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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
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 TUESDAY
Death toll in Gaza rises to 701: health ministry
The Palestinian Health Ministry says early on Thursday that 6 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli airstrikes in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis.
The death toll of the Israeli offensive which started on July 8th, has risen now to 701, the health ministry spokesperson, Ashraf al-Qedra says, adding that 4,500 others have been injured, so far.
Israel admits to having lost four civilians and 28 soldiers so far. Efforts to end the fighting between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza are going on unabated. But all efforts have yielded no results, so far.
UN Chief Again Urges Immediate End to Gaza Violence
UN chief Ban Ki-moon repeats his call for 'Israel' and Hamas to end the violence.
"I am standing here with very heavy heart. My message has always been consistent and strong, this violence must stop now," Ban tells 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
Palestinian resistance forces say they have killed nine more Israeli soldiers --- in retaliatory attacks against Israel’s invasion of the besieged Gaza Strip.
On Wednesday, the Israeli military acknowledged three of the deaths in battles with Hamas fighters in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza earlier, putting the Israeli military death toll at 32.
However, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, says 9 were killed there, meaning that at least 60 Israeli soldiers have been killed so far.
It adds 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 been hitting numerous sites in the Gaza Strip, some demolishing houses and burying families in the rubble.
Latest reports say Palestinian resistance forces continue to inflict 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 between the western and eastern regions of the country.
NEW SUBS, SAMS, EQUIPMENT FOR CRIMEA
The Russian Defense Ministry is to deploy more forces in Crimea - beefing up the Black Sea fleet under a $2.5 billion program.
“Before year’s end, we will form new units of air defense and marine troops at the sites of our fleet’s deployment,” Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu says.
“The fleet will receive new submarines and surface ships of a new generation this year. This requires our attention."
Ban Ki-moon almost wakes up?
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon offers to mediate in the worsening Ukrainian crisis, and calls on all sides involved to help resolve the explosive and escalating crisis peacefully.
“I am urging these four parties (the US, the EU, Russia and Ukraine’s interim government) to solve this problem through peaceful means, and I’m ready to provide my own role --- if necessary,” AFP news agency quotes Ban as saying.
Another helicopter is shot down by machine- gun fire. Both crew members are unhurt.
The Kiev putsch government sends elite troops to Odessa and anti-putsch fighters vow to take over administrative buildings.
The pro-Russian activists say 30+ armed members were killed & 15 others injured during the putsch forces’ renewed crack- down on Slavyansk, in one day.
In a statement, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry says four government troops were killed and 30 others wounded.
Forces in the east of Ukraine fighting for federalization are reported to have now regained control of the cities and towns Konstantinovka, Slavyansk, Andreyevka, & Kramatorsk, Russia-24 tv channel says.
After an assault by self-defense forces, the Ukrainian military has pulled back to Kramatorsk airdrome, reports say.
Odessa Jews ready for mass evacuation
The Jewish community of Odessa is prepared for a mass evacuation, should hatred re-erupt and threaten them with another genocide.
Odessa saw the deaths of dozens of opponents of the new authorities, mostly burned to death in a building by neo-nazis, who used Molotov cocktails and guns on protesters.
Odessa's Jewish leaders say they are concerned enough to plan for a mass evacuation, possibly to "another country".
“When there is shooting in the streets, the first plan is to take [the children] out of the centre of the city,” says Rabbi Kruskal, head of Tikva organization. “If it gets worse, then we’ll take them out of the city."
"We have plans to take them both out of the city and even to a different country if necessary, plans which we prefer not to talk about, which we have in place."
“If the situation gets worse, we are planning to move,” Kira Verkhovskaya, head of the Migdal International Centre of Jewish Community Programs, states.
Rabbi Avraham Wolf, representing the Chabad hassidic community, says they're taking extra security measures, such as armed guards, and are prepared for a possible evacuation.
Together with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, they have prepared 70 buses, which are fueled and ready to go.
Odessa's Jews once made up about a third of Odessa's population. As Nazi Germany and its allies advanced into Ukraine, many Jews fled east, but hundreds of thousands were still there, when Odessa was taken by Romanian and German troops.
In mid-October 1941, the occupation forces started mass executions of everyone they saw as enemies, including between 25,000 and 34,000 Odessa Jews.
The site of one of the worst massacres, where thousands were shot, or burned alive in old gunpowder warehouses, is now a Holocaust memorial.
The memorial was desecrated this year, in mid-April, along with a Jewish cemetery, as "unidentified attackers" painted them with swastikas, death threats against Jews and radical Right Sector symbols.
The nationalist movement denied any links to the desecration, offered protection to Odessa Jews and sent its representatives to remove the hate messages, together with Rabbi Wolf.
Provocation gone wrong: Dark forces instigated Odessa violence?
Video footage of the bloody events in Odessa shows provocateurs instigating the violence.
Russia’s Channel One TV has reconstructed the order of events by using YouTube videos detailing what happened in Odessa.
It began with a football match: Chernomorets Odessa versus Metalist Kharkov. Despite high tensions, the authorities allowed the match, even though they knew that a few thousand pro-Kiev football fans would be coming.
After the match, around 1,500 supporters of the Kiev authorities and football ultras came together for a march in support of Ukraine’s unity. This rally was also sanctioned by the local authorities.
Nationalists marched to the city centre, chanting “Glory to Ukraine” and “Death to enemies,” and “Knife the Moskals (derogatory for Russians).”
Some in the group wore ultra-nationalist insignia, and carried chains, baseball bats, and shields.
The violence started when the pro-Kiev crowd was met by what looked like anti-government activists.
They were wearing St. George ribbons, identifying them as pro-autonomy and red bands around their sleeves. Some riot police officers present at the scene wore the same red bands on their sleeves.
Then a visibly smaller group of alleged anti-Kiev activists started to attack the march, apparently provoking the demonstrators.
Footage shows a smaller group wearing red bands, luring the pro-Kiev crowd in a different direction.
At some point, the police line opened up to let the men wearing red bands through, then closed back up again. A video then shows a man standing behind the police lines, who started shooting at the pro-Kiev crowd.
This succeeded in provoking clashes, as both sides began to throw stones, as shots rang out.
The alleged anti-Kiev activists then disappeared and the angry pro-Kiev supporters headed to the opposition camp at the House of Trade Unions.
None of the original attackers with red bands were there. But a few dozen pro-autonomy activists were there and when they saw an angry mob approaching, they took shelter inside the House of Trade Unions.
Survivors of the fire say they had to barricade themselves inside the House of Trade Unions to hide from the agitated mob, which torched their tent camp.
Radicals then began throwing Molotov cocktails at the Trade Unions building, setting it on fire.
Witnesses say those who managed to escape the blaze were severely beaten outside by the besiegers of the burning building.
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry offers a different version of events, saying the victims started the fire themselves (sic) when they began throwing Molotov cocktails from the upper floor.
Multiple videos of the incident, however, show Molotov cocktails being thrown from outside.
Another video shows that some radical pro-Kiev elements were also inside the building, waving a Ukrainian flag.
The evidence leads one to conclude that the football fans could have been manipulated, while unknown forces instigated violence, Channel One TV says.
No Russians among Slavyansk self-defense forces – NYT reporters
The self-defense forces in the anti-Kiev stronghold of Slavyansk are Ukrainians, not Russians, who distrust the new regime and the Western powers that support it, New York Times reporters have discovered. The forces also said that they are not being paid to fight.
Two New York Times reporters have spent a week in the city of Slavyansk in eastern Ukraine, talking to members of the self-defense forces. The journalists visited self-defense checkpoints and observed the forces as they battled Ukrainian troops during the military assault on the city on Friday.
The resistance fighters of the 12th Company, part of the People’s Self-Defense of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, deny claims made by Kiev and its Western sponsors that either Russia or private oligarchs are paying them to fight.
“This is not a job,” one of the activists, Dmitry told the NYT reporters. “It is a service.”
Armed with dated weapons, self-defense activists said they would have bought new weapons if they had financial support. The NYT journalists report seeing weapons from the 1980s and 1990s at checkpoints and in warehouses.
The activists explained that they purchased some weapons from corrupt Ukrainian soldiers, and took others from seized police buildings, or confiscated them from captured Ukrainian armored vehicles.
“Much of their stock was identical to the weapons seen in the hands of Ukrainian soldiers and Interior Ministry Special Forces troops at the government positions outside the city,” the NYT reporters said.
