During the military operation, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s embattled east.
West colludes with genocidal Tel Aviv: Analyst
An analyst writes for Press TV, that the so-called peace process between Israel and Palestine looks like a ‘sick joke’, as the apartheid regime moved ahead with its killing of Palestinians in Gaza.
“The 20-year so-called peace process, is just another sick joke, whereby the West's genocidal regime in Tel Aviv, can get away with more mass murder, and other crimes against humanity,” Finian Cunningham says.
He adds that any so-called truce, can only give nothing, but “heap more misery and suffering” on the beseiged Palestinians.
“The truth is that Israeli military aggression against the people of Palestine has been an ongoing non-stop campaign, ever since 1948,” writes the analyst.
Referring to the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza, Cunningham says the Zionist entity is putting “on display” once again,its crimes against humanity, “in the most despicable and barbaric way.”
He says no truce between Hamas and the Israeli regime can fix the oppression of the Palestinians:
“There is a hemorrhage of human life, that requires deep intervention.”
Over 1,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli offensives in the besieged Gaza Strip in less than 3 weeks.
According to Palestinian human rights group estimates, 81% of those killed in Gaza since Israel first launched its ongoing offensive on July 8th, have been civilians.
Tel Aviv targeted over 3,250 locations in the besieged strip, totally destroying 500 homes , and damaging over 2,600.
UN officials warn that 70% of Gazans now do not have access to safe water, as major water wells have been hit directly, by Israel.
UN Chief Again Urged Immediate End to Gaza Violence
"I am standing here with very heavy heart. My message has always been consistent and strong, this violence must stop now," Ban told a joint news conference with Jordan's Foreign Minister, Nasser Judeh.
"Everyone should work together to bring this violence to an immediate end. They must stop now. Military solutions do not provide sustainable solutions."
Palestine fighters kill 9 more Israeli forces: Hamas
On Wednesday, the Israeli military acknowledged three more deaths in battles with Hamas fighters in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza.
However, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said 9 were killed there.
It added that their fighters destroyed a Merkava Mark IV tank in battles and fired rockets on Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area (Gush Dan), Shefela, Ashkelon, Palmachim, Bnei Darom, Ashdod, and Lod.
Code red sirens went off in Rehovot and in Beit Shemesh, near East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
According to Israel's media, the Iron Dome intercepted five rockets fired from Gaza.
Since July the 8th, Israeli warplanes have hit numerous sites in the Gaza Strip, some attacks demolishing houses and burying whole families in the rubble.
Palestinian resistance forces continued to force heavy losses on Israel's army -- in retaliation for its onslaught on the Gaza Strip.
Israel's war machine continues to relentlessly massacre Gazans
The Israeli war machine continues to target the besieged Gaza Strip from air, land and sea, pushing the Palestinian dead to 655.
Palestinian officials say on Wednesday that new attacks have killed at least two dozen Palestinians, including several children.
Medics say at least 150 others have also been injured in Israel's ongoing onslaught on the tiny coastal enclave.
Sources say nearly a dozen of victims were killed in tank shelling in the southern town of Khan Yunis.
Latest reports say Israeli jets have pounded multiple sites across the impoverished region, including a mosque and the enclave's sole power plant.
Local residents say at least one person was killed and dozens more wounded near the targeted mosque.
Israel has continued its airstrikes on the Gaza Strip for the 16th straight day
According to figures provided by emergency services, the total number of people killed since the Israeli offensive on July 8 stands at nearly 655. More than 4,200 people have been injured in the attacks.
Israel's military admits that over 400 of those killed were civilians, including women and children.
The Chief Rabbi of the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba has issued a ruling that will "allow" the killing of civilians in wartime.
Rabbi Dov Lior claims it is permissible to fiercely attack what he describes as the enemy population, even if this means hurting or taking, innocent lives.
The ruling reads that the army is allowed to even order the destruction of the whole area, to avoid the Israeli people suffering.
The United Nations says Israel's military actions could well amount to war crimes.
Two Ukrainian military jets shot down over East
Kiev says anti-fascist forces have shot down two of Kiev's jet fighters in the country’s restive east, where government forces are holding military operations against the anti-coup population.
Oleksiy Dmytrashkivsky, a Ukrainian military spokesperson, says 2 of Kiev's Sukhoi Su-25 fighter jets, were shot down on Wednesday.
Anti-coup forces confirm this with a video posted online. The video allegedly shows the wreckage after, of one of the planes.
Kiev gives contradictory information on where the jets were downed.
Dmytrashkivsky says the jets were downed 25 kilometers (16 miles) from the crash site of the Malaysian flight MH17, and that the fate of the two pilots is "unknown".
But another Kiev military spokesperson declares that the aircraft was hit south of the Lugansk region and that the two pilots managed to bail out.
The downing of the two jets comes days after the MH17 was shot down over the volatile Donetsk region, while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, with all 298 passengers and crew, killed.
Kiev & Western powers accuse anti-fascist forces of downing the passenger plane, by firing a surface-to-air missile at the aircraft.
But militias in eastern Ukraine have denied the accusation and blame Kiev for shooting down the plane. Some witnesses say they saw the passenger plane being attacked by a Ukrainian army plane.
Zionist Massacres in Gaza Continue: Death Toll Reaches 631
The death toll in Gaza reached 631 Palestinian martyrs and the wounded numbered over 3750 on Tuesday, as emergency teams pulled dead bodies from the rubble of homes destroyed by Israeli strikes on the 16th day of the assault, Maan news agency reports.
The latest martyrs, who are as yet unidentified, died in the Tuffah neighborhood of Gaza City as a result of Israeli artillery shelling, the health ministry's spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidra says.
He had previously announced the death of 22- year-old Mahmoud Salim Mustafa Daraj, who succumbed to his wounds in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip.
The deaths take the number of Palestinians killed by Israel's occupation army, Tuesday, to 31.
Palestinian medical sources earlier announced the death of Ahmad Abu Seido, by Israel shelling a park in eastern Gaza City.
Rescue teams removed the body of a man from rubble, in Shujaiyya neighborhood.
Al-Qidra earlier announced another martyr as a four-year-old girl, Muna Rami al-Kharawt, in the northern Gaza Strip.
The bodies of two women were also removed from the debris of their homes in the Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City, al-Qidra said.
He identified the two martyrs as 70-year-old Fatima Hasan Azzam & 50-year-old Maryam Hasan Azzam.
Additionally, emergency teams pulled the body of Muhammad al-Hindi from out of a bombed building in Tal al-Hawa, south Gaza.
Earlier on Tuesday, dozens of Palestinians were killed, after Israeli airstrikes and artillery shells hit their homes.
More Airlines Suspend Flights to ’Israel’
Major European carriers are following their US counterparts - suspending flights to the Zionist entity over security concerns - as the Israeli aggression continues on Gaza.
Air France says it is suspending services to Ben Gurion International Airport until further notice and Germany's Lufthansa says it is halting flights for 36 hours.
Lufthansa says the step, which also affects its subsidiaries Austrian Airlines, Germanwings and Swiss, is being taken "for the security of the passengers and crews" in the "unstable situation."
The German carrier says it operated up to 10 daily flights to Tel Aviv from Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Zurich.
Affected passengers can choose to either be reimbursed or exchange their tickets, it says.
Air France says the move will affect its three daily flights to Tel Aviv from Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport, as well as the three flights per week from Marseille and the four flights per week, from Nice.
Brussels Airlines has cancelled one flight late on Tuesday and three flights on Wednesday.
Earlier US Delta announced that it had diverted a flight bound for Tel Aviv to Paris after "reports of a rocket or associated debris near the airport in Tel Aviv."
Other major US carriers US Airways and United Airlines said they were also cancelling their services to Ben Gurion airport.
Putin Rules Out Destabilization in Russia
President Vladimir Putin today rules out any destabilization in Russia, or attempts to create chaos inside the country, in a similar way to those implemented in other regions of the world.
In a extraordinary session of the Security Council, President Putin was confident that destabilization scenes, known as "colour revolutions," will not work in the Russian Federation.
However, Putin admitted that there are attempts to erode and heat up the internal situation from abroad, in a similar way to other countries, and he considers these actions as unacceptable, and harmful to the world's order.
The language of ultimatums & unilateral sanctions is frequently heard towards "awkward" countries and regimes which carry out independent policies or just defend their interests, stressed Putin.
The Russian president warned that destabilization plans and coup d'etats, funded and sponsored from abroad, are carried out against those nations.
Putin said it is incomprehensible that some nations use their internal problems as a pretext to destroy other nations, as seen now, in various regions of the world.
Putin deplored that - apart from that - some countries also resort to using radical forces: nationalists, fundamentalists, or just fascists, as happened in the post-soviet period, and is now happening in Ukraine.
As a result of such coups, radical nationalist – or simply neo-fascist, fundamentalist forces – come to power, which is what happened in Ukraine, Putin said.
"Yes, after the coup, elections were held, but for some reason, again, those who funded or carried out the coup became the heads of state. The current authorities are using force, trying to silence the part of the population that disagrees with this development," Putin noted, with regret.
The international community has been calling on Russia to use its influence on the eastern anti-government militia to cooperate in the resolution of the crisis.
“We of course will do everything in our power but that is not nearly enough,” the president stated at the meeting.
Putin believes the West must appeal to Kiev to honour its ceasefire pledge.
Putin highlighted that Kiev should not fuel the conflict, citing Tuesday’s incident when “the Ukrainian Armed Forces attacked Donetsk with their tanks” as the local militia were handing the black box of the crashed MH17 over to experts.
“Tanks broke through to the train station and opened fire at it. The international experts there couldn't even look out of the windows,” said the Russian head of state. “It’s not like the rebels are shooting at themselves.”
The Russian leader called for joint work to solve all those internal problems that might endanger the Russian Federation's unity, and for a rapid stiffening of Russia's military defence "particularly in Crimea", against NATO's eastward aggressive missile placements and the build-up of NATO's air and naval forces nearby.
"Our strength", he declared, "is that we do not belong to any military organisations that can take away our ability to be independent."
Joko Widodo Wins Indonesia Presidential Elections
The candidate of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), and former Jakarta governor, Joko Widodo, won the presidential elections in Indonesia, with 53% of the votes, the National Commission states today.
The definitive count, cited by the website Channel News Asia, came after Widodo's adversary, Prabowo Subianto, rejected the election result, and accused the winner of committing massive fraud.
According to the official vote recount, Jokowi won 53%, followed by 46% for his opponent, the former General Subianto, candidate for the Great Indonesian Movement Party.
Palestinian resistance fighters have killed 40+ Israeli soldiers, since Tel Aviv began its offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip.
Al-Qassam Brigades, military wing of Hamas, says its forces killed 15 more Israeli forces in eastern Gaza City, on Monday alone.
Palestinian fighters also targeted an Israeli Merkava-4 tank in the east of Gaza City on the same day.
Hamas also fired dozens of retaliatory rockets into Israel. Warning sirens have sounded in Tel Aviv, Yavne, Gadara, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and many other places.
Top Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, says the beseiged Gaza Strip will become "a grave-yard for Israeli soldiers" who have been committing criminal acts against the Palestinians in the blockaded enclave, for over two weeks.
The Palestinian death toll is now 600 - from 14 days of Israeli attacks. Over 3,000 Palestinians have been injured in the onslaught.
Anti-Israeli rallies are being held worldwide to condemn Tel Aviv's ongoing atrocities against Palestinians and to urge an end to the bloodshed in Gaza.
A group of US demonstrators, joined by anti- Zionists, has gathered in front of the White House to demand that Tel Aviv’s escalating ground and aerial offensives stop.
Similar rallies have been held in the Netherlands, Austria, Chile, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, the UK, Morocco, Bolivia, and Australia, among others.
UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION PASSED ON BOEING CRASH IN UKRAINE
The resolution was supported by all 15 members of the Security Council, including Russia.
The resolution calls for an immediate end to all armed hostilities in the crash area and urges the local militia to secure the crash site & give the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE, access to it.
It also calls for the bringing to justice of all persons responsible for the accident.
The UN resolution condemns in the strongest possible terms, the actions that caused the plane to be shot down, & calls for a thorough & independent investigation of the accident, in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines.
Ukraine's army launches massive offensive operation on Donetsk
The western part of the city was shelled from 4am, local time.
Kiev's armored vehicles and tanks were trying to break through to a train station in the city of Donetsk, Deputy PM of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Andrei Purgin, said on Monday.
“The tank column is trying to break out from the local railway station to the local airport. The gunfire is very intensive, blasts are heard loudly even in the centre of the city,” he said.
The western part of the city had been shelled since 4am local time (2am UTC) on Monday, using Grad multiple launch rocket systems, local residents told ITAR-TASS. Heavy weapons were being used and loud explosions, heard.
Ukrainian warplanes delivered an air strike by unguided rocket projectiles at the Donetsk city railway station on Monday morning. Six rockets were fired. Railway tracks & a locomotive, were damaged in the projectile blasts. The market- place was set on fire. The mayor’s office noted that the bus station is closed and that car traffic is now restricted.
Defense Minister of Donetsk People’s Republic, Igor Strelkov, said that “Ukrainian army units had broken into the settlement of Avdiivka and were moving to the railway station from there.”
“At the same time our positions are under attack near Peski, Karlivka and Netailove,” he said, adding that “Tanks and marines on armored infantry assault vehicles are being used, with huge support from artillery guns.”
It was reported earlier that Donetsk militias were fighting with Ukrainian army units near the missile units positions outside Donetsk.
Israel tanks, jets continue pounding Gaza
'IIsraeli tanks and warplanes continued to pound the Gaza Strip for the 14th day, on Monday, with the death toll among Palestinians rising to 508.
Ashraf al-Kidra, a Gaza Health Ministry official, said on Monday that 20 bodies were retrieved at a home destroyed in an overnight airstrike in Khan Younis.
Israeli tanks also opened fire on a home in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, killing at least 10 people, including a 9-month-old baby girl, Kidra added.
Sunday was the bloodiest day of the two-week Israeli war, as 150+ Palestinians were killed, including 70 people who were massacred in Shejaiya neighborhood.
The Israeli military said the regime's forces killed at least 10 resistance fighters, who tunneled into southern Israel to attack it.
It also said that two squads were detected “infiltrating through two tunnels from the northern Gaza Strip,” and that an Israeli aircraft targeted one squad, as soldiers engaged in a gun battle with the other.
Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, claims responsibility for the attack, saying that it conducted “an operation behind enemy lines in response to the massacre in Shejaiya.”
The UN Security Council has held an emergency meeting, expressing its “serious concern”, about the growing number of fatalities in Gaza, and calls for an immediate end to the conflict.
US President Barack Obama has also called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, echoing calls for an “immediate ceasefire.”
83,000 Palestinians have taken shelter in 60 schools across the enclave, run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.
CEASEFIRE BREAK LEADS TO SLAUGHTER
Scores of Palestinians and Israeli soldiers were killed on Sunday as hostilities continued in Gaza.
Both sides earlier agreed to a brief ceasefire to allow medics to reach those wounded by Israeli shells.
The 87 Palestinians killed on Sunday, is the heaviest loss since Israel launched its war on the Palestinian territory, on July 8th.
The brief ceasefire earlier in the day, was broken after just an hour, after shots were fired in Gaza.
“The agreement to implement a ceasefire was ended because of Hamas who started firing at our soldiers. We had to answer back,” said an Israeli army source.
Hamas has yet to comment on the Israeli allegations that it breached the ceasefire.
The death toll is condemned by the Arab League who described Israeli attacks on Gaza on Sunday as a “war crime” against Palestinian civilians.
Over 400 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s operation Protective Edge, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said Sunday.
13 Israeli soldiers were killed on Saturday night and early Sunday in several incidents across the Gaza strip, said Haaretz.
During the ceasefire, Gaza rescue services recovered 50 Palestinian bodies from Shejaia neighbourhood in the east of Gaza City.
Gaza's Health Ministry said the dead included 17 children and 14 women and that hundreds of wounded were being treated.
The Rafah crossing has been opened, but only for use in 'humanitarian emergencies'.
According to Haaretz, Israeli Defense Forces also announced the setting up a field hospital near the Erez Crossing at the northern end of the Gaza strip, to treat wounded Palestinians.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel will take "whatever action is necessary" to halt Hamas' cross-border rocket attacks from Gaza and restore calm, but insists his forces are doing their best to avoid civilian casualties there.
"We try to target military targets and unfortunately there are civilian casualties, which we regret and we don't seek," Netanyahu told CNN, shortly after an Israeli attack on a Gaza neighbourhood killed at least 89 Palestinians.
He accused Hamas of deliberately targeting Israeli civilians and of using Gaza residents as "human shields." Asked how long it would take Israel to complete an operation it says is meant to destroy Hamas weapons tunnels, Netanyahu said it is being done "fairly quickly," but gave no time frame.
Qatar ready to host truce talks
Doha announced it was hosting a meeting between Palestinian President Abbas, and UN Sec. General, Ban Ki-moon, on Sunday, to try and push for an end to fighting in the Gaza strip, said a senior source from Qatar.
The session took place in Doha and was chaired by the Gulf state's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, who's been acting as a "communication channel" between Hamas and the international community, said the source.
"Qatar has presented Hamas' demands to the international community. The list has been presented to France and to the UN. The talks were to further negotiate these conditions."
Hamas has rejected Egyptian efforts to end the fighting, saying any deal must include an end to a blockade of the coastal area and a recommitment to a ceasefire reached in an eight-day war there, in 2012.
Their conditions include the release of prisoners re-arrested since an exchange deal with Israel, the opening of Gaza-Israel border crossings and an end to the Israeli blockade on Gaza's seaport, a Hamas source in Doha says.
"In general, Israel must end all forms of aggression and attacks, end the blockade of Gaza and remove the actions that resulted from its military offensive in the West Bank after June 12th," Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesperson, tells Reuters.
"We want the rights of our people. Palestinians on the ground are supporting us and we will get them back their rights," says the source.
An IDF spokesperson says:
“We do not target in any way or form, civilians - we target Hamas terrorists. The idea of the ongoing operation is to secure safety and security for the state of Israel.
“Hamas decided to have an onslaught against the state of Israel and indeed even when we held our stations yesterday for 6 hours, they continued to bombard Israel indiscriminately and we were left, basically, with no alternative,” he says.
We terminated 32 Israel troops: Hamas
Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, says Palestinian resistance fighters have killed at least 32 Israeli soldiers since Saturday.
Hamas military sources say scores of Israeli soldiers injured in the clashes with Palestinian fighters have been transferred to hospital. A senior Israeli military commander is said to be among them.
However, the Israeli military has confirmed only seven deaths.
The Palestinian fighters also say they targeted six Israeli tanks with rocket-propelled grenades.
Palestinian retaliatory rockets have hit several areas in Israel, including a Tel Aviv neighborhood.
More retaliatory rockets have been fired out of the Gaza Strip deep into Israel. Warning sirens have wailed in several Israeli cities including Tel Aviv, Eshkol and Be'er Sheva.
Over 1700 projectiles have been launched from Gaza in less than two weeks. Hamas says it is ready for a prolonged conflict and is continuously stocking up its weapons.
Political analysts say the war on Gaza is taking its toll on the Israeli army, with Palestinian fighters stepping up their retaliatory attacks.
The developments come as bloodshed continues in the besieged Gaza Strip for the 13th straight day, with no let-up to the Israeli onslaught by air, sea and land.
Israeli tanks & artillery continue to shell northern and eastern Gaza, while fighter jets keep pounding away at the densely-populated strip.
Medics are now warning of a serious humanitarian crisis, as clinics are running out of basic medical supplies.
Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar is calling for an international probe into Israel's ongoing massacres in Gaza.
Malaysian Experts Arrive in Kiev for Plane Disaster Investigation
About 130 Malaysian experts have arrived in Kiev to help with the investigation of the Boeing-777 disaster, which left 298 dead, when crashing in Donetsk region, where fierce combat is ongoing.
AIRSTRIKES RAISE DEATH -TOLL AMONG PALESTINIANS
"Our goal is Hamas' infrastructure in the north, south, and east Gaza," says a military spokes- person, which itself reveals that this ground offensive is leading to an Israeli reoccupation of Palestinian territory in Gaza.
Another sign of Israeli intentions is the call up of another 18,000 reservists to join the Army, which brings the number of troops in position to control Palestine's population, to 65,000.
Meetings now trying to find agreement for a ceasefire seem trivial, as Israel's declared intention is to keep its military presence in Gaza, for an indeterminate time.
One should not tell Russia what to do; it is necessary to sit down to talks — Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says in an interview with Russia 24 TV news channel, that it is unnecessary to tell Russia what it is supposed to do and that it will be much more expedient to sit down to talks.
“The most important thing, as Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated in his conversation with President Obama, is to stop lecturing Russia on what it should do and look into the core of the matter, which consists of the fact that Ukraine's authorities are absolutely unwilling to sit down to talk with those who don't accept the February military coup and refuse to accept the policy of talking to the Russian-speaking population in southeast Ukraine by force,” Lavrov says.
He explains that people in Eastern Ukraine want their lawful rights to be respected.
“The only thing they want is to sit down to talks to discuss the future structure of the Ukrainian state and what rights will be guaranteed to all citizens. This is not their whim. It is a demand to the Kiev authorities to implement what they signed when they were still in opposition,” Lavrov says.
He adds that the creation of a national unity government was the key provision of the February 21st agreement.
“After being formed, the national unity government was supposed to start a constitutional reform that was supposed to have served as the basis for elections. Everything was distinct, logical and clear,” Lavrov stresses.
He explains that the opposition broke the agreement --- with Europe's connivance.
“At least, the Europeans didn't want to insist that the former opposition must respect an agreement which had already been signed.
“After that, an attempt was made to return to a constructive dialogue, end violence and to start an inclusive, transparent and open constitutional process with the involvement of all Ukrainian regions,” Lavrov continues.
“When we brought the paper to the UN Security Council and the OSCE and asked them to adopt a document signed by the foreign policy chiefs of the EU, the US, Russia and Ukraine, we did not find any support,” Lavrov says.
"We were offered President Poroshenko’s peace plan, which ignored the April 17th Geneva statement and the principle of an open constitutional process."
Obama says Russia to blame for Malaysian plane tragedy
US President Barack Obama says Russia is refusing to take the concrete steps necessary to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, and this has led to the tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
The Boeing 777-200 passenger aircraft crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 298 on board. US intelligence and military officials say the plane was hit by a Russian SA-series missile launched from eastern Ukraine.
In a speech from the White House on Friday, Obama calls for an immediate ceasefire in the area, so that a “credible international investigation” can be conducted.
He says the evidence so far indicates that the Malaysian airliner was shot down by a missile launched from areas inside Ukraine held by “Russian separatists”.
“The deaths are an outrage of unspeakable proportions,” Obama says.
“It's not possible for these separatists to function how they’re functioning … without sophisticated equipment” and Russian support, he says.
“I spoke to President Putin yesterday in the wake of additional sanctions that we had imposed. He said he wasn't happy with them, and I told him that we have been very clear from the outset that we want Russia to take the path that would result in peace in Ukraine, but so far, at least, Russia has failed to take that path.”
“If Mr. Putin makes a decision that we are not going to allow heavy armaments and the flow of fighters into Ukraine across the Ukrainian-Russian border, then it will stop. He has the most control over that situation and, so far, he has not exercised it,” Obama says.
Moscow dismisses as "nonsense", claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest.
The government in Kiev is currently engaged in an all-out offensive against activists who reject the current regime imposed by violence in Kiev.
Kiev is pursuing US conditions that dissent must be crushed, or Ukraine will not get its loans from the US-controlled IMF.
The armed attacks on anti-coup activists are following very closely a US plan outlined in a RAND Corporation memo.
The memo, leaked earlier this month, showed the US government-funded think tank advised the Ukrainian government to engage in an all- out war in the south-east, place citizens in internment camps, and kill all who resist.
FIDEL CASTRO TELLS THE TRUTH
'An unheard of provocation'
"This morning, cables were full of reports about the unheard of news, that a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane had been hit at an altitude of 10,100 meters as it flew over Ukrainian territory, along a route controlled by the war-hungry government of chocolate king, Petro Poroshenko.
"Cuba, which has always stood in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, and in the difficult days of the Chernobyl tragedy provided medical care to the many children affected by the accident’s harmful radiation --- and is always willing to continue doing so --- must express our repudiation of the action of the anti- Russian, anti-Ukrainian and pro- imperialist government.
"At the same time, coinciding with the Malaysian aircraft crime, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, head of the nuclear state, ordered his army to invade the Gaza Strip, where, over the last several days, hundreds of Palestinians have died, many of them children.
The President of the United States supported this action, describing the repugnant act, as 'legitimate defense'.
"Obama does not support David against Goliath, but rather Goliath against David. As is known, young men and women from the Israeli people, well prepared for productive work, are being exposed to death without honour, without glory.
"I'm not aware of the Palestinian’s military strategy, but I know that a combatant prepared to die can defend even the ruins of a building, as long as he has his rifle -- as the heroic defenders of Stalingrad demonstrated.
"I only wish to express my solidarity with the heroic people who defend the last sliver remaining, of what was their homeland for thousands of years."
Fidel Castro Ruz
UKRAINE COUP FORCES LACK CREDIBILITY
Russia's Defense Ministry reveals that it holds a record of Ukrainian missile defense radars on the day of the Boeing 777 crash.
The ministry says that features of the Buk-M1 mean that it exchanges information between the squadrons of one battalion.
Militias don't have the Ukrainian Buk missile system, admits Ukraine's general prosecutor.
The flight route of the Boeing 777 and the site of its crash were within the zone of operation of two Ukrainian batteries of the S-200 long- range anti-aircraft missile system, and three squadrons of the Buk-M1 medium-range anti- aircraft missile system, the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry says on Friday.
“Russian radio-technical facilities during July 17 were recording the work of the 9s18 Kupol radar station of the Buk-M1 squadron, stationed in the area of the Styla settlement (30 km south of Donetsk),” the ministry adds.
The Russian Defense Ministry adds that Kiev’s statement that Ukraine’s anti-aircraft defense systems or Ukrainian armed forces planes, on July 17th, did not fire on air targets, raises serious doubts.
“This information is fully confirmed by the air data recorders,” the ministry adds.
Unilateral Sanctions Against Russia Are an Expression of Evil
Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev says that sanctions "are an expression of evil", but they have not brought anyone to their knees in the world, despite all the damage inflicted on peoples and their economies.
The Russian Foreign Ministry considers that the new package of sanctions from the West against Russia, allegedly aimed at specific economic sectors, is shameful, because the events in Ukraine "aren't developing according to Washington's script".
When referring to sanctions against Russia, at the meeting with the rest of the cabinet, Medvedev pointed out that such measures cannot cause irreparable damage to the economy, as western media reports say.
Taking note of international experience, they have not succeeded and have not bought anyone to their knees, the Russian leader said.
He warned that as a unilateral instrument, these sanctions against Russian citizens and companies are illegal, because they are not based on decisions by the UN and are being imposed arbitrarily.
Medvedev noted that punitive measures against Russian companies in the energy sector, military-industrial complex, and some banks, will only promote more anti-US and anti-Europe attitudes.
He added that they will help consolidate Russia's society against those who are trying "to limit our country & act against the interests of its citizens".
The head of government emphasised the need to reorientate Russia's economic development models, so that they can replace imports and internal sources of growth can be used, including financial resources.
He admitted, however, that the pressure from the West will have an impact, in a certain way, on budgetary policies, but made it clear that the State will comply with all its social obligations.
ZIONISTS LET ISRAEL COMMIT GENOCIDE
Israel has launched a ground invasion on the besieged Gaza Strip, as the Palestinian death toll from Israeli airstrikes & shelling, hits 243.
On Thursday, Israeli forces launched a ground offensive against the blockaded enclave after Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the army to push the aggression against Gaza, into "a new stage".
Netanyahu made the decision after a security cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv.
Israeli warplanes, warships and artillery have today launched an intensive bombardment of different locations in the tiny coastal enclave.
Israel has killed at least 243 people and injured 1,800 others since it began its latest onslaught against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on July 8.
About a third of the Palestinian fatalities are women and children.
Since July 8, the Israeli military has attacked 1,800 targets across Gaza, home to 1.8 million Palestinians living under an Israeli blockade.
Hamas has been responding to the full-scale Israeli assaults by firing rockets into Israel.
Israel has blockaded Gaza since 2007, denying the Palestinian people there, their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, well paid jobs, adequate healthcare and education.
2 Ukrainian fighters seen following Malaysian jet minutes before crash
Two Ukrainian fighters were following the passenger Boeing-777 of Malaysian Airlines several minutes before the crash, Russia’s TV Channel One says Friday, citing a tweet made by a Spanish air traffic controller, of Kiev’s airport Borispol.
According to the Spanish air traffic controller, 2 Ukrainian fighters were seen following the Malaysian jet 3 minutes before it disappeared from radars.
This information is confirmed by eyewitnesses in the Donetsk region who saw Ukrainian war- planes near the passenger jet. They say they heard the sound of powerful blasts and saw a Ukraine warplane shortly before the crash.
All those who were onboard the plane - 280 passengers and 15 crew members - died.
According to preliminary data, passengers included citizens of the Netherlands, the US, UK, France, and Malaysia.
According to Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov, there were no Russians among the passengers.
MALAYSIAN PASSENGER PLANE "FALSE FLAG" SLAUGHTER?
A Malaysian passenger airliner has reportedly been ‘shot down’ over Ukraine near the border with Russia - all 295 people on board are dead.
The Boeing plane was en route from Amsterdam, to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, when it fell from 10 kilometers high above eastern Ukraine.
Itar-Tass news agency says the airplane was downed by a “ground-to-air missile.”
A Russian aviation industry source says the plane didn't enter Russia’s airspace on schedule.
Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine's interior ministry, says on his Facebook page the plane was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet when it was hit on Thursday by a missile fired from a Buk launcher, the Associated Press reports.
BUK, also known as the SA-17 GRIZZLY, is a mobile anti-aircraft system mounted usually on a tracked vehicle or lorry, that can simultaneously track and strike 6 targets flying from different directions and at different altitudes, according to military think- tank Globalsecurity.org.
Europe’s air traffic regulator, Eurocontrol, has announced the closure of eastern Ukrainian airspace until further notice.
"Since the crash, the Ukrainian authorities have informed Eurocontrol of the closure of all routes from the ground to unlimited altitude in Eastern Ukraine," Eurocontrol says in its statement.
“All flight plans that are filed using these routes are now being rejected by Euro- control. The routes will remain closed until further notice,” it adds.
Leading European airlines have announced plans to route planes away from the area.
These developments came just hours after the passenger plane went down in Grabovo village, about 40 kilometers from the Russian border.
Ukrainian Interior Ministry officials say 23 US citizens were among those killed.
Senior Ukrainian authorities claim that the Boeing 777 was hit by a ground-to-air missile. Yet the International Air Transport Association says that the airspace was not subject to any restrictions.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is calling the crash an act of terror.
Anti-coup authorities, however, accuse Kiev of shooting down the plane. They have also proposed a three-day ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, to allow for recovery work at the site of the downed airliner.
International condolences are pouring in over the tragic crash of the Malaysia Airlines plane in troubled eastern Ukraine.
US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin have reportedly discussed the incident by 'phone.
Kiev’s military retreats from Luhansk, leaves settlements near Donetsk
Self-defense fighters forced Kiev's military to retreat, the local news agency Novorossiya reported on its website on Thursday.
Kiev's troops left their positions in the Sabovka, Govorukha, Roskoshnoye and Georgiyevka settlements near Luhansk, retreating to the west, the agency said.
The militia has also established control over Marinovka settlement in Donetsk Region.
Kiev's troops were surrounded by self- defense forces, and had to retreat.
Donetsk People’s Republic troops opened fire using 120mm mortars against Kiev military’s fortified positions near Mospino settlement in Donetsk Region, destroying a KAMAZ truck, an armored personnel carrier, an anti-tank system and killing and wounding about 50 personnel, the self-defense militia reported.
Ukraine's National Security & Defense Council spokesperson Andriy Lysenko said Wednesday evening, that "fierce fighting" was underway between self-defense militia and Ukraine's military, in Amvrosiyevka, Marinovka and Izvarino settlements in Donetsk Region.
“We understand that there are losses. The battle is continuing, our guys are fighting on but it is very hard there so far,” Lysenko said.
The southeast Ukraine militia has tanks, combat aircraft, multiple launch rocket systems and artillery guns in its arsenal.
The self-defense fighters say they seized them all, in battles with Kiev's military.
On Tuesday, the parliament of the Union of the Donetsk & Luhansk Republics, declared that all armed Ukrainian formations staying on their territories are illegal, and said that “corresponding measures would be taken” against them.
Donetsk People’s Republic Defense Minister Igor Strelkov, said earlier, that self-defense militias are switching to a contractual basis and would now “receive about $500-800 in money allowances.”
Union Parliamentary Chair, Oleg Tsaryov, says the self-defense forces have enough strength to contain Kiev's military.
3-WAY TALKS STARTED AT 7pm THURSDAY
The next round of 3-way consultations on the Ukrainian crisis (involving the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and representatives of Kiev and the south-east of Ukraine, was held on Thursday evening.
It was, above all, expected to yield an agreement on a ceasefire and the exchange of prisoners, the speaker of the Supreme Council of the self- proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, told a pre-meeting briefing.
“There's hope that progress will be made towards a ceasefire. We don’t want any more citizens to be killed. At the moment we can only talk about a ceasefire and an exchange of captives, all for all. It’s the only correct option,” Pushilin said.
He added:- “taking part in the consultations from Donetsk is DPR First Deputy PM Purgin, and the candidate from Luhansk has yet to be approved”.
The consultations would take place at 19:00 Thursday, the DPR speaker said.
5 hour humanitarian ceasefire ends... Israel continues bombing beseiged Gaza
Hamas & Palestinian militant groups agreed to a UN appeal for a five hour humanitarian ceasefire with Israel to occur on Thursday.
Israel Defense Forces said they would enable a humanitarian window in Gaza between 10am to 3pm local time (7am - 12pm GMT) Thursday, as a result of a dialogue with the UN.
It was the first pause in fighting since Israel & Hamas fighters engaged in fierce cross-border attacks last Tuesday, when Israel started an all-out operation to halt Gaza rocket fire. The operation has claimed 223 Palestinian lives so far, and one Israeli.
On Thursday, the killing began again.
Resistance groups say they want the seige on Gaza lifted before any talks.
Russia threatens retaliation over new US sanctions
"The US administration's new decision to enforce sanctions against a number of Russian legal entities and individuals, under a far-fetched and false pretext, can not be called anything other than outrageous and fully unacceptable," Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said on Thursday.
Ryabkov noted that Moscow will retaliate, without providing details.
"We condemn those politicians and officials who are behind such actions, and confirm our intention to adopt measures which will be perceived in Washington rather painfully and acutely," Ryabkov said.
"We are not after an immediate effect, we are not going to copy the methods of the US administration that provoke rejection, we will not yield to provocation, and will act in a calm manner," he added.
The reaction came after the US Treasury said the measures included sanctions against Russia’s Gazprombank and Rosneft energy companies.
Under the new embargoes, Washington is also targeting a series of large banks, and energy and defense firms.
The EU deferred a sanctions vote after nearly half of its members refused to impose trade sanctions... then put a small list forward on more individuals and instructed two EU organisations not to finance new investments.
President Assad: Syria to Stay Proud, Steadfast, Strong against Foreigners
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad was sworn in on Wednesday, and he stressed that Syria will stay proudly, steadily strong against foreign troublemakers, over 3 years after terrorism swept into its land, disguised as “revolution”.
In a triumphant speech delivered after he took the oath of office at a red carpet ceremony in Damascus, the Syrian leader saluted all the “honorable” and “free” Syrians.
He branded the 2011 so-called Arab spring as a "fake spring" and reminded us of how some had spoken for Syria's people, by repeatedly raising the slogan: “The People Want’.
“Yes, the people did want, the people did make their decision, the people did act,” the President said, smiling.
“Years have passed since some chanted for freedom, but you Syrians were freemen at the time of subordination, and you were masters at the time of acting,” he added.
The President hailed the Syrian people's firm steadfastness, as they refused to bow, surrender or give up, to those who shouted loudest about God.
“They wanted a revolution, but you have been the real revolutionaries,” he said.
The Syrian president added that ugly faces were exposed after the mask of ‘freedom’ and ‘revolution’ was dropped.”
“All those who exploited the crisis for their own benefit, have lost.”
Assad hailed Syria’s presidential elections as “a full-dimensional battle” and not just a procedural political process, but a battle that “for its victory, all other battles have been devoted.”
The elections, he added, “were a declaration of real affiliation to the homeland, that rises above affiliations given by IDs or passports.” “The elections were a bullet shot straight at the terrorists,” he added.
Assad stressed that Syria’s “victory could not have been achieved, had it not been for the blood of the martyrs and injured.”
President Assad added that “since the start, we warned that what was happening was a dangerous scheme for the region.”
“Isn't what we see today in Iraq, Lebanon, all countries infected by the false plague of the Arab spring, concrete, tangible proof of what we warned of before,” the Syrian leader asked.
On the other hand, President Assad stressed that Syria will continue fighting terrorism...
“We have decided from the first, to press on using a balanced approach; by both striking terrorism, plus making local peace moves towards those who wanted to return to the right path, and we were always confident that the right solutions would be and are, Syrian ones.”
“We're not concerned about those who left as traitors, agents or corrupters, as Syria has now been cleansed of them… and they have no place or position at the Syrian table.”
President al-Assad added that “this day marks the start of a new stage, the main distinguishing feature of which, is consensus on protecting the homeland and rebuilding it morally, psychologically, and physically, as well as consensus on eliminating terrorism and bringing all those who strayed from a proper path, back into the arms of the homeland.”
On the brutal Israeli aggression against Gaza, the Syrian leader noted this was not a separate event, “because all events since the occupation of Palestine, up to the invasion of Iraq and Sudan's division, were part of a chain of events planned by Israel and the West and implemented always by the countries of oppression, tyranny, and regression.”
President Assad stressed that the events in Syria and the whole region are directly linked to Palestine, adding that those who believe they can live in peace, while distancing them- selves from the Palestinian cause, are truly delusional.
Palestine “will always be the central cause based on principles & reality, and what that reality imposes in terms of links between what is happening in Syria and Palestine,” he said.
Finally, President Assad saluted the Syrian Army, which spared no effort in defense of the homeland, and salutes the popular defense groups --- and all the young men and women who took up arms in defense of the dignity, pride and honour, of their homeland.
UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, calls on all UN members to implement the sanctions imposed on Takfiri ISIL terrorists.
“Member states must meet their obligation to implement and enforce the targeted financial sanctions, arms embargo and travel ban imposed on ISIS (ISIL),”
the UN chief wrote in a report to the UN Security Council, on the UN's political mission in Iraq.
Al-Qaeda-linked groups, including ISIL, have been listed as terrorist entities under sanctions by the UN.
Ban denounces the crimes being committed by the terrorist group, describing their acts of terrorism & violence as “extremely disturbing.”
“I strongly condemn the upsurge of violence at the hands of ISIS and its supporters and call on (U.N.) member states, including Iraq’s neighbours, to come together and support Iraq in its fight against terrorism,” Ban wrote.
“Terrorism must not be allowed to succeed in steering Iraq away from its path towards stability and democracy,” he added.
The crisis in Iraq escalated after Takfiri ISIL terrorists took control of Mosul on June 10, then Tikrit, just 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of the capital.
The militants have declared a “caliphate” in the overrun areas.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said Saudi Arabia and Qatar are responsible for the security crisis and growing terrorism in his country, denouncing Riyadh as a major supporter of global terrorism.
Iraq forces withdraw from Tikrit offensive after heavy mortar fire
The Iraqi army has retreated from the city of Tikrit, 140km northwest of Baghdad, after their offensive met strong resistance.
The operation was an attempt to push back Sunni militants controlling large parts of the country.
Government army and allied Shiite volunteers withdrew their troops to a base four km south after being caught by heavy mortar and sniper fire, a soldier who fought in the battle tells Reuters news Agency.
KILLING FOR PEACE?
Israeli jets early on Wednesday bombed the home of a senior Hamas leader as part of a series of morning raids on Hamas officials.
There were reportedly no casualties there, but doctors reported 3 fatalities elsewhere in the morning.
Parliament of Union of People’s Republics adopts constitution of Novorossia
The parliament of the Union of People’s Republics (UPR) has adopted changes to the Constitution of the confederative state of Novorossia, and has passed a number of important laws, parliament head Oleg Tsaryov states.
“The second plenary meeting of the parliament of the Union of People’s Republics has taken place. The meeting adopted changes to the Constitution of UPR. We can now rightly, de jure, call our state Novorossia. This name has been enshrined in the Constitution. Our legislative body is now called the parliament of Novorossia,” he said.
Each deputy will be responsible for his own district, work & help people there, especially with humanitarian aid, parliament's head says.
“The real work with the citizens of Novorossia will be launched. I hope that the parliament of Novorossia will become a venue in which the people’s republics will be reaching consensus and developing common decisions. Step by step we will be moving towards building an independent state,” Tsaryov says.
“We all realise very well that two republics are stronger than each separate one. Having launched Novorossia as a project, having adopted the Constitution of the state, we are ready to admit all the other republics of southeast Ukraine, possibly, from the west also. In the Novorossia state all republics will have equal opportunities to settle language and cultural issues. They will have equal voting rights.
The parliamentary session held on Monday registered 48 deputies: 25 from Luhansk and 23 from Donetsk People’s Republics. UPR's parliament has 60 deputies: 30 from each republic.
On June 24th, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic, announced their decision to unite into a confederative state - the Union of People’s Republics.
The cease fire collapsed! Sadly, the cease fire collapsed.
Israel began large scale air raids on Gaza after Hamas & other organizations in Gaza refused to accept the cease-fire proposal... continuing to fire rockets into Israel.
The situation is escalating and many more innocent civilians will suffer - with no end in sight.
Please invite more people to call an end to this horrible war.
Israel accepted ceasefire proposal, as did Abbas, but Hamas rejected it.
According to a statement from the Israeli PM's Office, Israel's security cabinet accepted the Egyptian proposal on Tuesday morning for a ceasefire starting at 9am Tuesday, local time (0600 GMT).
Egypt's initiative demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, and urged Israel to stop its aggression on the Palestinian people.
The move was welcomed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who urged both parties to be committed to the terms of the initiative to stop the bloodshed.
The Cairo-based Arab League also supported Egypt's bid for a ceasefire in Gaza, calling on all parties to support it, said a joint statement after their extraordinary ministerial meeting.
The AL announced in the statement the formation of a ministerial committee "to head to the United Nations and demand an end to Israeli aggression & provide guaranteed protection for Palestinians."
Welcoming the initiative, US President Obama said Israel has the right to defend itself against the "inexcusable" attacks by Hamas militants, yet "the death & injury of Palestinian civilians is a tragedy, which is why we've emphasized the need to protect civilians."
Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, however, rejected the proposal, saying that there woul be no ceasefire until an agreement was reached to lift the illegal inhumane seige on Gaza.
"We reject any ceasefire before reaching a truce agreement," Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas' spokesperson in Gaza said, in an emailed press statement, adding that Gaza is still under occupation and seige and that their resistance to occupation and seige, is the right of their people to defend themselves, [and not merely a "terrorist threat"]
Abu Zuhri said they had not received any official initiative from any side.
"If the published text of this is correct, we can only say that it is an initiative of subordination and submission, which al-Qassam Brigades totally and completely rejects."
"Escalation, violence, counter-violence and the resultant victims will not favour any of the two parties," said the initiative.
The initiative urged both Israel and Palestinians in Gaza "to stop all acts of aggression whether via land, sea or air," and the opening of border crossings to facilitate the traffic of people and goods, in the light of stable security conditions on the ground.
Anti-coup forces in eastern Ukraine say they have shot down another military plane.
A recent video purportedly shows the moment when the Ukrainian military transport airplane, an Antonov-26, was hit in the Lugansk region.
Officials announced that the aircraft’s 5 crew parachuted out as soon as they were targeted.
Oleksiy Dmytrashkivsky, a spokesperson for Kiev's controversial military operations, says the army lost contact with the plane earlier, as it flew over 6,000 metres above the ground:
“Today, at around lunchtime, contact with this plane was lost. I cannot add anything more."
Military authorities said that the aircraft was hit after it threw down supplies for troops based in Krasnodon area of Lugansk.
Meanwhile, other reports said that anti-coup forces had destroyed 27 Ukrainian armored vehicles near Lugansk.
US "TRYING TO START WAR WITH RUSSIA"
James Fetzer, US philosopher, on Kiev's ferocity:
"As a former Marine Corps officer I would observe that they are taking extremely aggressive action against the rebels. It would not surprise me if someone at the level of Zbigniew Brzezinski, is advising them. It's intended to provoke Russia into a military response which may yet happen.
"As a philosopher I must observe that the silence of the US about the immorality of these actions is completely stunning. Here we have atrocities taking place...
"The Israelis are committing genocide in Gaza, but the US is mute because Israel is our ally. We have Ukraine committing genocide in Ukraine, but the US stands mute because Russia is now apparently our new enemy.
"The situation is a complete disgrace and America has lost any semblance of moral authority in the world.
"It appears that the forces behind this, which include the US military & NATO, are dedicated to provoking a conflict with Russia, which I must observe, it is not very likely to win.
"Russia has very sophisticated equipment, but, ultimately, if there is a nuclear exchange between these world powers we're all losers: a nuclear winter will threaten to envelope the earth --- and extinguish life on this planet."
RUSSIA "MULLS STRIKES" ON UKRAINE
Russia is considering targeted retaliatory strikes against Ukraine, after shells fired from Ukraine hit Russian territory, killing a civilian, media said.
Russian daily Kommersant, quoted a source close to the Kremlin, saying that Moscow is mulling the possibility of targeted strikes.
The source, whose name isn't mentioned, said “our patience is not limitless,” adding that Russia “knows exactly where they (the Ukrainians) are firing from.”
According to the source, Russia is considering targeted one-off strikes on the positions from which, shells are fired at Russian territory.
The Kiev government denies that Ukrainian shells have fallen on Russian territory, and blames the anti-coup forces in the area.
Russia's Rostov region has recently seen over a dozen shells hitting the area, which borders Ukraine’s eastern Lugansk region, where Kiev is attacking anti-coup forces.
Put Palestine under UN protection: Abbas
President of the Palestinian national unity government, Mahmoud Abbas, calls for the international protection of Palestine.
“President Abbas presented a letter to the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, addressed to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, to officially put the State of Palestine under the UN's international protection system and to form a legal committee for immediate follow-up,” the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) says in a statement.
Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the PLO, said in a statement after a meeting of the PLO executive that “Abbas is undertaking several steps and measures to deal with the horrific situation in Gaza.”
Russia warns of “irreversible consequences” after a cross-border shell fired from Ukraine, hit a residential area in Russia, killing one man and injuring two others.
In a statement, Russia's Foreign Ministry described the incident in Russia’s Rostov region as another act of aggression by Ukraine towards sovereign Russian territory, saying that Russia has the right to take measures to protect its territory and to ensure the security of its citizens.
“The incident shows an extremely dangerous escalation of tensions at the Russian-Ukraine border & can have irreversible consequences, for which Ukraine will bear responsibility,” the statement says.
The artillery shell from Ukraine reportedly killed a 46-year-old man and injured 2 elderly women.
Kiev, however, denies that any Ukrainian shells have fallen onto Russian territory, blaming it on anti-coup forces, who still control much of the border area.
The Russian Rostov region has recently seen over a dozen shells hitting the area, which borders Ukraine’s eastern Lugansk region, where Ukrainian troops are fighting Kiev's regime, installed and backed by the USA.
Hundreds of people have been killed in the ongoing military campaign in Ukraine, which has also forced tens of thousands to escape to Russia, with the majority arriving in the Rostov region.
France Announces New Military Operation in Africa
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says that about 3,000 soldiers will participate in an upcoming military operation in Africa.
The action will begin this summer, together with five regional countries. Its objective is to fight terrorist groups, Le Drian says.
The majority will be stationed in Chad and Mali, with 1,250 & 1,000 soldiers, respectively.
France also expects to activate its military bases in Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.
On the French intervention in Jan. 2013 in Mali, the minister notes that the troops will be relieved by the UN Stabilization Mission and finally, by Malian forces.
France also maintains nearly 2,000 soldiers in the Central African Republic, as part of Operation Sangaris, begun in Dec. 2013.
Russia Reopens Checkpoints on Ukrainian Border
The Russian border control service has reopened 3 checkpoints in the southern region of Rostov, bordering Ukraine, after over a week of interruptions due to mortar attacks from the other side of the border.
The checkpoints in Donestk, Gukovo and Novoshajtinsk were reopened and have resumed their functions, says Vasili Malaev, a representative of the Federal Security Service in Rostov.
Malaev notes that the checkpoints are now working normally but that there is no movement of people from Ukraine's side, in Gukovo or Novoshajtinsk.
The 3 checkpoints were closed in early July due to repeated attacks with heavy artillery from Ukraine.
Malaev says a projectile hit and exploded on the checkpoint, affecting border traffic.
Fortunately, there were no victims and the evacuation was quick, says Malaev.
Donetsk militia downs Ukraine’s Mi-24 chopper
Militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have downed a Mil-24 used by the Ukrainian Air Force, Novorossiya news agency says.
On the outskirts of Snezhny, in Donetsk region, the militia downed a Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopter by using a shoulder-carried air-defence system, and destroyed several of the enemy's combat units, it said.
Earlier, the DPR press service said its fighters had downed an Su-25 in a morning fight near Gorlovka city in the Donetsk region.
“Ukraine’s aviation launched an assault on the outskirts of the city,” the DPR spokes- person told reporters adding that “a return of vertical fire destroyed the jet, supposedly an Su-25.”
Earlier, militiamen destroyed a military plane, presumably an attack aircraft, in the area of the town of Perevalsk in the Lugansk region - another battleground of the civil conflict in Ukraine’s east.
DPR evacuating civilians from Donetsk outskirts under Ukrainian army’s fire.
“The refugees are heading for Russia and we can speak about several hundreds of refugees,” - DPR's prime minister says.
The Government of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has begun evacuating the population of Maryinka town bordering Donetsk city in the west, which is the battleground between DPR's militia and Kiev's army, PM Alexander Borodai says.
“First of all, we are evacuating children,” Borodai says. “The refugees are heading for Russia and involves several hundred refugees.”
Many residents are fleeing the area of the armed conflict on their own - by personal or municipal transport, he says.
Ukraine’s military have continued their bombardment of Maryinka, damaging a feed-milling factory, dairy, tire factory and a seepage station.
According to unverified data, the death toll in Maryinka now stands at 30.
Israeli Casualties by Resistance Rockets as Gaza's Offensive Death Toll hit 190
Seven Israelis were injured, one seriously, when rockets hit the occupied city of Ashdod.
Israeli media report that the petrol station in Ashdod suffered a direct hit by rockets fired at it, which started a massive fire.
Firefighters were deployed to the scene, and 7 people received medical treatment on the spot:-- one was severely wounded.
Iraq Accuses Kurds of Seizing Oil Fields
Iraq accuses Kurdish forces of seizing two oil fields near Kirkuk, as relations between Baghdad and the Kurdistan region hit a new low...
The Kurdish regional administration rejects the charge.
"The oil ministry strongly condemns the seizure and control of crude oil in the Kirkuk and Bey Hassan oil fields this morning, by groups of Kurdish peshmerga forces," the oil ministry says in a statement from Baghdad.
"The oil ministry strongly warns the Kurdistan region of the dangers of this irresponsible behavior which violates the constitution and the national economy, and disregards the federal authorities, threatening iraq's unity."
Halkurd Mulla Ali, a spokesperson for Kurdish peshmerga forces, tells AFP that "peshmerga forces have not approached the oil fields in Kirkuk" province.
Iraqi lawmakers have met but failed to gain a new government, in a parliament session meant to revive flagging efforts to form one. The only other time parliament met after the April polls ended, MPs exchanged heckles and others walked out.
RUSSIA TRIES AGAIN FOR UKRAINE TALKS
Russia's ambassador at the UN has attempted a third resolution to persuade Security Council members to stop the tragedy and arrange talks.
Russia Today reports that 2 warplanes (one in Donetsk, one in Lugansk), were shot down on Friday, and that 30 Kiev troops were killed by self-defence units.
A column of armoured vehicles was completely destroyed and over 100 Kiev soldiers were wounded.
President Poroshenko says "he" will kill 100s of anti-Kiev rebels for each one killed.
Kiev's army has intensified artillery fire on various buildings in Ukraine’s south- eastern Luhansk region.
According to military reports, huge strikes are being aimed at industrial facilities, as the self-defence Militias try to avoid direct clashes, but use mortars to hit back.
A transport station came under mortar fire near militia facilities of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, witnesses report from there.
ISIL NOW HAS DEADLY GAS AGENTS AND NUCLEAR MATERIALS, TAKEN FROM SYRIAN AND IRAQI STORES
ISRAEL ATTACKED GAZA WITHOUT MERCY
9 young Palestinians were killed and 15 injured in an overnight Israeli air raid on a Gaza Strip beach while watching the World Cup semifinal game between the Netherlands and Argentina.
The victims were sitting in a beach café in Khan Yunis when the Israeli F-16 fighter jet struck it.
No-one killed had been warned, according to Gulf News sources. However, this could not be independently verified.
4 dead, 16 injured as bus with miners fired upon in Eastern Ukraine.
At least four people have been killed and 16 injured after a bus carrying miners was shelled in Lugansk Region, eastern Ukraine. The bombardment almost ripped the bus apart, according to local witnesses
“Four have been killed and 16 injured, two of them are in intensive care as they're seriously injured,” Maksim Timchenko, director general of Donbass Fuel-Energy Company (DTEK), says.
The bus was taking the miners from DTEK to their workplace when it came under artillery fire at about 5:40pm local time (14:40 GMT). It's still unclear who carried out the attack.
The company has decided to stop work at some of its facilities in the region, to avoid similar tragedies.
“We've decided to stop work at four mines in Lugansk Region, where 4,500 people are employed, until we're sure that people are safe,” Timchenko adds.
Earlier, the company’s press service reported 15 injured, but didn’t state the number of dead.
‘As a result of the shell which hit the bus, over 15 people were injured. There are also dead miners,” said a statement from DTEK.
DTEK is an energy holding company with its HQ in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. It's the largest private vertically integrated energy holding in the country.
Established in 2005, the company employs about 140,000 people. In February, 2013, DTEK controlled about 50% of Ukraine's coal production.
DTEK mines produce about 41.4 million tons of coal, annually.
ALL OUT WAR DECLARED BY KIEV JUNTA
The Kiev regime installed by the US government says it has launched an “all-out attack” on the eastern city of Donetsk held by anti-coup forces.
The interior ministry states that military pushes are taking place "across several parts of the front", and that the 'all-out attack' may last for another month.
Early last Thursday, three Ukrainian army troops were killed and 27 others wounded in fighting between pro-federal protesters and Kiev's soldiers in the country’s east.
Leader of the self-proclaimed “Lugansk People’s Republic,” Valery Bolotov, says around 50 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in fighting over Lugansk airport, held by pro-Kiev forces.
HAMAS TARGET: NUCLEAR REACTOR
The Israeli military confirms that two Palestinian rockets struck Dimona - where Israel has a nuclear reactor.
Palestinian resistance groups in the besieged Gaza Strip, fired rockets in retaliation for Israeli attacks on the coastal enclave.
Israeli media reports say Israel's Chief of Staff, Lt General Benny Gantz stressed that pressure will be increased against all Palestinians.
The UN called for a stop to the rising tension, and a ceasefire immediately, but was ignored.
Gaza has been blockaded since 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, crushing levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.
The apartheid regime of Israel denies 1.7 million people in Gaza basic rights - such as freedom of movement, jobs with decent wages, and adequate healthcare and education.
Moscow says the anti Kiev coup militias in eastern Ukraine will not surrender --- until Kiev negotiates with them.
"They are not ready to fulfill Kiev's ultimatums to capitulate and lay down their arms before negotiations begin," Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says at a press conference with Foreign Minister, Federica Mogherini, of Italy, at a meeting in Moscow.
Lavrov repeats that the most important phase in resolving Ukraine's crisis is to put in force an unconditional ceasefire once again.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Ukraine, and Russia, make up “the contact group” for the crisis there.
"Another important aspect is that all members of the contact group assume their set task – an unconditional, bilateral, stable ceasefire - so they see their partners in the contact group as participants in the process, and not merely as people from whom they demand capitulation," Lavrov says.
Ukraine's Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey says Kiev won't hold talks with anti-coup units unless they “irrevocably lay down their arms.”
The security chief of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic Alexander Khodakovsky says pro-independence forces are preparing to defend Donetsk, an industrial city of one million people, and fight back after losing Slavyansk, their main stronghold, as oligarch President Poroshenko says he wants the army offensive to continue.
New PM approved in Luhansk People’s Republic
Marat Bashirov says the Luhansk People's Republic is switching over to rubles since Ukraine's Finance Ministry disconnected the Luhansk treasury from state servers.
The Supreme Council (parliament) of the self- proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) has approved the candidacy of Marat Bashirov as Chair of the LPR Council of Ministers.
Bashirov was born in 1964 in the Russian republic of Mordovia. He's a former vice president of private Russian energy company KES (Complex Energy Systems), which is present in 16 Russian regions.
The newly elected premier outlined the priorities of the Council of Ministers activity for the near future, which “will be aimed at the resolution of economic issues". He said a working budget variant will be drafted by November, with figures in rubles.
“The working variant of the budget will be drafted in rubles. Taking into account that Kiev disconnected our treasury yesterday, the issue of joining this or that currency emerged,” he said.
The new government of the LPR plans to resolve the issue of cooperation with the Russian Federation in the energy sphere shortly before this winter.
The Luhansk Republic is connected to Russia’s gas system, and, Bashirov said, "there'll be no difficulties with deliveries". He said that steam generating stations may be supplied to the LPR from Russia.
Spanish Figures Ask to Avoid Civilization's Collapse
Around 250 Spanish personalities demand that, if the world wants to avoid a probable civilization collapse in the 21st century, it needs an urgent change now, in its model of consumption.
The signatories of a manifesto circulated today assert that our present method of growing, is already a genocide in slow motion, and that the rate of progress is weakening, because of: the decline in cheap energy; climate change; and geopolitical tensions due to the need for resources.
The document, entitled 'Last Call', which can still be signed, asks parties & organizations emerging through social protest, to assume radical changes in their lifestyles.
Scientists, intellectuals and representatives of social, political & trade-union movements, warn that our present superficial planning of sustainable development, the commitment to eco-efficient technologies, or supposed "green" economies, is not enough.
We need a society whose objective is to recover balance with the biosphere, and which uses research, technology, its culture, economics and politics, to move forward towards that aim.
They say that the ecological crisis is not a partial issue, that affects just ecosystems or resources --- it determines all aspects of society: food, transport, industry, a balance between town and country, armed conflicts --- the foundations of our economy and life.
All civilizations come to an end, & we have to build a new one. The consequences of doing nothing or doing too little, lead us straight to a social, economic and ecological collapse, warns the manifesto.
However, the document says that, if we begin today, it is still possible to build a democratic society of solidarity, in peace with the planet.
Cayo Lara & Pablo Iglesias are among the politicians who have signed the document, and also social activists such as Ada Colau and Esther Vivas, writers like Isaac Rosa and Belen Gopegui, scientists such as Antonio Turiel, and many other figures.
Moscow hopes the EU will denounce the policy of the Kiev authorities, Russia's Foreign Ministry says.
“Despite numerous calls on the part of Russia, Ukraine’s Western partners, world bodies and the public, a massive military operation is still continuing in Ukraine’s East. Civilians are still being killed, and civil infrastructure facilities are still being destroyed by the operation,” the ministry says.
“It's apparently senseless to demand that Kiev stop shelling civil facilities yet again. Kiev is deaf to calls to save the lives of people,” the ministry says.
“In this connection, we hope for a proper reaction on the part of the EU countries, condemning the criminal policy of the Kiev authorities.”
“Can it be that their policy is being conducted within the framework of the so-called political part of the association agreement between the EU and Ukraine?” the statement queries.
The Russian foreign policy department cites events in eastern Ukraine over the last few days, including artillery strikes on a Luhansk city suburb- Bolshaya Vergunka, Luhansk itself, as well as on Sloviansk, & air strikes on Donetsk Airport.
A few bombs exploded on the grounds of Luhansk regional clinical treatment centre. In the Rostov Region in southern Russia, the “Donetsk” border- crossing point came under fire from Ukraine, and in Nikolayevka (15 kilometers from Sloviansk), Ukrainian troops opened fire on civilians who were trying to leave the city.
On July 6th, National Guard soldiers conducted a mopping-up operation in Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, when they arrested all people who have ever given interviews to Russian journalists.
The next day, the cities came under artillery fire, despite the fact that the militiamen had left them.
“Kiev’s security officials are destroying their own cities, using tactics which are seldom used, even by occupation troops on hostile territory,” the Russian Foreign Ministry says. “These are facts. They can’t be hidden.”
At the end of last year, Ukraine’s then-President Viktor Yanukovych, suspended the signing of an association agreement with the EU to study the deal more thoroughly. His decision triggered anti-government protests that turned violent, and eventually led to a coup in February 2014.
New people were brought to power in Kiev using riots and ultranationalist rhetoric, supported by neo-fascist parties which now make up a third of Ukraine's cabinet.
AHMADZAI WINS AFGHAN PRESIDENCY
Ex Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has won Afghanistan's presidential elections, having received 56.44% of the votes.
According to preliminary information given by a Central Electoral Commission member, Ahmadzai’s competitor, ex Foreign Minister, Abdullah Abdullah, received 43.56%.
The final official results will be announced on July the 22nd.
People’s militias in south-east Ukraine seize assault plane, anti-aircraft guns
Igor Plotnitsky, the defense minister of the self- proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, says that the self-defense forces now have a Su-25 assault plane at their disposal.
“We seized a Su-25 plane from the Ukrainian army when it was making an emergency landing. It will be ready to go into battle again after minor repairs. The army of the Luhansk People’s Republic, has its own aviation,” Plotnitsky said.
Residents of Donetsk say they saw two lorries with anti-aircraft guns driving to Karlivka, 20km from Donetsk, carrying self-defence fighters.
People’s militias have set up checkpoints at all exits and entrances to Donetsk.
“It is possible to go in and out of the city. Checkpoints have been set up at all transport arteries. However, they are not hindering the movement by civilians, including cars,” the press service of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic tells ITAR-TASS.
“Shops, banks, enterprises and social service institutions are working normally. The situation in the city is calm. There is no panic in Donetsk. Many people who wanted to leave the city for fear of military hostilities in its territory, have decided to stay,” the press service says.
Moscow concerned about Kiev troops shelling civilian territories
Moscow is concerned by reports that the eastern Ukrainian towns abandoned by self-defense forces, including Slavyansk & Kramatorsk, are still being shelled by Ukrainian troops, states the Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, Konstantin Dolgov.
He describes the shelling as a way the Kiev government continues “to exert pressure” on those who are “dissatisfied, and do not want to reconcile themselves with the plans the authorities in Kiev are imposing on them.”
Dolgov calls for an immediate termination of the military operation by Kiev.
People in Donetsk rally in support of pro-Russians
A huge demonstration was held in Donetsk to support pro-Russian forces.
Thousands of pro-Russian supporters demonstrated in the city.
The protest rally came after Ukrainian troops forced pro-Russia forces out of Slavyansk.
Anti-Kiev-coup fighters left the city for Kramatorsk after Ukrainian security forces' overnight attacks, saying they did it to avoid civilian casualties, as Kiev's junta had poured armed units into the city, using attack jets, multiple rocket launchers and heavy artillery.
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko ordered the Ukrainian flag to be hoisted all across the flashpoint city.
Opposition leader, Andrei Purgin, claims his men left Slavyansk to protect the civilian population.
Violence in Ukraine worsened after the Donetsk and Lugansk regions declared independence on May 12th, after referenda, in which residents overwhelmingly voted in favor of independence from Kiev. The authorities, who came to power in a US-backed coup, dismiss the referenda as “null and void”.
Hundreds of people have so far lost their lives as a result of the ongoing military campaign in Ukraine, which has forced tens of thousands to escape to Russia.
Iran, Russia to join forces against terror in Iraq: Tehran
Iran & Russia have agreed to jointly help Iraq curb terrorism, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, Hossein Amir- Abdollahian, says.
“Tehran and Moscow firmly support Iraq in its fight against terrorism and will strongly stand by the Iraqi nation and government to protect Iraq’s unity, independence, and territorial integrity,” Amir-Abdollahian says, to al-Alam Arabic-language news channel.
He adds that Iran and Russia both oppose any conspiracy for the disintegration of Iraq into smaller entities.
The top Iranian diplomat continues: “Tehran and Moscow have close, and in many cases, a common and coordinated stance, on regional developments.”
Iran and Russia believe that Iraq, along with its fight against terrorism, should seriously focus on completing the political process and facilitate parliament forming a cabinet.
The first session of the newly elected parliament was adjourned on July 1st, for a week, without choosing a new speaker, as Kurdish lawmakers boycotted the session over their conflicts with other lawmakers.
Members of parliament are tasked with naming a new unity government. After choosing a new parliament speaker, they will have to pick Iraq's president and prime minister, within 45 days.
Incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is bidding for a third term, despite stiff opposition from his key rivals.
On Iraq's future, Abdollahian says Tehran will respect and support any coalition formed by Maliki’s State of Law coalition, which won the most parliamentary seats in the elections.
“If Maliki is introduced as the prime minister and agreement is reached inside Iraq, we will strongly support him; and if any other individual is elected and approved within the framework of the recent election’s outcome, he too will be supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he says, adding, "This is an entirely internal issue for Iraq."
Iraq is currently enduring a wave of violence, which escalated after militants from the ISIL terrorist group, backed by several Western countries and Saudi Arabia, took control of large swathes of the country, including key cities, last month.
Ukraine’s military shells east Ukraine’s Lugansk residential quarters
Kiev’s military opened artillery fire on residential buildings in east Ukraine’s Lugansk, the militia of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic stated.
The fire was presumably conducted from Grad multiple launch rocket systems, the militia said.
“Several buildings are burning in the city; there are wounded persons and a lot of ambulances in the streets. Eye-witnesses say the strike was delivered against the Accumulator Plant near the bus terminal,” the local self-defense militia said.
“The residents are hurriedly going into air- raid shelters or leaving the shelling area.”
The local residents also reported several powerful explosions near Lugansk airport.
The Ukrainian military are also shelling the city’s Krasnodon, Sverdlovka districts, and the Izvarino checkpoint, the press office of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic said.
Combat operations are also continuing near the settlements of Mettalist and Krasny Yar, and near the Izvarino checkpoint, which is controlled by the local self-defense militia, the press office said.
A signature-collecting point has been opened in the centre of Lugansk, to sign an appeal to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, with a demand to stop Kiev’s aggression against civilians.
Health Minister of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic Viktor Avakyan said that at least 80 people, including 56 civilians and 24 self-defense fighters, had been taken to Lugansk hospitals as a result of bombings and shelling by the Ukrainian military.
SLAVYANSK's MEN BEING TAKEN AWAY
Kiev's authorities are arresting all men aged from 25 to 35 in Ukraine’s southeastern city of Slavyansk, whether they are members of the self-defence forces or not, the speaker of the parliament of the Union of Lygansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, Oleg Tsarev, told Russia 24 TV channel.
“Overnight, they arrested all policemen and took them out of the city. They are arresting all young men aged from 25 to 35, not even trying to find out whether these men took to arms or not. Searches are underway. They are trying to find those who helped take care of the wounded,” he said.
Donetsk militia confirms -- left stronghold cities of both Slavyansk and Kramatorsk
The self-defense forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have left the cities of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, for the south of the region, says the republic’s HQ.
A column of DNR militia arrived from Slavyansk - which had been surrounded by the Kiev military - to Kramatorsk. However, the self-defense forces later left Kramatorsk as well and headed towards areas in Donetsk region – such as the city of Gorlovka - which remain under militia control.
“Kramatorsk was difficult to defend because of its poor location. That’s why the Command decided to leave the city,” a representative of the DPR headquarters told RIA Novosti agency.
However, the source says, small self-defense groups remain in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk ready to fight with the Kiev-coup's forces.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's US installed PM Arseny Yatsenyuk, announces that the military operation “liberating Slavyansk and Kramatorsk from terrorists” has been accomplished, the Kiev regime's press-service reports.
The country’s President Petro Poroshenko calls the “liberation of Slavyansk” symbolic.
“It’s not a complete victory yet. But the clearing of Slavyansk from an armed to the teeth gang of bigots has a huge symbolic meaning," his official website reports.
According to Poroshenko, it is a turning point “in the fight with terrorists for the territorial integrity of Ukraine” and for “the return to normal life” in the Donetsk region.
Poroshenko has ordered the authorities to provide aid to Slavyansk residents and to those in other areas “liberated from the militants”. He also promises that work to resume water and energy supplies will start "in the nearest future".
So far though, the military operation seems to have brought local residents only grief and devastation.
“You think you won? That was a tactical retreat. We will enter Slavyansk again, with victory,” Denis Pushilin, one of the DPR leaders tweets.
Slavyansk residents say government forces are checking locals’ IDs and detaining all suspicious individuals.
As Russian Channel One reported earlier, the self-defense units had to leave Slavyansk after “massive shelling” of the city, and when armored vehicles entered the area and street fighting began. That’s when the self-defense forces took the decision to leave the city, the channel says.
“Despite the massive bombardment, fighters stormed out of the city and headed straight for neighboring Kramatorsk. A part of their hard-ware was shot down in the process,” the channel says.
Hours later, as self-defense troops left their second stronghold as well, the Ukrainian flag was raised over Kramatorsk's admin building, which was used as the DPR headquarters.
Further to the south, in the capital of the region Donetsk, eyewitnesses say they spotted a lot of DPR’s military hardware and “suntanned and bearded men with tattoos,” RIA Novosti quotes.
Donetsk authorities said earlier that they didn't have any confirmation that self-defense forces were moving toward the city, Mayor Aleksandr Lukyanchenko’s website says.
Earlier, one of the leaders of Donetsk People’s Republic, Pavel Gubarev, said the Slavyansk militia would probably relocate to Donetsk and the surrounding area.
Ukraine's Interior Ministry announces that it's going to launch an investigation against “every policeman” in Slavyansk to find out whether they cooperated with the self- defense forces.
Such line-of-duty checks will define if “an employee of Slavyansk police cooperated with separatists or maintained loyalty to the Ukrainian people,” Deputy Interior Minister Sergey Yarovoy says, as cited by Ukraine's post-coup media.
Police in Donetsk region will be reformed - starting with Donetsk and Lugansk cities - “due to necessity” - says the neo-fascist Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov.
And for now, law enforcers from other Ukrainian regions will be sent to work in the area.
“Police from the entire country will be working there, including those who got though the filter of fighting during the anti-terrorist operation: in other words the guys who were not afraid,” he tells journalists, as sited by segodnya.ua news portal.
All the policemen who violated their oaths and left their guard posts in Donetsk and Lugansk region have been fired, Avakov says. He adds that in some cases, “these people were arrested”.
Donetsk militia confirm Slavyansk falls to Kiev
Russia's Foreign Ministry announces that Moscow is halting delivery of all weapons, Ukrainian military forces' equipment and funds owed by Crimea to Kiev's authorities, because of their military acts in the east, which have caused the “death of civilians, including children, and the civilian infra- structure in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, being destroyed.”
“The decision will be valid until a full cease- fire in the east of Ukraine by the country’s military, & a peaceful solution is reached,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry says.
Afghan lorries go up in flames
A huge fire has destroyed over 400 vehicles - carrying fuel and oil for US-led forces - near Kabul, police say.
Afghan police spokesperson, Hashmatullah Stanekzai, says the fire broke out overnight at the lorry terminal near Paghman town, northwest of Kabul.
Most of the tankers burnt were used to carry fuel to US-led troops operating in Afghanistan.
The Taliban claims responsibility for the fire. The group also claims that 600 lorries and fuel tankers went up in flames.
Leaked: ‘US think-tank plan’ on E. Ukraine suggests internment camps, executions
A leaked memo attributed to 'RAND corporation think tank', suggests the Ukrainian govt should engage in an all-out war in the east, including shutting down all communications, putting citizens in internment camps and killing all who resist such actions.
In the letter, leaked to online media, advice is offered, step by step, on how to deal with the people of eastern Ukraine.
The document's authenticity, (it bears the RAND corporate logo), however, could not be independently verified.