“These included 9-millimeter Makarov pistols, Kalashnikov assault rifles, and a few Dragunov sniper rifles, RPK light machine guns & portable anti-tank rockets, including some with production stamps from the 1980s and early 1990s.”
The head of Slavyansk self-defense, Yury, also laughed at claims made by the Kiev authorities and the West, that Russians are fighting side by side with them.
“We have no Muscovites here,” Yury told the journalists. “I have enough experience.”
Many of the Company’s 119 members, who range from their 20s to their 50s, served in the Soviet or Ukrainian infantry, airborne, special forces, or air-defense units, the reporters said.
Yury, in his mid 50s, said his experience includes four years as a Soviet small-unit commander in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in the 1980s.
“There was no clear Russian link in the 12th Company’s arsenal,” the reporters said.
While visiting checkpoints for over a week, the NYT reporters said they saw lots of support for the self-defense forces from local residents, who primarily provided the activists with food.
“To the guys in Kiev, we are separatists and terrorists,” Yury said. “But to the people here, we are defenders and protectors.”
Eastern Ukraine's people, who show “passionate distrust” of the coup-appointed authorities, felt threatened after Kiev stripped Russian – which most of the region's population speak – of its official status in February.
“That was the turning point,” said Maksim, one of the Slavyansk activists.
For Ukrainians in the east, many of whom have close ties with Russia and families across the border, the move was a “cultural assault.”
“All spoke of disgust with the interim authorities in Kiev,” the NYT reporters noted in their article.
The eastern Ukrainians have made up their minds, Yury told the journalists, adding that they are demanding a referendum and will go to war in the case of a refusal. He said people in the region are puzzled by the West's support of the coup in Kiev, and its blatant disregard for eastern Ukrainians' opinions and rights.
“Why did America support those acts, but is in opposition to ours?” Maksim, a young former paratrooper asked. “These are the contradictions of the West.”
UKRAINE COUP 'ADVISORS'
The CIA and the FBI are consultants to the incumbent authorities in Kiev, and act on instructions from the US Administration, says Germany's weekly Bild am Sonnntag - quoting sources in German intelligence.
The objective US intelligence services have been given, the newspaper says, is to suppress popular protests in the east of Ukraine and to build a viable security structure for the regime.
The newspaper claims, however, that CIA and FBI officers are not involved in combat operations in the east, and their entire activity is confined to Kiev.
Bild am Sonntag recalls that CIA chief John Brennan visited Kiev in mid-April.
The chair of Russia’s State Duma committee for international relations, Dr. Alexei Pushkov, says that visit “exposed a close relationship between the incumbent government in Kiev and the US.”
Dr. Pushkov says with confidence that "the US has supplanted the Ukrainian government and has installed a regime lucrative for itself."
Russia's Duma demands tribunal for Kiev authorities for Odessa bloodbath
The Russian State Duma (Lower House of Parliament) says the Kiev authorities are committing war crimes and therefore must face a military tribunal.
“I think this is an organised criminal group that's been acting like this, since the very beginning, committing war crimes."
"For these atrocities they must be brought to justice as war criminals and they must be tried by an international military tribunal,” Irina Yarovaya, chair of the Duma Security Committee, says.
She believessupport for ‘the self-proclaimed Kiev authorities who ordered the extermination of their own people, means compliance in this mass killing of people”.
Duma Deputy Speaker Sergei Neverov is convinced that “there is no justification” for what has happened in Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and Odessa in Ukraine.
“It’s awful that the unleashing of civil war in Ukraine is supported by the West that, in no time, has forgotten all about human rights and democratic values, of which, the EU countries and the United States, claimed to be the advocates."
" Now, no one has any doubt as to who is sponsoring the unrest in Ukraine and who sponsored it from the start,” he says.
“I do hope quite sincerely that last night’s tragedy will make those who support the illegitimate and criminal regime come to their senses - although the chances of that are shrinking, judging from the reaction of Western politicians,” Neverov says.
“Instead of defending the peaceful citizens of Ukraine, they block Russian proposals in the UN Security Council aimed at a peaceful resolution of the issue."
"The West is conniving with Ukrainian radicals and Nazis, whose ideology is extermination."
"Apparently, Europe has learnt no bitter lessons from the last century."
Frants Klintsevich, deputy chair of the Duma Defence Committee, draws historical parallels with the current events in Ukraine.
“The EU and US refuse to understand the explosive situation in Ukraine and do not want to figure out what is good and what is bad, because they simply can’t benefit from that. They want a civil war,” he says.
Klintsevich recalls that “during the Great Patriotic War [1941-1945], SS battalions, manned with Ukrainian nationalists and commanded by fascists, destroyed the village of Khatyn in Belarus, burning the elderly, women and children alive”.
“Practically 70 years on, the descendents of those fascists did the same, by blocking people inside the Trade Union House and setting it on fire,” he says.
“Why does Europe support such atrocities?” the MP asks.
He stresses that all opposition parties in “enlightened Europe” and the whole world, must know what the “present-day fascists” did in Odessa.
Chair of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs and Ties with Compatriots, Leonid Slutsky, says the bloodbath in Odessa on May 2nd, “completely destroys the Geneva accords and incites a civil war in Ukraine”.
“What happened, especially the fire in the Trade Union House, reminds me of the Nazi crimes during World War II. This is a new Khatyn and Auschwitz,” he says.
“Especially outrageous is the benevolent reaction of the West to crimes committed by the Kiev authorities against their own people,” he says, stressing that “violence must be condemned and stopped”.
Mikhail Starshinov, head of the inter-faction group for interaction between civil society institutions and law enforcement agencies, condemns the Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s statement, that the Trade Union House in Odessa had been set on fire inside - by the activists themselves.
“By any degree of cynicism, this statement is beyond good or bad,” he says. “It's yet more evidence that certain political forces, will stop at nothing, to try to achieve their goals.”
He stresses that Russia is trying to conduct a dialogue on the settlement of the situation in Ukraine at all levels, including through the Foreign Ministry and parliament.
“However, our opponents remain deaf to all reasonable proposals on how to de-escalate violence. As a result, innocent people died.”
Starshinov says “this scenario would have been unbelievable, just two months ago”.
Unrest erupted on Friday, May 2nd, with a mass fight started by football fans from Kharkov, the Right Sector radicals, and members of the so- called “Maidan self-defence” force, from Kiev.
They decided to march in the streets of Odessa, thereby provoking clashes with the supporters of Ukraine’s federalisation.
As a result, 46 people were killed in clashes and over 200 needed medical attention.
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry says the building was set on fire by the people who had seized it.
But this disagrees with video footage and all eye-witness reports from the scene.
Patriarch Kirill blames 'radical' politicians for Odessa deaths
“One political position cannot be proclaimed as the only possible and compulsory one in modern Ukraine,” Kirill says.
The Russian Orthodox Church is in deep grief over the new bloodshed in Ukraine as political radicals are trying to assert their convictions - despite loss of life, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia says, commenting on recent events in Odessa, southern Ukraine, and the eastern Donetsk region, where several dozen people have been killed.
“Responsibility for this lies primarily with those who resort to violence, instead of dialogue. Especially disturbing, is the use of heavy army hardware in a civil standoff,” he says.
The patriarch believes that “the use of force is often motivated by adherence to political radicalism and a denial of people’s right to express their convictions”.
“One political position cannot be proclaimed as the only possible and compulsory one in modern Ukraine,” Kirill says, adding that the Christian values of peace, mercy and justice had formed the people of Ukraine.
He urges “all sides to refrain from using weapons and to solve all questions through dialogue” as “there is no alternative to dialogue”.
“Ukraine can heal itself and embark on a path of building a decent life for its citizens, only as a common home for people with different political convictions,” he says.
The patriarch expresses deep condolences to the families of those killed.
“The terrible news of people burnt alive in the Trade Union House in Odessa turned over my soul and pierced it with excruciating pain."
"A hideous crime was committed before the eyes of the whole world, a crime with which neither heart nor mind can reconcile.”
“I am praying for Ukraine to be saved and healed, for the bloodshed to be stopped, for the warring sides to be pacified, and for those people with different political positions to be able, with God’s grace, to listen to each other and understand that attempts to impose one’s opinion upon others by force, will lead to the destruction of a beautiful and blessed country,” Kirill says.
“At this time of trouble, my heart is with Ukraine, with each of its sons and daughters who are living through anguish, grief, bewilderment, outrage and despair,” he says.