The RAND Corporation is a non-profit global think tank which offers research and analysis to the US' armed forces.
In the first line the memorandum notes that the peace plan - as outlined by the new president - is likely to fail. However, it suggests that any political or material downsides to following the military operation, will be “outweighed” by the gains.
The letter lists the advantages that a full scale military onslaught against the break- away eastern Ukrainian regions would have.
The pro-Russian political movement, claims the advice, would be decimated and the pro- Russian voters would become disorganized.
Instead of upholding the region’s coal supplies as a source of future employment, it says the decimation of the coal industry in the fighting would mean they would be quickly shut down, thereby relieving Ukraine of any subsidy costs.
Shutting down Donbass' industries would mean a reduction in Russian gas consumption and the destruction of local oligarch Rinat Akhmetov’s clan, and his political and economic clout.
The memorandum then lists a three stage military campaign to guarantee victory.
Stage one, called the total isolation of the rebel regions, presumes that all civilians who stayed behind are “complicit in the unrest or supportive of it.”
It proposes that martial law be imposed in the area with a strict curfew between 20:00 and 06:00, while all local authorities would have their competencies terminated and their Constitutional rights would be suspended.
The regions should then be encircled with troops with special attention being given to areas which border Russia.
On the media, it recommends that all broadcasting services, telephone and mobile communications and internet services in the region should be shut down and that the international media should be “subject to a special procedure.”
Stage 2: Internment camps for male adults, those who resist to be killed on the spot.
Stage Two of the operation, called 'mop-up', involves a gradual tightening of the circle of troops round the region, followed by air- strikes, then artillery and mortar assaults, against the “enemy’s” strategic facilities.
Without any apparent regard for human life, RAND authors advise that the use of non- conventional arms should not be ruled out “to ensure smaller casualties among our own personnel”.
The authors then say that settlements should be liberated one by one with armour going in first, followed by infantry who should shoot to kill anyone bearing arms.
In what appears to be advising ethnic cleansing, all male adults should be removed to internment camps, while anyone attempting to resist should be executed; children under 13 and people over the age of 60 should be moved to specially equipped facilities in other areas.
RAND then says that anyone with bruises, scuff marks, traces of gun powder or gun oil on their clothes should be tried in court for separatism and terrorism.
Residents who don’t fall into these categories would be allowed to return home after a period of two months “of internment” and would then be under surveillance by the security services.
Stage 3: Property of convicted and displaced to be nationalized.
Stage Three, called ‘Back to Normal’, says that all refugees “from the warzone” should then be allowed to return home.
Men aged 18-60 shall be “checked” in internment camps, while the property of those convicted or displaced residents of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, shall be nationalized.
The area of the punitive operation shall be made “off limits” to foreign media, the memorandum concludes.
Syrian army recaptures Aleppo's industrial city
Syrian government forces announce that they have fully recaptured an industrial city in the northern province of Aleppo.
Activists say that Syrian troops carried out over 20 airstrikes on the city, to dislodge the rebels there.
Aleppo, once called Syria's economic hub, has seen hard battles between government troops and an array of jihadist groups.
The Syrian troops' fresh victory comes as al Nusra Front is deadlocked in fights with the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant in Aleppo and areas in eastern Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK- based one-man operation in a semi in England, says over 7,000 rebels and civilians have been killed since earlier this year, because of rebel- on-rebel battles.
RUSSIA NEEDS TO TAKE "ALL MEASURES" TO STOP BEING EMASCULATED BY EU & US
NATO arming Ukraine with Soviet weapons – Deputy PM Rogozin
NATO's newest Eastern European members - on US orders - are handing over their Soviet arms stockpiles to Kiev's army, Russia’s Deputy PM, Dmitry Rogozin, says, adding that the alliance is in danger of pouring gasoline on the flames of that country’s civil war.
Rogozin, who oversees Russia's military industry, tweets that NATO is asking its newest members to get rid of operable Soviet military equipment & send it to Ukraine, to aid the miserable state of the country’s military hardware.
“In turn, the US is ready to "compensate" the losses of newly coopted NATO member states. The American military-industrial complex must be happy,” Rogozin writes in his Twitter account.
“By the way, this is NATO’s commonplace - to put out the fire of civil wars with aviation kerosene,” Rogozin adds.
Over the past months of Ukraine’s political crisis, NATO member states - primarily the US - have said they are sending non-lethal aid to Ukrainian troops, such as uniforms and tents, and even promised to deploy a number of military instructors to train the Ukrainian army to fight the anti-kiev coup regions in Eastern Ukraine.
Political commentator Mikhail Rostovsky says the “US and EU are thinking, not about Ukraine, but about the neutralization of Russia.”
Rostovsky compares the current policies of the EU and US leaders with that of UK PM Thatcher and French President Mitterrand, towards the reunification of East and West Germany in 1990.
Speaking loudly about “the European choice for Ukraine,” EU and US politicians are essentially seeking ways to drive a wedge between Moscow and Kiev, to neutralize what they see as Russia’s possible “imperial ambitions,” Rostovsky says.
“We’re dealing with politics dictated by fear: God forbid the Kremlin’s imperial instincts got awakened! This is a matter of principle: to deny the Kremlin any opportunity, by breaking Ukraine from Russia.”
Rostovsky says he fully agrees with the German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who told Der Spiegel in late April, that Europe has slid “into the worst crisis since the end of the Cold War.”
“Those who can remember the fall of the Berlin Wall know what we've accomplished over the past 25 years. The gains we've made almost everywhere in Europe in terms of peace, freedom and prosperity, are now at risk,” Steinmeier says, adding that that it is important to take “every measure to prevent things [in Ukraine] from getting worse.”
Ukraine defense minister vows victory parade in Crimea
The new Ukrainian defense minister has vowed to hold a victory parade in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol, which was annexed by Russia following a referendum in March.
Valeriy Heletey said that he would not only restore the country's territorial integrity, but also hold a victory parade in Sevastopol, currently disputed by Moscow and Kiev.
"We will ensure peace and harmony in our country. Be sure there will be many victories. We can bring peace and harmony to our home. I am convinced that Ukraine will win. And believe me, a victory parade will certainly be held in Ukrainian Sevastopol," Heletey told a session of the parliament in Kiev.
Meanwhile, fighting continues between Kiev forces and anti-coup forces in eastern Ukraine.
SAUDI TROOP MOVE "NEWS" IS JUST "MORALE SAPPING NEWS MANAGEMENT"
As Iraqi troops battled their way into Tikrit's centre, Saudi troops, 30,000 strong, were reported to have moved onto Iraq's borders, in an area now left less heavily defended by Iraq, Saudi media allege.
That's what Saudi media says, but Baghdad denies pulling off any guards from any borders.
Saudi state-owned news channel Al Arabiya released a video apparently showing Iraqi soldiers saying the government ordered them to retreat from their positions along borders with Syria in the west and Saudi Arabia in the south, despite no evident danger.
“We didn’t know why,” an officer says in the video, which was obtained by Al Arabiya’s sister channel Al Hadath.
The reports didn’t clarify if the alleged withdrawal included Iraq’s borders with Jordan and Kuwait, both in the southern part of Iraq, or Turkey in the north.
The authenticity of the video cannot be immediately verified, but the withdrawal report is denied by an Iraqi government spokesperson.
"This is false news aimed at affecting the morale of our people and the morale of our heroic fighters," spokesperson Lt General Qassim Atta, tells reporters in Baghdad. He adds that the frontier is "fully in the grip" of Iraqi border troops.
The deployment by King Abdullah is meant to protect the Sunni Islamic state from potential “terrorist threats” Saudi state news agency SPA commented.
Baghdad has received limited military assistance from the US to battle the terrorists (ISIL) because Washington says now "it doesn't want to" deploy ground troops in the country it once occupied.
The idea of any such US deployment is also objected to by Saudi Arabia, a fundamental Sunni monarchy and long-time ally of the US.
So far, the biggest military help Iraq has apparently received... is from Shiite Iran.
‘Thanks, Ukraine Air Force’: Bombarded villagers accuse Kiev of killing civilians
The village of Kondrashovka in eastern Ukraine lies devastated, after shelling by Kiev troops killed seven people. Bodies torn to pieces are strewn across the settlement and those who survived ask: why did Kiev kill their families?
At least 5 shells hit the settlement, destroying an entire street in the peaceful Lugansk region community, just 25km from the city of Lugansk.
“They killed my mother, and my father is injured. I took him to hospital,” Aleksandr Mironenko told RT’s Marina Finoshina, one of the few journalists to report from the scene.
Aleksandr was desperately showing pieces of human flesh scattered across his property.
“Come here - can you see this? It's a human body which has been torn to pieces. Let's go and film some more, I'll show you. Bodies everywhere, obviously all of them are terrorists!” he said sarcastically, through tears.
Next door, Kondrashovka residents told a tragic story of their friend, who lost his 5-year-old son.
“He celebrated his son’s 5th birthday yesterday, today the boy's leg was cut off – I don’t know if he's alive or not,” said Sergey, a neighbour.
“No, no, he died, said another man.
“He died? Yes. Then he died,” adds Sergey.
Few of the village residents were left unharmed by the shelling. One of ‘the lucky ones,’ Andrey, said his family was not home when the shelling started, but his property was badly damaged. He showed RT holes from the shells in a fence.
“What do I think? ‘Thank you, Ukrainian Air Force’,” he said, adding that his family would have died, had they been there when the attack hit.
Stunned residents ask why the government is targeting their peaceful village. Kiev troops claim they are killing ‘terrorists’, but here, that term includes women, children and the elderly.
“Why? There was nobody here – only peaceful civilians, poor people who worked from dawn till dusk,” says a local woman.
“We are peaceful. We don’t mind Poroshenko being in office,” says Irina Stasyuk, a local resident, “But don’t kill us. There are 12 people here.”
Yury, a veteran military pilot, had his own opinion on why the troops targeted the village. He said the aircraft targeted a self-defense base, but either missed or intentionally fired on civilian dwellings.
“The first time the aircraft pilot got it right – there is a self-defense base 3km from here. He hit it,” said Yury. “But the second time, he pulled the trigger a few seconds late - either by mistake, or he received an order to target this village. I don’t know.”
In the meantime, the pro-Kiev Azov Battalion deputy commander, admits that bombarding Kondrashovka might have been the result of “pilot error.”
“I think there was both pilot error and shelling from outside,” Igor Mosyichuk told Ukraine’s 112 Channel, adding that Kondrashovka turned out to be “between a rock and a hard place” – people’s self-defense forces and Kiev troops.
Even after the attack, the rest of the village is not safe, as during the interviews the cannonade can be distinctly heard.
RT crew visited the local hospital where there is no water and electricity, as the local power station was hit in another air raid.
“We received 13 people – four of them are already dead, including a five-year-old, a boy,” Maksim Pavlov from the central hospital says.
Among the injured is Ivan Mironenko, a father of Aleksandr, a local resident.
After Ivan lost his wife in the attack, he doesn’t want to live anymore, saying he sees no point.
“Why was she killed? Why not me? Why is God punishing me like this?” exclaims Ivan, sobbing.
Russian authorities strongly condemn attacks on eastern Ukrainian civilians by Kiev forces.
Moscow demands that Ukrainian authorities stop shelling civilian objects in the country in order to save the lives of local people, said Russian FM Sergey Lavrov at a press conference with his Moroccan counterpart.
“Western countries should urge Kiev to follow the declaration approved in Berlin, which calls for the formation of a special contact group aiming at establishing a truce in Ukraine,” he added.
The regions of eastern Ukraine have been continuously targeted by Kiev troops in recent months.
Fearing a deepening of the crisis, scores of refugees have left the country. The number of Ukrainian refugees in Russia has reached 110,000 people, the UN’s refugee dept. said, on June 27th.
Shells devastate entire streets in eastern Ukrainian town
Eyewitnesses in the Cossack settlement of Luganskaya accuse government forces of committing airstrikes on densely-populated residential areas.
Kiev says the devastation is the result of shelling by anti-coup forces.
Kiev govt, Russia, Germany, France agree East Ukraine ceasefire
A roadmap of measures that point a way out of the Ukraine crisis, has been agreed during four-way talks between the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine, the German FM, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, says.
In their joint statement, ministers call for the Contact Group to resume its work “no later than July 5 with the goal of reaching an unconditional and mutually agreed, sustainable ceasefire.”
The group should include representatives of both Kiev and the self-defense forces of the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, says.
“The ceasefire should be monitored by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, in conformity with its mandate,” their joint statement reads.
Lavrov says that the ceasefire is essential to prevent further casualties among the civilian population, and to provide the chance of reaching an agreement between all sides in the conflict.
Moscow is ready to grant Ukraine border guards access to Russian territory, so they can control border crossings at several checkpoints, while the mutually agreed ceasefire is in place.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is called upon to deploy observers at the checkpoints.
“Of course, this will work only during a ceasefire. It will all be possible only after the ceasefire is agreed and officially declared,” Lavrov says.
The Russian FM insists that the ceasefire must in no way be used to redeploy forces by either side involved in the Ukrainian conflict.
"All sides must contribute to a secure environment," the joint statement concludes, emphasizing a need to ensure the safety and security of journalists working in the conflict zone.
Steinmeier expresses hope that, by working together, the sides will be able to stop “the escalation of the conflict, which has taken place in recent days.”
Ukraine’s foreign minister, Pavlo Klimkin, confirms that during the Berlin talks the parties agreed “the establishment of a bilateral ceasefire, which will be monitored by the OSCE.”
However, he says that de-escalation will only happen when the Ukrainian president’s peace plan is respected in its totality.
Klimkin also expresses hope that “the effectiveness of control over the border regime between the Ukraine and Russia will be strengthened,” as a result of the Berlin agreements.
French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, describes the outcome of the talks as “mission accomplished.”
“Our task is, first of all, to achieve peace and security. I think that the agreement the four countries reached is a step in the right direction,” he says.
According to Fabius, the most important issues to be addressed in Ukraine are the “ceasefire; the release of hostages and a border settlement.
US commander’s accusations toward Russia aimed at justifying ceasefire break by Ukraine – Moscow
The accusations by Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, US General Philip Breedlove, who blamed Russia for destabilizing the situation in Ukraine, are aimed at justifying the breaking of the cease- fire in southeast Ukraine by the country’s army, the Russian Foreign Ministry says.
“We think it is absolutely unacceptable when a military representative of such a high rank gets involved in an information & propaganda campaign by spreading false information about the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border,” says Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Aleksandr Lukashevich.
He adds that no convincing proof of a Russian military buildup along the border with Ukraine was presented.
SHAPING THE WORLD MOVES US ALL CLOSER TO WW3
President Putin says Poroshenko's declaration of "war to the end" on the anti-coup forces in Ukraine, cuts across the wishes of Europe's major powers, Germany and France.
He suggests that "an outside influence" is to blame.
In a speech to Russia's ambassadors, he asks if anyone is happy with the West's attempts to "turn the whole world into a military barracks".
There is focused effort to liquidate journalists in Ukraine — Putin
At least three Russian journalists covering developments in Ukraine’s embattled south- eastern regions were killed in June.
Japan's Abe in a dangerous coup against the pacifist Constitution Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has now completed a dangerous coup, to overturn the country's post-war pacifism and democratic ideals.
He has released Japan's legally tethered military and war will, from a war-renouncing Constitution.
His move drastically changes Japan's defense stance since the end of World War II, and could see the country dragged into bloody conflicts in the near future.
Japan's new collective self-defence stance, breaks its internationally-recognized anti-war constitution, as Article 9 reads "the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes."
"To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized."
Abe avoided the normal procedures to amend the Constitution by accepting broad "conditions to the use of force," not the original "conditions to launch self-defense", thereby violating the spirit of Japan's Constitution.
Abe's coup against the Constitution exposes his scorn for public opinion, as many surveys conducted by Japanese mainstream media show nearly 70% of Japanese oppose Abe's plot to exercise 'collective defense' through reinterpreting the constitution, and over 60% are against allowing the SDF to engage in war outside Japan, through any means.
Abe's trusted follower, deputy PM Taro Aso talked earlier about changing the no-war constitution, but suggested that Japan... should do it quietly...
"Just as in one day the Weimar constitution changed to the Nazi constitution --- without anyone realizing it --- why don't we learn from that sort of tactic?" Aso suggested.
Now Abe has reached his goal through such "Nazi tactics," having hollowed the Constitution's Article 9 and over- thrown the country's peaceful path in the postwar era.
Abe's visit to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine, which honours 14 convicted Japanese war criminals from WW2, also challenged the judgments of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, and his claim to islands disputed with Japan's neighbours, attacks the essence of both the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation.
Now, Abe's final volume of his "postwar remilitarization trilogy" is completed --- tearing up Japan's peaceful commitment to the international community --- as the resolution on collective defense, has now been voted through.
A Japanese lawmaker bemoans that the "dusk of the Weimar Constitution" is now repeated --- in Japan.
One can only hope that the dusk of Japan's pacifist constitution will not lead to the entire collapse of the postwar international system.
Southeastern militiamen shoot down Ukrainian attack aircraft - eyewitnesses
Militiamen of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) have shot down a Sukhoi Su-27 air superiority fighter, militiamen said.
2 pilots of the plane ejected, militia representatives said. LPR soldiers are currently combing the terrain in search of the pilots near the Luganskaya village, where the aircraft earlier fired a shot.
Hundreds of people have been killed, buildings destroyed and tens of thousands forced to flee Ukraine to Russia as a result of Kiev’s military operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine’s embattled South-east involving armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation, which has been conducted since mid-April.
Fierce military attacks by pro-Kiev forces on the country’s southeastern regions resumed after Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko decided to end the 10-day ceasefire in the South-east. There were numerous reports that the truce was repeatedly violated by... Kiev.
The Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which border on Russia, held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine.
South Ossetia has recognized the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR).
IRAQ FIGHTS AS VULTURES GATHER
Behind the Scenes: Turkey Trying to Strike Deal with Kurds on Iraq
Military intelligence experts estimate that the fall of hundreds of villages in Aleppo countryside by government forces will take place soon, after the Takfiris recently received devastating blows in many Syrian districts. Qatari authorities are trying again to explore the possibility of a reconciliation with the Syrian government. Turkish authorities are trying to strike a deal with the Kurds in Iraq, to benefit from recent developments in Mosul. The ISIL occupation of Mosul has reinvigorated Turkish ambitions to annex parts of Iraq's provinces to Turkey. Over 5,000 Takfiri members were killed in continuing fights between different military groups in Syria, especially ISIL and Al-Nusra.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says:
"Throughout the years of its independence, Ukraine did not bother to officially register its borders as that of a sovereign state."
There has been, and can be, no violation of the Ukrainian border by Russia. Under the CIS agreement, Ukraine's territory only has administrative borders as set within the USSR, while Russia is a legal successor to the USSR, Nezavisimaya Gazeta points out today.
According to the paper, it's now impossible in principle, to accuse anyone of violating Ukraine's borders because, "as far as the international law is concerned, the country simply does not have an officially set border."
In order to resolve this problem, the newspaper says, Kiev must agree on border demarcation with all neighboring states, including Russia.
Although Kiev is trying to carry out unilateral demarcation, "it will be null and void from the point of view of international law."
Ukraine president terminates ceasefire!!!
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has decided not to prolong a ceasefire with Donetsk & Lugansk People’s Republics, announcing the end of a fragile deal to de-escalate tensions in the eastern regions of the country.
“We will attack & will free our land,” Poroshenko said. The ceasefire officially ended at 19:00 GMT, according to a statement that appeared on the president’s website shortly after midnight.
Hours before the ceasefire, and since, heavy shelling and intense shooting is reported in the city of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region.
“The shelling started at 22:25 local time,” US photographer, Patrick Lancaster, 'phones in from Kramatorsk.
“We are in the basement of the Kramatorsk Hotel. About 2 hours ago, mortaring started on the centre of the city. Each wave lasted anywhere between 5 to 20 minutes, and there were 3 different waves of mortars. I do not have any direct information about the wounded or killed, but there were so many explosions, that I really think there's a large number of casualties.”
Itar-Tass's source says the attack by Kiev troops began at 19:30 GMT. The Ukrainian military claims it was Self-Defence militia who attacked first, killing several service members.
The newly-elected president (in a 40% vote) says that the decision to unilaterally end the ceasefire was taken after meeting Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council.
Poroshenko says “peace” is the end game, but the “tools” of achieving it have changed:
“Protection of Ukraine's territorial integrity, security and lives of civilians requires not only defensive, but offensive acts against terrorists-militants.
“Armed Forces, the National Guard, the State Border Service, the Security Service, have received their appropriate orders,” he says, adding that they “are no longer constrained by the ceasefire.”
“Non-renewal of the ceasefire is our response to terrorists, rebels, looters, all those who torment the civilians, who paralyze the economy of the region, who disturb the payment of salaries, pensions, stipends, who undermine the railroads, destroy water pipes, those who deprive people of a normal peaceful life,” Poroshenko said in an address to the nation.
Poroshenko puts all the blame for the truce failure on representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk militias, claiming they violated the ceasefire “over 100 times,” thus losing this “unique opportunity” to fulfill a peace plan.
Poroshenko added that within the timeframe of the temporary truce, international support for Ukraine's actions grew stronger, as Kiev managed to sign an EU Association Agreement.
“The political leaders of the separatists demonstrated an unwillingness and an inability to control the actions of their terrorist units and gangs of looters,” Poroshenko said.
"Ukrainian Armed Forces, National Guard & other units, will never allow themselves to use force against peaceful people. They will never assault residential quarters.
"Ukrainian soldiers and guards will risk their lives, not to expose to danger, women, children and elderly people," Poroshenko said, adding, "such is the eternal nature of Ukraine's military valour."
150,000 civilians have now fled Ukraine, after residential areas were pounded by artillery, rockets, phosphorous flares, tank shells, ground attack planes and military assault helicopters.
CRIMINAL ISIL AND BACKERS MUST FACE TRIAL
Iran's defense minister says terrorists of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) & their supporters must be put on trial as “war criminals.”
“Murder, plunder, aggression, destruction, mass execution and the displacement of thousands of innocent people in Iraq & Syria are clear examples of war crimes,” Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan says to media.
He adds that such criminal acts combined with the silence and inaction of the so-called human rights advocates & international organizations "have butchered the security of the region."
The official emphasizes that such crimes are being committed to create a safe haven for the Israeli regime and to undermine the resistance against Tel Aviv's illegal acts.
The Iranian minister said the ISIL will have a destiny worse than that of the executed Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, and that the terrorist group’s inhuman measures will definitely backfire on its supporters.
Dehqan stresses the importance of strengthening unity among all Iraqi ethnicities and groups... to maintain the country’s integrity, and secure its national interests, noting that foreign countries interfering in Iraq’s internal affairs are not interested in the country’s dignity and independence.
Dehqan expresses Iran's support for the territorial integrity of Iraq, saying, “The Islamic Iran seeks a unified, united, secure and advanced Iraq and will support any measure in this regard.”
IRAQ ARMY PUSHES ISIL BACK
Iraq's army, backed by thousands of Christian volunteers, has pushed back Takfiri terrorists of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from a strategic area in Salahuddin Province.
Iraqi security officials say army troops retook the village of Awja in Salahuddin Province on Monday, adding that the village, south of Tikrit, is entirely under the army’s control.
Meanwhile, Iraqi helicopters have hit ISIL positions and hideouts in the areas surrounding Tikrit.
The Iraqi army and tribal fighters have also retaken full control of Tikrit from the ISIL terrorists.
Elsewhere in Aqlawi district of Anbar Province, some 140 Takfiri militants were killed in an ongoing massive military operation.
Iraqi armed forces have managed to liberate the town of Deli Abbas in Diyala Province.
The latest operation comes days after thousands of Iraqis fled their homes after militants from the ISIL attacked Christian areas and minority communities in northern Iraq.
Peshmerga fighters attack Iraq army.
A senior Iraqi military commander says Kurdish Peshmerga forces have seized heavy weapons and military equipment in Kirkuk governorate.
Lieutenant Abdul Amir al-Zaidi says that Kurdish forces attacked military bases and disrupted security in Diyala and Kirkuk.
This comes after the president of the semi- autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said that the KRG will not return the oil- rich hub of Kirkuk to Baghdad.
Masoud Barzani’s comments sparked angry reactions from some Iraqi politicians who warned of an armed conflict with the Kurds in the near future. Also, some lawmakers have accused the Kurdish forces of having relations with Israel.
Kurdish security forces took control of Kirkuk after Iraqi troops entered a battle with the so- called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) earlier this month.
The latest developments come as tensions rise between Kurdistan’s regional leaders and the central government in Baghdad.
Iraq's government slammed Kurdistan region for exporting oil without Baghdad’s consent.
Baghdad says it has the sole right to export the country’s crude, but the Kurds say they are entitled to market the resources of their own region.
The regional government has recently used a pipeline to the Turkish port city of Ceyhan for crude oil exports.
A spokesperson for the region says the cash is being held by Turkey's Halkbank.
Most refineries are reluctant to get involved in the trade which Iraq's central government has called smuggling.
Baghdad has started arbitration against Turkey for facilitating the sales and has threatened to pursue the buyers.
Israeli PM Netanyahu endorses Kurdish independence "because of chaos in Iraq"
Citing Iraq's “collapse”, Israel's Netanyahu endorses the de-facto independence of Iraqi Kurds today, and calls for support for the “Kurdish aspiration for independence.”
GERMANY FRANCE, RUSSIA - "LONGER CEASEFIRE"
In a telephone conversation, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande joined Putin to ask Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko to extend a ceasefire.
But about 1,000 neo-fascist supporters shouted "We want war!" repeatedly, in front of government buildings in Kiev's Maidan Square.
S. Korean 'comfort women' for US military sue state for forced prostitution
A group of South Korean former “comfort women”, who worked in state-controlled brothels for the US military after the 1953 Korean War, has filed a suit demanding compensation from the authorities for forced prostitution.
DEFENCE FORCES GAIN "SAM" BATTERY
Self-defence forces of Donetsk People’s Republic have taken control of an army missile defence unit equipped with Buk missile defence systems, the press service of Donetsk People’s Republic says.
The Buk missile defence system is a mobile medium-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system designed to defend field troops and logistics installations against air threats using heavy electronic countermeasures and within intense enemy fire.
UP FOR IT
Russia says it will not stand idly by in the face of terrorist groups who're attempting to spread terrorism in the Middle East.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warns the US and Europe that terrorist groups are becoming a serious risk to several Middle Eastern countries. "Russia will not remain passive to attempts by some groups to spread terrorism in the region," he tells journalists after a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"The situation is very dangerous in Iraq and the foundations of the Iraqi state are under threat," he added.
A solution must be found and prompt measures taken to stem the flow of militants into the US and European countries from abroad, he said.
In the last few days, Iraqi armed forces have engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists, threatened to take their acts of violence to other Iraqi cities, including the capital.
Now their advance has been slowed down as Iraqi military forces & volunteer fighters have begun engaging them on several fronts... pushing terrorists out of areas they overran.
HI HO SUKHOI, AWAY!
Iraq's government has received the first Russian-made Sukhoi fighter planes to use against terrorists from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Iraqi army sources said the fighter jets are expected to be stationed at an airbase in the country's south.
Iraq has purchased several used Sukhoi fighter planes from Belarus and Russia.
Iraq’s PM, Nouri al-Maliki, said earlier that these Sukhoi fighter jets will turn the tide against ISIL and its associated militant groups --- within days.
Iraq's army continues to pound ISIL positions after retaking Tikrit, killing dozens of militants.
Iraqi officials also confirm that Khalis town is now fully controlled by Iraq's armed forces. Khalis lies 15 kilometers north of Baquba and is one of the six districts of Diyala Province.
Iraq's army took full control of all areas in the east, except Sa’adiyah district.
The army say large numbers of ISIL militants were killed in the flashpoint province during army operations.
Soldiers of the Iraqi army have so far been able to push back militants in several areas.
PM Maliki vows that Iraq’s security forces will confront all the foreign-sponsored militants successfully.
EU AND RUSSIA TO WIN-WIN?
A Russian official says Moscow seeks common ground in forthcoming talks with Ukraine and the European Union, over Kiev’s association with the bloc.
Moscow has expressed hope that officials from Russia, Ukraine and the EU will find “mutual understanding” at upcoming rounds of technical and expert consultations and ministerial meetings scheduled for both this week and next month.
“There's a need for a substantive, technical, expert dialogue on how to avoid worsening the economic climate in Russia-Ukraine relations amid the signing of this deal, and what steps the sides should take,” Russia's deputy foreign minister Alexei Meshkov said.
The official warned, however, that the move could disrupt cooperation between Ukrainian and Russian companies.
Meshkov recommended that some approaches be revised.
The statement came one day after an EU summit in Brussels, where the Ukraine President, Petro Poroshenko, signed a trade and political association deal with the EU.
The Kremlin has warned that it will take action if it inflicts damage on Russia's economy.
In November, Ukraine fell into chaos after then president, Viktor Yanukovych, refused to sign an Association Agreement with the 28-member bloc. The refusal led to months of unrest and clashes, and resulted in the ousting of Yanukovych on February 23rd.
The US stands accused of deliberately overthrowing Yanukovich's government by using violence and supporting neo- nazi forces, like the Right Sector, and other extremist groups, to gain control of Ukraine, push the EU to reject close economic and energy ties with Russia, and keep accepting US leadership...
The US Vice-President's son, for example, now heads Ukraine's largest gas supply company...
After the US-backed coup, protests broke out in Ukraine’s east and south.
The protests gained momentum after independence referendums in eastern parts of Ukraine led to new Republics.
Ukrainian troops have been carrying out military operations since mid-April to crush dissent in the eastern regions.
Release or charge hunger-striking Palestinian detainees now – UN chief Ban Ki Moon to Israel
Over 290 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons have been on a hunger strike since April, over their indefinite detention. Now the UN General Secretary Ban-Ki moon demands that Tel Aviv must either charge administrative inmates or release them “without delay.”
“The Secretary-General is concerned about reports regarding the deteriorating health of Palestinian administrative detainees who have been on hunger strike for over a month,” Ban’s spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, says in a statement.
The UN Secretary-General “reiterates his long- standing position that administrative detainees should be charged or released without delay,” he adds.
The spokesperson says Ban has noted the recent concerns issued by different human rights bodies and “has responded, reiterating the UN's well known positions.”
Members of a UN Special Committee which monitors human rights violations inflicted on Palestinians in the occupied territories, called upon Israeli authorities “to heed the demand of the hunger strikers to end the practice of arbitrary administrative detention of Palestinians,” a committee statement said.
“It is a desperate plea by these detainees to be afforded a very basic standard of due process: to know what they are accused of and be able to defend themselves,” the committee said.
According to the UN body, the Israeli regime has detained “a large number of Palestinians for reasons not explicitly indicated.”
The first protests among Palestinian detainees started on April 24th, when a group of 100 prisoners launched a peaceful protest, the UN Special Committee said.
The inmates were “inspired” by their months and years in detention in Israel without being charged with any crimes. Now the number of hunger strikers has reached 290. At least 65 prisoners have been hospitalized as a result of the strike.
The UN committee says that among the inmates there are 11 Palestinian legislators, including eight held under administrative detention.
“Given that there are over 5,000 Palestinian detainees in Israeli custody, we strongly appeal to the Israeli authorities to allow all Palestinian detainees, especially women and children, to be periodically seen by Palestinian doctors, in order to avoid losing more lives,” the Committee said.
POROSHENKO "NO COMPROMISE"
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko says there will be no compromise with Russia on a pro-European policy for his administration --- or over the status of Crimea.
Delivering an inaugural speech, Saturday, Poroshenko says Crimea, which joined the Russian Federation after a referendum... “has been, and will remain, Ukrainian.”
“I put that clearly to the Russian leader in Normandy,” he added, referring to his meeting with President Vladimir Putin at the D-Day commemoration in France, on Friday.
Nearly 97% of Crimean voters said yes to joining Russia in a March referendum.
Speaking in parliament, Poroshenko vowed dialogue with citizens in eastern regions. He also promised residents of Donbass, that he will decentralize power.
The Ukrainian president also promised “new opportunities” for the use of the Russian language, without details.
He also pledged amnesty “for those who don't have blood on their hands.”
Western countries have promised to support Poroshenko, following his election victory on May 25th.
The US has now (officially) sent military advisors, to instruct Ukraine's armed forces.
The new Ukraine president faces huge challenges, including the "tug of war" between Russia and the West and the ongoing unrest in Ukraine’s east, with pro-federalist activists.
Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions in the east have seen deadly clashes, ever since Kiev launched its military operation there, in mid-April.
Ukraine has been gripped by violence since November 2013, when ousted president Victor Yanukovych refused to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union, as the EU insisted on Ukraine snapping its economic ties with Russia.
GENEVA ACCORDS DUCKED
Implementation of any of the Geneva accords hasn't been going well. The Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko, can't even control the gangs in Kiev.
His attempt to remove the protest camp on the city's main square has failed. There is an increasing incidence of banditry, robbery and hostile takeovers all over Ukraine, including in Dnepropetrovsk, Russian diplomats say.
REMEMBER IRAQ? CHINA DOES!
80 killed in Iraq as security forces re-take city of Samarra
A total of 80 people were killed and some 88 wounded in separate attacks in Iraq, Thursday, as Iraqi security forces re-took Samarra city in Salahudin province, which was seized by extremist Sunni insurgents early in the morning, security and medical sources say, Xinhua reports.
The troops carried out a major offensive and after fierce clashes they managed to regain six neighborhoods in Samarra, 120 km north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, seized earlier by groups of gunmen believed to be linked to Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL), an al-Qaida breakaway group in Iraq, a source in Salahudin province's police, tells Xinhua.
In the early morning, dozens of insurgents entered the city in their trucks, some with heavy machine-guns, and attacked security checkpoints and police stations, killing up to 9 police and wounding about 45 people, the source says.
Some attacked the house of Abdul-Karim al- Samarraie, Minister of Science and Technology, killing three of his guards before leaving the house, which was empty of guests, the source adds.
Major General Sabah al-Fatlawi, Commander of Samarra Operation Command, says that his troops and helicopters killed 11 militants and destroyed more than eight vehicles during the morning battles, and that reinforcement troops are still arriving from Baghdad and other provinces, to defeat the gunmen.
The gunmen raised their black ISIL flag on several government buildings and the main Sunni mosque, & announced the "liberation" of the city by loudspeakers, urging residents to join a jihad against the Shiite government.
Iraqi security forces surround the Shiite shrine, and the HQ of Samarra's Operations Command, to stop insurgents from reaching such sensitive targets... and now wait for reinforcements to prepare a counter-attack.
On Feb. 22nd, in 2006, Samarra's shrine, also called the Golden Mosque, was hit by a bomb attack in which its 100-year-old Golden Dome was badly damaged.
In 2007, insurgents again bombed the two minarets of the shrine. The attacks sparked reprisal killings between the Shiite & Sunni communities, that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.
The major attack by insurgents in Samarra prompted the authorities in Nineveh and its capital Mosul, 400 km north of Baghdad, to tighten security and impose a city curfew, as security forces and helicopter gunships carried out preemptive strikes, Mohammed Ibrahim, head of the security committee of the provincial council, tells Xinhua.
The offensive in Nineveh killed 40 militants and destroyed 12 vehicles, Ibrahim says.
Also in the day, a suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden car into a police checkpoint in the western city of Baiji, 200 km north of Baghdad, leaving a police officer killed and four policemen wounded, the source from Salahudin Operations Command tells Xinhua.
Groups of gunmen attacked several army checkpoints in Baiji, killing two soldiers and wounding five others, the source says.
In Anbar province, airstrikes, artillery and mortar shells struck several neighborhoods in Fallujah, 50 km west of Baghdad, from mid- night until Thursday morning and left eight people killed and nine others wounded, a medical source from the city hospital says.
Elsewhere, three mortar rounds landed on the local government building in Tarmiyah, 40 km north of Baghdad, killing three people and wounding six, a police source says.
2 employees and a policeman were wounded by the mortar barrage, which also damaged parts of the building, the source says.
In a separate incident, a roadside bomb went off near an army patrol, on a main road near Tarmiyah, destroying a military vehicle and leaving one soldier killed and three injured, the source adds.
Separately, a car bomb detonated at the wholesale market of Jamilah in the Shiite bastion of Sadr City district in Baghdad, killing one civilian and wounding ten, damaging several nearby shops and buildings, a police source says.
In another incident, a civilian was killed and six others wounded, when a roadside bomb hit Mahmoudiyah city, 30 km south of Baghdad, a local police source says.
Iraq is seeing its worst violence in years. The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, says 8,868 Iraqis, including 7,818 civilians and civilian police, were killed in 2013, alone.
CHINA's WISE WORDS TO THE US
China's Foreign Ministry says China will respond immediately to any provocation against the country’s territory.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hong Lei, is speaking after a recent statement by the G7, a self-described group of "leading industrialized nations", expressing their "concern" over tensions in the East and South China seas.
Hong says his country is one of the supporters of peace and stability in the region, that abides by the UN Charter and international law.
He adds that China will defend its maritime borders according to international law and conventions, and expresses readiness to resolve any differences over the disputed South China Sea, through holding talks... with the countries concerned.
Hong stresses that countries outside the region should deal with the issue objectively & avoid stoking tensions.
Arab nations praise Xi's keynote speech at cooperation forum
Chinese President Xi Jinping's address at a ministerial meeting between China and Arab countries will help the two sides accelerate win-win cooperation, Arab officials and experts say.
Xi called on the two sides to carry forward the "spirit of the Silk Road" and deepen their cooperation.
Ghanim al-Shibli, head of the Arab League mission in China, said Xi's proposal on the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, "One Belt & One Road" for short, laid a solid foundation for deeper China-Arab friendly cooperation & will serve as a new starting point for the China/Arab forum since its establishment 10 years ago.
The AL will make more efforts with China to push forward the construction of the "One Belt and One Road," he added.
Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddin Mezouar said he fully supports Xi's proposal, saying it will aid a regional and comprehensive system of cooperation.
He voiced his hope that the proposal will promote exchanges among the countries in such fields as trade, science and technology.
Ibrahim Seif, Jordan's Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, said it paves the way for new cooperation between China and the Arab world, adding that it enhances cooperation in the economic, commercial and cultural fields.
"We in Jordan are very interested in developing our relations with China and we are working on implementing agreements reached between the leaders of China and Jordan, to expand cooperation," Seif said.
Mohamed Ibrahim al-Saket, the former AL ambassador to China, said "China has prompted on many occasions, win-win cooperation, which means the country doesn't only seek its development, but also enables the others to grow," he said.
He added that through such fora, China will reach more agreements with Arab nations at all levels, especially in the economic field.
"But the forum today stressed the importance of reviving the Silk Road, which will provide the countries through which the old Silk Road passes, with common services & development investments in many different logistic fields, eg railways, ports and trade exchange, which, in turn will create job opportunities," he said.
In building the "One Belt and One Road," China & the Arab nations will create better people-to-people communication, he noted.
"Xi's speech signals positive messages to the Middle East and Arab countries," he said.
Ibrahim al-Ameri, professor of politics at Baghdad University, said Xi's proposal would boost economic, social & cultural cooperation for China and the Arab world.
"I believe that the call of the Chinese president to promote cooperation is a logical call, and is a great opportunity for Arab countries, including my country Iraq, to grab it, in order to build our own prosperity and live in peace and harmony with other nations," he said.
As the proposed new Silk Roads will pass several Arab countries & cross Arab seas, such as the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, China and the Arab nations will do well to cooperate better in building some major projects, al-Ameri said.
Ahmed Hashem Bahrozyan, chair of Dubai International Project Management Forum of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said Xi's speech was constructive & has a guiding significance for relations between China and the Arab countries.
The UAE and China have witnessed rapid development in their trade and economic ties and conducted sound cooperation in such fields as energy and infrastructure, he said.
He called on the two countries to continue to strengthen exchanges in various fields with the help of the proposed "One Belt and One Road" mechanism.
Mahmoud Sharif, an expert of international relations in Libya, said his country benefits from the cooperation forum's achievements --- and from China's rapid development.
Libya hopes to maintain a high-level, steady cooperative relationship with China, he said.
Israeli doctors refuse to force-feed Palestinian prisoners, despite govt pressure
Israeli doctors say they won't begin force-feeding Palestinian detainees who've launched a hunger strike, putting medical professionals on a collision course with PM Benjamin Netanyahu's government.
65 of 290 striking prisoners are hospitalized as a result of the hunger strike, a plight inspired by months and years in detention in Israel without being charged with any crimes.
Daily rallies have been held in support of the prisoners by the Palestinian community.
As a result of the growing hunger strike, PM Netanyahu has reportedly asked the government to speed up a bill giving them permission to force- feed the dozens of hospitalized inmates. This will give a judge permission to enact force-feeding if they consider the inmate is putting his life at risk.
Yoel Hadar, a legal adviser to the Netanyahu administration, says the bill will also force a judge to consider if an inmate is deemed to be putting the interests of the state at risk (the death of a hunger-striker would almost certainly add to the unrest in the Palestinian Territories and contribute to criticism about Israel's policy on this matter).
“We want the judge to take into consideration what will happen to the country if something happens,” he says. “People go on a hunger strike for political reasons - the consequence could be political damage to the state. The state also has the right to stop the strike.”
Netanyahu says he is confident the force- feeding will eventually be executed, citing the US's force-feeding of hunger-strikers, at Guantanamo Bay prison, in Cuba.
Guantanamo's policy has drawn criticism from the UN human rights office, which says it constitutes torture and is thus a violation of international law.
Family members of the inmates say they support their relatives' hunger strike, if only because the detainees face no other alternative...
Lamees Faraj says her husband, Abdel Razeg, once a member of the PLO, has been locked up in administrative detention, for almost eight of the past 20 years.
“My husband is in Israeli jails without knowing why and when, this nightmare is going to end,” she says.
Family members who are opposed to force- feeding, a brutal process in which a person is fed via a tube forced into their nose, now have support from a growing number of medical groups and organizations.
The Israel Medical Association has asked its doctors not to follow orders from government officials, asking them to force feed an inmate.
The World Medical Association, a group many national associations fall under says “force- feeding is never ethically acceptable.”
“It goes against the DNA of the doctors, to force treatment on patients,” Israel Medical Association spokesperson Ziva Miral says... “Force-feeding is torture, and we can't have doctors participating in torture.”
There are now an estimated 900 Palestinians currently imprisoned in Israel, which claims it has no choice but to lock up its enemies, to prevent attacks on the military.
One tactic the Israeli government uses now, is administrative segregation, which includes intermittently imprisoning detainees for long periods, under the guise of security.
“It is outrageous that Israel has locked these men up for months without either charging them with crimes or allowing them to see the evidence it says it has against them,” Sarah Lee Whitson, the Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a letter to the US Congress.
“The detainees evidently feel they have to put their lives in jeopardy through hunger strikes so that Israel will end these unlawful practices. Israel's regular use of administrative detention, at the least, inverts international law and turns the exception into the norm, at the cost of the fundamental right to due process.”
ISRAEL ANNOUNCES 1,800 MORE UNITS
Israel now announces that 1,800 more housing units are to be built on the West Bank, in a further land grab condemned by the world as illegal.
Russia’s Medvedev: G7 Support for Ukraine ’Cynicism without Limit’
Russian PM, Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday accuses the G7 of "cynicism withour limit" for backing Ukraine's military operation against pro-federalization activists.
"The so-called G7 even talks of the 'measured' actions of the Ukrainian army against its own people," Medvedev tells ministers, quoted by the Interfax news agency.
"This is cynicism without limit."
In a joint communique released at a G7 summit in Brussels on Wednesday, the West's politicians encouraged Ukraine to "maintain a measured approach in pursuing operations to restore law and order."
They called on Russia to "stop the flow of weapons and militants across the border and to exercise its influence among the armed separatists to lay down their weapons and renounce violence."
Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, says severe trade sanctions are an option now.
NATO troops and bases not welcome in Slovakia and Czech Republic
Two Eastern European nations, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, refuse to host NATO troops and military bases.
The prime ministers of both countries have both spoken against the proposal, mooted by US President Barack Obama.
Following the example of their neighbour, the Czech Republic, the PM of Slovakia says that that his country is ready to meet its obligations as a NATO member state, but stationing foreign troops on its territory. is out of the question.
Slovak PM Robert Fico says he “can’t imagine foreign troops being deployed on our territory in the form of some bases.”
The proposal to host more NATO troops in Eastern Europe, was voiced by Obama, on his current tour of Europe.
Initially, it was Poland that asked for a greater US military presence in E. Europe.
In April, Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak called on the Pentagon to deploy as many as 10,000 US troops in his country.
Three Baltic States welcomed the idea back in April. To begin with, a small contingent of US troops arriveD in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, to take part in military training.
On Tuesday, Czech Prime Minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, said that his country sees no need to allow a foreign military presence on its territory.
Last month, Defense Minister Martin Stropinsky sparked a political storm in the Czech Republic by recalling the 1968 invasion as the biggest reason not to host NATO troops in the country, in a Reuters interview.
Slovakia’s Fico joined in the debate on Wednesday, saying that, for his country, such a military presence is sensitive, because of the Warsaw Pact troops’ invasion into Czechoslovakia in 1968.
“Slovakia has its historical experience with the participation of foreign troops. Let us remember the 1968 invasion. Therefore this topic is extraordinarily sensitive to us,” he said.
Fico says Slovakia is committed to fulfill its obligations towards NATO, despite military budget cuts, and allies would be allowed to train on Slovak territory.
Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in 1993.
The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999. Slovakia joined in 2004.
Fico’s Smer party, which has an absolute majority in Slovakia’s parliament, has been advocating warmer relations with Russia.
BASHAR AL-ASSAD WINS
Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad is announced as the winner of the country’s presidential election.
Assad won 88.7 percent of the vote, or 10,319,723 of the 11,634,412 votes cast in Tuesday’s election, SANA reports.
The country’s Supreme Constitutional Court announces that 73.42% of the 15.8 million eligible voters took part in the election.
It adds that no complaints have been received from any of the candidates regarding the voting process.
International delegates observing the election have released a statement, calling it democratic and transparent.
Assad will be the country’s president for the next seven years.
Two more army helicopters shot down
Ukraine's military officials say two army helicopters were shot down on Wednesday near Slavyansk city.
They say pro-Russian forces targeted the helicopters as they seized a police headquarters in the east.
The Ukrainian army launched an offensive against pro-Russian forces in the city the day before, to finally "quash" pro-federalists.
The prosecutor general’s office also says that armed men took a regional branch of the Interior Ministry in Shakhtyorsk city in the Donetsk region.
It says 37 policemen were taken hostage, but that later, 35 of them were released.
The Kiev government says over 300 pro- Russian forces have been killed over the past 24 hours, in its offensive centered in and around Slavyansk.
A spokesperson for Kiev's forces says two soldiers lost their lives and 45 were injured.
Ukrainians pour into Russia’s Rostov Province
Russian authorities have declared a state of emergency in Rostov Province, along the border with Ukraine, due to an influx of refugees from Ukraine’s eastern regions.
Rostov’s Governor Vasily Golubev made the decision on Wednesday after a growing number of refugees arrived from Ukraine.
According to local officials, 7,000 people, mostly women and children, have crossed the border to take shelter in Russia, in the past 24 hours.
Officials say 15 regions in Rostov Province have been stretched to the limit, by large numbers of Ukrainian refugees.
Hundreds of other refugees have taken shelter in Crimea, which has recently rejoined the Russian Federation.
The influx comes as civilians are targeted more now in Kiev’s military operations in the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Russia has submitted a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), calling for an immediate ceasefire and a humanitarian corridor in Ukraine.
Russian Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Vitaly Churkin criticises “heavy, indiscriminate shelling of residential areas” using both artillery and aviation, saying the operations are killing civilians every day.
OBAMA REVEALED AS SOROS SHILL
US President Barack Obama’s speech in Poland's capital Warsaw reveals that he is “a mouthpiece” of George Soros and other international manipulators and infiltrators, an investigative journalist tells Press TV.
“Listening to President Obama’s speech in Warsaw, it was quite clear that he’s basically nothing more than a mouthpiece for George Soros manipulators and infiltrators around the world,” said Wayne Madsen, an author and syndicated columnist in Washington.
Obama spoke of “freedom” coming to Belarus, Venezuela and Georgia, the countries in which Soros has been in operation for a number of years to overthrow the elected governments, Madsen said.
“Mr. Soros, of course, has also revealed in an interview, that HIS operations in Ukraine were largely responsible for the overthrow of the democratically elected government of that country,” he added.
Soros, who gave millions of dollars to Obama’s presidential campaigns, “has been directing his foreign policy covertly, and now somewhat overtly, since Obama has been president of the United States,” Madsen noted.
Soros has been accused of using his money to subvert political systems in many Eastern European and Central Asian countries. His critics also claim he leads the international illegal drug trade.
Soros is also known as "the man who broke the Bank of England" because of his short- selling of $10 billion worth of pounds, giving him a profit of $1 billion, during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crisis.
Russia not to get involved in senseless confrontations with West
Russia is not going to build anti-western constructions or get involved in senseless confrontations just for the sake of providing the US and NATO with their desired "enemy" image, Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, says.
The policy of limiting Russia’s capabilities is being conducted mostly, not by European powers, but by the US, Lavrov says.
“The oddest thing is that all this is happening contrary to the obvious and objective benefit that the pooling of technologies, resources and human capital, might yield for both parts of the European continent,” Lavrov says.
In his opinion, this contradiction stems from the fact that the policy of restricting Russia’s capabilities is led, not by Europe's powers, but primarily, by the United States.”
The idea of making the historic West, a stronghold managing the world economy, appears to be a very dangerous illusion, Lavrov adds.
“In any event, the concept of turning the historic West into a stronghold to manage the world economy & perform the functions of a global police officer, is a dangerous illusion,” he says.
“It is dangerous, because attempts to put it into practice could undermine world stability rather than this idea becoming a reality, as, in the modern, interdependent world, it is unreal to build certain 'oases' of well-being and security, fenced off from the outer world.
“Many analysts in Russia, the European Union and in the United States, have been stressing the fact that the Americans are out to prevent the unification of potential for Russia and that the US, primarily, is guided by the task of preserving its own global leadership.”
Lavrov adds. “Immanuel Wallerstein wrote just recently, about the nightmare of the Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis nightmare, that keeps haunting Washington politicians.”
Russia is not going to “swallow” another wave of offensives against its national interests, Sergei Lavrov emphasizes.
“In recent days, it has become particularly clear that a choice has been made in favor of intensifying actions designed to “discard” Russia.
“They made their choice long before the Ukrainian crisis broke out: suffice it to remember such landmarks in unwinding the anti-Russian spiral, as ‘the Magnitsky Act’ & accusations of our support for Iran & later Syria. The very fact of preparations for the Sochi Olympics became a pretext for the spurring up of anti-Russian propaganda --- in proportions that had nothing to do with sober sense, or even elementary decency,” the Russian foreign minister says.
“Ukraine has become a frontier, beyond which “compressing a spring” further, is no longer possible. We warned our Western colleagues many times, that it is impossible to sway the fragile internal political situation in Ukraine, and warned them about the extremely serious consequences of creating a seat of instability in Europe. Nevertheless, they have grossly interfered in the internal affairs in Ukraine; they orchestrated and supported an anti- constitutional coup, with the help of ultra- nationalist & neo-Nazi forces,” he stresses.
There is a widespread belief, that these considerations largely determined the US’ initiative on creating the trans-Atlantic 'trading and investment partnership'.
“Cutting ropes and shutting lids is no good in relations between Russia and the West - for us and for them,” Lavrov says. “However, it is clear that there can be no return to the previous model of relations, filled by double standards and insincerity towards Russia.”
Lavrov expresses hope that the crisis now will “serve as a sort of refreshing thunderstorm that will make it possible, 'though not instantly, to shift relations with the western partners, to a more sound and honest basis.”
“Possibly, there will be less painful discussions about the search for common values and more recognition of each other’s right to be different; more striving for building relations on the solid basis of equality and mutual respect for each other’s interests,” Lavrov says.
Russia is ready to take part in joint efforts to overcome the crisis in Ukraine, Sergei Lavrov says.
“Russia warns that, under no circumstances, will it passively watch an operation to change the regime in a neighbouring country, and use it to attack Russians, their language, history, culture and their legal rights --- in compliance with the European conventions,” Lavrov says, at a Russian International Affairs Council session, on Wednesday.
“We supported the agreement of February 21st, although we considered it as not ideal. We took part in working out the Geneva agreement of April 17th, and the OSCE ‘roadmap’,” he says.
“The documents contain major principles for restoring peace in Ukraine: de-escalation and an inclusive dialogue to meet the interests of all regions,” Lavrov says.
“We call on foreign sponsors of the new Kiev authorities, to use their authority to stop the punitive operation in Ukraine’s south-east,” he says.
Ukrainian troops kill more than 25 people -- in Krasny Liman hospital
Ukrainian servicemen have shot and killed over 25 people in Krasny Liman hospital, Chair of the Supreme Council of the self- proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, says by 'phone.
"According to the preliminary information, over 25 people have been killed, but we fear the toll might be higher," Pushilin says.
"Shooting at the sick and wounded is not even genocide. The immoral actions by Kiev's junta defy description," he says.
He says a precise casualty toll from Sloviansk fighting is also not available. "Figures differ greatly. We will know later," Pushilin says.
Several commuter trains have been cancelled after massive damage to the railway track and platform at a railway station in Krasny Liman, by Ukrainian air strikes, the press service of Donetsk railway authority said on Wednesday.
Administrative and economic buildings, platforms and the rail track at Krasny Liman railway station were damaged in the air strike, the press service says. The press service also mentions that one surgeon was killed in the attack on the hospital.
Meanwhile, militia state that Ukrainian military forces shot down a brigade of railway workers from Sloviansk, in Krasny Liman, on June 3rd.
“Railway workers who remained alive are being kept in captivity. Snipers do not permit them to go out,” the militia says, without elaborating on where the railway workers are now being held.
Right Sector leader to take post in new Ukraine government
The leader of a far-right Ukrainian party, Right Sector, Dmytro Yarosh, who is on an international wanted list, has said 'yes' to the offer of a post in the new government being formed now, by President-elect, Petro Poroshenko.
Yarosh accepts the offer, Right Sector representative Borislav Bereza told local media, on Wednesday.
Europe plans no short-term measures to block South Stream construction -- EU spokesperson
The European Commission does not plan any short-term practical measures to block the construction of Russia’s South Stream gas pipeline, EU spokesperson Antoine Colombani says on Wednesday.
The European Commission has formally requested that Bulgaria supply information on the South Stream gas pipeline tender, as it believes that public contracts for the pipeline work were awarded in breach of EU legislation, he says.
This request means the start of a so-called infringement procedure, which could result in the imposition of penalties on Bulgaria.
The European Commission will decide on further action, after receiving information from Bulgaria, which has 1 month to reply, he says.
This reaction by the European Commission, to yesterday's media reports that the EU had warned countries to stop the South Stream pipeline, which by-passes Ukraine and all its problems, is very welcome.
Sloviansk militia shot down 2 Ukrainian warplanes on June 3rd - people's mayor
"The second Ukrainian plane was shot down in the district on Tuesday evening, at around 10 pm local time. It is still unclear what type of plane it was," the people's mayor of Sloviansk, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, says, adding that the pilot ejected and fled.
Ponomaryov confirms the report that militia had downed a Ukrainian helicopter gunship earlier in the day. "It was shot down when it was firing at our positions in Sloviansk."
On Tuesday, Ponomaryov said that militia had shot down a Ukrainian Su-25. Ukrainian troops therefore lost two planes, two helicopters and four armored vehicles on June 3rd and 4th.
Ukrainian aviation delivered at least 6 strikes on Semyonovka, near Sloviansk on Tuesday, and fired missiles at Cherevkovka village.
Ukrainian troops were also shelling Sloviansk and its adjacent areas, on Tuesday, damaging water & power supply lines in several districts.
Ukraine Acknowledges Total Support from the West
The Defense Minister of the Ukrainian interim government, Mijail Koval, acknowledges the total support provided by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for the punishment operations in the southeast of the country.
Koval, attending a NATO ministerial meeting as a guest of the Atlantic Alliance, points out that his country has everything it needs now, to continue the military offensive, including combat planes, cluster bombs and heavy weaponry.
Over 200 civilians have been killed in recent weeks, in the Lugansk, Donetsk & Donbass self-proclaimed independent regions, after their referenda votes in April, which took place despite harassment by the regular army and the new National Guard.
Ignoring reports of indiscriminate attacks on town centres & administrative buildings in the above-mentioned regions, the Atlantic Alliance has so far avoided condemning the bombing of civilians and, far from it, is now threatening Russia with further sanctions.
Moscow rejected the legality of the executive installed in Kiev, after the takeover by fascist paramilitaries of the Ukrainian government headquarters, parliament and presidency, which forced the overthrow of Ukraine's legitimate President, Viktor Yanukóvich.
Devastation as Ukraine army shells hit another hospital
The village of Krasny Liman near Slavyansk in the Donetsk region was heavily shelled by the Ukrainian army on Tuesday.
Residents were killed and injured as shells hit a hospital, a school and a train station, locals told RT news.
Local resident Roman told RT by phone, that a mortar shell hit the centre of Krasny Liman and a passerby was killed. A mortar shell also landed near the train station, he said, adding that a train driver was killed, while some of his colleagues were injured.
The local hospital was also heavily shelled, with patients and personnel still inside it.
Local resident Irina told RT by phone, of unconfirmed reports that a surgeon was killed. Irina and Roman said that a local school was also shelled, but there is no official confirmation, so far.
There are no official figures of the killed and injured so far.
The army has been detaining people, local resident Irina, who was fleeing to Kharkov, told RT on the phone.
Residents said the Ukrainian National Guard raided apartments in Krasny Liman, looking for self-defense forces. The town is about 20 kilometers north of Slavyansk, and has a population of about 23,000 people.
Ukrainian National Guard Prepares New Repressive Battalion
Ukraine's National Guard on Tuesday announced the creation of a third Donbass battalion, made up of radicals and former Maidan activists, to quell the resistance in Donetsk and Lugansk.
According to the repressive structure, formed after last February's coup d'etat, over 300 armed men, from 18 to 55 years old, form part of the new third battalion.
The National Guard communique acknowledges that a majority of the "volunteers" are activists who took part in the violent disturbances in the capital during the anti-government protests, that ended in the coup d'etat.
The Donbass battalion is the creation of the leader of the fascist Right Sector organization, Dmitri Yarosh.
The second battalion was created in early June, and used former Maidan fighters in battles waged around Slavyansk city, in the Donetsk region.
The National Guard is now also involved in repressive actions against the resistance in Mariupol, Jarkov, Odessa, and Nikolaev.
Tuesday, Ukrainian fighter jets and helicopters launched new missile attacks against civilian populated zones in Slavyansk, Donetsk region, as part of a military offensive to punish the eastern part of the country.
News agencies quote sources from the people's militias, saying that Ukrainian fighter jets are raining shrapnel on the towns of Semenovka and Raigorodok.
Russian television channels are airing footage of the destruction caused by the bombing runs.
On Tuesday, another two helicopters from the Ukrainian Air Force, bombed Cherevovka area, also in Slavyansk region, which has become a symbol of resistance to the military operation started by Kiev, in mid April.
Members of the National Guard and squadrons of the neo-fascist Right Sector group, are also taking part in these military incursions.
Confirmed: Ukrainian air force fired over 150 missiles at Lugansk, bombed admin HQ
Kiev now admits showering the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk with dozens of missiles from the air, saying that its Air Force helicopters and jets “fired over 150 missiles” in Monday’s military action.
DEATH TOLL: 181 people killed, 293 injured in Kiev military op
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) also confirmed on Tuesday, that an explosion at Lugansk’s administrative building was an airstrike. On Monday, Kiev denied their responsibility for the incident, saying its forces “do not target” civilian areas.
The OSCE Ukrainian mission’s daily report says: “on June 2nd, around 15:00 local time, missiles hit the building of the regional government administration. According to observers’ data, the strike was carried out by non-guided missiles launched from an aircraft.”
According to an earlier statement by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, the intense bombing in Lugansk area was meant to “support the Ukrainian Border Guards,” which the local militia have been trying to take under control.
“All in all, for fulfilling the combat support of the Ukrainian border guards, army aviators fired over 150 missiles, carried out three jet sorties and five helicopter sorties,” Kiev's statement said.
Some Kiev politicians even tried to blame the self-defense forces for the deadly “blast,” which was confirmed as an airstrike, by the accounts of witnesses and CCTV footage from the scene.
THE MAN WHO THREATENED RUSSIA
On May 30th, Slavyansk's self-defense forces shot down a Ukrainian troop helicopter and 14 people were killed, including an ex Soviet officer, who was the head of combat and special training for the Interior Troops of Ukraine, a Major-General Sergei Kulchitsky.
Kulchitsky had previously given an interview to journalist Marina Akhmedova, anonymously, in which, he threatened Russia with terrorism.
"I will do everything so that they become good soldiers. I've shown them what they need to do, to kill you.
"Tell your Putin to build friendly relations with us. Otherwise, we will poison your water. We will sprinkle poison in your water pipes. We will rub you out in the outhouse. I'll be doing it. I'll be killing you in cold blood," said Kulchitsky, in the interview.
The journalist, Marina Akhmedova, confirms that the 'anonymous' man, she interviewed, was Kulchitsky.
Ukrainian towns piled with corpses, eyewitnesses say
One eyewitness in Kranoarmeysk says Ukrainian troops on Tuesday, shelled and bombed Slavyansk and Krasny Liman.
He reports that the streets are piled with corpses, and snipers operate in the towns, preventing approaches to help the wounded.
Militias hope to attract international attention to brutal atrocities, which the new Ukrainian authorities are commiting in the south-east.
The Ukrainian military is using tanks, armored personnel carriers, rocket launchers and aircraft, to attack the villages of Semenovka, Cherepkovka, Voevodovka, Krasny Liman and Slavyansk's suburbs.
Five militiamen were killed in combat Tuesday, local media report, and over 20, were injured.
East Ukraine militia down fighter plane, helicopter gunship, 4 APCs
People’s militia in the city of Sloviansk, east Ukraine’s Donetsk Region, downed a Su-25 fighter plane and a Ukrainian helicopter gunship plus 4 armored personnel carriers (APC), Sloviansk People’s Mayor Vyacheslav Ponomarev told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.
Ukraine's military has amassed armored vehicles, self-propelled mortars & howitzers around Sloviansk, Stella Khorosheva, the spokesperson for the Sloviansk people's mayor, stated.
The military equipment, numbering 100 units includes Grad salvo systems, Khorosheva said.
An An-30 plane was sighted over Sloviansk, making periodic flyovers. Khorosheva says more clashes began at around 6.00 am local time, on Tuesday.
"A report said Ukrainian troops broke through in the area of the village of Semyonovka," she reports, adding that Ukraine's National Guard is using tanks.
"It looks like they've brought their entire army and equipment here," she said.
Another Libyan new PM takes office after gunmen storm gov't building
Libya's new Prime Minister Ahmed Maitiq, along with his ministers, announce that they took office on Monday evening, after gunmen stormed the government compound to clear the way for them.
Maitiq states that his cabinet has begun working, despite his predecessor, Abdullah Thinni, refusing to transfer power. Maitiq's eighteen ministers were also present at the press conference.
Earlier in the evening, gunmen stormed the Libyan government compound, demanding a transfer of power, says a security source.
Dozens of militants driving vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft guns, asked the guards to hand over the building, the source says.
The militants didn't fire one shot. They instead negotiated with the guards and handed them Maitiq's assignment letter endorsed by the parliament, before taking over the building.
Maitiq, a businessman from Libya's third largest city of Misrata, was sworn in as prime minister last month, but quickly challenged by his predecessor, Abdullah Thinni, and other politicians.
Analysts say that Libya now, technically, has three prime ministers - Maitiq, Thinni and Ali Zeidan, the last of whom was ousted by the parliament in March, but still claims legitimacy.
The Libyan parliament has been deadlocked between different interest groups, since the 2011 Western backed bombing, that toppled and then assassinated the country's former leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
OIC: Boko Haram Has Nothing to Do with Islam
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Monday condemned Nigeria's Boko Haram as a terrorist group that does not represent Muslims or their faith.
"The OIC has issued statements that are very clear that these people are outlaws," Iyad Ameen Madani, the secretary general of the pan-Muslim body, tells reporters in Abuja.
"What they do, is criminal. It has absolutely nothing to do with Islam, Islamic teachings, history, culture or the civilization of Islam."
"We should identify them for what they are as a terrorist group," said the OIC chief, after meeting Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
He said the delegation of the 57-member group had come to express solidarity with Nigeria, and victims of "this terrorist organization."
Madani offered to assist Nigeria in whatever way possible, including fostering interfaith dialogue.
Nigeria has been a member of the OIC since 1986.
Boko Haram, which means "Western education is forbidden" in Nigeria's local Hausa language, first emerged in the early 2000s, preaching against government misrule and corruption.
The group later became violent, however, after the death of its leader in 2009, while in police custody.
In the five years since, the shadowy sect has been blamed for numerous attacks and for thousands of deaths, in northern Nigeria.
Although it claims to want an Islamist government in the region, mosques and Muslims – most of whom reject Boko Haram as un-Islamic – have also been targeted by the militant group.
Health minister of self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic dies in air strike
“As far as I know five people, all of them civilians, are dead. At least 10 people are wounded. Many of them are in a serious condition,” the press service of the Luhansk People’s Republic says.
The public health minister of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, Natalya Arkhipova, died in the air strike, which a Ukrainian fighter jet had delivered onto the Luhansk regional administration building earlier on Monday, the press service of the Luhansk People’s Republic tells ITAR-TASS.
“I confirm the death of Natalya Arkhipova. As far as I know, five people, all of them civilians, are dead. At least 10 people are wounded. Many of them are in serious condition,” the press service went on to say.
The regional administration building is now sealed off.
A Ukrainian fighter aircraft that delivered the air strike could have used cluster bombs. The strike caused a fire on the building’s fourth floor and damaged its front facade to the left from the main entrance.
At least five killed in admin HQ blast as fighter jets deployed to Lugansk, Ukraine
At least five people are reported killed after an explosion on Lugansk administration building.
The blast came as Kiev deployed fighter jets to the city in eastern Ukraine. This, and heavy ground gunfire, caused panic among civilians.
The death toll was reported by RIA Novosti; then it was confirmed by self-defense forces, who say the blast was caused by the army's fighter jets striking the building.
“Ukraine’s air force struck Lugansk downtown at 16.00pm. Military aircraft made a targeted strike, deploying cluster bombs. The admin. building is partly destroyed,” the government of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR) says.
Many wounded were trapped inside the administration headquarters, which had caught on fire. About six ambulances then arrived. The death toll may rise.
Those killed - three women and two men - are all civilians, witnesses state. One of them was the LNR’s health minister, Natalia Arkhipova.
During the air-strike, she was talking to another woman on the administration building’s steps, the self-proclaimed republic’s premier, Vasiliy Nikitin, says.
Large blood stains inside the HQ could be seen on live-streaming videos from the area, with pieces of glass and stone visible on the floor.
The camera operator was choking with smoke. On the outside, many windows are shattered, shell fragments covering the nearby area and plumes of smoke coming from the 4th floor.
Unexploded shells have been found in a park in front of the building, say self-defense forces. Locals were urged to leave the area.
“The fire has engulfed the 3rd and 4th floors of the building, and the windows have been blown out. There're glass shards everywhere. I saw paramedics carrying people out of the entrance,” a witness tells RT.
Minutes earlier, heavy machine-gun shots were reported in the centre of Lugansk, as fierce fighting between local self-defense squads and Kiev forces renewed, after a brief truce.
The shooting sparked panic among visitors in a café, who rushed out to look for shelter.
Fighting in the Lugansk region continued later on Monday, with another airstrike reported by the self-proclaimed republic’s authorities.
They say Kiev forces launched an air strike on a checkpoint in the region, and that there are casualties.
Kiev denies air strike on admin building
Kiev denied attacking the HQ, insisting that its forces aren't firing on residential areas in cities, and don't use air power in those areas, reported the Ukrainian news agency, UNN.
The Ukrainian authorities sent its air force to Lugansk to support border guard units stationed in the area, stated Vladislav Seleznyov, spokesperson for the military operation against pro-autonomy areas in eastern Ukraine.
The fighter jets eliminated two opposition mortar detachments, he told the media.
Seleznyoov said that, according to preliminary expert conclusions, the explosion in the building in Lugansk, filled with civilians, resulted from an attempt to launch an anti-aircraft missile.
”Fighter jets could become vulnerable while making turns," he said. “Perhaps, terrorists were trying to shoot them down from some air defense system, but the explosion occurred inside the building.”
In the early hours of Monday, self-defense fighters attacked the Lugansk border unit's encampment.
“About a hundred armed men drove up towards Lugansk border unit's building at around 00:30am and took positions along the perimeter. The first attack, using machine guns & under-barrel grenade launchers, began at about 04:00am, and lasted for about 40 minutes. The border guards successfully deterred the attack,” the Ukrainian State Border Service reported on its website.
The 2nd and 3rd attacks were also successfully repelled, it said, adding that there were wounded among the border guards and several victims among the self-defense groups.
According to the State Border Service, “terrorists” kept sending forces to the border unit’s area, and by 7am, there were “about 400” at the site.
Fighting continued for several hours before a truce was reached in the early afternoon, to allow for the wounded to be moved from the area. Violence resumed though, just half-an hour later.
Talks between self-defense activists and the border guards’ command reached a deadlock, a spokesperson for the People’s Republic of Lugansk tells Itar-Tass.
The local authorities sought “a peaceful solution to the situation” and wanted the “servicemen living in the People’s Republic of Lugansk”, to leave the border guards’ unit, and return to their homes. However, military officials rejected the proposal.
The Russian Foreign Ministry calls Kiev’s present military attacks in southeastern Ukraine, and the use of the air force, a “gross violation” of international law.
"The authorities in Kiev have committed another crime against their own people," a statement on the ministry's website says.
"Everything that has taken place indicates the downright unwillingness of the Kiev authorities to move towards seeking national accord in the country."
Moscow also urges NATO to demand that Kiev immediately stop its military attack and fulfill the Geneva accords, as well as the OSCE roadmap of the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, Russia’s envoy to the alliance told NATO ambassadors.
Meanwhile, a video has emerged, showing a number of Ukrainian forces surrendering to supporters of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Lugansk.
NATO PUSHING VIOLENCE - RUSSIA
Russia's envoy to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization says the west's military alliance is “encouraging” the Kiev authorities to use force on pro-Moscow activists in East Ukraine.
Alexander Grushko made the remarks at a meeting with ambassadors of NATO member states in Brussels on Monday, Russia's Ria Novosti news agency reports.
As Vladimir Putin's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov said, the Kiev regime and Western sponsors, are "up to their elbows in blood" following this weekend's deadly violence.
"NATO is providing Kiev with technical support, thus encouraging the continuation of forceful actions," Grushko said at the NATO meeting.
The Russian official also accused NATO of adding to tensions in the eastern Ukrainian provinces by conducting "unprecedented" activities near Russia's borders.
He added that the military alliance is hampering efforts to find a peaceful solution to the current turmoil in the former Soviet state.
The US and its allies have spent millions destabilising Ukraine, first with an "Orange Revolution, and more recently, by helping a semi-fascist government to power.
Of course, they have accused Russia of "encouraging" separatists, and will cry foul if Putin intervenes now. Perhaps he should.
Live tactical missile firing by Russia’s Western Command
Russia’s most advanced exercises, using missile complexes for high precision firing, have been completed by Russia’s Western Command.
Training included fixing top-priority targets, with air-based and ballistic ground-based missile complexes.
The Russian Air Force’s strategic long-range aviation engaged surface targets with cruise missiles, while training was undertaken on deployment at the Iskander-M nuclear-capable mobile theatre ballistic missile complexes.
The drills focussed on the elimination of hard-to-destroy targets, with high-impact precision weaponry.
The "war games" started on May 27th and continued until June the 5th.
“In the course of the maneuvers, we are carrying out integrated damage attacks on the critically important installations of a hypothetical aggressor’s infrastructure, using high-precision ground-and-air-based weapons,” reported the press-service of Russia’s Defense Ministry.
Iskander-M (NATO name, SS-26 Stone), is a quasi-ballistic missile complex with an officially declared range of 400 kilometers.
It's currently limited by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) agreement signed between the US and the Soviet Union, in 1987.
The INF treaty prohibits the development and deployment of all medium-range ballistic and cruise missiles, and eliminated existing ones with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.
If the INF agreement is terminated, the range of the Iskander complexes can easily be raised.