Kadyrov: Ukraine Interior Ministry’s statement on Odessa fire ‘cynical’
Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of the Russian republic of Chechnya, calls Ukraine's Interior Ministry statement on the Odessa fire, “cutting-edge cynicism” and “over-the-top impudence.”
Ukraine's Interior Ministry said in a statement that it was the people inside the building who started the fire, using Molotov cocktails.
“This is cutting-edge cynicism and some kind of over-the-top impudence,” Kadyrov says.
“There is video available showing some people, which I doubt were females, pouring gasoline in bottles. After that, radical youngsters threw these bottles at the building, the ground floors were set on fire and people tried to save their lives by jumping out the windows."
"However, we and the whole world are - eventually - told that the fire erupted on the upper floors.”
“Not even the nazis acted like this.” He continues: “First, to burn people alive by blocking all entrances and setting them on fire, and then to tell the whole world that it was the people inside the building, who hurled bottles with flammable substances at each other.”
The Chechen leader also says he was shocked by another video, which shows extremists from the radical Right Sector movement touring the Trade Union House after the fire, inspecting dead bodies and making jokes.
“This is a place of tragedy, a place of sorrow,” Kadyrov says. “This is a crime scene, on top of everything. Where were the police, who had to conduct an investigation and cordon off the building? The obvious conclusion is that there are no police. There are only extremists, who are killing people and telling the whole world outrageous lies.”
10 killed, around 30 injured in Kramatorsk in overnight fighting – self-defense leader
10 residents in Kramatorsk died and almost 30 were injured in the fighting that broke out overnight near the eastern Ukrainian city, says a self-defense leader.
"Last night 10 people on our side died, they were all unarmed civilians,” the leader, who wouldn’t give his identity, tells RIA Novosti.
He adds that 30 people were wounded after the Ukrainian army opened fire.
Earlier reports said one self-defense activist was killed and nine were injured.
Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov warned that the special military operation in Kramatorsk would resume.
“The active phase of the operation will continue at sunrise,” Avakov said on his Facebook page. “We are not going to stop.”
Avakov also said 2 self-defense checkpoints were destroyed near Kramatorsk airport.
The storming of Kramatorsk is part of a wider military operation in eastern Ukraine, which intensified when Ukrainian troops attacked an anti-government stronghold at Slavyansk.
The city was surrounded by the military, with dozens of APCs and 20 helicopters engaged in the operation.
The fighting reportedly resulted in 3 casualties. Two helicopter pilots died, say Ukrainian military officials, while self-defense forces in Slavyansk say that one of their members was killed.
Over 10 people were killed and around 40 injured, when members of the Right Sector opened fire on civilians in eastern Ukraine, the People’s Mayor of Slavyansk says.
Civilians had reportedly formed a human chain to protect their village from the right-wing group.
“In Andreevka village (a suburb of Slavyansk) during the night, people blocked entry to Right Sector members, forming a human chain along the road. Members of Right Sector opened fire, killing over 10 people,” The People’s Mayor of Slavyansk Vyacheslav Ponomarev, states.
According to the People’s Mayor, members of the Right Sector would not allow anyone to move the wounded, and opened fire on people who tried to approach them.
Graham Phillips, a reporter in Andreevka, said 100 Ukrainian soldiers set up camp in the village, but then left.
He uploaded a video onto his YouTube feed showing the dead body of a man who had been shot dead by soldiers, according to local residents.
President Obama calls the coup leaders in Kiev,"the duly elected" government".
Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov says that those describing 'Kiev's junta as legitimate' are also accomplices of the crimes that took place in Odessa.
Backing the organizers of a state coup in Kiev, in their policy of the forcible suppression of protests “the United States and the European Union take huge responsibility, actually cutting ways for peacefully settling the current crisis,” the Russian Foreign Ministry states.
“With this in view, the US’s strong defiance of the April 17 Geneva statement to support an initiative to organize a dialogue between representatives of the Kiev authorities and the south-eastern Ukrainian regions under the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) aegis, does not look at all accidental ,”Russia's diplomatic agency noted.
"YOU CAN'T HIDE THE FASCISTS IN UKRAINE"
A credible source in Russia’s government draws attention to the recent change in the form and tone of the Kiev regimes’ P.R.
“It isn't being formed at all by Ukrainians, but by specialists from abroad. The PR group for 'anti-Russian actions' involves US experts now."
"We know shoulder straps show through the suits and sweaters of some of them."
"There are also European spin doctors, specifically, from Belgium, who backed the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia and tried to persuade the world then of “Russian aggression” and even achieved some success for a time," the source says.
“Some of these specialists currently working in Kiev under the umbrella of the SBU (Security Council of Ukraine) are well known to us."
"We also know that one of their tasks is to send disinformation to large numbers of mass media outlets in the US and Europe,” he notes.
He says their work is focused primarily on European public opinion.
“Here, it’s more difficult to mislead journalists. Their main strategy is also clear: to say that everything that takes place in the south and east of Ukraine is inspired, prepared and implemented by Moscow, specifically - by the FSB (Federal Security Service), GRU (Main Intelligence Directorate of the RF General Staff) & the like,” the source says.
“However, the information group staying in Kiev is so far producing poor work.
What’s the point of letting Arsen Avakov down so coarsely by “smart” shooting at helicopters that only “Russian saboteurs” are capable of? Were they too lazy to watch the videos?”
Video footage of the shooting has been spread all over the Internet. The single shots are clearly visible on it, he says.
“Sloviansk, Kramatortsk, Luhansk", they say, "are invaded by Russian special task forces?" Well done!
"But then, it is also necessary for them, to ban showing poorly armed people from the Ukrainian cities on TV. Do it, you really can, otherwise, your audiences won’t believe you."
"It’s no good to regard information users in the Western world as idiots, as you’ll turn out to be the idiots yourselves,” says the source.
“And, the main thing to do, arriving at a hotel - not far from the SBU - is to remember to look in the refrigerator: what if a Russian saboteur is hiding there?"
"Your reports suggesting it was Moscow that provoked all this in Odessa, look absolutely blasphemous and silly."
"Are you aware who was armed with assault rifles there and who wasn’t? You should look at the Internet and watch TV,” he advises.
Noting that Western TV channels are so far not broadcasting the horrible video footage of the clubbing of victims of the Odessa fire who jumped from the burning building, the source stresses:
“All the same, they’ll have to do this. And in what, excuse me, deep hole will Turchynov (Ukraine’s acting president) who is so protected by you, find himself?”
“In general, I’m guessing that you, ladies and gentlemen, this time, will not succeed.
And do you know why? Because there really IS fascism in Ukraine. It’s impossible to justify it, although you are capable of many things,” he says.
The source recalls Georgia’s ex President, Mikhail Saakashvili.
“Many of you worked with him. Where is he now? And he seemed to be a good learner - no match for the current Ukrainian ones,” he notes.
At the same time, the source believes, the information failure now, cannot be blamed on the Western spin doctors only.
“More serious people have provoked the Kiev regime into spilling bloodshed in its own country, and this is far worse than information mistakes.
This is a crime against humanity, and nobody will manage to justify it,” he concludes.
RADICALS SET ODESSA TRADE UNIONS HOUSE ON FIRE, PEOPLE 'JUMPING OUT OF WINDOWS'
Many (38) are now reported to have died, either by falling to their deaths to escape the fumes - or by suffocating, trapped inside the building.
Those who jumped were then beaten to death by the pro-putschists outside.
Ultra-nationalists and football thugs - some using machine-guns - were confronted by anti-putsch campaigners, who say they warned for weeks that Right Sector mobs were being sent to Oddessa from Kiev.
Self-defense forces in Crimea say they are heading to the southeastern regions to help pro-Russian protesters against coup troops.
Ukraine uses aviation, airborne troops against civilians in Slavyansk
The Ukrainian army has restarted a full-scale punitive military operation in Slavyansk, in the Donetsk region. The Kiev authorities are using helicopters and troops on civilians.
Units of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, the Right Sector neo-fascists, National Guards and special Armed Forces, are all taking part in a "special operation" in Slavyansk.
"The Ukrainian authorities are using helicopters and airborne troops against civilians. Armoured vehicles cover the offensive by airborne troops."
"Combat helicopters of the Ukrainian Air Force are hovering in the sky above Slavyansk. The town is completely blocked," a representative of the People's Militia of Slavyansk says from a checkpoint in the town centre.
Acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov states that local militiamen responded to the troops, by using automatic fire and heavy weapons, including grenade launchers and MANPADS.
A pilot was killed and several people have been wounded. According to the minister, Ukrainian law enforcers managed to capture nine checkpoints in Slavyansk; ...and the town is now surrounded.
At about 11:30 a.m., the punitive operation against the civil population was suspended. Possibly, the Ukrainian army took a break to regroup their forces.
Self-defense forces managed to shoot down three helicopters. According to them, one pilot was killed, and another taken captive.
The head of the Security Bureau of Ukraine, Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, is commanding the punitive operation in Slavyansk.
As reported by the General Staff, Minister of Internal Affairs, Avakov, a neo-fascist who poses as a liberal, was dismissed from commanding this attack, due to the failure of the first stage.
In addition to military and intelligence agencies, Right Sector fighters are now participating in the assaults against civilians. They are tasked with regaining control of the town by the next night - at any cost.
This, despite the Kiev Rada (parliament) voting overwhelmingly to disband the Right Sector a few days before... so - who is calling the shots?
The UK's Guardian continues its political mission (to confuse 'Liberals') by filling its pages with anti-Russia quotes and photos - by barely mentioning the neo-fascists in government and attacking civilians - and by coyly describing the armed Right Sector thugs as "nationalists."
The local population is building barricades and say they are ready to stand as a human shield against armored vehicles.
In one of the districts of Slavyansk, they have blocked a bridge over the river. Many residents have taken to the streets, to defend the town.
US WANTS WAR
"Several protesters are injured in the offensive", says Slavyansk city’s self-defense unit.
A commander at one checkpoint says the Ukrainian army has taken control of the city’s TV broadcasting centre.
A city administration spokesperson says the Ukrainian army is putting up artillery around the captured TV station.
In a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for Ukrainian troops to pull out of the southeast parts of the country.
The US immediately responded by calling the proposal "laughable".
UKRAINE PUTCHISTS WANT WAR
The current leader of Ukraine is reneging on his previous commitment to dialogue with the south and east regional people...
and has now ordered full conscription for 18 - 25 year old males, plus a plan to hold a "unity referendum".
Army operation in southeast Ukraine to be Kiev’s last attack - Crimean leaders
The Ukrainian army offensive against regions controlled by militia in the South-East will be the last attack of the present Kiev authorities, Crimea’s acting Head Sergei Aksyonov and the Crimean State Council (parliament) Chair, Vladimir Konstantinov said.
“The crooks in Kiev do not understand that everything they're doing will boomerang on them personally. A war against one’s own people has never done any good. We think they must be put on trial,” he adds.
“At any rate, history will make its own assessment of these villains, who are sending troops against their own people.”
In his opinion, a resumption of the army operation will produce a result opposite to that expected by Kiev. “They still do not understand that all this will bring about resistance ten times stronger than now.
"The killing of peaceful people must not be forgiven no matter what goals are pursued. They must come to their senses,” Aksyonov says.
“We express our support to the people of the South-East of Ukraine, who are legitimately fighting for their rights and freedoms,” he says.
Konstantinov echoes him, by saying that a resumption of the army operation in the south-eastern regions of Ukraine, “will be the last attack of the Kiev authorities. They touch one person and they will get a response ten times bigger.”
He believes that Kiev is creating a situation “which cannot last forever”.
“The people who have come to power in Kiev are inadequate. I won’t be surprised if they proclaim Hitler as their honorary leader, tomorrow.
"I think that sooner or later, this Nazi orgy will have to be stopped, so that it doesn't bring disgrace upon the Russian world before the eyes of the whole planet,” Konstantinov says.
Lavrov calls for OSCE-mediated talks between Kiev and protesters
Russia’s Foreign Minister calls for talks between the Ukrainian authorities and the protesters in the east of the country, saying that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) could mediate the negotiations.
"Russia believes that such a dialogue could be arranged between the authorities in Kiev and their opponents in other regions of the country, under the aegis of the OSCE," Lavrov tells Rossiya-24 TV.
Ukrainian Interior Minister Suspected of Attack on Mayor
Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov is the main suspect of the attack in which the Kharkiv Mayor, Gennady Kernes, was badly injured, according to Kernes.
A well-known opponent to the rulers who overthrew President Viktor Yanukovich, Kernes was shot by an unidentified individual while he was jogging.
According to medical sources, the mayor underwent gunshot wounds in the liver and a lung.
Amid the investigation, a denunciation made by Kernes, quoted by Ukrainian news agency Unian, posted on the regional administration website in mid March, accused the "interim" Minister Avakov, who in just two months has been involved in a second violent crime.
"I address delegates of the Ministry of the Interior of Ukraine in Kharkiv region, the heads of the regional prosecutor's office and the SBU (security service), to call their attention to it," said the mayor.
Kernes warns about "dozens of threats that we - I and my family, including the children - have received lately, as political persecution."
When pointing at possible suspects, he makes it clear that "Arsen Avakov, former governor of Kharkiv and incumbent interior minister of Ukraine, may be behind these threats against the physical integrity and the life of my family," the mayor charged.
US AND KIEV LOSING CONTROL
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister says that Russia is not going to move on the S. East of Ukraine militarily, in the way they did in Crimea and the Kiev coup leaders know this is true, as they admit to having lost control there.
Pro-Russian forces have seized state buildings in the eastern Ukrainian city of Horlivka, tightening their hold on the east.
They also seized Horlivka's city council building and took control of the police HQ, after weeks of blockading that building.
Horlivka, a town of almost 300,000 people, is just north of Donestk, which held their referendum on separation from Ukraine on May 11th.
CHILL, SAYS EUROPE
As the US's Kerry uses a megaphone to make countries like Lithuania cough up 2% of their GDP to pay for NATO.. and insists NATO will "be destroyed" if it doesn't face-off Russia's Putin... calmer voices in Europe prevail:
Russia doesn't seek the secession of eastern Ukraine, a German expert on Russia tells the Saarbrucker Zeitung newspaper.
“That is why the issue of further sanctions should remain pending,” says Gernot Erler, the German government’s co-coordinator for relations with Russia, warning against “the risks of new punitive measures” against Russian officials.
“If it really comes to further sanctions, the West will also have to reckon with retaliatory sanctions,” he notes.
“And then the question arises as to whether the spiral of reciprocal measures will be controllable at all.”
He says a third set of sanctions against Russia depends on “whether Russia will bring escalation to the point when secession from Kiev in the east of Ukraine, like it was in Crimea, will loom”.
However, “so far, there is no evidence that Russia is pursuing this goal”, the expert says.
KIEV LOSING MORE PEOPLE
Pro-Russian demonstrators have taken full control of a regional administration building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk.
Hundreds of pro-federalists, including around 20 youths equipped with metal bars, gained full entrance to the regional administration building in Luhansk, one of the largest cities in Ukraine's troubled east.
The protesters then raised a Russian flag above the building, as 3,000+ protesters waited outside to be allowed in.
“The regional leadership doesn't control its police,” says Interior Minister aide, Stanislav Rechynsky, adding, “The local police did nothing.”
Pro-Moscow protesters seized Ukraine’s State Security Service building in Luhansk near the Russian border, weeks ago.
The West and Russia remain divided over eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russians keep occupying key government buildings and have held referends on obtaining greater autonomy for Ukraine's regions.
The US has been responding to Russia's demand that they stop supporting the interim government in its armed push on the East, by sanctioning Putin and his team and by increasing a military build-up on Russia's borders.
'ACT OF WAR' SAYS RON PAUL
Former GOP congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul, says the US sanctions are an act of war - and that the US people are tired of US-imposed wars.
When you block the trade of goods & services with a particular country, it may not be quite as bad as dropping bombs, but it is a “symbol of a war,” Paul tells Channel 4 News, UK.
The US people want no part of a conflict with Russia, just as they wanted no part in a war against Syria last summer, but the US administration is still “playing games” by threatening Russia and by adding sanctions, Paul adds.
“We’ve been involved too much, and I take a non-interventionist foreign policy position."
"It’s not our business, it doesn’t serve anybody’s interest, it’s part of the same thing that led us into the disaster in the Middle East, a lot of people die, a lot of money spent and we’re still suffering the consequences of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and there’s the threat of war in Syria. We don’t need another threat. The American tax-payers don’t want it, and our government thinks they can get away with it.”