Iskander-M has a wide range of warheads, from conventional, powerful thermobaric, cluster and bunker buster warheads, to tactical nuclear warheads.
The Russian authorities have repeatedly warned NATO's leaders, that if they further deployed US anti-ballistic missile complexes in Europe, then Moscow reserves the right to deploy Iskander-M missile complexes in the Kaliningrad region, Russia’s enclave in Europe.
In this case, all of Poland, where the US plans to station its ABM bases, will be covered for a potential launch-through-attack strike.
The threat of having modern missile complexes on their borders, which cannot be intercepted, has sparked opposition from the Baltic States and Poland, which call on the US to increase its military presence in the region.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov maintains that the matter of deployment is now fully in the hands of the Russian military, saying that “when there’s a need – the military will make the decision.”
The press-service of the Russian Defense Ministry stresses that deployment of the Iskander complexes is not limited by any international agreements.
Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu ends the discussion, by saying: “on the territory of the Russian Federation, we deploy whatever we want, wherever we want.”
These maneuvers were held against the background of the new Ukrainian authorities’ military attacks on mainly Russian-populated eastern regions of Ukraine, which demand federalization of the country.
Abbas swears in Palestinian unity government
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in a unity government on Monday, Reuters says.
Ministers, professed to be politically unaffiliated, took the oath of office in a televised ceremony in Ramallah, the Palestinian seat of government in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
However, three ministers from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip were denied entry to the West Bank by Israel.
Former guerrilla leader, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, sworn in, as president of El Salvador.
During the inauguration ceremony on Sunday, Sanchez Ceren vowed to govern the country “with honesty, austerity, efficiency and transparency.”
"After long years of fighting for justice and democracy in my country, I receive the presidential sash with humility and profound respect, with a commitment to exercise the presidency for all Salvadorans," he said.
The 69 year old, who previously served as vice president, succeeds President Funes, also from the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) party, who was ineligible to run for a 2nd consecutive term.
Beating gang violence is among the challenges the new president faces. Across El Salvador, criminal groups, with about 60,000 members, control whole neighborhoods, running drug smuggling and extortion rackets.
The country also faces a mounting government debt burden and a high poverty rate that stands at over 40% of the population.
El Salvador was gripped by a bitter civil war between 1979-1992, in which Sanchez Ceren was one of the top guerilla commanders.
The conflict left over 76,000 people dead.
People leave homes due to fighting on outskirts of Lugansk, Ukraine
People left their homes in Lugansk, in eastern Ukraine, as fighting continued on the city's outskirts for hours, on Monday, RIA Novosti reports.
Artillery shelling on the southern outskirts started early in the morning, say self-defense forces, who were trying to take control of a unit of the Ukrainian frontier service.
Small arms and grenade launchers were used in the fighting. One member of the militia was reportedly killed and several wounded.
The frontier service of Ukraine says several border guards were also wounded.
Ukrainian army opens mortar fire on Slavyansk suburbs
Ukraine’s troops began mortar shelling Slavyansk's suburbs, on Sunday night, a spokes-person for Slavyansk’s self- defence volunteer corps says.
“Shelling became heavier after dark. They are using mortars and firearms,” he said.
Artillery shells damaged the buildings of the Sails of Hope children’s home and the research institute, he said, adding that a shell hit one of the walls of a children’s home.
“There were no children inside at the moment of shelling: they were evacuated from the town last week,” the spokesperson said.
At the research institute, a mine exploded in front of the building, breaking all the windows. Shelling also destroyed trolleybus power lines.
On Sunday evening, shooting was heard in the vicinity of Slavyansk, which is surrounded by the Ukrainian army.
“There was a skirmish. No details are available. We are checking who shot, and from where. Sporadic shooting can be heard in the town,” a representative of the volunteer corps says.
Earlier on Sunday, five civilians were reported to be wounded as the town came under artillery shelling. Shooting and explosions were heard. A jet fighter was reported flying over the town.
According to reports coming from Slavyansk, the town now has problems with mobile phones. There are problems with the internet in some of the town’s districts. On Saturday, the town and its suburb, Semyonovka, came under fire.
Parents in Ukraine’s Donetsk rally, demand security for their children
Over a thousand people rallied in Donetsk on Sunday - International Children's Day - to demand that children be protected from Kiev’s military assault, with posters saying: "Save Donbass kids from the Ukrainian army!"
The "Protect Donbass Children" protesters had signs saying "No to the Ukrainian army," "Slavic world without fascism" and "We are for peace". The mothers, with their children, demanded an end to the Kiev government's offensive in the region.
The military operation has not stopped after the Ukrainian elections, but has intensified.
Several children were injured in Slavyansk on May 30th, after the Ukrainian military shelled the town’s residential area, and a shell hit a children’s hospital.
Two days earlier, a school & kindergarten were hit in Kiev's attacks on Slavyansk.
Women rallying Sunday, say they want to attract the international community's attention to the fact that civilians are being targeted by the Ukrainian army.
"Snipers shoot at our children. We don't have words to express it any more, just emotions, tears and pain," one woman told Mir24 journalists at the rally.
Some protesters trod on boxes of Roschen sweets, to express their discontent with the newly elected President, Poroshenko, who made his fortune with confectionary.
Earlier, the PM of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Boroday, warned parents of Donetsk school graduates not to celebrate the end of the school year, and to cancel graduation parties, as there are now "concerns for children's lives, safety."
A similar rally took place in Kharkov.
Hundreds of children have recently been evacuated from the region, but Ukraine's authorities seized some of the transport carrying Slavyansk refugees.
On May 31st, a bus carrying women and children from the area was stopped at a border checkpoint, by Ukrainian guards.
Evacuations from Donetsk are not being implemented, as the city is blockaded by Kiev's forces. The authorities of the self- proclaimed republic talk now of sending several buses with local children, to find safety in Russia.
Kiev alleges that they are only targeting "terrorists", and not civilians, accusing the militia fighters of using civilians as human shields, the commander of the operation says.
Over 1,500 Palestinians to Join Mass Hunger Strike
Over 1,500 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons on Sunday, joined with another 120 on their 38th day of a hunger strike, in what is set to become a mass protest.
If the situation continues there could be martyrs, warns the Minister of Prisoners Affairs, Issa Qarage, while making the announcement.
He reveals that nearly one hundred hunger strikers have been placed in prison hospital due to their poor health.
The protesters demand to know the crimes atributed to them and want legal assistance.
Legislation dating from British colonial times in the early 20th Century, means suspects can be held in prison indefinitely, without charge, and with no legal advice or help.
In 2010, after a mass hunger strike involving over 2,000 prisoners, Isareli occupation forces agreed to use the said law in exceptional cases only, but as usual, they have reneged on this.
Many strikers suffer internal bleeding, a loss of memory and faint, and some need urgent surgery, says the Palestinian official.
He quotes a document that inmates managed to take out of a prison, denouncing physical mistreatment, frequent searches, denying them salt (which they usually dissolve in water as their only meal) and the seizure of their property.
Qarage urges Arab heads of State to "intervene and avoid the tragedy Israel is about to cause."
Since the start of Israel's military occupation in 1967, over 800,000 Palestinians from the occupied territories, have been imprisoned under that law or had harsh prison sentences.
Women in Bolivia Call for Strategies vs. Domination
The International Women's Summit in Bolivia, calls for a strengthening of strategies to end the elite's plans to dominate society, and for the opening of new spaces for women's participation.
Participants at the forum in Santa Cruz, ended their conference by stating that designing new indicators to monitor & assess society, are vitally necessary.
By controlling real measurements, processes for redistributing wealth, and constructing new ways of exercising power, can be managed.
All governments should measure domestic accounts, to provide sufficient budgets to overcome inequalities among people, states the final declaration of the meeting, prior to the Summit of the G-77 + China, to be held here on June 14-15th.
The International Women's Summit discussed progress in the winning of women's rights, their challenges for a new order, economic liberation, the eradication of poverty, and comprehensive, transformation objectives for the post-2015 global agenda.
New Opposition Protests in Bahrain Despite Police Crackdown
Bahrain's opposition groups announce new mobilizations in Bahrain demanding reforms and the hand-over of the body of an activist shot by police, in the ongoing Government crack-down on demonstrators.
Leaders of the Al-Wefag society, the main group of Shiite opposition parties, announce marches in several villages after their march in Dajh, near the capital, which was dispersed with tear gas, by security forces.
The demonstrators demand that forces loyal to Al Khalifa's monarchy, hand over the body of Abdul-Aziz Al-Abbar to his family. He died after 50 days in a coma, as a result of the wounds sustained during a street protest.
A communique issued by the Police Department in Manama province, says agents had to fight what it called "a group of terrorists", and followed legal procedures to restore normalcy.
The note added that "a crowd of saboteurs threw Molotov cocktails at security officials, setting a civil car on fire in Karbabad."
However, Al-Wefag and the other opposition groups state that Friday's crackdown and Saturday's police deployment, are part of the authorities' systematic hostility to the majority Shiite population.
Ukrainian Forces Resume Attacks, Bombings
Ukrainian forces resumed bombing on Saturday on the outskirts of Donetsk, with heavy artillery and harassment by National Guard squads.
Attacks were registered from daybreak, near Joroshevo and the international airport, Rossia 24 channel reports.
Witnesses confirm that there was machine- gun fire and explosions in a residential area, where a training centre of the Minero soccer club, in center Donetsk, is located.
A helicopter flew over the regional anti-aircraft defense units.
The Kiev government resumed last Monday, their military-political offensive, supported by mercenaries, after holding snap presidential elections as a result of a coup d' Etat.
Self-proclaimed Donetsk republic authorities do not have info' about 4 OSCE observers
Media reports have been made, quoting Vyacheslav Ponomarev about the release of OSCE observers in the Donetsk region, but his words have been misinterpreted.
The OSCE stated Tuesday that a group of the global organisation’s observers, went missing on Monday evening, on their way from Lugansk to Donetsk.
The authorities of southeast Ukraine’s self- proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic do not have any information about the whereabouts of four observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Co-chair of Donetsk republican government Denis Pushilin, tells Itar-Tass, on Sunday.
“We don't have them,” he says, adding that information coming in from the media, has been checked, but there have been no reports about their whereabouts, as yet.
People’s Mayor of the Donetsk regional city of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomarev, tells Itar-Tass today, that he too, does not have any information about the fate of four OSCE observers.
“I can say now that there are no OSCE observers in Slavyansk now,” Ponomarev says, noting that there is only information that a group of 11 OSCE observers was released from captivity after phone contact had been lost with them, on Wednesday.
The OSCE stated on Tuesday that members of the OSCE monitoring mission had been detained at a checkpoint and after that, 'phone contact was lost with them. These OSCE observers are from Denmark, Turkey, Switzerland and Estonia.
Another group of 11 OSCE observers went missing for several hours in Shakhtersk city, on Wednesday.
However, they returned in the evening on the same day to Donetsk, and all 'phone communication has been restored.
A US captive soldier in Afghanistan is exchanged for 5 Guantanamo detainees
US President Barack Obama says his administration reached the prisoner swap deal with the "Taliban".
The deal has led to the release of US Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the soldier held captive for nearly five years, The New York Times reports.
In exchange, the US authorities have released five Taliban prisoners held at the US-run Guantanamo detention facility in Cuba, the report says.
28-year-old Bergdahl, captured by the Taliban in June 2009, was handed over to US Special Operations forces in Afghanistan, yesterday, by a group of 18 Taliban members, the Times says, quoting US officials.
Officials say Bergdahl is in good condition. He was transferred to the US-run Bagram Airbase near Kabul, from where, he will be flown back home.
In a statement, President Obama praises the Emir of Qatar for mediating the release.
Qatar will take custody of the Guantanamo prisoners, subject to security restrictions, including a one-year travel ban.
Obama personally telephoned the soldier’s parents, shortly after Sergeant Bergdahl was transferred to the US military.
The sergeant’s parents: “We were so joyful and relieved when President Obama called us today to give us the news that Bowe is finally coming home! We cannot wait to wrap our arms around our only son.”
Obama confirmed on Tuesday, that the 32,000 US deployment in Afghanistan will be drawn down to 9,800 by the start of 2015.
Those forces would be halved by the end of 2015, then reduced to a normal embassy presence by the end of 2016, reported AFP.
The Taliban statement: "Now that Obama has announced that he will keep around 10,000 troops until the end of 2016 and continue the occupation, Afghanistan Islamic Emirate* condemns it and considers it a violation of sovereignty, religion and human rights."
*the militants’ name for the country.
WE WANT TO BE WITH RUSSIA
Thousands of pro-Russia protesters took to the streets in the self-proclaimed Republic of Donetsk, on Saturday, asking Moscow to protect them from the Ukrainian military.
Protesters gathered in the city’s Lenin Square. Denis Pushilin, head of the Supreme Council of the Donetsk People's Republic, addressed them.
He said people in Donetsk were "extremely grateful" to Russian President Vladimir Putin for his support, despite international pressure.
“What we don't see at first sight - but we know and understand - is that the Russian Federation faces threats and pressure from the international community. But Russia still remains with us, and we feel their support. We very much hope that soon we will become one country," he added.
On May 12, Donetsk and Lugansk declared independence after local referenda, in which the regions’ residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Kiev.
Up to 80,000 Palestinians in E. Jerusalem left without tap water for three months
Tens of thousands of Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem have spent 3 months without running water, despite petitions and calls by human rights bodies, after an Israeli water utility company stopped supplies in March.
Hagihon, Jerusalem’s water utility company, stopped regular supplies of running water to several neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem, such as Shu’fat Refugee Camp, Ras Khamis, Ras Sh’hadeh and Dahiyat a- Salam, says a statement from the website of B'Tselem, the Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.
The camps, inside Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries, are isolated from the rest of the city, by the Separation Barrier.
According to B'Tselem, some households in these camps “have been completely cut off from a water supply” while others “receive water intermittently.”
“As for the rest, water pressure in the pipes is so low, that water doesn't reach the taps,” says the statement.
As a result, 60,000 to 80,000 Palestinians, mostly permanent Israeli residents, have been left without a regular water supply, adds the organization.
According to B'Tselem, the fact that people have to live without a proper water supply is but “another outcome of the severe and ongoing neglect of the residents in the Jerusalem neighborhoods, separated by the Separation Barrier from the rest of East Jerusalem.”
“The construction of the barrier and the isolation of these neighborhoods, has led to a state of neglect, even more severe than that endured by the East Jerusalem neighborhoods for decades,” says the group.
Meanwhile, the local residents continue looking for running water in the camps.
Families have no choice, but to buy bottled water and limit consumption – drinking, showering and laundry – to a minimum.
“Every other week, I take the kids to my family’s home in Ras al-‘Amud to shower. We go by bus and it takes us an hour to get there,” Linda Abu Rajeb tells B’Tselem.
She says her husband has to walk over to his brother’s house, which is nearly a kilometer away, to get water.
When running water was stopped back in March, people spent at least three weeks calling the Hagihon Company & Jerusalem Municipality, to restore the water supply in their neighborhoods.
On March 25th, local residents, community leaders and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) wrote a petition to the Israeli High Court of Justice, over the negligence that has cut water supplies to tens of thousands of people.
“This is a humanitarian crisis of the first degree, and infringes on the right to water, dignity and health, especially of children and infants, the elderly, the sick and persons with disabilities,” said the petition.
According to ACRI, the water infrastructure in the affected areas can support only 15,000 people, and there are over 80,000 in the camps.
Hagihon in its turn, says that "security problems (including employees needing to have a police escort) and frequent attacks on infrastructure," are preventing the company from carrying out its maintenance work properly, in Palestinian neighborhoods.
On the 2nd April, 2014, the Court told Israeli officials, to give a response to the petition within 60 days. That deadline is set for the first week in June.
Back to burning: Maidan activists set tires on fire to protest at their eviction
A group of Maidan activists set burning tires on fire in Kiev on Saturday, in protest at the order by Kiev’s newly elected Mayor, Vladimir Klitshchko, to remove their barricades.
The protest was symbolic, and not on the scale anti-government protests reached 4 months ago.
Some 30 angry activists ignited several tires with a Molotov cocktail, and wouldn’t allow a fire crew to put the flames out.
They threatened to start “a third Maidan” (after the first 2004 protest in the “orange revolution” and a second in November 2013-February 2014), unless the order to dismantle the barricades in the Ukrainian capital, is withdrawn.
Klitshchko, one of 3 main political leaders of the second Maidan, was elected mayor of Kiev on Sunday, as Ukrainians voted for their new president.
One of his first public statements after securing office, was a call to Maidan activists camping in the city centre, to leave.
“The key goal of the Maidan - ousting the dictator - has been reached, so barricades should now be dismantled,” he said.
Similar statements came from the elected president, Petro Poroshenko:
“No Maidans will affect the president, no matter how much anyone might want it. Otherwise Maidan would no longer be the will of the people, and would turn into a common spin technique. I know how to deal with such techniques,” he said.
The calls were not heeded at Maidan.
Some activists criticized Klitshchko for not taking into account their view, on whether or not Maidan barricades should be dismantled.
Children’s ombudsman: Russia to welcome evacuated Ukrainian children.
Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case on unidentified persons over the continued shelling of civilian areas.
The Ukrainian armed forces, the National Guard & the ultranationalist Right Sector, are named, a spokesperson states
Seven more children were hurt on Friday as the Ukrainian military shelled the city of Slavyansk, a stronghold of protesters, in the country’s South East in the night, Pavel Astakhov, Russia’s ombudsman for children’s rights, says.
“According to the public health department of the Donetsk regional administration, 7 children were injured by bullets & shrapnel in a bombardment by the Ukrainian army,” Astakhov wrote on Twitter.
Self-defense forces in Slavyansk say Ukraine's military shelled the town’s residential area during the night, with one shell hitting a children’s hospital.
A children’s clinic was also damaged by artillery fire, ITAR-TASS reports.
Russia’s children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov has asked the Russian government to provide shelter for Ukrainian families with children in combat areas in the south-east of Ukraine, the ombudsman’s press office says.
“I've been receiving numerous requests from Russian nationals whose relatives - Ukrainian citizens - find themselves in combat areas in Ukraine’s Southeast, where a real fratricidal war has been unleashed,” he says.
“They plead for help in the evacuation of their relatives with children, to Russian territory.”
Astakhov has sent telegrams to the federal ministers and governors of Russia’s regions bordering Ukraine, with a request to settle all formalities in organising the evacuations: ie, crossing the border into Russia, and of providing legal status to the families once they are in Russia.
RUSSIA TO AID DONETSK PEOPLE's REPUBLIC
Russia will certainly provide humanitarian aid to the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in eastern Ukraine, Russian presidential spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, says on Friday.
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has turned down a recent request to give humanitarian aid to the eastern regions, from Russia.
“Humanitarian aid will be given to them for sure, but I can’t say anything about military aid. The military should be asked about that,” Peskov tells Russian media Thursday.
On Wednesday, DPR head Denis Pushilin sent Russia an official request, asking the country to adopt the DPR as its constituent member, as well as provide comprehensive assistance to Donetsk Region's people.
Iran Confirms Saudi Friendly Invitation
Iran confirms that its foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has received a friendly invitation from Saudi Arabia to visit it.
Iran's Deputy FM, Hussein Amir Abdollahian, says Zarif has been invited to attend the OIC (Organization of the Islamic Cooperation) foreign ministers' meeting, being held on June the 18th and 19th.
Jaafari: UNSC Must Hold Countries Sponsoring Terrorism Accountable
Syria's Permanent Representative to the UN, Bashar al-Jaafari, calls on the United Nations Security Council to hold accountable those states supporting terrorism in Syria.
At a UNSC session on counter-terrorism, he stresses the importance of making all member states refrain from offering any form of support to terrorism, pursuant to UNSC resolution No 1373, passed in 2001.
Al-Jaafari notes that Damascus has received no answer to the tens of letters it has sent to various committees on terrorism in Syria, and on the possession by armed terrorist groups, of chemical weapons, plus the involvement of some regional countries in this issue, the state news agency, SANA, reports.
Al-Jaafari states that Syria, and tens of other member states, such as Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Russia, China, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and others, have witnessed brutal terrorist acts, in the six months since the last briefing of the three counterterrorism subcommittees' chairpersons.
TALK - STOP MILITARY OFFENSIVE
Russia will assist Ukraine in establishing a dialogue with the southeast if Kiev stops its military offensive, the Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin says.
“Stop this military operation, and then we will help you with establishing dialogue,” Churkin says, in response to a speech made at the UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday by Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations, Yuriy Sergeyev.
In his speech, Sergeyev accused Russia of kindling separatism.
“The problem of the troubled regions will not be solved with artillery strikes or bombing,” Churkin states. He says that the Ukrainian president elect must start making the right decisions, which will not lead to a dead-end.
Churkin has called on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to get involved in the process of ending the military action in eastern Ukraine.
“UN Security Council members must call on Kiev to finally realize the need to consider the interests of all citizens of the country, to immediately end the military operation in the southeast,” Churkin says.
UN SAYS KIEV ONSLAUGHT WRONG
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expresses his concern over the "clashes in Donetsk."
"The Secretary-General urges Kiev's authorities to regain control in the south-east of Ukraine “solely by peaceful means”, his spokesperson Stefan Dyuzharrik says, commenting on the Kiev authorities' ultimatum to the militia, and aircraft bombing runs near Donetsk.
Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan Sign Eurasian Economic Union
Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan on Thursday, signed the historic Eurasian Economic Union, with Ukraine conspicuously absent, after the current crisis.
Cutting down trade barriers and comprising over 170 million people, it will be the largest common market across the ex-Soviet states.
"Russia, Belarus & Kazakhstan are going over to a fundamentally new level of cooperation," President Vladimir Putin says, at the signing ceremony in the Kazakh capital of Astana.
"The just-signed treaty is of epoch-making, historic importance," Putin states.
The troika of countries will cooperate in energy, industry, agriculture, and transport.
"In fact, we are shaping the largest common market in the CIS, with huge production, scientific and technological potential and enormous natural resources," the Russian leader adds.
Belarus and Kazakhstan are in third place in foreign trade with the Russian Federation, after the EU and China, Putin says.
The Russian leader says that the document brings Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus to a new level of integration which fully retains sovereignty.
“We ensure a close and coherent economic collaboration and cooperation. Today we've created a powerful and attractive centre of economic development, a big regional market that brings together over 170 million people.
“Our union has huge reserves of natural resources, including energy, which account for a fifth of the world’s gas reserves and 15% of oil reserves,” Putin says.
"We lost some along the way: I mean Ukraine," Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko says, at the signing ceremony.
"I'm sure that, sooner or later, the Ukrainian leadership will realize where its fortune lies," Lukashenko adds.
14 Ukrainian troops killed as military helicopter shot down in east
Armed activists shot down a military helicopter near a town in eastern Ukraine, Thursday, killing 14 troops including an army general, the US-coup selected President, Oleksandr Turchynov, says.
"I just received information that near Slaviansk, the terrorists - using a Russian man-portable air defence system - shot down our helicopter," Turchynov tells a rump parliamentary session.
MORE UKRAINE TROOPS STOP FIGHTING
All of the 80 Ukrainian troops holed up at a Lugansk military base have surrendered to self-defense forces, who stormed a military installation hosting Kiev's National Guards.
The initial assault lasted for 10-15 minutes, with almost unceasing gunfire, witnesses say. A video reportedly filmed near the attacked facility has appeared on YouTube.
There are conflicting reports on casualties and the outcome of the attack, which took place on the territory of an Air Force academy. Earlier, at least one Ukrainian soldier was reported as seriously injured.
According to RT, one anti-Kiev protester was killed in the gunfight, and there have been several injures on both sides.
All of the 80 Ukrainian soldiers holed up at the base surrendered, reports RIA Novosti. The servicemen were escorted out of the building, as the other side applauded.
Self-defense commander Gennady Tsepkalo also confirmed to journalists, that all troops have surrendered. He promises that all soldiers will be sent home, shortly.
It had earlier been reported that only ten troops surrendered and others barricaded themselves inside the base, with some of the soldiers saying that their captain had forbidden them from surrendering.
These events occur, as Kiev is intensifying military operations in eastern Ukraine. On Wednesday, Kiev mortar shells hit a school and a kindergarten in Slavyansk, injuring at least nine civilians.
CRIMINAL AS BUSH?
Against international law, and in defiance of UN resolutions, and the UN charter, US President Barack Obama says the US will continue to use force unilaterally, "when our core interests demand it.”
On Syria, he vows to work with Congress, to increase US support for the "moderate" terrorists fighting the Syrian government.
Obama’s announcements come as reports say the US plans to start training militants at a secret base in Qatar, to attack Syrian government troops and vehicles.
Speaking to graduates from West Point US Military Academy in New York, the US president also defends his drone strikes in several countries, including Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia, but vows "more transparency".
International reports show the US' drone strikes lead to huge civilian casualties.
On Iran’s nuclear energy program, Obama repeats his illegal war threat, that the US reserves "all options" to “prevent Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
THE MINERS' NEXT STEP IS PEACE
As battles continue now, on the outskirts of Donetsk, coalminers from the Donbass coalfields rallied in Donetsk Wednesday, to demand that Kiev immediately stop its punitive combat operation in the east.
The rally gathered from 1,000 to 3,000 miners, according to various estimates.
The action started with a symbolic rally at the eternal flame, after which the demonstrators marched to Donetsk regional administration's building, self-defense forces say.
Konstantin Kuzmin, First Deputy Coal Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, said on Tuesday, that Donbass coalminers have declared an indefinite strike, and are demanding the withdrawal of the Ukrainian military from the Donetsk Region.
“Donbass coalminers are starting an open-ended strike to demand an end to the military crackdown and the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the region,” he said.
Coalminers from the Skochinsky, Abakumov, Chelyuskintsev and Trudovskaya coalmines, as well as from two coalmines near the town of Makeyevka, joined the action, he said.
“We expect other coalmines to join our action soon,” Kuzmin said.
Punitive operation in Donetsk to continue "until self-defense forces are destroyed"
Despite the overwhelming vote by Ukraine's Duma that all forces in the South East withdraw, a representative of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Aleksei Dmitrashkovsky, says that Kiev's military operations in Donetsk will go on, until all military units of the self- proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk are destroyed.
"The military operation in Donetsk will continue until the forces of the People's Republic of Donetsk are destroyed, or they surrender," he said on Wednesday.
Shortly before this, the official said Ukrainian troops have killed as many as 200 militiamen.
CAT AND MOUSE AT DONETSK AIRPORT
Volunteer units of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), and Ukraine's army, are still engaged in fighting near the Sergey Prokofyev International Airport in Donetsk, the DPR's press service said on Wednesday.
According to the press service, shooting was heard near the airport the whole day.
“The republic’s self-defense forces are currently controlling almost half of the airport’s territory. Both warring parties have been refraining from active actions and have got down to positional fighting,” the press service said.
The situation remains relatively calm in other parts of Donetsk. Electricity & water supplies are normal. Telephone communication with Donetsk has never been interrupted.
Ukrainian army’s fighter jets patrolled over the city earlier on Wednesday. A Ukrainian drone was noticed near the regional department of Ukraine’s Security Service.
Russia warning not so hidden now
In an 'opinion piece' carried by Itar Tass, the US plan for Ukraine is exposed, and the growing necessity for Russia to act decisively soon, is made very clear...
The United States and NATO have thrown their weight behind Poroshenko’s latest actions, the opinion piece states, and Kiev's plan to start Ukraine’s secession from the Commonwealth of Independent States, is just the start.
Alexei Podberyozkin, analyst:
“All attempts to forecast a favorable march of events in Ukraine are fundamentally wrong. Chaos in Ukraine is snowballing in all spheres. The election of a new president will not bring about any fundamental change.
“One oligarch has been replaced by another, and the very same oligarchs have seized power in the regions.
“Now they will follow their own unwritten spoken code of conduct, the way they have been doing all the way, even when holding senior civil service posts.
“They've no intention to make long-term plans, let alone establish a constructive relationship with Moscow, simply because many of them have undergone “crash instruction courses” in the West,” the director of the Centre for Military-Political Studies at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), says in a recent interview.
“The new president has no clear legitimacy or his own team. The one that's now in power will get paid for the job done by its overseas handlers - and vanish into thin air,” he says.
“It is the US that runs the show in Ukraine. On Monday, the EU’s energy commissioner, Gunther Oettinger, said that Ukraine would pay its two-billion-dollar outstanding debt for natural gas by Thursday.
“But Kiev, so eager to enter the European Union, has preferred to defy this message, on orders from Washington. It's not accidental that Sergei Lavrov has described Washington’s intervention in the gas conflict between Russia and Ukraine as “laughable.”
“This is a statement of the hard fact, of who, in reality, runs the show in Ukraine,” the analyst says.
“The United States is keen to preserve a two- thousand-kilometer-long belt of instability along the border between Russia and Ukraine.
“For 23 years Washington has pursued a strategic policy of preventing Ukraine’s integration with Russia in any form, of nurturing a Russophobic elite hostile to Russia. In fact, Washington has achieved its aim,” Podberyozkin says.
“Kiev’s hope for integration with the EU and admission to NATO arouses much skepticism. It is a great headache for the West. Ukraine may be integrated with individual EU and NATO programs, but surely not as a fully- fledged member.
“The West needs the 45-million Ukrainian population as a consumer, but not as a provider of coal, steel or rolling stock.
“The EU is perfectly aware that in order to tear Ukraine away from Russia it has to be offered something - not very much, though - in compensation. Therefore the forecast for Ukraine looks unconsoling.
“It may find itself in the position of Bulgaria or Romania, countries abandoned by their intellectuals where industries are degrading and unemployment is sky-high,” Podberyozkin says.
“As for Ukraine’s intention to leave the CIS, Kiev will be in no hurry to take that step, otherwise it would have to cancel the visa-free regimen - or be prepared to welcome home 3 to 5 million Ukrainians who are earning a living in Russia,” he says.
“Poroshenko’s wish to employ the military scenario to put Ukraine’s eastern regions under control, may worsen the situation still more.
“In these regions, Russian speakers account for a majority of the population. Russia will be unable to ignore that fact,” the analyst warns sharply.
The president of the National Strategy Institute, a member of the military-industrial commission under the Russian government, Mikhail Remizov, says this:
“By pushing ahead with the so-called counter- terrorist operation in the Southeast, where a majority of the population is pro-Russia minded, Kiev puts itself in a situation where beginning a dialogue with Moscow will only be possible, on protecting the interests of Russian speakers in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics.”
“Kiev’s intention to start a process of secession from the CIS, is not an infringement of Russia’s interests,” he continues.
“On the contrary, it is an excuse for ignoring the existing norms of free trade between Ukraine and the other members of the CIS,” the political scientist says.
“The Ukrainian political elite’s plans for holding a referendum on joining NATO, does not mean that the North Atlantic Alliance will be ready to admit a very weak country. Hypothetically, the presence of NATO’s military facilities in Ukraine territory -- in other words, the alliance’s military presence near the Russian border -- should not be ruled out.
“Nor should one exclude the possibility of creating a miniature copy of NATO, consisting of the Baltic countries, Poland and Ukraine,” the analyst says.
“In a situation like this, Russia should achieve the guaranteed recognition of the rights of Russian speakers in the Southeast of Ukraine within the tightest deadlines. Otherwise, the situation may go out of control,” Remizov also warns, clearly.
ZIONISTS GROW BOLDER
Israeli forces have shot and injured at least 4 Palestinian worshippers in al-Aqsa Mosque, in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Local sources say clashes erupted at the mosque compound when Palestinian worshippers protested at the presence of Israeli extremists in the holy Islamic site.
Israelis were commemorating "Jerusalem Day," which marks the anniversary of Israel's capture of East al-Quds (Jerusalem), in 1967.
Witnesses say Israeli forces fired stun grenades and rubber bullets at the Palestinian protesters. A number of worshippers were pepper-sprayed.
Al-Aqsa Mosque has seen frequent clashes in recent months, following frequent visits by Israeli settlers & officials to the holy site.
Israel is facing mounting pressure to rein in a spiraling wave of hate crimes by Israelis, mainly in the form of vandalism and graffiti, targeting mosques and Christian churches.
Israel's authorities are systematically acting to alter East al-Quds' identity and character.
A report published by the al-Aqsa Foundation in October, says the Israeli regime is planning to build a new synagogue in al-Aqsa Mosque compound, as part of its efforts to 'Judaize' the occupied Palestinian territories.
Over decades, Israel has tried to change the demographic makeup of al-Quds, by building illegal settlements, destroying historical sites, and expelling the local Palestinian population.
Over half a million Israelis live in over 120 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds.
The world's nations, even the Western ones, consider the settlements as illegal.
PLAN IS TO MAKE PALESTINIANS JORDANIAN
Naseer Al-Omari a political commentator based in the US, says "all the signs are there", that the Zionist plan to "cleanse" a 'Greater Israel', is on.
"The Palestinians have been given Jordanian passports. Jordanians find out every now and then that the process never really stops.
"People who come from Gaza, people who come from the West Bank, are kind of 'encouraged' to stay in Jordan.
"And now there is a fear that this regime will probably sign away the country, the way his father signed that peace agreement at the expense of Jordanians.
"They were promised, back then, open economic relations with the Israeli entity and prosperity... and it turns out that all the Jordanians got was more poverty... & more loss of control over their country.
"No wonder Jordanians are anxious, they are kept in the dark, and this regime is engaged in all kinds of wheeling and dealing behind the country’s back.
"The parliament doesn't know what's happening. It's a small group of people who run the country as they wish, without the knowledge of the people."
National Thai Boxing Federation chief elected as Odessa mayor - takes oath under heavy guard
Gennady Trukhanvov beat his rival, Eduard Gurvits - backed by President-elect Petro Poroshenko - by 43.39% to 32,02%.
New Odessa Mayor Gennady Trukhanov took the oath under heavy police guard, as police cordoned off the building to prevent followers of the rival candidate, Eduard Gurvitz, from causing any disturbance near the Odessa Council building.
On Monday, Eduard Gurvitz' supporters blocked the building of a territorial election commission, paralyzed traffic in nearby streets, accused the "pro-Russian'' forces of falsification of results, and demanded that Gurvits be proclaimed the winner, in the mayoral election.
Governor of the Odessa region Igor Palitsya is urging the Odessa's population not to build up tension "merely because someone disliked the results, or had to account for money spent on Eduard Gurvits' election campaign", the governor says.
"Wise and mature politicians never use people as cannon fodder to resolve their tasks," the Odessa governor says.
AIRPORT BATTLES CONTINUE AS PUTIN SAYS 'STOP THE ATTACKS'
Ukraine’s forces have blocked all exits from Donetsk and are not letting even passenger buses leave the area of a military operation, a militia representative said on Tuesday.
"The only road out of the city is towards the settlement of Makeyevka, but you'll need detours to get there anyway," he said.
Meanwhile, the city has scrambled to evacuate schools and all the housing and public utilities departments have been ordered to prepare bomb shelters in case of active fighting and bombing.
The press service of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, says that the Kiev authorities resumed their punitive operation at 12.00 pm, local time, on Tuesday.
The population was warned beforehand that they could leave the Donetsk territory, but people are reluctant to leave their homes.
Armed clashes in the area of Donetsk Sergey Prokofiev International Airport, are ongoing.
Combat aircraft, including jets and helicopters, are now being used in the rebel territory. The fighting in the area of the airport, continued throughout Monday and tuesday night, and both sides claimed they held the space.
Sloviansk leader suggests evacuating Sloviansk
Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, the leader of Sloviansk volunteer units, suggests evacuating everybody who wishes to leave the city.
“We suggest preparing children and adults who wish to leave the city for evacuation. We have everything ready to evacuate them. I believe that today we will decide where they can go,” Ponomaryov says at a meeting of the self- proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
He says Sloviansk’s civilian population could be resettled in other parts of the republic, including Svyatogorsk and Brusino.
Denis Pushilin, chair of the presidium of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, says the total casualties the military attack has caused, has reached about 100 people, including 20 to 50 civilians.
KIEV GUARD TRIES TO TAKE OVER MARIUPOL PEOPLE's REPUBLIC HQ
In Mariupol, the headquarters of the self- proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk was attacked, the republic’s new press service said, on Tuesday.
“Firing continues at our HQ in Mariupol,” the source said. The attackers wear black uniforms with no markings, the source added. No information about casualties is available.
Self-Defence Units fight for Airport
The people’s militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic brought down two Ukrainian Armed Forces helicopters in combat operations near the Donetsk international airport, the chair of the presidium of the DNR Supreme Council, Denis Pushilin, says.
“Earlier, the leadership of the republic made a decision to assume control over the airport. This occurred after Kiev launched a punitive operation in the southeast of Ukraine, and began to increasingly use the airport to deliver military cargoes and manpower for military units and combat formations under its control,” he says.
Representatives from the self-proclaimed republic arrived at the airport “demanding the withdrawal from its territory of the Ukrainian troops guarding the inner perimeter,” he says. After the sides failed to settle the conflict peacefully, exchanges of fire took place, that turned into a major armed clash.
The Kiev-controlled units attempted to regain control over the airport, using helicopters as well as assault aircraft in the operation.
MASSACRE OF WOUNDED IN DONETSK
A lorry carrying the wounded in Donetsk was fired at on Monday, killing at least 24 people of the self-defence forces, a correspondent from St. Petersburg’s Fifth Channel, Leonid Muravyev, tells Itar-Tass, by telephone.
The correspondent was at the scene and witnessed the tragedy.
TWO CIVILIANS KILLED IN SLOVIANSK
Ukrainian forces resumed artillery fire on Monday morning on Semyonovka, near Sloviansk, which is still under siege, and 2 unarmed civilians were killed by artillery fire.
'WE NOW OPERATE UNDER RUSSIAN LAW'
The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine has started switching over to Russian laws, Denis Pushilin, chair of the DPR Supreme Council presidium, said Tuesday.
“Today a decision was made to start intensively switching over to Russian laws,” Pushilin said. All ministries of the self-proclaimed republic, are now in operation, he added.
Ukrainian Rebels Rule Out President-elect''s Visit
The head of the provisional government of the People''s Republic of Donetsk, self-proclaimed as independent from Ukraine, Denis Pushilin, says it's unlikely that Ukrainian President- elect Piotr Poroshenko, will visit there.
"When someone is elected president, they always plan to visit a neighboring country first. We see his idea of visiting Donbass, from that viewpoint, says Pushilin, as quoted by Novosti news agency.
The rebel leader of the mining and industrial region notes that any kind of negotiation with the new Ukrainian President, will be possible "only in the presence of mediators", he says, alluding to Russia.
Pushilin warns that the issues on any talks agenda, would be an exchange of hostages and a withdrawal by the Army and neo-Nazi squadrons of the Right Sector and Maidan self-defense units, which now make up the National Guard.
Poroshenko said that his first stop will be south-east Ukraine - which early Monday was attacked by Kiev fighter jets, attack helicopters and special forces, at the main airport in the Republic of Donetsk.
Donetsk self-defense forces and National Guard units also clashed near the railway station of Donetsk. Shooting and explosions could be heard from the area, in a reported attempt by Ukraine’s troops to get into the city.
Fighting also took place between the local people’s militia and National Guard units on the outskirts of the city and nearby hamlets.
Fighting occurred in Grobari (8 km from the airport) and Avdeyevka (10 km away).
Clashes also took place on Stratonavtov Street (500m from the airport), where a group of Russian and foreign reporters, came under fire, early on Monday.
Fighting continued with sub-machine and machine-guns, and grenade launchers.
Cordoned-off areas grew, and Donetsk law enforcement officers asked all drivers to do a U-turn and drive towards the city centre, to pick up people from those areas that had come under fire.
Earlier, eight combat helicopters as well as two fighter aircraft were seen over the city.
According to the people’s militia of Donetsk, National Guard units did seize the airport territory back, and snipers began shooting at the perimeter, from nearby tall buildings.
The whole of the South East of Ukraine is being shaken by the military offensive by Kiev, involving over 10,000 troops, backed by armour, fighter planes & heavy weapons.
"TREADING ON EGGSHELLS" SAYS GERMANY
The head of Germany’s largest power generator says Europe should avoid any escalation in its relations with Russia, against the backdrop of the Ukrainian political crisis.
“If you live in Europe, particularly in Germany, and have numerous contacts with Russia, we’re treading on eggshells,” RWE AG chief executive Peter Terium tells Bloomberg. “You need to maneuvre very carefully, in order not to escalate.”
RWE and other European utilities receive about 30% of their gas supply from Russia. About half of that comes via Ukraine’s pipeline network.
“We will not see a very quick, simple solution, but better a long, difficult solution, than an escalation,” Terium says in London.
THE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY WE IGNORE
Official results from Colombia’s presidential election show that incumbent President, Juan Manuel Santos, and his rival Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, will have to go to a runoff.
With nearly all votes counted, Zuluaga received 29.3%, while Santos trailed with 25.6% in the first-round of elections.
Neither gathered over 50% of the votes - needed to avoid a second round vote on June 15th.
Colombia’s presidential race is widely seen as a referendum on Santos’ 18-month peace negotiations with the country’s rebels, to end the 50-year-old conflict.
After the release of the results, Santos says the runoff will be a choice “between those who want an end to the war and those who prefer a war without end.”
Zuluaga, a former finance minister, repeats his criticism of the peace process, vowing to scrap negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
The FARC has been fighting the government since 1964. Bogota estimates that 600,000 people have been killed and over 4.5 million displaced, due to the fighting.
Columbia's Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon says the Sunday vote was the “safest election day in recent history,” as there was a ceasefire.
Why should anyone care about Columbia?
Several recent events, ignored by all the mainstream media, make it very clear why:
First, Human Rights Watch released a report just this week, detailing the grisly practices of paramilitary death squads in a port town called Buenaventura.
These practices by paramilitaries, who act with impunity and with the tacit support of the local police, include the disappearance of hundreds of civilians; the displacement of whole villages; and the dismemberment of individuals, while they are still alive, in local “chop houses.”
Buenaventura is to be the model city of the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.
Jose Vivanco of HRW calls Buenaventura “the scandal” of Colombia. Sadly, it is not Colombia’s only one.
This weekend, the VI Division of the Colombian Army hit the peasant town of Alto Amarradero, Ipiales, in the middle of the night, and, without warrant and in cold blood, gunned down four civilians, including a 15-year old boy.
Those killed were Deivi López Ortega, José Antonio Acanamejoy, Brayan Yatacue Secue and José Yiner Esterilla — all members of the FENSUAGRO agricultural union.
The Army then displayed the bodies of those murdered for all to see, and falsely claimed that they were the bodies of guerillas killed in combat.
These are the latest victims of the ongoing “false positive” phenomenon in which nearly 6,000 progressive civilians have been killed and then passed off as guerillas, to justify the continued 'counterinsurgency' program in Colombia, and the US aid that funds it.
As Father Francisco de Roux, S.J., recently said at a peace conference in Washington, “if these ‘false positive’ killings happened anywhere else, they would be a scandal !”
However, having happened in Colombia, the US’s closest ally in the Western Hemisphere, these killings are being ignored by US media and policy-makers.
A report by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, out now, demonstrates how there is a direct link between US military funding and training, particularly at the School of the Americas, and the incidence of human rights abuses, including “false positive” killings.
The report concludes that “of the 25 Colombian WHINSEC instructors and graduates for which any subsequent information was available, 12 of them – 48% — had either been charged with a serious crime or commanded units whose members had reportedly committed multiple extrajudicial killings.”
Moreover, “some of the officers with the largest number of civilian killings committed under their command (Generals Lasprilla, Rodriguez Clavijo, and Montoya, and Colonel Mejia), received significantly more US training, on average, than other officers”.
The head of the US’s Southern Command, General John Kelly, recently explained to a Congressional hearing, that the US is using Colombian military personnel for military training in other Latin American countries, to get around human rights restrictions, which prevent the US from doing the training directly.
As Kelly explained, in a moment of candor:
“The beauty of having a Colombia – they’re such good partners, particularly in the military realm, they’re such good partners with us.
“When we ask them to go somewhere else and train the Mexicans, the Hondurans, the Guatemalans, the Panamanians, they will do it almost without asking. And they’ll do it on their own. They’re so appreciative of what we did for them. And what we did for them was, really, to encourage them for 20 years, and they’ve done such a magnificent job.
“But that’s why it’s important for them to go, because I’m – at least on the military side – restricted from working with some of these countries because of limitations that are, that are really based on past sins. And I’ll let it go at that.”
In other words, the US is exporting the vile genocidal practices of the Colombian military (practices the US trained them in to begin with) throughout Latin America.
The silence on this really is deafening.
Ukrainian oligarch Poroshenko wins with over 50% of votes – exit polls
Says he refuses any recognition for Donetsk, Lugansk, and even Crimea.
Ukrainian confectionary tycoon Pyotr Poroshenko has won the presidential election in the 1st round, with over 50% of the votes, several exit polls show.
His "nearest rival", Tymoshenko, who threatened to call “Maidan 3.0” if she lost, had 12.8%, the exit polls suggest.
All other candidates gathered less than 10%. Anti-Russian populist Oleg Lyashko, the Radical Party head, had 8%, ex defense minister Anatoly Gritsenko, 6.3% and expelled Party of Regions MP Sergey Tigipko, 4.7% of votes.
The candidate picked by the Party of Regions, Mikhail Dobkin, gained just 2.1%. Some 1.1% voted for Ukraine's Communist Party leader, Pyotr Simonenko, despite his announcement earlier this week, that he had withdrawn.
Ultra-right nationalists appear to have completely failed. Svoboda (Freedom) Party head Oleg Tyagnibok, had 1.3%, and Right Sector boss, Dmitry Yarosh, was supported by under 1%.
According to the prospective winner, parliamentary elections will be held in Ukraine "before the end of 2014".
Poroshenko, at his press conference: “we will have a united and unitary, not federative state.”
"I am certain that our decisive actions will bring fairly quick results," he states now, confirming that a military “anti-terrorist” operation in eastern Ukraine, is to go on.
Poroshenko says he will not recognize the results of the Crimean referendum, or the eastern regions' referenda, which resulted in both Donetsk and Lugansk proclaimed as people’s republics and has led recently, to their full military mobilisation, as Novo-russia.
He says he will talk to President Putin, and "everything will be sorted out."
The Vice President says military operations start "within hours."
According to the latest data presented to the Central election Committee, just before polls closed, the voter turnout for all Ukraine, was 40.44%.
ON AFRICA DAY...
President Zuma to Tighten Fight against Unemployment, Corruption
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma now promises to improve social equity, optimize the distribution of land and tighten the fight against unemployment and corruption.
Zuma took office as head of state for a second term in office until 2019, after his party, the African National Congress (ANC) won overwhelmingly in recent elections.
The next 5 years will see radical socioeconomic transformations, policies and programmes, as economic transformation and inclusive growth take centre stage among S. Africa's priorities, President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday, in his acceptance speech.
"The new mandate is also a license to continue with our ambitious infrastructure building programme, and ensure the provision of better roads, universities and colleges, hospitals, dams, railway lines and and power stations that boost economic and social development," he said.
"More importantly, this mandate gives us the green light to implement South Africa's National Development Plan, and to promote inclusive economic growth and job creation," President Zuma added.
The president also said the ANC will give priority to the eradication of corruption and inefficiency, and promote productivity in the public service through better accountability.
WILL UKRAINE CEASE TO EXIST?
This is the transcript from an interview by Press TV with Webster Griffin Tarpley, historian and journalist, from Washington, to discuss, with him, the crisis in Ukraine.
What follows is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Can this presidential election bring stability and peace back to Ukraine?
Tarpley: I doubt it very much for a number of reasons. First of all, on the level of the formalities of this election, the election is being conducted in an atmosphere of fascist & neo-Nazi terror, which is unleashed by the clique, this illegal putsch government which arrogated power to itself in Kiev, and now puts itself up as the competent authority to organize these elections.
Remember, these are the fascists of the Svoboda Party and the outright hooligan Nazis of the Right Sector, who have been legalized and legitimized as the so-called national guard of the country, and what have they done?
First of all, we had a legally elected president, a dubious character, but there he was. He was about as legitimate as any president in the world, and that was [Victor] Yanukovych. He was forced out of the country. He was driven to flee for his life from the country, on February 21st.
He was then impeached by the [Verkhovna] Rada, but it wasn’t the legal Rada, the parliament. It was the rump Rada from which a lot of members from the party of the regions and indeed the communist party, had been driven out. So they didn’t really reach a quorum, the number of votes necessary to eject Yanukovych from the presidency.
In the meantime, there are several hundred members of the Rada who have simply been terrorized into not showing up. The few that have showed up and tried to oppose the self-styled government, that is to say the [Oleksandr] Turchynov and [Arseniy] Yatsenyuk regime, a lot of the members of the Rada have been beaten up.
We’ve also had presidential candidates in this election who have been beaten up and forced to withdraw their candidacy.
If you watch Ukrainian TV, which you can see here every evening at 11:30, you could see that in the parliament, in the Rada, you had the communist party head, complaining that there's a fascist regime now in the country, and Turchynov behind him simply said, ‘you shut up, you sit down, and we’re going to declare your party illegal’.
Then of course in addition to that, 50 to over 100 people killed in Odessa. And this is simply not a fire. These were fascist gangs apparently paid for by the oligarch, [Ihor] Kolomoyskyi, who were going through this building and shooting people, and this constant attack - sometimes by the Ukrainian army but generally by this national guard Right Sector - in other words, fascist guys, military police attacking in the east. I can’t see how this could be an election.
Press TV: Mr. Tarpley, how important is the turnout overall for this election, in your perspective?
Tarpley: I don’t think the turnout really is going to change anything in the character of what I said before. It may be large. It may be small. This is harder to say.
Let’s look at the candidates. One candidate is the out and out Nazi thug, hooligan street fighter brown- shirt, that would be Dmitry Yarosh. He’s the head of the Right Sector. He’s actually in the government, indirectly, but he’s in it.
Then we’ve got a more refined fascist, sort of a fascist in a business suit, and that’s Oleh Tyahnybok. And Tyahnybok has been around for a while. If you look at various studies of European fascism funded by organizations that my colleague on the show here probably knows and respects, and you can see that Tyahnybok is often sighted as an example of neo- fascism in eastern Europe. But of course maybe he’s mellowed over the years.
Then we have Tymoshenko, the blonde lady, you’ve seen her - the gas princess, the kleptocrat, a NATO agent. She’s the one who took over thanks to the Orange Revolution organized by NATO intelligence, the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House and the political parts of USAID, the US Agency for International Development, don’t forget them.
This Tymoshenko is of course a jailbird. She was put in jail, and I think richly deserved, on corruption charges: because she is one of the richest of the oligarchs in the country.
Then we have Poroshenko or Padashenka, the so- called Chocolate King, the Willy Wonka of Ukraine. This is a fantastically rich oligarch. He’s a billionaire. You wonder what can he understand of the daily drama of a working family anywhere in Ukraine. I think not very much.
He seems to be acceptable to Victoria Nuland and the State Department and the CIA. Maybe we’ll be hearing a telephone conversation from Victoria Nuland soon where that foul-mouthed lady will express her preferences, who she wants. It looks like Poroshenko.
This is a guy who tried to ride the tiger of fascism. It was well known that Poroshenko was the sponsor of the Maidan and the euro-Maidan - in other words, this hooligan encampment in the middle of Kiev - and he actually paid stipends. If you wanted to come out, if you were a Right Sector thug hooligan with a Molotov cocktail that you were willing to throw at the police, Poroshenko would give you 25 dollars a day, minimum, and maybe 50 dollars if you were really, really violent. So that’s the guy – he’s going to ride that kind of a background.
The Poroshenko campaign was hooligans with Molotov bottles burning policemen alive and killing them too, taking them into a back alley and killing them. That’s going to be the new president of Ukraine.
And of course, he’s going to be a puppet of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and of course the US and European Commission. He is going to try then to impose an absolutely brutal, and I would say genocidal austerity that includes things like doubling the price of gas, methane, what they use for cooking and heating, giving away the Black Earth Farm region, giving away the coal and steel capacity of Kryvyi Rih and the Donetsk Donbas, giving away the gas distribution system which was built under the Soviet Union – simply giving those things to Western companies as part of the IMF conditions, and absolutely destroying the social safety net. That basically guarantees there will be no stability in Ukraine. No way.
Press TV: Definitely interesting lineup when we’re listening to you...Mr. Tarpley.
Tarpley: [In response to previous guest speaker, Peter Sinnott, comments over social welfare in Russia and Ukraine] How about the European Commission, do they social welfare really well? If we go to Greece and we see people starving in the streets, or Spain with 40 percent youth unemployment, is that what they’re going to choose?
I think the rational course for Ukraine – if there’s going to be a Ukraine, and that’s a big “if” – would be to try to get the best of both, try to get the best of the customs union that Putin is proposing and try to get some benefits from the European Union. But that’s not what’s being offered.
The government that’s going to come out of the elections - and I don’t care how many people vote - it will be an International Monetary Fund puppet regime. They have already signed the contracts. They are already getting tranches of the money from Madam [Christine] Lagarde over here at the International Monetary Fund. It’s going to be killer austerity.
Fascism comes in many forms. There’s the old- fashioned fascism with Tyahnybok and Yarosh, right? –The sort of brown-shirt, black-shirt street hooligan stuff. But then there’s the International Monetary Fund version which is that you carry out genocide through austerity so severe that people begin to die.
Now the only way out of this in the short run would be two things, neutralization, Finlandization. There is a law I think still on the books – anyways, there was a law passed by this Rada in 2010 that Ukraine would be a neutral country. Neutral in a sense that Switzerland is neutral; or if we go back to the Cold War, Finland, Sweden or Austria. Those were neutral countries. They did okay.
The Finlandization of Ukraine would essentially say Russia has reasonable demands. Russia has been invaded from the West so many times, they have a good reason. It’s fair to say you don’t want a hostile NATO country on your border with a bunch of fascists dominating the political scene.
The other thing is, Russia needs warm water ports, access to the oceans, ice-free harbors. That’s the story with Crimea. It’s also the story with Odessa.
The other thing is that since the Soviet Union bore the brunt of Hitlerism, it’s understandable that they don’t want to see that flare-up once again along their own borders. I think in order to meet all those legitimate demands, neutralization and a confederal solution.
[In response to guest speaker, Peter Sinnott's comments over foreign influence on independent countries surrounding Russia] How about Mexico, does Mexico have such a right? Does Mexico have a right to ally with Russia?
Press TV: Mr. Tarpley, one minute, sir.
Tarpley: I would ask again, if that were Mexico making a deal with Moscow, I think our friend would be singing a different tune. How about Cuba? Cuba has simply tried to assert the ability to have a free foreign policy. I wonder where you come down on that.
But I think the basic solution is a Finlandization. You got this from many members of the US foreign policy establishment, and a confederation – not even a federation but a confederation, something like Austria-Hungary, as you have two Ukraines.
You’ve got the eastern Ukraine which is orthodox and Russian. Then you've got the Western Ukraine which is unionate Greek Catholic and it’s centered in this place called Lavov - Lviv, Lemberg, Leopol, Leopoli. That seems to be the capital of fascism in modern Ukraine.
There’s an even deeper question which is, is there a Ukraine? Is this a country at all? It’s only existed at different times for about 25 years. It was created by the German general staff at the end of World War I, in 1918, as a means of weakening Russia.
Every time Ukraine asserts independence, this seems to go together with massacres, right? - The Pogroms massacre of Jews by Petliura in 1919, and then again by Stepan Bandera, the Nazi collaborator.
By the way, Finland of course, under Marshal Mannerheim, was directly allied with Hitler, and I’m afraid we’re getting closer to an apology for fascism. They were certainly an enemy of the United States at that time.
The idea is, is this really a country given this radical differentiation? And what we just had today is this: about 40 to 50 percent of the country asserted its separate existence in the form of a no-vote or a “seeya!”.
You have to remember, Odessa was never part of Ukraine. Donetsk was added to Ukraine by German planners because Germany wanted to loot the coal and steel under the treaty of Brest Litovsk. So they wanted to add that. I don’t know if we can be sure that there will be a Ukraine for very much longer.
VIOLENT RACIST MOB MARCH IN LONDON
A mob of over 20 Britain First fascists marched on an east London mosque, on the eve of the local and European elections, reports the Morning Star daily.
Britain First leader Paul Golding led his party’s “south-east brigade” in a provocative military style march past, on a mosque on Brick Lane.
Waving Union Jacks, the party’s foot soldiers conducted what Mr Golding calls a “Christian patrol”, with an armoured Land Rover and a convey of four other cars.
Dozens of police officers swooped on the street gang, to prevent the situation from turning violent.
Natasha Daniels wrote on Twitter that she was enjoying a curry on the street, when “some morons with Union Jacks and a tank/ car thing came down, followed by loads of police.”
She added that most of the Britain First members “hid in the cars.”
In a press release boasting of their latest racist action, Britain First moaned that the police “held our activists captive for an inordinate amount of time.”
Unite Against Fascism spokesperson, Weyman Bennett, says the thugs’ act, is a symptom of the dangerously racist atmosphere being created by the likes of Nigel Farage.
He says: “With Ukip’s shameless attempt to whip up racism against immigrants, fascist movements try to distinguish themselves then, by acting in a military way.
“They’re former BNP members and they’ve made a harder turn to a military element on the streets.”
Thursday’s march on Brick Lane, near historic Cable Street, is the latest in a string of marches on, and invasions of, mosques around England, by Britain First.
They stormed into the East London Mosque twice last week, trying to frighten worshipers, by handing them anti-Islamic propaganda.
Mr Bennett says their increasingly violent acts are the result of frustration with the group’s lack of success.
“We consider them to be a small fascist group trying to make it into the big time, by trying stunts like this.
“But they still face formidable obstacles in trying to do this. As long as we remain unified, we can stop them.”
Russian leftists blast Kiev plans to ban Ukrainian Communist Party
Russia’s KPRF attacks plans by the interim president of Ukraine, to ban the Communist party, as a threat to all leftist and patriotic forces, saying such a step is typical of past fascist regimes.
“All fascist regimes in the world started their activities with a ban on Communist parties.
“Such threats threaten all the leftist popular and patriotic forces,” the leader of Russian Communists, Gennady Zyuganov, says at a roundtable discussion, in the State Duma.
Zyuganov says the Communist Party of the Russian Federation has prepared a draft motion against these attempts to ban the Communist Party of Ukraine, and will be submitting it to the Lower House, in the near future.
The Communist Party chief also adds that he doubts that the crisis in Ukraine will change, after the forthcoming presidential poll.
“The suggestion that 'everything will settle down there after May 25th,' is an illusion. Presently, there are not the conditions in Ukraine, for holding normal elections,” he says.
Zyuganov calls on the Russian authorities to give greater support to the residents of the South-Eastern regions of Ukraine, who support the federalization of the country.
“No one is demanding to send in troops, but we have the right to support our friends and brothers,” he says. “It's our duty to express our common will, and do everything to help the Ukrainian people get rid of the fascist junta that is trying to establish itself --- with US guidance,” Zyuganov tells Russian MPs.
The centre-left Fair Russia party backs this. “We are unconditionally supporting the motion in support of the Ukrainian Communist Party, because, while approaches to ideology might differ, a ban on a political parliamentary party in any country is a nonsense, and should not be allowed,” Fair Russia leader, Sergey Mironov, says.
On Monday, Ukraine’s acting president, Aleksandr Turchinov, asked the Justice Ministry to ban the Communist Party --- for its alleged involvement in the pro- federalist movement in Donetsk and Lugansk Regions, that, in his opinion, threaten Ukraine's territorial integrity and national security.
The communists' policies have an openly anti-constitutional character, Turchinov said, in his letter to the rightwing interim Justice Minister.
In mid-May. the leader of the Communist Party of Ukraine, Pyotr Symonenko, said that the current Kiev regime is killing peaceful civilians in the country's south- east, and spreading lies about the real situation.
Symonenko has called on Kiev to stop its “anti-terrorist operation,” saying it is now a “terrorist operation against its own people.”
State Duma speaker, Sergey Naryshkin, said on Wednesday, that Symonenko had planned to attend the roundtable in Russia, but could not, because of the threats to his personal safety made in Ukraine.
Naryshkin added that Symonenko had to withdraw from the Ukrainian presidential race, for the same reason.
Several other candidates were also forced to withdraw, after beatings, and/or threats to themselves and their families.
SOUTH-EAST UKRAINE MOBILIZES - TO STOP "COLOUR REVOLUTION"
The city of Sloviansk ( in Donetsk region) and its adjoining settlements have again been subjected to intense artillery fire in which dwelling houses were destroyed.
According to the self-defence forces, “over 10 gunmen were killed” in the clashes that continued for about three hours.
In response to the increase in combat actions, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has launched a general mobilisation.
The DPR press service tells ITAR-TASS that recruiting stations were opened on Friday where men aged from 19 to 40 years must turn up to enlist.
On Thursday, martial law was declared in the neighbouring self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and a total mobilisation of men aged from 18 to 45 years was announced.
Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, General Valery Gerasimov, states at the 3rd International Security Conference in Moscow on Friday that the conflict in Ukraine has now actually grown into a civil war.
He says that the Russian Defense Ministry has at its disposal the facts on the participation of private military companies in events in Ukraine.
Appointed by the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada, the interim PM of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, believes that nothing can or will prevent Ukraine holding a snap presidential election on May 25th.
Head of the special operation in the east of the country, Valentin Nalivaichenko, promises that the Ukrainian security agencies won't conduct actively aggressive operations on voting day.
Water and food supplies have been cut, in several towns and cities in the South East.
In the opinion of Russia's military and foreign political leadership, “a colour revolution” is being implemented in Ukraine by the West.
“After the forceful removal from power of Ukraine’s incumbent president with active participation by external forces, the country has actually slid into a civil war,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, says.
“We remember the attempts to implement the concept of “colour revolutions” in the former USSR space.
“In the recent past, such attempts were made in Central Asian countries and in Georgia. Now it’s Ukraine. The appearance of a new trouble spot has negatively affected general security,” he stresses.
“The West has preferred the customary policy of the containment of Russia, to the historic chance of building a Greater Europe,” believes Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“The attempts to force on other peoples its own formulas of internal reform, which do not take into account their traditions & national features, to engage in the ‘export of democracy,’ have a destructive effect on international relations and result in the multiplication of hot spots on the world map,” the minister stresses.
The turbulence in Ukraine is reminiscent of the violence and bloodshed Europe experienced in the 20th century, Lavrov tells a security conference in Moscow.
“The European continent, which brought two global military catastrophes in the last century, is not demonstrating an example to the world of peaceful development and broad cooperation,” he says, adding that the situation is not accidental, but is “a natural result of the developments over the past quarter of a century.”
“Our Western partners rejected a truly historic chance to build a greater Europe, in favour of borderlines and the habitual logic of expanding the geopolitical space under their control to the East,” Lavrov stresses. “This is, de facto, a continuation of the policy of 'containing' Russia, only in a softer wrapping.”
The West ignored Russia’s calls for cooperation and would not pursuit the challenge of bringing together different integration projects in Eurasia.
Instead it was and is, forcing nations historically close to Russia, to choose between the East and the West.
“With Ukraine’s fragile political situation, this pressure was enough to trigger a massive crisis of statehood,” Lavrov points out.
But Ukraine is just one example of the destructive results that Western foreign policies bring, Lavrov says.
“The operations to change regimes in sovereign states & foreign-orchestrated ‘colour revolutions’ of different brands, produce obvious damage to international stability.
“The attempts to impose one’s own designs for internal reforms on other peoples, which don’t take into account national characteristics, to ‘export democracy’, impacts destructively on international relations and multiplies the number of flashpoints on the world map,” he continues.
“Schemes based on advocating one’s exceptionalism, the use of double standards, a pursuit of unilateral geopolitical outcomes in crisis situations, are widely used, not only in Europe, but also in other regions, and this undermines crisis mediation efforts.”
The problems in Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan and many other countries, can only be solved through a collective effort, and Russia stands for joining forces in tackling issues.
A collective effort resulted in recent advances on the Iranian nuclear program and launched the dismantling of the Syrian chemical arsenal, he says.
Meanwhile unilateral attempts to resolve the Arab-Palestinian conflict, proved to be deficient.
“When crisis management in all directions requires collective effort, one can hardly understand the reasoning of those, who take decisions on limiting cooperation with Russia over responding to common challenges and threats,” he says.
“It’s doubtful that this will raise the efficiency of combating terrorism, preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, responding to natural and man-made disasters or erecting barriers to extremism.”
Lavrov stresses that a polycentric system of global security, in which parties respect each other’s interests, cultural differences and the right to self-determination, is needed to build a just, safe and democratic world.
The foreign minister speaks at the international security conference in Moscow, which brought together officials, military officers and experts from over 40 countries, including China, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran and Belarus. It is the third time Moscow has hosted the event.
‘Colour revolutions are like military operations’
Lavrov’s condemnation of colour revolutions as an instrument of hostile international politics, is repeated by the Russian military at the conference.
Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu says Ukraine's crisis is the latest example of such a revolution, and it follows a global trend for them to become more violent.
“After the forced ouster of the president with the help of foreign forces, [Ukraine] has now, practically, slid into a civil war,” he says.
“A hotspot of tension has been artificially created in the heart of Europe. This has negatively affected global security.”
Shoigu adds that the scheme for fanning an internal conflict used in Ukraine is applicable to many countries, and points to Venezuela, “where the legitimate government is being opposed by a so-called democratic opposition fuelled from abroad,” and Venezuela appears to be a victim of this same approach.
But unlike the colour revolutions of the 1990s and 2000s, which were relatively bloodless, the latest generation of such operations increasingly resembles military invasions, the Russian minister stresses.
Now colour revolutions lead to long-term destabilization, rather than to the simple regime change that the forces triggering them, initially aim at.
Meanwhile the head of Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov, accuses the US and its allies of initiating most of the regional conflicts in recent history.
“The US cannot stomach the formation of new centres of power,” he states. “That is why it uses a wide arsenal, to ramp up regional tension, including unilateral sanctions, aid sent to West-allied forces, private military companies & ultimately the national military.”
The general adds that the Russian military will not walk away from the new challenges that have emerged in the Ukrainian crisis.
“Some Western countries have ramped up anti-Russian rhetoric, and are building up NATO troops in the Baltic, Poland and Romania, as well as a military presence of the alliance in the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea,” Gerasimov says.
“We cannot be indifferent to this, and will have to take measures in response.”
The Obama administration has taken the over 6,000-page report on the use of torture during the Bush years, laboriously researched by the Senate Intelligence Committee, and placed it in the hands of the entity that carried out the torture, the CIA, to 'redact', before publication.
Many believe the torture report will never see the light of day, or will now be so edited, as to make it worthless.
TALKS NEEDN'T BE SO HARD, SAYS PUTIN
President Putin says Russia respects the will of the Ukrainian people, but will keep a close watch on what’s happening.
It was easier for Ukraine’s opposition to reach agreement with President Viktor Yanukovych, who “was ready to agree to everything”, President Putin states.
Putin explains that Ukraine’s Constitution contains only four reasons for removing the incumbent president from power: death, illness, impeachment and a personal resignation request.
“None of those things actually happened in Ukraine,” Putin says.
US House Rejects Closing Gitmo Prison
The US House of Representatives has rejected by 247-177, a proposal to authorize President Barack Obama to close the prison in the US Base of Guantanamo, in eastern Cuba.
Since 2002, the White House has kept the prison in the naval base on Cuban territory against the will of both the Government and people of Cuba.
The initiative, introduced by the Democrats as part of the national defense budget for 2015, was intended to cancel the ban on a transfer of inmates to US mainland territory, and for the closure of the prison by 2017.
In his state of the union address last January, Obama said that 2014 should be the year for Congress to end restrictions to transfering inmates and the year for the final closure of the prison, which still harbors 154 prisoners.
In 2009, Obama signed an executive order to close it in less than a year.
A recent Pentagon report admits that the prison spends one billion dollars a year, and the total amount will exceed five billion USD by late 2014.
There have been numerous reports about the use of cruel techniques to torture prisoners, like depriving them of sleep, keeping them naked in low temperatures and submitting them to exhausting interrogations.
Pentagon reportedly assigns 13k servicemen to first ever US-Jordanian-Israeli joint drill
Roughly 13,000 additional US troops are in the Middle East right now, reports RT news on its US page, as the Pentagon begins joint military drills with soldiers in the neighboring countries of Israel and Jordan.
The US-Israeli exercise, “Juniper Cobra,” which began earlier this week, involves around 6,000 members of the US Eastern Command and 1,000 airmen, involving the joint missile systems used by the allies.
But on Saturday, over 6,000 US Marines moved to Jordan to begin conducting drills there, as part of the annual Eager Lion program.
According to Israel’s DEBKAfile news agency, the activities in Israel & Jordan, are “the first time the US has unified two large military exercises,” and is reportedly being carried out now, to counter an alleged advance of Hezbollah troops.
“The two war games were planned as military maneuvers plain [and] simple until Wednesday, May 21,” the site reports, “when news came in of large Hezbollah military forces heading toward southern Syria to help Syria's army overcome the rebel forces fighting for over a week, to capture the Syrian Golan town of Quneitra, opposite the Israeli and Jordanian borders.”
“In the last few days, both Israel and Jordan have boosted their Syrian border deployments and placed them at battle stations.
Hezbollah’s intervention in the Golan battle "may well result in the war game being switched to combat operations for real," DEBKA claims.
Earlier this week, the Jerusalem Post confirmed that Jordan's military was redeploying forces along its border with Syria on murmurings of a growing insurgency there — that report came straight after an announcement from Israel’s Arutz Sheva news outlet that the US would send a Patriot missile battery and F-16 fighters to Jordan as part of Eager Lion, and keep them there after the exercise is finished.
On Tuesday, however, the Pentagon-affiliated Air Force Times said no such plans to leave weapons behind, were in place.
However, combined with the US Navy presence in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, more US service members than usual are now in the volatile region, amid civil wars and skirmishes that have dominated international politics in recent months.
According to the International Business Times, the chief defense attaché for the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, suggested recently that expanded cooperation between the US & its Middle East allies would greatly improve on those nations’ ability to secure the region, as tensions rise.
"If we were able to build a regional defense capability in say, Jordan, that capability could easily defend Israel, Jordan and even Egypt, if you so desired, adding one more layer to your multi-layered defense," the IB Times quoted the attaché, John Shapland, as saying.
Palestinian prisoners hold solidarity strike in Israeli jails
Over 5,000 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons have launched a hunger strike in solidarity with another group of Palestinian detainees who have been on hunger strike for nearly a month.
The Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs said in its Wednesday statement that 5,200 prisoners would act in the solidarity strike on Thursday, in a bid to pressure the Israeli regime to comply with the demands of the 100 Palestinian detainees, who have been on hunger strike for 28 days, to oppose their “administrative detention.”
Administrative detention is an imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to gaol Palestinians for up to six months. The detention order can, however, be renewed for an indefinite period of time.
The statement by the Palestinian ministry warns that thousands of prisoners will announce their open hunger strike next week, and will make new demands, if the Israeli regime does not comply with the demands of the group of 100 administrative detainees, Ma’an News Agency reported on thursday.
According to the report, 40 more Palestinian detainees held in the Israeli Negev prison of Ktziot began their open-ended hunger strike on Wednesday, joining the administrative prisoners.
Over 120 Palestinian prisoners, including two jailed leaders, went on a one-day hunger strike on Wednesday to help administrative detainees who've been refusing meals for nearly a month.
Palestinian prisoner human rights organization Addameer estimates that about 183 Palestinians are now being held in administrative detention.
Over 800,000 Palestinians have been detained since 1967, with 5,224 currently being held in Israeli prisons, according to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
PUTIN SAYS IT'S "FULL SCALE CIVIL WAR" NOW
Kiev troops reportedly shoot at deserting conscripts as eastern military op escalates
Kiev forces have killed at least seven militiamen and injured dozens of people, including civilians, in clashes in the Lugansk Region.
Some Kiev troop conscripts reportedly tried to desert and flee to the militia, and were shot at by their commander.
Both sides suffered losses during the battle near the village of Rubezhnoye, close to Lisichansk city in the Lugansk region.
At least seven self-defense members were killed and 16 others injured, according to the militia. A spokesperson for Kiev’s troops reported two fatalities and seven wounded among their ranks.
The shooting followed botched negotiations between the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Lugansk forces and pro-Kiev troops, Ostap Cherniy, a spokesman for the militias, said at a press conference on Thursday night.
“When the Ukrainian military with a column of armored vehicles approached Lisichansk, militias tried to negotiate with them,” Cherniy said. “Shooting erupted during negotiations.”
He added that local residents, including children, were among those who went to talk to the Kiev loyalists.