“There are a lot American citizens who’ve joined with me in saying we've had enough of this, we’ve had enough of intervention, we’ve had enough of these wars and we’ve had enough of this debt and the American people are getting sick and tired of it,” says Paul, who sought the presidency of the US on three occasions: as the Libertarian Party nominee in 1988 and as a candidate in the Republican primaries of 2008 and 2012.
The US military build-up on Russia’s doorstep has raised concerns of a direct confrontation between Washington and Moscow over Ukraine.
KIEV WANTS SLAVYANSK CITY, PEOPLE, TO 'DISAPPEAR FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH'
Satellite photos show that around Slavyansk, in eastern Ukraine, the coup authorities are concentrating enough forces to make it and its inhabitants disappear from the face of the Earth, says the Russian Ministry of Defense.
Novosti shows that troops have been deployed around Slavyansk with the "objective of making the city and its inhabitants disappear from the face of Earth", according to a military source.
The government imposed after President Viktor Yanukovich was overthrown, is now concentrating over 15,000 soldiers, nearly 160 tanks and 230 armored vehicles, plus infantry and personnel carriers, around the city.
Dozens of missile launching platforms and mortars are also visible in the photos, say the experts, quoted by RIA Novosti.
The sources from the Russian Ministry of Defense assure that there is no explanation from a military viewpoint, and note that what they are doing in the region no longer seems a "police operation".
The concentration of troops in that zone cannot be compared to the potential of the self-defense forces, which are armed with a small number of guns and machineguns, the experts say about Slavyansk.
With Washington's support, Alexander Turchinov, the self-proclaimed interim president of Ukraine and the speaker of Parliament after Yanukovich's overthrow, ordered a large-scale military operation against eastern Ukraine, where people do not recognize the authorities imposed in Kiev.
In the regions of Donetsk, Kharkiv and Lugansk, inhabited by a Russian-speaking majority, the demonstrators, organized in people's self-defense forces, have held a referendum on that region's federalization, now want recognition of their wishes on the status of the Russian language and on more autonomy.
They also demand the disarming and withdrawal of neo-Nazi detachments of the Right Sector and Self-Defense Forces of Maidan, which have been mobilized from western Ukraine to the region and are made up of members of the recently-created (and unconstitutional) National Guard and paramilitary squadrons.
Near the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk, Slavyansk is the most active hotbed of resistance by the popular militias against the concentration of divisions reinforced with armored vehicles which Kiev has sent.
EGYPT's MILITARY 'COMMIT GENOCIDE'
After the US decides that the Egyptian regime is not a coup regime and lifts its sanctions, a court in Egypt sentences 683 supporters of the legal President, Morsi, to death.
The court issues the verdicts at a hearing in the southern province of Minya on Monday.
The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Party, Mohamed Badie, is among the defendants who received capital punishment.
A court in Egypt also bans the April 6 Youth Movement, which spearheaded the revolt against the former Egyptian ruler, Mubarak.
The court issued a ruling against the movement based on a media complaint accusing the group of "defaming Egypt" and "colluding with foreign parties".
The movement turned into a critic of the military-backed regime, after authorities stepped up pressure on all dissidents, after the ousting of former president, Mohamed Morsi, back in July 2013.
The group’s leader, Ahmed Maher, was sentenced to three years in prison in December 2013, for violating a law banning non-police sanctioned demos.
International bodies and human rights groups have already denounced such court rulings as a grotesque example of Egypt's post-coup justice system.
Egypt’s military-backed government has jailed nearly 16,000 people over the past few months.
Pro-Russian protesters seize another town in eastern Ukraine, after capturing the town hall in the Donetsk city of Kostyantynivka.
A group of some 20 pro-Russian activists took control of the town hall and hoisted the flag of the 'Donetsk People’s Republic'.
The activists set up barricades outside the government building and also set up a perimeter around the police station.
Kostyantynivka, with a population of 80,000, lies mid-way between the city of Slavyansk and the regional hub of Donetsk, which are both now controlled by pro-Russian protesters.
The day before, some 400 pro-Russian activists seized the Donetsk regional telecentre, and called for an end to the station’s broadcasts.
They accused the broadcaster of distorting news about developments in the east of the country.
Meanwhile, ambassadors from the EU’s 28 member states imposed more sanctions against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, including moves against President Putin and his allies, hitting them with asset freezes and more travel bans.
The move was coordinated with the US and the rest of the so-called 'Group of Seven' major industrialized nations (G7), including the UK, France, Germany and Italy, as well as Canada and Japan.
The Russian Foreign Ministry denounces the move and urges the EU to stop trying to intimidate Moscow, and make an effort to find a solution to the unrest in Ukraine.
Russia says it is a "shame" for Europe to slavishly follow the US on this, as the US interest lies in defeating Asian and European intra-development.
Germany Increasingly Involved in Ukraine Conflict
In view of the worsening of the situation in Ukraine, voices are increasing in Germany, of those against a military confrontation, and, even more, any NATO participation in it.
According to the Peace Council, the largest alliance of peace organizations in Germany, the leaders of NATO, European Union and the German government all agree on attributing blame to Russia on Ukraine.
However, organizations for Peace say it has been the western, that is to say the German government, the European Commission and the US government, which have tried to increase their influence.
'By political and economic blackmail they are trying to isolate Ukraine from the Russian zone of influence, to subordinate this country to the conditions of the European market and the military structures of NATO, states the text.
Meanwhile, members of the Socialist Party of Germany criticize the military offensive of the de facto government in Kiev, in the East.
'The German government should publicly reject the military escalation in Ukraine provoked by the de Facto Prime Minister, Arseni Jasenjuk, and new threats by the US Secretary of State John Kerry, says the spokesperson for policy development of the socialist group in parliament.
A political solution should include disarming ALL irregular groups, Hansel adds.
GENEVA SAID "DISARM ALL GROUPS"
Moscow says Kiev must disarm radical nationalist groups, particularly the Right Sector, which toppled the previous legal Ukrainian government, and start negotiations with the peaceful protesters, instead of threatening them with tanks and rocket launchers.
If Kiev chooses to escalate the crackdown on the protesters by using heavy arms against them, then Russia says it reserves the right to use its own military, to stop the bloodshed.
Militia fighters repel attack on block post near ammo depots in east of Ukraine
According to reports by eyewitnesses the attackers fired M-16 assault rifles
Unknown people in camouflage uniforms opened fire on a block post located near the Ukrainian city of Soledar at the site of an old ammunition depot, the press service of the government of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) confirmed.
According to preliminary unconfirmed reports of eyewitnesses, only one people’s militia fighter of those who came under fire survived, the rest were killed.
According to eyewitnesses, the attackers fired American M-16 assault rifles.
A representative of the DPR press service confirmed the shooting:
“Indeed, the attack was made on a block post that is located in the immediate vicinity of the Volodarsky mine (that is between the cities of Artyomovsk and Soledar),” he said.
According to him, the Ukrainian National Guard fighters landed from a helicopter in that area.
The militia fighters managed to repel the attack, wounding one attacker and capturing another.
Local residents then walked to the block post, in order to protect it from new attacks.
The incident took place near the Volodarsky mine, in the salt diggings of which, a large amount of weapons and ammunition is stored.
S. Africa celebrates 20th anniversary of end of racist apartheid...
South Africa celebrated the 20th anniversary of its first ever all-race, democratic general election that put an end to apartheid, a system of racial segregation enforced in the country from 1948 to 1994.
South Africa's first black majority leader, Nelson Mandela, fought the regime of discrimination for most of his life.
April 27 is celebrated as a national holiday in South Africa, named Freedom Day, ever since 1994.
Ukraine halts canal water supply to Crimea
(Crimea receives 85% of its fresh water through the North Crimean canal).
Ukraine has closed the sluices of the North Crimean Canal, halting the water supply from the Dnieper River to the peninsula, Ukraine's UNIAN news agency reports.
Crimea received 85% of fresh water through the canal, which was built in 1961-1971. It stretches from the Khakhovka Reservoir, to Kerch.
Crimean PM Sergei Aksyonov says that the restrictions on the supply of water to Crimea are an act of sabotage.
“Ukraine’s act of sabotage - to limit the supply of water to the republic through the North Crimean Canal - is nothing but a deliberate action against Crimeans,” he said.
Aksyonov said “negotiations are underway with Ukraine at the federal level” to resolve the issue. “There are backup plans. In any case, Crimea will not be left without water. As for drinking water, there are no problems with it,” he said.
The prime minister said Crimea's authorities are talking with all agricultural producers who have been cut off from water from the North Crimean Canal.
“The rice situation … is the worst. Crimea is redrawing the map of crop areas in regions where irrigation may not be available,” he said, adding that alternative areas are being offered to agricultural producers.
“The federal budget is ready to compensate agricultural producers for possible losses,” Aksyonov said.
“Special conditions have been created for Crimea. No one will be left without help. We're also considering an alternative plan for drilling wells and we're working on this day and night.”
Aksyonov said “the persons who have seized power in Ukraine, including former residents of Crimea, Senchenko and Kunitsyn, are acting like enemies trying to cause their former fellow citizens harm. But they will receive a proper assessment from the people of Crimea and will always be persona non-grata in the republic."
"Usually," he added, "those who mischief hatch, mischief catch.”
Russian planes did not enter Ukrainian airspace - Moscow
Russian military aircraft did not breach any state borders, including those of Ukraine, Russia’s Defense Ministry said.
Ukraine’s acting defense minister also rejected claims by Kiev that Russian jets “violated Ukrainian airspace seven times.”
“Russia’s means of objective airspace situation control, did not record any violations of air boundaries of the states adjacent to Russia, including those of Ukraine,” Russia's Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Pentagon officials quoted by the US media claimed that “Russian fighter jets flew into Ukrainian airspace a handful of times over the last 24 hours,” calling it “a continued provocation.” The officials were unnamed.
“The unfounded claims of Pentagon officials on the alleged ‘breaching of the airspace of Ukraine by Russian fighter jets' appears to have been based on rumours & speculation,” said a Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson.
“Those media allegations are populist in nature - they contain no information on the time and place of the incident, as well as no data on altitude, speed and the direction of aircraft, as well as no other objective parameters,” the spokesperson said.
The US sources must have “dreamed it all up,” or “a little bird told them that,” the spokes- person added.
The Defense Ministry spokesperson called on Pentagon officials to stop “spreading unverified ‘facts’ through the media,” saying “it does not at all help de-escalate the situation in Ukraine.”
Instead, the US Defense Department should “use the many years’ experience of cooperation on information interchange” with the Russian side.
The Ukrainian coup-imposed acting defense minister, Mikhail Koval, told journalists that no violations of state borders by aircraft or troops had been recorded.
“Four Il-76 transport airplanes flew along our state border but they did not cross the borderline,” Koval stated.
The “peak of activity” of Russian Armed Forces conducting military exercises near the Ukrainian border was recorded on April 24th to the 25th, he said. The closest Russian troops came to the Ukrainian border was 2-3 kilometers, Koval said.
According to the Ukrainian official, the Russian drills were meant to discourage Kiev continuing with a so-called “anti-terrorist operation” in 3 southeastern regions of Ukraine. However, he added, military operations continue, “although their pace is not high.”
Koval’s statements apparently contradict those allegations made earlier by the Kiev government against Russia.
“Russian military aircraft today at night crossed and violated Ukrainian airspace seven times. The only reason is to provoke Ukraine and to accuse Ukraine of waging war on Russia,” the coup-imposed Ukrainian PM Arseny Yatsenyuk claimed on his visit to Rome.
Yatsenyuk has made similar unfounded allegations of “Russian tanks in Crimea” and “nuclear weapons in Iran.”
Russian media urge UN, OSCE, UNESCO to protect journalists in Ukraine
Representatives of Russian TV channels urge international organizations, including the UN, UNESCO and the OSCE, to protect the rights and dignity of journalists covering Ukraine's crisis from illegal acts by Kiev's authorities.
Disturbed by the intensified assaults and intimidation of journalists in Ukraine, their detentions and deportations, the heads of Russia's major TV corporations, including RT, call on human rights organizations to “defend journalists' professional right to work in Ukraine.”
“Ukraine’s Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk and other regions are witnessing the ruthless suppression of civil liberties on a daily basis."
"Journalists are being threatened with their lives if they continue to report from Ukraine,” the letter reads, signed by the heads of the All-Russia State TV & Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK), NTV, REN TV, Channel 5, RT and News Media.
“The new Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly taken illegal actions barring our staff journalists covering the Ukraine crisis from performing their professional duties and violating their human dignity,” the letter says.
In the latest incident, Lifenews journalists Julia Shustraya and Mikhail Pudovkin, were detained and then deported to Russia.
The crew was abducted by armed Ukraine Security Service members, after filming an interview with one of the leaders of the pro- federalization movement in Ukraine.
“[Journalists] are being watched, their phone conversations wire-tapped. There were cases when journalists were forced to get down on their knees, beaten during detention & illegally deported from Ukraine,” their joint address to the UN, OSCE and UNESCO reads.
The plea states that, as a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Ukraine must follow requirements in the Declaration on Mass Communication Media and Human Rights:
“Public authorities must make available information on matters of public interest and mass communication media must give complete, general information on public affairs.”
Article 9 of the Declaration prescribes that “special measures are necessary to ensure the freedom of foreign correspondents in order to permit the public to gain accurate information from abroad,” and “protection from arbitrary expulsion.”
The letter also states that Russian news crews working in Ukraine do not violate any existing laws, and that if they are “barred from reporting from Ukraine, the civil rights of people around the world to receive information will be violated.”
Ukraine had 139 violations against the press and 51 attacks registered by the Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ), last year, but attacks on the press have intensified after the February coup.
As international delegations met in Geneva, two still unidentified men attacked Yevgeny Polozhy, editor-in-chief of independent news website Panorama, in Sumy city. Polozhy was allegedly beaten and hospitalized with a broken skull and other bodily injuries.
Ukraine’s Security Service also arrested a producer working for Russia’s NTV channel, Belorussian national Stepan Chirich, who was detained in the city of Pershotravensk in the Dnepropetrovsk region.
Chirich is still in custody, accused of bringing an undeclared video camera into Ukraine. A Ukrainian cameraperson from Lugansk, who accompanied Chirich is still under arrest.
Unknown assailants threw Molotov cocktails at the newsroom of newspaper Provintsiya in Konstantinovka town, in Donetsk region.
The Russian Foreign Ministry urges the OSCE to react “to these mass repressions of media workers” during military operations by Kiev in the southeast of Ukraine.
Konstantin Dolgov, Russian Foreign Ministry commissioner for human rights, tweeted:
“Detentions of 'undesirable' journalists by Ukrainian authorities and radicals - violation of freedom of speech and the media. Where is the reaction from Western "human rights" watchdogs?” he tweeted.
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatova, said the organization is “very concerned” by repeated attacks on journalists:
“Journalists must be allowed to report freely - their safety ensured by all those in charge.”
US TRYING FOR COUP IN VENEZUELA
The US is pushing Venezuela into “civil war” as it has eyes on the country’s oil wealth, Bolivian President Evo Morales warns.
“I believe it is trying to incite if not a coup d’état then a civil war, from their empire,” Morales tells a Latin American Youth Summit in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz.
“They always sponsor internal conflicts, so they can interfere, and invade us to take control of our oil reserves,” he added.
Morales called on people to stand in solidarity with Venezuela, saying the world needs an “anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist and anti- colonial youth.”
Venezuela has witnessed violent pro and anti-government protests since February.
The opposition criticizes the administration of President Nicolas Maduro for Venezuela's high crime rate and economic hardships, claiming that his policies have led to a shortage of essential goods and a high inflation rate.
Maduro, however, accuses the US of backing the opposition to launch a coup.
The Venezuelan leader ordered the expulsion of 3 US consular officials earlier in February, accusing them of meeting student protest leaders under the guise of offering them visas, to destabilize the country.
Washington denies the charges as “baseless and false.”
Aggression against Russian citizens will be considered an attack against Russia
Russia's Federation Council, which previously unanimously approved the president's right to deploy Russian troops on Ukrainian territory to defend the Russian-speaking people, says "a powerful peacemaking group" should be sent to the south-east of Ukraine.
Russian senators believe all parties - the EU, US, Kiev and the south-east of Ukraine - should come to an adequate agreement.
The situation around the southeast of Ukraine continues to escalate.
"We need urgently to sit at the negotiating table ...and agree on how to introduce the peacekeeping contingent in the south-east.
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov explained in a recent interview, in what scenario Russian troops could be deployed in Ukraine:
"The deployment of troops can be carried out in the case of a direct infringement of the interests of Russia and Russian citizens," the minister said.