The civilians were trying to block military vehicles of the National Guard and asking them “not to kill them,” he said.
There are claims that at least some of the casualties among Kiev loyalists were not due to the militias.
Some 30 of the conscripts wanted to defect, Cherniy said. The militias fed the prisoners and wanted to relocate them, but the other troops opened fire, he said, at the entire group.
“After they boarded a bus and drove to the college, the military opened fire at the bus with a heavy machine gun,” said the self- defense force representative.
A militia member told RIA Novosti that it was the commander of the unit preparing to desert who opened fire at his own men.
The information was confirmed by one of the defectors, who says he and fellow conscripts decided to defect and say 'no', rather than follow an order to fire at militias and civilians.
“The commander ordered us to open fire indiscriminately ,” the soldier said during the same press conference, adding that locals “saved him” from the Kiev- controlled soldiers.
A military doctor Gennady Moralishvili said that most of those injured in the clashes are currently in the local hospital and are civilians, not militia.
He added that the pro-Kiev National Guard set the city's train station on fire and when the fire brigade arrived to put it out, they shot at them too.
Also damaged in clashes was a local bridge, although it was not immediately clear how it was taken down. Some reports say militias demolished it to prevent Kiev’s troops from transporting armored vehicles across river.
Others say that the loyalists destroyed it during the clashes.
A local railway was damaged as well, disrupting traffic in the Lugansk Region.
By nightfall, the gunfight ceased around the city, local activist Sergey told RT by phone, adding that the militias have taken control over all checkpoints that came under fire in the day.
Medics in local hospitals were reporting large numbers of injured coming in during the day, the activist says.
“There are a lot of injured among the local population who came under fire on the outskirts of Lisichansk and Severodonetsk. Some are seriously wounded, who will be sent for surgery and treatment to [Lugansk].”
Militias said they have captured three BMP-2 armored personnel carriers from Kiev’s troops.
The escalation of violence in the Lugansk Region follows weeks of a focused assault by the Kiev troops on the neighboring Donetsk Region.
The confrontation there claimed dozens of lives both among the belligerents and local civilians, but neither side managed to take control over the entire region.
Reports of a possible shooting between different pro-Kiev troops came from the Donetsk Region on Thursday too, where at least 16 Ukrainian troops were killed and over 30 injured in a night attack on a checkpoint.
While some accounts said the battle near the town of Volnovakha was a night raid of the militias, there are numerous accounts showing that it could actually be a case of friendly fire, in which a unit of pro-Kiev militia hired by oligarch Igor Kolomoisky mistakenly attacked a facility manned by the Ukrainian military.
A soldier was killed and two others injured in the battle, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry says, with the self-defense forces also speaking of several wounded on their side.
The Border Guard says that five of its troops were injured and one suffered concussion in a gunfight at Stanchino-Luganskoe, RIA- Novosti reports.
Kiev is piling more troops into the south-east in anticipation of presidential elections on Sunday.
“According to our data, there’re currently around 6,000 [Kiev troops in the Lugansk Region], and their number has increased in recent days,” Valery Bolotov, head of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Lugansk, says.
Lugansk & Donetsk regions refuse to recognize Kiev’s coup-imposed regime, holding referenda on May 11th, which gave landslide support for their independence from Kiev.
KERRY SAYS "ALL OPTIONS ON TABLE"
... to deal with Venezuela!
John (don't laugh at me) Kerry might be confusing his options, countries or maybe his tables, as he warns Venezuelans that the US is "running out of patience".
Could it have to do with the fact that the day before, Venezuela said it will give oil to Palestinians struggling under the Israeli rightwing regime, which is denying civilians fuel?
UKRAINE GOES FOR "FINAL ASSAULT"???
The coup-installed PM, says the "final assault" on Eastern regions has begun - and will "wipe out" the "terrorists" there.
This, despite the Rada instructing - through their Memorandum - that ALL Kiev's army and "special" forces immediately withdraw.
WEST's "ONE-UPMANSHIP" COMPLETES DEAL
China & Russia inked a long-awaited gas deal in Shanghai, ending decade-long natural gas supply talks between the two.
The deal came one day after visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin said that "significant progress" had been made over the price, in the lengthy talks.
The deal, worth 38 billion, uses the eastern transit route from Siberia, directly to China.
Gazprom's CEO notes: “38 billion is just the start. We've agreed with our Chinese partners that, as soon as we struck the deal on the eastern route, we will start talks on the western route.
As regards the western route, there is a fundamental difference concerning the resource base: this is the same base, from which we are making gas supplies to Europe.”
MORE NAZI DEATH CAMP GUARDS FOUND
German investigators of Nazi war crimes say they have identified about 20 former guards from the Majdanek death camp, who are still alive.
Federal prosecutor Kurt Schrimm says his special Nazi War Crimes Office is preparing to recommend that state prosecutors pursue charges against the suspects in the next two weeks.
Lead investigator Thomas Will tells AP that the probe of more former guards in Majdanek, which was based on the outskirts of Lublin in occupied Poland, is ongoing.
Altogether, about 1,000 possible suspects are being investigated now.
GANG BURN DOWN MP's HOUSE IN UKRAINE
Unidentified assailants attacked and burnt down Oleh Tsariov's house. He's a member of the Ukrainian parliament and a candidate in the snap presidential elections.
The attack took place in the eastern city of Dnipropetrovsk.
“My house in Dnipropetrovsk was burnt down at night,” Tsariov wrote on his Facebook page.
“Two buses with armed people arrived at 2am, showering the house with Molotov cocktails. The assailants acted confidently. They were filming the arson, probably to report later on their job."
“My wife and children left Dnipropetrovsk some time ago, and my mother did the same last week, and that's why no one was injured,” Tsariov adds.
“Yes, the house was burnt down,” he tells ITAR-TASS. “No one was injured in the fire. We called the police.”
Tsariov was registered to run in Ukraine’s presidential election, slated for May 25th, but withdrew his candidacy from the race in late April, citing his protest over the current authorities’ policies in the southeastern regions of the country.
He had also received threats to himself and his family.
The Ukrainian Prosecutor General, a neo-nazi member of Svoboda installed by the CIA coup, had said previously that he wants the Party of Regions deputy to be deprived of his immunity as an MP.
Ukrainian MPs call for immediate troop withdrawal from country’s east
Ukrainian troops deployed in the country’s east should immediately return to their bases, the country’s parliament says in a memorandum.
The freshly-adopted document also urges constitutional reforms to decentralize Kiev’s central power.
With 226 votes required to pass the law, Ukraine's parliament has finally adopted its ‘Memorandum of Peace and Consent’, with 252 MPs voting in favour.
The document calls "to restore law, order and public safety in the state by stopping bloodshed and bringing to justice those responsible for the killings of civilians during mass protests; to stop the anti-terrorist operation in Ukraine’s southeast and return the soldiers involved in anti-terrorist operations to their permanent deployment places.”
The adopted document also urges immediate constitutional reform granting more autonomy to regions – a key demand of the protesters in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.
As hopes for federalization passing a vote in the post-coup Duma shrank, eastern regions created self-defense forces, seizing government buildings.
On May 11th referenda were held in Donetsk and Lugansk regions and independence proclaimed.
The “constitutional status of the Ukrainian language as the language of state” is confirmed.
The document adds that the state “must ensure the rights of minority languages.” The document does "grant status to the Russian language," but stops short of giving it constitutional status.
The gift of amnesty for self-defense forces in the east is also dropped from the final draft of the memorandum. This was harshly criticized by the Communist Party, who abstained from the vote.
MPs from the nationalist neo-nazi Svoboda Party abstained from voting on Tuesday as well, saying that they believe the reform will be ineffective.
Further, the reform will provide for Ukraine dropping its non-aligned status, allowing it to join an interstate union through a referendum.
After the announcement, Russia says that if Ukraine’s authorities plan to implement all of the reforms declared in the memorandum, then they will finally be responding to Moscow's calls.
"First, we have to see how it looks on paper. If this is true then it's the development we have been talking about over the past months,” says Deputy Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Grigory Karasin, as quoted by RIA Novosti.
Today, the coup-installed PM, says the "final assault" on the Eastern regions is to start - and will "wipe out" the "terrorists" there.
For months Moscow has been urging Kiev to de-escalate tensions in the east, stop its military operations and hold an all-inclusive dialogue on constitutional reform in Ukraine.
Russia & China: ‘No to sanctions rhetoric, or regime change in other countries’
Moscow and Beijing reject the imposition of sanctions as political tools & condemn attempts at “encouraging and financing” regime change in other countries, in a joint statement made during President Putin’s official visit to China.
Having faced economic sanctions and threats of more to come from the West, Russia has now turned to the East, seeking to boost business ties in a friendlier environment.
An impressive package of deals on energy, business and infrastructure has already been signed in Shanghai.
More is yet to come, judging by the title of the joint statement by Beijing and Moscow, which promises “a new stage in full-scale partnership and strategic relations.”
Boosting mutual trade is not all there is to that “new stage,” as, following the meeting with Xi, the Russian president shares his expectations of closer cooperation between the countries in international politics.
“We have common priorities on a global and a regional scale,” Putin says. “We’ve agreed upon closer coordination of our foreign policy steps, including those in the UN, BRICS and APEC,” he adds.
Among attitudes Russia and China share, is their mutual dislike of economic restrictions imposed for political reasons.
“The parties stress the necessity to… reject unilateral sanctions rhetoric,” the joint statement reads.
Economic restrictions applied as a punishment are no better than financial aid to forces that seek“a change in the constitutional system of another country,”the Russian-Chinese statement says.
Moscow feels bitter about the role it believes the US played in the Ukrainian coup. Russia accuses Washington of investing $5 billion in regime change in Kiev.
A number of European politicians, meanwhile, admit that the EU might have been pressing Ukraine too hard to sign the integration deal which, according to German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, possibly gave an “impression in Ukraine that it had to decide between Russia and the EU."
The ongoing political crisis in Ukraine can only be resolved peacefully, Putin and Xi Jinping believe, and they call on political opponents in Ukraine to switch from confrontation to dialogue.
"The sides urge all Ukrainian regions and public and political groups to enter into broad nation- wide talks; develop jointly a concept of further constitutional development of the country, envisaging the full observation of universally recognized rights and the freedoms of people," the statement reads.
Russia and China also call for the creation of new “universal rules of behavior in information space,” citing concerns at some communication technologies “running contrary to international stability and security, damaging countries’ sovereignty and violating personal privacy.”
The ‘rules for internet’ comment comes as the US and China trade accusations over online espionage.
A grand jury in the US recently indicted five Chinese military - allegedly officers of an elite cyber squad - with hacking into US networks and stealing sensitive business information from US companies.
China dismisses all the US accusations and has published proof that the US is actually stealing data from China.
UN REPORT SAYS NO FOOD/WATER AND SITUATION "DETERIORATING"
The Kiev government is responsible for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine, a political analyst says.
“We can blame the military operation launched by Kiev and this is not just a military operation.
"It hasn't just used Ukrainian army forces; it has also used militias, irregular troops, terrorist units, & simple violent hooligans,” says Manuel Ochsenreiter, chief editor of Zuerst news magazine.
He holds the Kiev government and not Donetsk and Lugansk or even Moscow, accountable for the ongoing crisis.
The acting Kiev government has been staging military operations in the eastern and southern regions since mid-April in a bid to stop anti-coup demonstrations.
130 people have been killed so far, during clashes and operations by Ukrainian troops in the east and south, according to the UN.
“It’s a very cynical interpretation of the situation to say, well, you wanted to be independent, now starve, don’t find a doctor, don’t get medicine,” the analyst points out.
KIEV REGIME BOMBING RESIDENTIAL AREAS
Ukraine’s government troops stationed outside the eastern city of Slavyansk in Donetsk region have targeted residential areas of the city.
Several houses were destroyed, 'though there have been no reports of fatalities yet.
The attacks spark anger among residents, and anti-Kiev sentiments continue to rise.
"The ‘active phase’ of the Ukrainian security forces’ operation continued in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk during the night.
"The Molocharsky market was almost completely destroyed. Fighter jets were flying over the city all night long.
"Ukrainian army tanks attempted to enter the area from Izium city in the Kharkov region. However, we placed our military hardware in their way," a spokesperson for the local self- defense headquarters said.
The acting Kiev government has been staging military attacks in the south-east since mid-April.
'STILL TIME - BUT NOT LONG'
A political analyst says peace and unity can still be achieved in Ukraine if the interim authorities in Kiev stop their military attacks.
“If they stop the so-called anti-terrorist operation, if they stop bombing and bombarding the cities where Russian-speaking people live, I think that peace is still achievable and Ukraine will stay as one country,”Dmitry Babich, radio host of Voice of Russia, says.
The longer ongoing military operations continue, the less chance there will be, that Ukraine will stay a united country, he adds.
The commentator says the call by Russia's President Vladimir Putin on the interim regime in Kiev to immediately withdraw its troops from eastern Ukraine, is an attempt to de-escalate the crisis.
“I think that he [Putin] never escalated the crisis. From the very beginning Russia has been calling for an end of violence in the east of Ukraine,” Babich says.
He holds the Kiev government accountable for the ongoing crisis in Ukraine as it sent troops to the southeast of the country against so-called terrorists, but they have failed to achieve any success - despite several weeks of fighting.
“Also, Putin has always called for dialogue,” the analyst points out.
U.S. foreign policy "shortsighted": Medvedev
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says that the overall policy of the United States to his country and the international business community is "shortsighted" and moving towards a new Cold War.
Washington has put ideology ahead of mutual market benefits, which is a road leading to nowhere, Medvedev tells Bloomberg TV in an exclusive interview, citing the refusal of US and European companies to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum due later this week, as evidence.
"That's too bad, that shortsighted position reminds us of Soviet policy in a certain period. It looks like we just swapped positions," he says, adding that the current US approach ruins international trade.
He adds that Moscow is disappointed with the White House's handling of the Ukrainian crisis, which is dragging Russia-U.S. relations even further toward a new Cold War.
"It's regrettable that all results we've reached are being effectively nullified by those (US President Barack Obama's) decisions," the Russian PM says.
He says that Obama is no longer capable of making "restrained, accurate and smart decisions," as he is guided by a desire to show the Congress that "the United States does not fear Russians."
The prime minister notes that sanctions imposed by Washington and its allies have not affected the Russian economy so far, but urges those countries to take responsible measures.
He also dismisses allegations that Russia looks forward to integrating more Ukrainian territories, adding all parties should work for de-escalation of the Ukrainian conflict, or see a "civil war", in his words.
On Russia possibly intervening militarily, he does not commit to whether Moscow guarantees non-intervention in Ukrainian events, or not.
"We are not obliged to guarantee anyone anything because we never took those obligations in regard to this issue," Medvedev says. "We are proceeding with the fact that the main goal is not guaranteeing anyone anything, but calming the situation."
On Sunday, Ukraine held snap presidential elections, which eastern regions such as Donetsk and Lugansk, refuse to recognize.
Putin, Xi decide to hold military exercises in 2015
President Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, have decided to hold joint military exercises next year, dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the victory in World War II, ITAR-TASS reports.
The Chinese leader announces the decision during an opening ceremony of joint naval drills off China’s coast.
The maneuvers in 2015 will be held “in commemoration of victory over German fascism and Japanese militarism in the European and Asian theaters of WWII,” says a statement by the two leaders.
CHINA's LEADER GREETS HIS "DEAR OLD FRIEND"
Russia's President Putin describes China relations as "better than ever" and China, as a friend.
China's leader greets him warmly, addressing him as my "dear old friend."
Before he left, his press office released a letter on Ukraine, stating that he:
“welcomes the first contacts between Kiev and the supporters of federalization, on establishing direct dialogue that must involve all interested parties.”
“Russia calls for an immediate end to punitive operations and the use of force, the withrawal of troops and the settlement of all problems solely by peaceful means,”the service added.
The Russian president also issued an order to return troops which participated in the recent military exercises in Rostov-on-Don, Belgorod and Bryansk regions to their permanent bases.
“At the end of the planned spring military training ... held at firing ranges in Rostov-on-Don, Belgorod and Bryansk regions, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an order to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to bring back troops that participated in the war games to their permanent bases and continue the combat training at nearby firing ranges,”the presidential press service said.
US to spend $317 million on UK intel hub upgrade - report
Washington has decided to upgrade RAF Croughton, one of its many UK bases, already allegedly involved in mass surveillance and drone strikes, to make it the largest intel hub outside mainland US and a main centre for its operations in Africa, The Independent on Sunday reported.
Why call all the US bases in the UK, RAF bases?
Because if they called them USAF bases, the UK's people would have to face their position as conquered slaves.
Kiev army shells Kramatorsk, city ‘left without water’ – self-defense coordinator
Ukraine's army shelled the eastern city of Kramatorsk as fierce clashes erupted between Kiev's military and self-defense forces who stopped the APC convoy from entering the city, local activists say.
A military convoy of six APCs approached the city from the northwest and began shelling it, a member of the self-defense forces states.
“About 10 fighters wearing black uniforms with no markings, as well as several people in camouflage, were sitting on top of each combat vehicle,” the self-defense force says. they believe that National Guard and Right Sector militants were among them.
Powerful explosions and intense shooting, including shots from large-calibre guns, could be heard even from the city centre, say witnesses.
Several self-defense checkpoints have been reportedly attacked by Kiev's army, and a factory in the suburbs was then set on fire.
Water and gas lines have also been shelled: all residents of Kramatorsk are without water, self-defense coordinator Maksim Vlasov says.
Some are now also without gas, local media report, citing Karmatorsk's deputy Mayor, Andrey Bessonny.
A resident reports that the Kiev military used “grad multiple launch rockets or howitzers” to shell the city.
"I served in the army and during my service, I never heard such shots. They are getting louder and louder. A checkpoint is behind the house and 1 or 2 factory workshops are burning. Fifteen people stay under my window, with rifles & grenade launchers," Kramatorsk resident Evgeny added.
Loud blasts and repeated heavy gunfire were also heard in the eastern city of Slavyansk, not far from Kramatorsk, freelance journalist Graham Phillips reported for RT.
The fighting came after an ultimatum by Donetsk self-defense forces, warning Kiev that if troops didn't withdraw from check- points in the Donetsk region within 24 hours, they would be taken by force.
Kiev Nazi authorities are only obstacle to peace in Ukraine – ex-presidential candidate
The removal of Kiev’s coup-imposed authorities from power is the only way to restore peace & stability in Ukraine, the opposition leader and ex-presidential candidate Oleg Tsarev, states.
Tsarev blames Igor Kolomoisky, the Kiev-appointed Dnepropetrovsk region governor and oligarch, for making “quite a large” contribution to the current violence taking place in Ukraine.
He says it's Kolomoisky who's responsible for recruiting nationalists into the National Guard and the special police units, which are now waging war on the country's southeast.
Tsarev says he has information that “the National Guard fighters, in civilian clothes, participated in events in Odessa” – where 48+ anti-Kiev protestors died on May 2nd, after groups set fire to Trade Union House.
He also confirms the authenticity of the leaked phone call from May 9th, in which Kolomoisky said that he offered $1 million for Tsarev’s head.
“As I understand it, he didn’t want me to come to Lugansk and Donetsk, to take part in organizing the referendum,” the MP said.
Tsarev, a self-nominee for the presidential election, withdrew his candidacy, because he believes “the vote can’t be held when the army is on a reprisal raid against its own people...and dozens die every day.”
With no candidate boasting support in both east and west Ukraine, any president elected on May 25th is just “a half-president,” he says.
The coup-imposed authorities in Kiev pushed to hold the election “at any cost,” because they realized that “their ratings are falling” and that to act now, is their only chance to succeed, he explained.
The ex-presidential candidate calls Ukraine’s acting prime minister, Arseny Yatsenyuk, “a great imitator," for faking dialogue between the east and the west of the country.
“They gather their own representatives, who live in the southeast, and hold roundtables with them,” Tsarev says, adding that he and other actual leaders of protesters from the east, aren't invited to take part.
“They’re basically talking to themselves... There’s no real dialogue,” he stresses.
The opposition leader reminds us that there are now howitzers shelling Slavyansk, with Kiev’s forces not providing any humanitarian corridor for civilians to evacuate the city.
It’s “not realistic” to talk to the “murderers” under such conditions, because a dialogue between Kiev and protestors in the southeast is only possible, after a ceasefire is agreed.
Tsarev stresses that the only obstacles to peace and stability in Ukraine, are the “current Nazi authorities of Ukraine,” which must be removed from power.
Tsarev says the issue is not so simple, when it comes to the position of Russia's authorities, because they're responsible for Russia's fate – including any economic sanctions which may be introduced against Russia.
But the opposition leader stresses that protestors in eastern Ukraine aren’t looking for independence from their compatriots in the country's west.
“They just don’t want to be in the same country with the current authority,” he said.
Kiev's regime chose to send the army against citizens in the southeast, because its rule is “based on fear,” he added.
“But it’s impossible to defeat the people by military means,” Tsarev stressed. “The army doesn’t want to fight against the people. In order to make the military obey orders, they have deployed Nazis there, who shoot at self-defense forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic, and then fire at the soldiers who refuse to fight.”
“The number of casualties in the ranks of the Ukrainian military is now 1,000 people. And sooner or later...I think sooner, rather than later, the Kiev authorities will be held responsible for the war crimes against their own people,” he added.
Oleg Tsarev was previously a main figure in the Party of Regions – the party of Ukrainian President Yanukovich, who was ousted by a nationalist-powered coup back in February.
A few weeks later, he was registered as a presidential candidate. Several days later, he was brutally beaten by radicals from the Right Sector movement.
Tsarev backs creating an independent Federal Republic of Novorossia, following the lead of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which are revolting against the Kiev regime.
FREEDOM MOVEMENT GROWING
East Ukraine’s Kharkov region will hold a regional independence referendum following Donetsk and Lugansk, a member of the coordinating council of the 'Southeast' movement, Yuri Apukhtin. said at a rally near the monument to Soviet leader Lenin in Kharkov city's Freedom Square.
"Kharkov region will hold a referendum on independence following Donetsk and Lugansk."
Representatives from the “Southeast”, and “Borba” (Struggle) movements and the Ukrainian Communist Party, were at the rally in Freedom Square. Many of the demonstrators carried Russian flags.
ZIONIST WINS PRIZE
President Obama who has already bombed six countries (Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq) and is now risking a possible escalation of the Ukraine crisis he nurtured, into World War III against Russia", has, in May, been awarded the 2014 'Ambassador for Humanity Award' by the Shoah Foundation.
MOSCOW WILL RETALIATE IF...
If the West carries on with its present policy of sanctions on Russian citizens and corporations, Moscow will offer a "burnishing" response to it, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says.
“I think the policy of sanctions is akin to rocking the boat in which you’re traveling,” he says. “Everything in this world takes place on the basis of mutuality. We’re not trying to copy just everything that comes our way, but counter-measures happen to be there, too, in such situations.”
“If Western sanctions continue, we’ll respond to them, and our response will be felt rather painfully in the capitals of target countries,” Ryabkov says, and adds that the authorities in Kiev should hurry to enter into a dialogue with those Ukrainian regions which have declared independence.
“I believe that the opinions of those people who participated in properly organized, democratic referendums -- as the world has seen -- should actually be respected. So the Kiev authorities ought to establish dialogue with the separating regions as soon as possible”, he says.
Ryabkov says that the OSCE may contribute to the dialogue as well, while the EU should take more responsibility, terminate sanctions and conduct a policy that will influence Kiev.
“The authorities in Kiev should switch to a more rational political line, regarding the regions. We have the same attitude to US policy”, Ryabkov stresses.
CHINA: SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA NO HELP
China's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cheng Guoping believes the sanctions against Russia are not helping a Ukrainian crisis settlement.
"Some members of the international community are introducing sanctions against Russia, which is not helping the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine," the diplomat tells reporters, adding that "China is ready to play a productive role in settling the Ukrainian issue politically."
US ISRAEL AND UN LOSING WORLD TRUST
Jim W. Dean, managing editor of Veteran’s Today, says Israel is directly intervening in Syria, along with several UN members, and that, by doing so, and lying about it, they are losing world respect.
"They already have engaged with several of their bombings. We found out through our sources that Syria took out one of Israel’s stealth submarines they caught close to shore, where a helicopter- launched a homing torpedo.
"And then Israel responded a couple of days later when they used a mini-nuclear weapon on the big arms depot outside of Damascus that had that huge explosion. And then they’ve had several other aerial attacks - so Israel has directly engaged.
"Everyone else is engaged in doing this – you have all of the Western countries, the ones in NATO, they are all involved in training and supporting these terrorists."
"They are not arresting any of them that are coming home; they are acting like there is nothing they can do about it."
"The international community - even the UN - you have a lot of members of the UN that are actively engaged in state-sponsored terrorism toward a UN member, and I think the UN has basically disgraced itself, because they are acting like they just want to stay out of it."
"America’s international reputation – what's left of it – is just being totally destroyed with this incident after incident of the double standard: that when we do it it’s OK, when Israel does it it’s OK; it’s only a bad thing when others do it."
"So, the young people of the world are growing up seeing an America that all they do is lie and provocate and spin."
"And we’re really not going to have a lot of friends in the world when this is over, and we can blame this current generation going back 15 years now --- of just terrible leadership."
The managing editor of Veteran’s Today believes that this tailspin will not be easily reversed now:
"I really don’t, because the other malady that we suffer from is no one in a political position accepts any responsibility, ever, for anything that goes wrong. They don’t see anybody else doing it, so they say 'why should I?' "
"And the people have some blame for this also - because they’re too lazy or too distracted to hold them responsible. There haven’t been enough protests; everybody just says it is somebody else’s job to fix it."
"We’re going to pay a big price for that apathy because state-sponsored terrorism is going to spread and it’s going to be coming to a lot of people’s streets that never thought that they would ever see it in their town."
EUROPE's LEARNED HELPLESSNESS?
The Russian president blames the EU for its passive role over Moscow’s gas dispute with Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin says in a special letter to European leaders, that the EU has not presented any specific proposals to stop a possible halt in gas supplies.
"In early April, we came up with a proposal to hold immediate consultations with the aim of elaborating coordinated actions to stabilize the Ukrainian economy & ensure stable Russian gas deliveries and transit in compliance with contract terms," Putin underlines in his letter.
"Unfortunately, we have to state that we have not received any specific proposals from our partners on stabilizing the situation with the fulfillment of contractual obligations by the Ukrainian buyer and ensuring reliable gas transit," Putin adds.
He stresses that Russia’s decision to demand advance payment for natural gas deliveries to Ukraine, is a forced measure, and expresses his hope of coordination from now, with EU states, in a bid to normalize the situation.
Russia provides about half of Ukraine’s and 30% of Europe's total gas demand with key pipelines on Ukrainian territory.
The US and EU accuse Russia of destabilizing Ukraine and have slapped sanctions against Russian and pro-Russia figures.
Russia rejects the accusation, saying the pro-Russia protests in Ukraine began spontaneously against the new interim government in Kiev.
Last month, Russian gas company, Gazprom, increased the price of gas for Ukraine from $268 to $485 per 1,000 cubic meters for the first quarter of 2014.
Writing to 18 European countries on April 10th, Putin warned that Gazprom could be forced to completely or partially cease natural gas deliveries, if Kiev fails to pay its debt.
Uruguay to take 6 detainees from Guantanamo
Uruguayan President José Mujica says his nation will accept 6 detainees from Gitmo.
The Obama administration should move fast, the Washington Post quotes Mujica as saying.
“It can’t be too long,” he says, as he only has a “few months of government left.”
It means Uruguay will accept a group of Arabs who have been cleared for release, but can’t return to their nations, either because of war, fear of torture, or security concerns about their home countries.
More importantly, the offer could free the last four Syrian detainees at Guantanamo Bay, a Palestinian and a Tunisian, the paper says.
The White House has long pledged to close the 12-year-old military "interrogation" facility.
Russia starts to fill North Crimea Canal to solve peninsula water problem
The problem of water supplies to Crimea has been partly solved, after water from Biyuk-Karasu River was directed to the North Crimea Canal.
Water delivery started on May 12th, according to the Russian government. Also, at the beginning of May, the waters of Taigansky and Belogorsky reservoirs were diverted to Biyuk-Karasu.
Water supplies from the North Crimea Canal to Feodosiysky reservoir started on May 23rd.
On April 26th, Ukraine shut North Crimea Canal, by which Crimea received 85% of the freshwater it needs.
Crimea’s First Deputy Prime Minister, Rustam Temirgaliev, said on May 6th that the region is now fully independent of Ukrainian freshwater.
STEEL MAGNATE USES HIS WAGE SLAVES
Pro-Russia activists have retreated from government buildings in Mariupol, the second largest city in Donetsk region.
The retreat came after steelworkers began patrolling the city with the police, after a rich factory owner gave the command.
Rinat Akhmetov, said to be Ukraine's richest man, reportedly ordered his workers to help Ukrainian government forces drive out anti-coup activists from Mariupol.
The activists had controlled government buildings in Mariupol for several weeks.
The city, an important industrial and shipping centre in Donetsk region, has seen heavy fighting between Kiev forces and anti-coup protesters.
On May 9th, at least 20 protesters and an army officer were killed and over two dozen injured in the Ukrainian army’s military operation there.
Volunteers battle Kiev's army on outskirts of Sloviansk
"Our immediate task is to hold the line and edge them away from the city," the spokesperson for the people's volunteer corps says.
On the outskirts of Sloviansk, Kiev-coup units are firing artillety shells at the positions of the volunteers, Ilya, a spokesperson for the people's volunteer corps in Sloviansk, tells media.
"At present, fighting is under way on approaches to Sloviansk near Andreyevka and Semyonovka villages, the town of Krasny Liman, and Mount Karagun."
"They do not give a respite, to affect our morale, and a bombardment has been going on without a break since 2pm Thursday. They're firing from mortars and large-caliber machine-guns. There is also data, that they are bringing up heavy military hardware," Ilya says.
"Our immediate task is to hold the line and edge them away from the city," Ilya says.
Approaches to Sloviansk from the direction of Kramatorsk city are being blocked by Kiev's National Guard forces.
The volunteers' spokesperson says the road has been cut by armoured personnel carriers and checkpoints and all motorists are being subjected to full body searches.
"It is difficult to ride into Sloviask for young people aged 20 to 36," the VCM spokesman says, adding that - regardless of age - all motorists are being subjected to thorough body searches.
"The military carry out body searches and rummage through personal belongings, even feminine ones," the VCM spokesman says, adding that National Guard troopers ask questions in Ukrainian and "get irritated if people do not understand and ask them to repeat the questions".
People who arrive with photo or video cameras arouse the troopers' particular suspicion.
"The troopers look through all the sequences and photo camera recordings. If any questions arise, they contact their headquarters and consult them," he adds.
Motor vehicles are also inspected thoroughly: even spare wheels removed, and ripped open.
The Party of Regions has (again) walked out of the Rada to protest the continuing army ops in S. Eastern Ukraine.
Self-defense forces in Donetsk region have issued an ultimatum for coup military troops to withdraw, "within 24 hours".
Deputy Commander of 'the People’s Militia of Donbass,' Sergey Zdrilyuk, says the troops will be forced out of Donetsk if they do not withdraw before the deadline, Russia’s Ria Novosti news agency reports.
“I give 24 hours for them to withdraw all troops, all forces,” Zdrilyuk said, adding, “If the armored vehicles aren't pulled back, the roadblocks of the so-called legitimate authorities are not removed, I will have enough power” to take them out of the province.
US' NATO EXPANSION PUSH GETS MIXED RESPONSE
The Czech defense minister says his country does not want to host foreign NATO troops on its soil, as part of plans to beef up the alliance’s eastern wing in light of the Ukraine crisis --- in contrast to some other eastern European countries, like Poland.
Martin Stropinsky, the Czech defense minister, says his country is not in favor of any foreign troops being based in his country, even though they would only come at Prague’s invitation, Reuters reports.
“We know well how any permanent stationing (of troops) is still a problem. I belong to a generation that experienced the 80,000 Soviet troops based here during the period of ‘normalization’ and it is still a bit of a psychological problem,” Stropinsky tells Reuters in an interview.
He says that expanding training cooperation and other measures, won't be a problem.
“Raising the alliance’s presence on our territory in various modifications, yes. But when it comes to actual units, I am rather skeptical,” he says.
Stropinsky’s comments contrast with those by NATO’s top military commander, US Air Force General, Philip Breedlove, who says that NATO should permanently station troops in Eastern Europe as a result of the increased tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine.
Poland has asked for a permanent NATO presence, and says all practical measures will be hammered out at the next NATO summit - in Wales - in September.
'JUST LIKE THE GOOD OLD DAYS'
Son of US VP Joe Biden appointed to board of major Ukrainian gas company
Hunter Biden, the son of US Vice President, Joe Biden, is joining the board of directors of Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas producer.
The group has prospects in eastern Ukraine where civil war is threatened following the coup in Kiev.
Biden will advise on “transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities” to “contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine.”
Joe Biden’s senior campaign adviser in 2004, financier Devon Archer, a business partner of Hunter Biden’s, also joined the Bursima board claiming it's like ‘Exxon in the old days’.
Biden Jr.’s is a graduate of Yale Law School and serves on the Chair’s Advisory Board for the National Democratic Institute.
He's a director for the Center for National Policy and the US Global Leadership Coalition, which includes 400 American businesses, NGOs, and senior national security & foreign policy experts.
Burisma Holdings was set up in 2002. Its licenses cover Ukraine’s three key hydrocarbon basins, including Dnieper-Donets (in eastern Ukraine), Carpathian (western) and Azov-Kuban (south).
The Biden board news is released at the same time Gazprom moves Ukraine to a prepaid gas delivery regime and sends Naftogaz, Ukraine’s national gas company, a $1.66 billion bill that's due on June 2nd, or Moscow will halt supplies.
Ukraine currently has about 9 billion cubic meters of gas in storage, but by the winter needs 18.5bcm. Kiev bought 27.7 billion cubic meters from Gazprom for which it still owes some $3.5 bn in 2013.
Gazprom is demanding Kiev pays $485 per 1,000 cubic meters, raised from $268.50 after Moscow was forced to cancel several discounts agreed upon under Yanukovich's tenure as president.
Kiev rejects the new price as “politically motivated” and says it will only pay its debt, if Gazprom lowers the price back to $268.50, or else, it will open an arbitration case against the company in Stockholm.
‘Peed in public, behave like occupiers’: Latvian mayor complains about NATO sailors
Crewmembers of NATO warships deployed to the Latvian port city of Ventspils are behaving like occupying forces, who don’t consider local laws apply to them, the mayor of the city says.
This discredits NATO in the eyes of Latvians, he adds.
“NATO sailors in Ventspils were behaving like pigs, ignoring Latvian laws and municipal rules,” Aivars Lembergs told LETA news agency.
“Drunk, they urinated in public, right on shop windows, vomited, and drank in public, which is not allowed. They picked flowers from civic flowerbeds and gave them to prostitutes.”
Lembergs, a vocal critic of Latvia’s cooperation with NATO, adds that the NATO military personnel “behaved like occupiers, who do not recognize Latvia’s sovereignty.”
The mayor was commenting on an incident in Ventspils, in which NATO sailors clashed with locals at a night club last weekend.
One of the sailors, a 21-year-old Dutch national, sustained serious injuries and had to be taken to hospital with several broken face bones and concussion.
The mayor alleges that the Latvian participants in the fight were simply protecting local women from harassment by the visitors.
He says that since NATO warships arrived in Ventspils, the number of misdemeanor reports in the city has skyrocketed. It is twice as large now as it was during the recent Day of the City celebration, when some 13,000 people flocked into Ventspils.
The number of visiting NATO troops is about 90.
Kiev wants ban on communists - not fascists
The coup-appointed president and parliament speaker, Oleksander Turchinov, rows with a senior lawmaker Petro Symonenko, as the interim Ukrainian authorities come under increasing pressure to stop their military operations in the south-east.
“I want to state that the May 9th events in Mariupol confirm the fact that a fascist nationalist regime is being established in Ukraine,” says Symonenko, of the Ukrainian communist party, asking:
“which of you know what happened in Mariupol - that they shot and killed police who refused to carry out criminal orders to disperse peaceful protesters?”
The Kiev government has been accused of killing unarmed peaceful civilians since the start of military operations in the region, in mid-April.
Ukraine's acting President Turchinov is now demanding a ban on, and the dissolution of, the Communist Party and urging the Justice Ministry to investigate its alleged support of "separatism" in the east.