"If we are attacked, naturally, we will defend ourselves." Lavrov added. "Aggression against Russian citizens will be considered an attack against Russia."
The "people's mayors and governors" of the south-east of Ukraine have already appealed to the Russian authorities to deploy peace- keeping forces to protect the southeast from punitive operations by the Kiev regime.
President Putin, speaking at a media forum in St. Petersburg, described the military operation of the Ukrainian authorities in the southeast as a "punitive operation".
"Everyone understands that Russia does not want to start a war in the south-east, nor does it want to establish a military presence there...
"Kiev decided that it can not be like that, so it launched military operations, which have already led to casualties," says the head of the Institute for National Strategy, M. Remizov.
"The last warning to Kiev, in my opinion, is the military drills near Ukrainian borders. If they stop the massive use of force, then there is a chance of avoiding war. If not, then, it seems to me, that, in spite of everything, Moscow can cross the line," he added.
According to Strator and many military experts around the world, in case of armed clashes (i.e. war) between Russia and Ukraine, the Ukrainian armed forces would be destroyed in a "short period of time."
Neither the US, nor NATO countries will attack Russian troops - no matter where they're held - inside or outside Ukrainian borders. They will not fight on the Ukrainian army's side either.
All they can do is to use militants from private military companies, reported Pravda.
No matter how many foreign warships there are in the Black Sea, one single volley from them will mean retaliation that will instantly escalate into a war between Russia, the US or NATO.
The US and EU emphasize that there will be no military assistance to Ukraine. Will there be peacekeeping assistance?
"We do not need peacekeeping forces. Firstly, we can handle it all ourselves, and, secondly, their deployment would mean the break-up of Ukraine into sectors of responsibility: a part goes to Europe, a part - to the United States, a part - to Russia," a high-ranking source in the government of Ukraine told Politonline.
The source then said: "It's like we are on a bobsleigh track - we either reach the finish line or crash - this is a terribly idiotic situation, it's horrible, f***!" he then hung up the phone and did not pick it up any more.
ECUADOR TELLS US "DIPLOMATS" TO LEAVE
Ecuador has ordered 20 US military staff working at the US Embassy to leave.
US embassy spokesperson Jeff Weinshenker said the group was ordered to halt operations on April 7th, AP reports.
In January, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa publicly complained that the US had too many military officers in the country.
At that time, he said he planned to order some to leave. Many say the action was taken over concerns about US espionage.
Acting Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk accuses Russia of seeking to trigger a “Third World War.”
In a televised cabinet meeting, Yatsenyuk accused Moscow of trying to occupy Ukraine “militarily and politically,” creating a conflict that will spread to the rest of Europe.
“The world hasn't forgotten the Second World War and Russia wants to start a Third World War,” he added.
The Ukrainian official said Russia’s support for anti-Kiev protesters is an international crime, and he called on the international community to unite against Moscow. Ukraine’s Defense Minister, Mykhailo Koval, says Russian troops holding military exercises close to the Ukrainian border, came within one kilometer of the border but didn't cross it, and added that Ukraine's armed forces were ready to repel any aggression.
The interim authorities in Kiev said that army units have begun the second phase of an operation to drive out pro-Russia activists from all the eastern cities.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov denounced Kiev’s operations in eastern Ukraine as a “bloody crime,” saying the Ukrainian government is waging a war on its own people.
He also accused the West of plotting to control Ukraine:
“The West wants - and this is how it all began - to seize control of Ukraine because of their own political ambitions, not in the interests of the Ukrainian people.”
“The Ukrainian people and Ukrainian army are ready to do this. Ukraine will confront Russia. We will defend our land. We will defend our territory,” AP quoted him saying.
Deshchytsia said Russia's military drill “very much escalates the situation in the region,” and added, “We will now fight with Russian troops, if... they invade Ukraine.”
Deshchytsia also called on the EU to impose fresh sanctions on Russia.
Acting Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine, Serhiy Pashynsky, said a second stage of an "anti-terrorist" operation has begun in Slavyanskcity, held by protesters.
The first stage began the day before, when Ukrainian troops entered the eastern city, killing at least five pro-Russia protesters.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says the Ukrainian government is waging a war on its own people.
Ukraine military launches next stage of military op 'to isolate Slavyansk'
Kiev authorities say “the second stage” of their military operation in Slavyansk, will “completely isolate” the anti-Kiev stronghold. Self-defense forces prepare for the assault.
“The aim is to completely isolate Slavyansk to localize the problem. At the moment, the operation is ongoing,” the official told media.
The military do not intend to storm Slavyansk, fearing civilian casualties, the Ukrainian Security Service claimed.
“We will not go the length of casualties, to storm the city. We understand that this may lead to many people coming to harm,” General Vasily Krutov, first deputy head of Ukraine's Security Service (SBU), is quoted as saying by Interfax.
Pashinsky meanwhile repeated Kiev claims that “terrorists have placed their key strong points in kindergartens and hospitals,” and branded the situation in Slavyansk “classic terrorism.” The claims were dismissed by Slavyansk activists as “ridiculous.”
Despite the promises of no storming of the city, Slavyansk self-defense activists braced for an assault, which they feared may soon start - disguised as a “blockade.”
Self-defense activists claimed that a convoy of military armored vehicles and troops bearing “no insignia” had been spotted moving in the direction of Slavyansk, then it “disappeared into the woods” surrounding the city.
NUCLEAR LIARS SUED AT ICC
The Marshall Islands are suing the nine nuclear powers at the international court of justice at The Hague for committing "a flagrant crime against humankind".
Victims of atomic bomb tests equivalent to a thousand Hiroshimas, this small archipelago in the Pacific Ocean has set in motion a legal action over the damage suffered during those "experiments".
From 1946 to 1958, this chain of islands, which includes Bikini Atoll and Enewetak, was the site of 67 nuclear tests, including the "Bravo shot", a 15-megaton device equal to a thousand Hiroshima blasts, which was detonated in 1954.
The Marshall Islands condemn the nine States with atomic bombs including the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Being a US protectorate, the archipelago, however, demands the implementation of chapter six of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which, in 1970, committed the US, Russia, France and China to dismantle their atomic arsenals.
US and coup leaders driving world to war.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warns that the situation in eastern Ukraine could quickly “spin out of control,” calling on all parties involved in the crisis to "refrain from violence."
"The secretary general is deeply concerned about continued violence in eastern Ukraine, which has led to loss of life, further instability and which is contributing to a climate of fear & anxiety," the UN chief said in a statement issued by his office.
Ban warned of the dire consequences of the continuation of violence in the country:
"The stakes are now so high, the secretary general is seriously concerned that the situation could quickly spin out of control - with consequences we cannot predict."
He also called on all parties to refrain from any provocative action that might fuel the flames of violence:
"Military action must be avoided at all costs," Ban said, urging all sides "to immediately refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions, & find a way forward toward de-escalation."
On April 17th, Ukraine’s interim government - with the US, EU and Russia - reached 'the Geneva agreement', calling on all sides to ease the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine.
Four days later, however, Kiev ordered a re-launch of a military crackdown on pro- Russian demonstrators in the region.
US PUSHING FOR WAR IN EUROPE?
Russia 'forced' to launch military drills at border in response to Ukraine op - Moscow
Russia began extensive military exercises in Ukrainian border areas, after escalation of the army violence in eastern Ukraine.
“The order to use force against civilians has already been given, & if this military machine is not stopped, the amount of casualties will only grow,” Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at an official meeting in Moscow.
“War games by NATO in Poland and the Baltic states are not helping the normalization of the situation. We're forced to react to the situation.”
Shoigu said the drills involved marching and deployment exercises by forces in southern and western military districts, plus separate Air Force maneuvers.
Shoigu said 11,000 Ukrainian soldiers, 160 tanks, 230 armored carriers and over 150 artillery pieces are now involved in the operation against the anti-Kiev activists.
"National guard units and Right Sector extremists, as well as the volunteer Donbass ‘anti-terrorist’ unit, are all fighting against a peaceful population".
"Security and internal forces transferred to Lugansk and Donetsk from other areas of Ukraine, are also suppressing dissent," the minister said.
He added that Ukrainian sabotage units are deployed near the Russian border.
Shoigu said the pro-Russian self-defense units number about 2,000 and have about 100 guns between them, mostly taken from their local police stations.