Another communist member of parliament, Alexander Golub, defended the Communist party's actions and said the party was the only force in Ukraine still uncontrolled by the fascist Kiev government.
Diplomacy must resolve the crisis in Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel says.
It cannot be settled by military means, she tells German newspaper Westfalenpost.
“All channels should remain open for negotiations. All representatives from the regions & Ukrainian society, who speak out against the use of force, should participate in this national dialogue,” she says.
NO TALKS, JUST MILITARY ACTION, SAYS KIEV
Donetsk region sees Guard units lose vehicles:
“Policemen put out of action a few armored vehicles of the Ukrainian armed forces, including one armored personnel carrier.” No-one has been injured or killed.
Police and so-called Ukrainian National Guard soldiers are involved in clashes near the city of Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk Region, the self- proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) press service says.
Acting Verkhovna Rada speaker, Oleksandr Turchynov, said that the Ukrainian military’s "special operation" in the country’s east will go on.
Greek Opposition Leader Visits Russia
Alexis Tsipras, leader of the main opposition party of Greece, the left-wing Syriza party, had a two day visit to Moscow, which included several meetings with senior politicians.
Tsipras, who's the European candidate to chair the European Commission, met with Valentina Matvienko, Chair of Russia's Federation Council.
His agenda included meetings with Vladimir Titov, deputy minister of Foreign Affairs; Aleksey Pushkov, chair of the Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee, and Ivan Melnikov, vice- president of the Communist Party and MP.
His meeting with minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, was canceled, due to the recent events in Ukraine.
On this issue, Tsipras said in Berlin that peace is now conditional on the elimination of those "fascist elements" in Ukraine's government.
He describes as "absolutely unacceptable, the existence of right-wing governments, with the participation of Nazi elements, as in Ukraine".
Russia disappointed over additional EU sanctions
Moscow expresses disappointment over the EU’s newly imposed sanctions against Russia, stressing that it is not worthy of the European Union.
“Instead of trying to solve the situation through de-escalation, disarmament of the Right Sector, the improvement of dialogue between Kiev’s authorities and Ukrainian regions, EU colleagues are demonstrating a one-sided, one-dimensional policy, not worthy of the European Union,” Itar- Tass quotes Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Ryabkov, as saying.
Further sanctions were introduced after the results of referenda, were announced in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions, showing the majority of voters support self-rule, amid an intensified military operation by Kiev which resulted in several deaths.
EU foreign ministers have added 2 Crimean companies and 13 more people to the bloc's blacklist, EU diplomats stated.
Earlier, 48 Russians and Ukrainians were targeted by EU asset freezes and visa bans over Crimea joining Russia in March.
Russia backs choice of Ukraine's Donetsk, Lugansk regions, amid west's rejection, criticism
Xinhua reports that Russia says it respects the choice of people in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in Ukraine, who voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence, despite continuous rejection and severe criticism from Kiev and some Western countries.
"We have taken note of the high voter turnout, despite attempts to derail the voting, and we condemn the force used, including that of military hardware, against civilians, which led to fatalities," the Kremlin press service stated.
It added that Russia had carefully monitored the preparation and course of the referenda.
Moscow calls now for direct dialogue between the Kiev authorities and the two regions, saying "all mediation efforts, including by the OSCE, are welcome."
Sergei Naryshkin, speaker of Russia's State Duma, or the lower house of parliament, said the referenda "show their (local residents') wish to defend their rights, essentially, their wish to be free."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, blames the US and the Ukraine regime for hampering the release of proposals on solving the Ukrainian crisis drafted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
"Somebody in Washington and Kiev is against involvement of the (East Ukrainian) regions in the dialogue, and this is why the roadmap drawn up by the OSCE chair, is not being disclosed," he says.
"This is more evidence that Kiev has yet to realize the need to talk to its own people," he adds.
China calls for a solution to the Ukrainian crisis under a framework of law and order, states Xinhua.
China has always followed the policy of non- interference in the internal affairs of others, says Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, at a press briefing after the two referenda held in two regions of eastern Ukraine, over their status.
Hua says China respects Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The referenda, however, drew criticism from Kiev and the West, which rejects the self-rule votes as illegal.
The US reiterates that it does not recognize the referenda held in Donetsk and Lugansk in favor of independence.
"We do not recognize the illegal referendum that took place in portions of Donetsk and Lugansk," State Department spokes-person, Jennifer Psaki, told reporters.
A spokesperson of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said the referenda results were "regrettable."
Donetsk People's Republic has proclaimed itself a sovereign state and has asked Moscow to consider its accession into Russia, the Republic’s council has said.
“We, the people of Donetsk, based on the results of the May 11 referendum and the declaration of sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic, declare that from now on DPR is now a sovereign state,” Republic Co-Chair, Denis Pushilin said.
“Given the will of the people of the Donetsk People's Republic, and in order to restore historical justice, we ask Russia to consider the issue of our republic’s accession into the Russian Federation,”he added.
President Putin is reported to be considering his response.
GREEK RULING CLASS SAYS FASCISM OK
Greece’s Supreme Court clears the extremist neo-nazi Golden Dawn party to participate in the upcoming European Parliament elections.
The top court gives it authorization, despite the fact that the far-right extremist party is being prosecuted by Greek authorities as a criminal organization.
Authorities are currently investigating nearly all Golden Dawn’s 18 lawmakers over serious crimes allegedly committed by the party during the past two years.
The party’s leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, and five of its lawmakers are in prison awaiting trial. The detained members are accused of involvement in criminal acts, including murder, arson & extortion.
The far-right party came under investigation after the murder of anti-Fascist left-wing musician, Pavlos Fyssas. on September 18th, 2013.
The killing triggered public outrage and a number of protests, forcing the Greek authorities to take action against the far-right extremist party.
After the murder of Fyssas, European officials and human rights groups said that the Greek authorities should have banned Golden Dawn even before the killing, with the European Commission on Human Rights (ECHR) describing Golden Dawn as a “neo- Nazi and violent political party” that should be excluded.
IS THE CIA TO ENCOURAGE WARCRIMES?
Village near Slavyansk attacked with artillery fire, casualties reported.
The village of Andreevka near the Ukrainian city of Slavyansk came under artillery fire very early in the morning, the self-defense forces say. Casualties are reported in the attack.
“There was an artillery attack. Houses were destroyed. Cars are on fire. There're casualties, but the numbers aren’t known yet,” the representative said.
An assault on Slavyansk itself began around 5am local time (02:00 GMT) on Monday, by Kiev forces, ITAR-TASS reported.
"The enemy began an artillery attack on Andreevka using heavy mortars and howitzers. Also we have data on the opposing side using helicopters for covering operations," a representative of the self-defense HQ told Interfax.
Explosions were reported as "once a minute".
The attack was being conducted from the TV tower on Karachun Mountain.
The National Guard was firing on security checkpoints, but reports said mortar shells were landing in local residents’ homes.
It now remains to be seen if the CIA is out of control and backing the Kiev regime to commit warcrimes.
For a "mindblowing" news item on how the CIA is operating under Obama, paste the link below.
Yanukovych urges Kiev authorities to withdraw troops from eastern Ukraine
Ukraine's coup-deposed President, Viktor Yanukovych urges the Kiev authorities to withdraw mercenaries and troops from Donetsk, Luhansk, Odessa & other regions, to stop violence & terror against their own people, says a statement by Yanukovych.
Kiev's "murderous junta" has already killed over 300 peaceful citizens in Ukraine, Yanukovych says.
"The absolute majority of Donbas residents came to a referendum to cast their votes for any type of statehood, apart from the one that allows naming your own citizens terrorists and starting to kill them unlawfully, because the patience of the Ukrainian people has already run out," Yanukovych added.
WISE HEADS PREVAIL?
Former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates says President Barack Obama’s options in Ukraine are limited, and his country has no “military option”.
Gates says Ukraine is "a tough spot" where Obama has "few tactical options" and "no real military option."
"In the short term, there's not a lot we can do," Gates says, on CBS's "Face the Nation."
He says the Russian presence in Ukraine is a "done deal," adding that the Russian president will not now wait to see he has lost all his supporters in Ukraine.
"I don't think [Russian President Vladimir Putin] will rest until there's a pro-Russian government in Kiev or a federated Ukraine where the eastern part of the country, for all practical purposes, looks to Russia," he states.
Tensions between Moscow and Washington have been escalating over the crisis in Ukraine. Yet, despite repeated threats, the US hasn't put any sanctions on, that would target sectors of the Russian economy.
The sanctions involve a US travel ban and a freeze on any assets a few individuals and entities hold in the United States.
The Obama administration has so far failed to nudge European leaders towards sanctions against Russia’s economy because targeting Russia’s entire economy would most likely ricochet and harm US allies in Europe.
RUSSIA RESPECTS VOTE
Russia says it respects the will of the people who voted in recent referendums in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and calls for the implementation of the results without violence.
“In Moscow, we respect the will of the people of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and are counting on practical implementation of the outcome of the referendum in a civilized manner, without any repeat of violence and through dialogue,” said the Kremlin.
Activists say nearly 90% of voters in Donetsk voted in favor of regional autonomy. The turnout was 75%.
In the Luhansk region, the results and the outcome were about the same as in Donetsk.
Death toll from Odessa tragedy goes up to 48
At present, about 60 people are still in hospital, and ten are "in a grave condition".
Referendum turnout in southeast Ukraine’s Lugansk topped 75%
Donetsk referendum organizers plan to begin ‘civilized divorce’ with Kiev authorities
After the referendum in Ukraine’s Donetsk, its organizers plan to convene a regional congress of deputies of all levels and launch a process of “civilized divorce” with Kiev's authorities, Boris Litvinov, coordinator of the central election commission of the Donetsk People’s Republic and a co-chair of the presidium of the Donetsk People’s Republic, told Vesti radio station.
The leaders of the Donetsk People’s Republic plan to “begin talks on at least civilized divorce with Kiev’s central authorities,” he said. “We want to be a party to the negotiating process, which rests on the will of the people, and to build relations with all states on the basis of equal rights.”
He said that the referendum was absolutely legal. “People stood in 300-400 metre lines to cast their votes at polling stations,” Litvinov noted. “Even in Soviet times we never saw such queues.”
Citizens block APCs shooting their way through Mariupol
Civilians in Mariupol celebrated Victory Day on Saturday, showing the same degree of heroism their grandparents did during the Nazi invasion, as they confronted with their bare hands, the armored vehicles sent by Kiev. They even captured one APC from the invaders.
'You will not pass' was the general message of brave Mariupol citizens when they, using their bare hands, tried to stop a Ukrainian armored personnel carrier by forming a human chain in front of it, as the APC was moving towards the city centre.
The video on YouTube, clearly shows their spontaneous move to protect the city from what they call “Kiev's junta”, through self- sacrifice and by not being afraid of getting squashed by the multi-ton machine.
That particular APC managed to get away through the crowd by firing warning shots.
But - in another, similar incident - citizens captured an armored vehicle. While half a dozen people blocked the vehicle's path, a few activists climbed on top of the machine trying to penetrate the hatch to stop Kiev’s troops from advancing.
As they took over the APC, a shot was fired, hitting the side of a nearby residential building. No one was injured during the takeover.
Once activists captured the vehicle, a massive industrial truck towed it to the main square of the city, as a trophy over what the locals call “Nazi” government forces.
A small victory on the 69th Anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany.
Other scenes around the city also show hundreds of peaceful citizens surrounding heavy-armored units. Many unarmed citizens screamed “fascists” at the passing soldiers and APC column, as Kiev unleashed a bloody crackdown against its own people in the east of the country.
At least 20 “terrorists” – as the current Kiev authorities now label citizens of southeastern Ukraine – were killed, and four taken captive, said acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, who is just one of the neo-fascist ministers backed by the US State Department.
According to Mariupol health officials, at least 7 people were killed and 39 injured, including RT’s reporter, who is now in hospital.
US blames Russia as Kiev unleashes armored vehicles against civilians
Washington voiced its support for the bloody crackdown on anti-coup activists in Mariupol - blaming Russia for inciting the violence there - as the OSCE condemned the force used by Kiev.
“I strongly condemn the violence, and call upon all parties to exercise maximum restraint and take immediate steps to de-escalate a situation which has caused the loss of many lives, and created a climate of fear & anxiety,” said the Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan.
At the same time, US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, seemed to condemn the violence too, but immediately blamed it all on “pro-Russia separatists.”
“Well, we condemn the outbreak of violence caused by pro-Russia separatists this morning in Mariupol, which has resulted in multiple deaths,” she said.
Kherson governor calls Hitler 'liberator' addressing veterans on Victory Day
Addressing the public on Victory Day 2014, the governor of Ukraine’s southern Kherson region trampled on the feelings of many veterans and desecrated the memory of all who perished in the war against fascist-led Germany, by calling Hitler a “liberator.”
Governor of Kherson region, Yuri Odarchenko, was booed by thousands - including WW2 veterans - when he told the previously cheering crowd that the Soviet Union tried to enslave Ukraine, while Hitler tried to bring freedom.
“Those [Soviet] aggressors justified their capture not only by their desire to seize others' territory and enslave the people, but they also put forward slogans about liberating nations and people that inhabit the lands which Hitler hoped to capture,” Odarchenko told the crowd.
He went on to challenge history by saying that “if you read history books, we have a number of documentaries on this, then we see that he [Hitler] first of all put forward a slogan of liberating people from the communist yoke, and liberating people from the tyrant Stalin,” Odarchenko said, sparking anger and outrage by the crowd.
As thousands yelled out “shame”, a young woman with a child approached the governor and stripped him of the microphone, before throwing it away.
Historians, citing data available from the Second Secretary of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine, shows that Nazi forces in Kherson region killed 72,130 citizens and shipped about 40,000 to Germany to work in labour camps, while Germans ruled a crucial port on the Black Sea and Dnieper River from August 21, 1941 to March 13, 1944. Other historians place the figures at 105,000 Soviet citizens killed and more than 60,000 sent to Germany as slave labour.
As far as Hitler's vision of liberty and justice for the people of Ukraine goes, there are those among the veterans who still remember what the Nazi reign in Kherson was about. Many witness accounts of the Nazi's actions were written down in history books.
“All those arrived were stripped naked and led to the trench,” eyewitness A. K. Mestkovsky recalled in V. Baraniuk’s historic study of Hitler’s ‘liberation’ of Soviet ‘sub-humans’ in Kherson region. “The adult women and the elderly were stripped to their underwear, placed by the trench on their knees, and shot by the machine guns.”
In the autumn of 1941, about 10,000 Jews were killed in the city of Kherson alone. It is estimated that at least 47,000 Red Army soldiers died while force-crossing the Dnieper as they tried to liberate the city from the Nazis.
The Kherson governor offended veterans on their most important holiday, Russia's deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, says in his twitter post, calling him a “bastard.”
WEST BACKING GENOCIDE
The Speaker of the State Duma lower house of parliament, Sergei Naryshkin, believes that genocide is taking place in Ukraine now.
Speaking at the international forum of Balkan Dialogue in Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, he offers condolences to the relatives of victims in the May 2nd Odessa tragedy.
“We face a true genocide of Russian and Ukrainian peoples already in the 21st century,” he states.
Mariupol civilians shot down by Right Sector Guards
As unarmed civilians attempted to celebrate Victory Day, they were shot at by Guards.
"About 1,500 people left the parade and went to the local interior ministry HQ. People in camouflage confronted them, shooting into the air, using lethal weapons," a witness tells Interfax.
The witness states that another group of city residents set a car tire on fire next to the city council building.
Earlier, self-defense forces in Mariupol reported that armed people had tried to seize the local city department of the Interior Ministry.
“Camouflaged people are storming the building of the city’s interior ministry department. A bus with soldiers has driven up – they are from a military unit located in the vicinity of Mariupol. Policemen who refuse to obey Kiev regime’s orders are now being detained,” a representative of the self-defense forces says.
The self-defense forces also say that "city department police refused to obey Kiev’s orders and guard the city council building, seized a day earlier by security services.
"As a result, the Kiev authorities decided to storm the city's Interior Ministry department building. Police shot back, and the building is surrounded.”
Self-defense forces say government forces used heavy weaponry while storming the local branch of the Interior Ministry.
“Armored vehicles approached the building and opened fire with heavy weapons. The building is old and has thick walls, so you can’t penetrate it with machine gun fire,” a representative of the self-defense forces tells Interfax.
“On the central street of the city, I saw tanks and armored vehicles with Ukrainian flags at around 11.40 am [local time]. Then, the city residents started to gather near the executive committee building. Then some of the protesters tried to go to the district department of the interior, but it seemed that the Kiev regime military was beginning to shoot at those who attempted to approach. I don’t know if they were shooting to kill, but at their legs – that’s for sure,” local resident Grigory tells RT news.
City streets are now on lockdown for transport and pedestrians, as armored vehicles are approaching from the airport outside the city.
"Yesterday we were told that some provocations were being prepared, but people didn't believe it, so a Victory Day parade was scheduled for 9am today," a local resident, who identified herself as Victoria, states.
'This was an execution attempt against police who did not quit.'
Kiev’s National Guard used grenade launchers against police who earlier refused to shoot at unarmed civilians, as the coup authorities ordered them to do, a representative of the anti-fascist committee Pyotr Komissarov says.
“Earlier, local police refused to shoot at civilians. Kiev called them traitors. Today, they tried to execute all police officers that didn’t ask to be dismissed. Heavy military equipment was pulled into the city. They used small arms and rocket grenades, tanks fired cannons at the police HQ building. The National Guard went to war with the local police”
The attackers were “volunteers, mercenaries” from central and western parts of the country, he says.
“They wage war for money so they are capable of doing anything. We saw these people, talked to them.”
“They shot at civilians” he stresses. “I saw several people killed,” Komissarov says, adding that among the killed, were police officers.
Right Sector representatives were identified among the dead as well, he adds.
The nationalists captured three police officers, he says. “We saw them tied up and sitting in the courtyard of the police HQ”, but later the people freed them.
Neo-fascist Ukrainian MP Oleg Lyashko claims that the forces loyal to the Kiev coup-installed regime have orders “not to take anyone alive.”
He writes in his Facebook account, that “the perimeter around the Interior Ministry department building in Mariupol is completely blocked by the armed forces. Terrorists (sic) are barricaded inside and are now returning fire. An order has been issued not to take anyone alive.”
WEST SAYS VICTORY DAY OVER FASCISM IS 'A PROVOCATION', & RUSSIA SMILES.
"It's our country which chased the Nazis to their den, and achieved their full and final defeat, won at the cost of millions of victims and terrible ordeals.
"We will always guard this sacred, unfading truth, and we will not allow the heroes to be betrayed or forgotten – everyone who saved peace on the planet, not sparing their own selves," Putin said.
UK AND US PLOT FAILING ON UKRAINE
Russia's Ambassador to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov, says the Ukrainian crisis is a consequence of an "unskillful and unprofessional" policy to bring Kiev closer to the EU and the USA.
"The present Kiev regime is the result of the crisis which initially emerged due to the unskillful and unprofessional political line of the European Union and the United States," Chizhov tells reporters.
"The EU spoke so much and so often about its Eastern Partnership policy's not being aimed against Russia that this alone put it in doubt.
"Today, it is pretty certain that the Eastern Partnership is a rather artificial geopolitical project aimed at attracting target countries to the European Union, but without giving them the slightest hope of membership," the ambassador notes.
He recalls that, whereas the level of support for this policy was high in such countries as Georgia after the events of 2008, it raised many more questions (including from government officials) in other states, for example in Armenia.
"Azerbaijan said at the very beginning that it was not interested, and the EU has kept Belarus at a certain distance as it is. As for Moldova, its pro- European coalition is making all efforts towards implementing this program, but this raises a legitimate issue of Transdniestria, and now - also, of Gagauzia," Chizhov continues.
The envoy says the EU should thoroughly analyze the real situation and all aspects, in the countries with which they work.
"If they do not have enough expertise, let them ask knowledgeable persons. We'll help them. I send them such a signal regularly," he notes.
"The sooner the EU turns over the page of its worries for the fate of its Ukrainian project - which has nothing to do with the Ukrainian people - the better it will be for the European Union," he underlines.
"If all the energy our European partners spend on developing various scenarios of sanctions and their publicity were used for good deeds, namely the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis in line with the obligations undertaken by the EU as a signatory of the Geneva communique, it will be more correct and sensible," he says.
Commenting on the initiative to convene the Geneva-2 conference, Chizhov notes that it will only make sense if representatives of the Ukrainian regions participate in it.
"The German foreign minister suggests preliminary round table discussions involving all the political forces of Ukraine. We support it. Everything bumps into Kiev's position," the Russian envoy says.
"The attempts to present Russia as representative of Ukraine's southeast is utter nonsense. Refusals by Donetsk and Luhansk to postpone the date of the referendum, only confirm the untenability of this approach."
"In the old group (Russia, the European Union, the USA and Ukraine), we can only say that Kiev failed to meet its commitments within the framework of the first Geneva meeting, but we're saying it anyway.
"In the long run, it is not Russia that should comply with the Geneva communique's provision on turning in weapons, including by Right Sector militants, and freeing administrative buildings in Kiev, and the need to stop violence," Chizhov says.
As for that western journalists' favorite question: "How close is Ukraine to EU membership now", Chizhov expresses confidence that this process has been negative.
"Ukraine is only moving further away from this prospect," he says.
BROWN GOVERNMENT SENT AL QAIDA TO SYRIA
The French lawyer and politician Roland Dumas (Foreign Minister 1984 - 1986 and 1988 - 1993) made a cable television appearance last year -- on the French channel La Chaîne Parlementaire -- where he said the following:
"I’m going to tell you something. I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain, not in America.
Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer minister for foreign affairs, if I would like to participate.
Naturally, I refused, I said I’m French, that doesn’t interest me". Dumas went on to say "that this operation goes way back. It was prepared, preconceived and planned, in the region.
It is important to know that this Syrian regime has a very anti-Israeli stance".
If Dumas' statement bears any relation to reality it means that Gordon Brown's government was ultimately behind any master-plan to remove the Assad regime.
That would make Gordon Brown Tony Blair's successor in more ways than one -- both are, after all, members of the parliamentary group 'Labour Friends of Israel'.
NUCLEAR WEAPONS: INHUMAN
Iran calls for the destruction of nuclear weapons across the world, and warns about banned arms falling into terrorists’ hands.
"Iran firmly believes that every effort should be made in accordance with international law to rid the world of the menace of these inhuman weapons,” says Iran’s Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations.
Dehqani also says efforts should be made “to insure that such weapons do not fall into the hands of terrorists and non-state actors."
The Iranian official, adds, however, "Efforts to prevent the potential threat of weapons of mass destruction falling into the hands of terrorists should not distract our attention from the real threat, namely the continued existence of thousands of nuclear weapons in stockpiles of nuclear weapons states."
The Iranian delegation to the UN review on non- proliferation also releases a statement high- lighting the “unsafeguarded nuclear activities” of the Israeli regime in the Middle East.
Tel Aviv rejects calls to join the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and does not allow international inspectors to observe its nuclear program.
“The Preparatory Committee should urge Israel to accede, immediately and unconditionally, to the Treaty as a non-nuclear-weapon party, to place all its nuclear activities under the IAEA comprehensive safeguards,” the statement adds.
The Israeli regime is widely believed to be the sole possessor of a nuclear arsenal in the Middle East with up to 400 undeclared nuclear warheads.
Putin oversees planned military drills on countering nuclear strike
President Vladimir Putin has overseen military drills on countering a nuclear strike. The planned drills came just ahead of the May the 9th celebrations dedicated to the Red Army's victory in World War 2.
"We are carrying out tests on the readiness of Russia's armed forces. This was announced last November. The exercises will involve all branches of the armed forces across the country," Putin told reporters.
Modern challenges and threats to the country’s national security demand that the army and the fleet are maintained in readiness for quick and effective retaliation in any conditions, the Russian Defense Minister and army general, Sergey Shoigu, told Putin in a new report.
During the drills, it was demonstrated how the missile corps, artillery, aviation and anti-aircraft defenses can be used – for instance, to destroy troops on the ground or to counter mass missile, aviation or nuclear strikes by an enemy.
Plus, it was shown how to inflict a launch- through-attack strike with nuclear missiles.
The training exercises, including ground troops and artillery as well as the air force, are being held during a summit of the heads of state of a security bloc made up of former Soviet states.
Led by President Vladimir Putin, the Russian aerospace defense troops have successfully overridden a massive nuclear missile strike, an official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry said.
"At the Priozersk training area (Kazakhstan), a successful interception of a ballistic target by a short-range countermissile was carried out.
"A mass rocket nuclear strike was repelled by a ballistic missile defense unit of air and missile defense troops," said the representative.
The representative also gave more detailed news, in that the combat crews of Armies of Aerospace Defense, discovered and tracked the ballistic missiles, targeting them by launching short- range Amur complex interception missiles.
“The anti-missile system successfully struck the target, which imitated a ballistic rocket,” the representative added.
The strategic weapon carrier Tu-95MC conducted launches of six cruise missiles aimed at targets on the ground in the aviation training area of the Western military district, as part of the drills.
The simulated targets were key facilities of the military infrastructure of a hypothetical enemy.
All the targets were hit as planned, Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed.
The presidents of Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, observed the drills from the Russian National Defense Command Centre.
Strategic bomber aircraft and underwater missile carriers of the Pacific and Northern fleets were involved in the drills. Also, strategic land-based mobile missile systems, as well as the missile corps of the Southern and Central military districts, participated in the tests.
NATO ‘ignores facts’ by saying Russia did not withdraw troops from Ukrainian border
NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen “ignores reality” by saying he has "seen no signs" Russia is withdrawing troops from Ukraine’s border, Moscow says.
“For those with a blind eye we suggest they follow President Putin’s statement of May 7,” the Russian Foreign Ministry says.
Putin says Russia has pulled back troops from the Ukrainian border and that this fact can be checked using modern reconnaissance means.
United Ukraine future impossible without consensus in society
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov urges the US and Europe “not to tear Ukraine apart between the East and the West.”
"The way to disentangle Ukraine's crisis has been understood by politicians and diplomats for a long time," he says.
First and foremost, Ukrainian government troops should be brought back to their permanent bases to lift the tension, because no agreements can be reached during combat,” explains the diplomat, Anatoly Adamishin.
"A second step to de-escalate the current situation should be the disarmament of illegal armed units. This was fixed in the Geneva accord on April 17th.
"But Kiev decided that the demand to lay down arms referred just to militiamen in south-eastern Ukraine, and not to the Right Sector gunmen --- who are now being integrated into national guard units or into the army,” the diplomat says.
“A third step to political settlement is an assembly of local officials from all Ukrainian regions, at which they should agree on a future constitutional system for their homeland. Without its citizens' agreement, no one will be able to agree on a Ukrainian national consensus,” Adamishin believes.
“Talks were implimented to end the civil war in Tajikistan in the 1990s. The war there ended when the representatives of state authorities, opposition and even field commanders managed to have talks. Then this scheme became effective."
"At present, in Ukraine, it will hardly have an effect --- because the United States is prompting Kiev to take the south-eastern regions under control."
"If Washington had urged Kiev to stop the operation in Donetsk, it would have been stopped, because the Kiev authorities are not independent,” he notes.
“The meeting of foreign ministers of the Council of Europe states in Vienna, showed that neither Russia nor the EU wants a war in Ukraine, and both are seeking to overcome the crisis in a political way."
"The US is actually commanding the situation, as it seeks to provoke Moscow into a military intervention, to squeeze Russia in its grip, and to put Europe under US economic control."
"The tragedy in Odessa, where 46 people died in the House of Trade Unions set on fire on May 2nd has pursued exactly this goal,” the expert says."
"Under these conditions, a 2nd round of Geneva talks looks useless. It will vanish into the air, as the first Geneva talks did, where all the correct agreements were reached, but not one of them was fulfilled,” Adamishin notes.
"When supporters of Ukraine's integration into the EU were fighting against Yanukovych, the western Ukrainian city of Lviv proclaimed its independence. Washington and Brussels hailed this event."
"Now, they call residents in south-eastern Ukraine separatists, after they declared people’s republics in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions."
The West, the diplomat notes, urged Yanukovych not to use force on opponents, yet now the West approves the Kiev authorities’ military operations against their own people.”
“Such ‘games’ may result in a split of the country between the East and West, provoke a full-scale civil war, and bring Ukraine to complete collapse."
"If EU states do not want a war in central Europe, they shouldn't act ambiguously, as they do now," the Russian extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador adds.
CHINA EXPLAINS ITS VIEW OF OSCE ROLE
China's Xinhua says Burkhalter, who is also president of Switzerland, said there are, so far, no plans to hold a Geneva 2 meeting to simply assess the "progress" of 'Geneva 1'.
But he did say the OSCE is considering a four- point action plan for the four signatories to the Geneva agreements, "to know which items are points of consent, and which might need some adjustments for their soonest implementation."
The OSCE is also offering to set up a fund to finance the implementation of a proposed disarmament plan in Ukraine, the official said, adding that the bloc is to send up to 1,000 observers to the presidential polls.
Ukrainian Army Escalates Battles in Slavyansk
Militiamen, says Interfax, say that the self-defense forces have strongly resisted the army's efforts to occupy the TV tower in Slavyansk, which has been retaken, despite the army using mortar fire on them.
A representative of the rebels' general staff says the fighting is continuing, and that the Army has blocked peaceful civilians from leaving --- even families with children and elderly people.
The source adds that regular forces are attacking the militias' positions with all kinds of armaments, including mortars, bazookas and even Grad multi- missile systems.
The nearby town of Andreevka was attacked using mortars and heavy weapons, and several people were injured, says Russian television.
At midday, there was a tense calm in downtown Slavyansk after the firing, explosions and flames made by rockets launched at the checkpoints of the people's self-defense brigades stopped, ITAR -TASS reports.
People were burying their dead as a result of the military operation launched by the Ukrainian Army on Monday, when least ten people were killed and 25 were injured.
Since mid April, the Army has carried out a large- scale military crusade in eastern Ukraine, against the cities of Donetsk, Kramatorsk and Slavyansk, supported by artillery, helicopters and fighter jets.
President Vladimir Putin says that Russia has withdrawn its troops from the Ukrainian border.
“We've been told that our troops on the Ukrainian border are a concern – we have withdrawn them. They are now not on Ukrainian territory, but at locations where they are conducting regular drills at ranges,” he said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested earlier, holding "roundtable discussions," a proposal Moscow fully supports, Putin added.
Moscow and the OSCE agree substantially on the approach to resolving the situation in Ukraine, Putin said, and negotiations make this clear.
“Moscow is interested in a swift resolution of the crisis in Ukraine, taking into consideration the interests of all people of the country,” he said.
In the coming hours, OSCE will offer a “roadmap” on Ukraine, Burkhalter says.
“Our offer now is the following: literally in the next few hours we would like to offer a roadmap for the four signatories of the Geneva agreements," Burkhalter says, adding that the roadmap lays out “concrete steps” to resolve the Ukrainian crisis.
There are four major points, he says: "These are a ceasefire, de-escalation of tensions, dialogue and elections." Burkhalter adds that this road- map was discussed earlier, in Vienna.
This, he says, is a “more pragmatic” alternative to any 'Geneva-2' peace talks on Ukraine, which, Burkhalter says, are, for now, not planned to be held.
Burkhalter also believes that dialogue between Kiev and southeast Ukraine is a “realistic prospect.”
“As for the probability of a national dialogue in Ukraine, I think it's quite a realistic prospect, because only Ukrainian people need to be involved in determining their own destiny.”
On behalf of the OSCE, Burkhalter says that the organization is ready to take responsibility for coordinating the “roadmap” and negotiations with the US and EU. will be taking place soon.
Kiev retakes Mariupol city hall after overnight clashes - then anti-Kiev forces retake it...
Anti-government protesters vacated Mariupol city hall after a night of clashes over check= points with Kiev's troops.
The city hall was taken by pro-government forces, local media reported.
Barricades were dismantled by workers, as a crowd of some 50 people gathered shouting “traitors” at them, 0609 news website reported.
By the next afternoon, the city was reported as being back in the control of pro-federalists.
“It looks like the assault's started,” Mikhail Krutko from the self-defense headquarters told Interfax news agency, adding, there was no information about injuries or victims.
"We've just now started getting messages about a massive attack on our checkpoints, located in the western part of the city.”
A local activist named Dmitry confirmed - “intensive shooting can be heard.”
“We have three of our people killed, there was an attack on one of our roadblocks," an activist in Mariupol told RT news.
"We have information that Right Sector radicals have arrived in the city and are now getting dressed into police uniforms to blend in.”
There was also shooting near Mariupol airport.
“People in black and camouflage shot at several vehicles,” the source said, adding that there is no information about casualties.
RIA Novosti cited its source from Donetsk:
“Unknown men attacked several checkpoints. There was shooting in the area close to a military base near the airport,” the source said, adding that the shooting had calmed down for now and that only single shots could be heard.
The source said that “the assault” did not look like “active actions by the regular army” as the men wore uniforms without matching camouflage.
In Slavyansk, civilians trying to leave are now being shot. A young woman and her baby were killed as their car approached an army check- point, locals report.
Local pro-federalisation supporters say army units have placed multiple rocket launchers and field guns aimed at the city, and that - when the army attacks with these:
"People will not live well, and they will not live long".
RUSSIA SAYS: FASCISM IN EUROPE 'WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO PASS'
Russia's leaders promise to defeat today's rise of fascism now spreading in Ukraine.
"What is happening isn't just marches with slogans, but a ‘living’ manifestation of fascism," the Russian minister of foreign affairs says.
The tragedy breaking out in the Ukrainian Black Sea port city of Odessa is sheer fascism and Russia will not permit a revival of this ideology and sweep facts under the carpet, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said at a flower-laying ceremony.
“For many years Europe has been turning a blind eye to the fact that this ideology is gaining new supporters, and how former Waffen SS legionaries - found as war criminals at the Nuremberg Trials - are staging marches,” the minister said.
Lavrov noted that current events in Ukraine “are already not just marches with slogans glorifying Nazi criminals, but a ‘live’ manifestation of fascism.”
“What happened in the city of Odessa on May 2nd is a sheer act of fascism and we will not permit a sweeping of facts under the carpet, as the ruling coalition tries to do, concealing the investigation from the public.”
“We will seek the truth, for all evidence produced by eyewitnesses, shows that the current Kiev authorities are consciously hushing up the scale of the tragedy, and we will seek for the truth to be investigated and made public,” the Russian foreign minister pledged.
“We will not permit fascism to revive in Europe, and we will not allow it to revive in Russia, either” Lavrov added.
FOLLOWING OBAMA's "NO TALKS" "INCREDIBLE MISTAKE" - GERMANY
Refusing dialogue with Russia on events in Ukraine would be "an incredible mistake", Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, says.
“The situation in eastern Ukraine, deteriorating in the last few days, and bloody clashes in Odessa, show that we are only a few steps away from an open military confrontation,” Steinmeier says.
“Conflict around Ukraine has taken an acute form which seemed impossible in Europe before. The danger of a new division of Europe is still real. We should seek all possible ways to prevent an open civil war in Ukraine.”
Steinmeier notes a key role for the Organisation for Security & Co-operation in Europe in settling the conflict.
“None of the EU countries want military intervention in Ukraine. The German government shares the same opinion,” he says.
Steinmeier says the US, Russia, the EU and Ukraine should “sit at the negotiating table in Geneva again”.
“We should talk to each other,” he says. “Refusing to hold a dialogue while tension in Ukraine is growing would be an incredible mistake.”
It's also a mistake, he says, that at the last four- party meeting in Geneva in April, there were no mechanisms to implement decisions reached between Ukraine, Russia, the EU and the US.
“That is why we need a follow-up conference,” Steinmeier says.
New talks on Ukraine doubtful unless opposition takes part – Lavrov
Russia’s foreign minister has expressed his doubts over international talks on Ukraine, saying all forces in the country should be at the negotiating table.
"Once again gathering in the same format, when the opposition to the current regime in Ukraine is absent from the negotiating table, this will hardly change anything," Lavrov says at a news conference after a Council of Europe ministers' meeting in Vienna.
"It’s possible, of course, but we will just go around in a circle and once again speak about how everything that we’ve agreed on needs to be implemented."
Lavrov says he remains hopeful that national dialogue could produce results in Ukraine.
“We are convinced that there is a way out of the crisis. It can be found exclusively on the basis of a national dialogue," - he says, adding that it should take place betw