NATO estimates Russia amassed over 40,000 troops near its border.
Moscow isn't denying that it's moved troops to the region, but says that all internal troop movements are its own prerogative.
NATO began military exercises in Poland, with more taking place in the Baltic states.
Poland’s foreign minister, R. Sikorski, has asked NATO to deploy 10,000 troops in his country.
UKRAINE KILLING ITS OWN
At least five protesters are killed and one injured as Ukrainian troops enter the eastern city of Slavyansk, held by pro-Russia protesters.
Ukraine's Interior Ministry issued a report saying at least 5 pro-Russian protesters were killed and one police officer, injured.
“During the military operation three checkpoints erected by the illegal military groups were destroyed in northeastern parts of Slavyansk,” said the ministry.
Locals told reporters that at least 8 armored personnel vehicles passed through a village near Slavyansk.
There were also reports of helicopters circling the city, and that all mobile phone connections were disconnected.
Ukraine’s interim Interior Minister, the neo-fascist Arsen Avakov, announced Mariupol city had been "retaken" with no casualties.
Civil war looms as fighting rages in eastern Ukraine
A source in Ukraine’s Joint General Staff says the operation against Slavyansk was planned by the country’s Security Service, the SBU, and that Interior Minister Avakov, is no longer responsible for the operation.
The groups storming Slavyansk, consist of roughly 5,000 militants of the far-right Right Sector movement, either acting on their own as terror groups, or operating as National Guards, the source said.
These groups were being supplied with NATO intelligence and aerial photos of the region. The data was being delivered by couriers to avoid interception.
Kiev isn't planning to use regular troops in the mutinous regions, as the soldiers have been refusing to fight against their own people.
The SBU has also deployed up to 500 troops from special forces groups to the area, the source said.
The ongoing crisis in Slavyansk and Mariupol is the result of an irresponsible policy by Kiev authorities supported by the neo-Nazi groups, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
Russia's authorities have no doubt that the US can and should make Kiev start a de- escalation of the situation in eastern Ukraine, he added.
CSTO chief says Russia, NATO now in direct confrontation.
Russia and NATO are now in a state of direct confrontation, said the head of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
"In fact, due to some NATO countries' actions, we're heading to, and have reached, the level of direct confrontation," Nikolai Bordyuzha told reporters after a meeting of CSTO Security Council officials in the Chechen capital Grozny.
The Russian chief mentioned anti-Moscow sanctions, the presence of NATO warships in the Black Sea, and attempts by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists to sneak into Russia for subversive activity.
Bordyuzha called these actions a "psychological attack" which provokes further rises in tension.
He noted that the CSTO hasn't been involved in the events in Ukraine and does not want other international blocs (NATO) to do it.
In March, Bordyuzha criticized NATO's "self- propaganda" throughout the Ukraine crisis, saying that NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen had promoted himself via Ukraine's domestic political problems.
Fresh unrest erupted in Ukraine's east in early April, when pro- Moscow activists seized government buildings in several cities, demanding a referendum on autonomy and closer ties with Russia.
Ukraine accuses Russia of supporting the unrest, a move denied by Moscow.
Taking into account the changing situation in the world, the CSTO might reconsider its objectives, both on the regional and global level, Bordyuzha said.
Russia currently chairs the CSTO which includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
KIEV ORDERS: "LIQUIDATE" PRO-RUSSIA GROUPS, AFTER FALSE FLAG FIND.
Ukraine's coup president Oleksandr Turchynov ordered a new "anti-terrorist" operation on separatists holding eastern towns, after two "brutally tortured" bodies were found.
"Security agencies are working to liquidate all the groups currently operating in Kramatorsk, Slavyansk and the other towns in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions," said Deputy PM Vitaly Yarema, reported Interfax Ukraine.
KIEV ORDER TO ATTACK CIVILIANS: 'CRIMINAL'
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that Russia would respond if Moscow’s interests were attacked in Ukraine - as it did in Georgia six years ago.
Lavrov’s warning recalled the 2008 war with Georgia, over South Ossetia.
"If we're attacked, we will certainly respond. If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia, for example, I do not see any other way but to respond in accordance with international law," Lavrov stated.
His warning was the clearest hint at possible military action and came as 600 US troops headed to the region, in a show of force.
On April 17th, Kiev’s interim government, together with the US, Russia and the EU, reached an agreement in Geneva, calling for all sides to ease the ongoing crisis in east Ukraine, where anti-Kiev protesters are occupying state buildings in several towns and cities.
Tension between Western powers and Moscow heightened after the Crimean territory declared independence from Ukraine and formally applied to become part of Russia after a March referendum.
Almost 97% of the participants voted to rejoin the Russian Federation, and the turn-out was over 83%.
ISRAEL SAYS WILL KEEP TAKING JERUSALEM
Israeli ministers say now that they are going to keep colonising East Jerusalem.
In the occupied West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted over 100 olive trees, in the occupied West Bank in one day.
The settlers destroyed the trees belonging to Palestinian farmers in the village of Ras Karkar, northwest of the West Bank city of Ramallah, on a Sunday.
The olive harvest is the main annual source of income for the villagers and they say the frequent settler assaults on their property have affected the livelihood of farmers.
“The olives and oil we make from these trees are our only source of income. We live off this land. Settlers contaminate our water. They prohibit us from reaching the springs, and they cut down our tress,” Ali Azmi Samhan, a Palestinian farmer, said.
Villagers said the settlers returned to Ras Karkar and attacked Palestinian farmers trying to replace the destroyed trees.
On January 1st, the Tadamun Foundation for Human Rights, an NGO, said in its annual report that an estimated 8,000 trees, some of them hundreds of years old, have been destroyed by Israelis.
“Settlers’ attacks include uprooting, burning and cutting down olive trees… Olive groves were also flooded by wastewater from the settlements,” said the rights group.
“We have been unable to count the hundreds of trees also damaged in groves close to settlements due to Israeli security measures.”
Villagers living south of the West Bank city of Nablus have said that Israeli settlers used chemicals in several cases last June to burn 1,500 trees there. In the blaze that followed, over 49 acres of prime agricultural land was also destroyed.
Ukraine’s President, Viktor Yanukovych, now addresses, in a written statement to the current Kiev authorities, the acute, deteriorating situation, in the south-east.
In the document, Yanukovych calls on the coup leaders in Kiev“to immediately return Ukraine’s military forces to their permanent bases, to withdraw from the country’s east the so-called National Guard units disguised in military uniforms, armed with automatic weapons and grenades, and to start a peaceful dialogue with the East's leaders on the proposals of people in the eastern regions of Ukraine, to build a sustainable future for Ukrainians, that saves life”.
“Using arms in the east of Ukraine will not change anything now. People are intimidated. You have called millions of people 'terrorists'. People don’t have any other choice but to fight for their rights, their lives and their children,” the address says.
After these first tasks are completed, Yanukovych believes it necessary to schedule and hold referenda in all Ukraine’s regions on federalization, and the powers of regions.
Then, he believes, it will be the right time to schedule & hold a referendum on whether or not Ukrainians want a presidential or a parliamentary system.
The Ukrainian president says that - after all that - it will then be necessary to carry out constitutional reforms, and hold the parliamentary and presidential elections.
In addition, Yanukovych suggests forming a system of international control over the referenda and elections, and provision for the broadest access for observers.
“These five tasks need to be solved. This is the only path to preserving Ukraine’s integrity,” the statement reads.
“If this is not done, our country may face disintegration, and it is unlikely to be a peaceful one.
More likely, it may occur through a civil war. Come to your senses! You are pushing one brother against another, and others will benefit from this disaster.”
“I’m addressing, once again, the servicemen and special forces staff. They want to use you, want you to spill blood and then to make you guilty of that. You understand by yourselves that this will be so. Don’t cross the line! Don’t fulfill wrongful orders!” he urges.
“I call on all Ukrainian citizens to preserve our peculiar tolerance, calm, and mutual respect, in whatever region we live. We must, and we will, be able to save our beloved Ukraine.”
Protesters in Luhansk co-ordinate anti-coup movement, via joint HQ.
Activists in Luhansk have announced the establishment of a joint headquarters for South-Western Ukraine, to coordinate the actions of protesters in all other regions, local media report.
The joint coordination centre is to be based in Donetsk, the source said.
United States self-licensed to kill: Analyst
The United States is using assassination drones in other countries in line with its self-declared right to kill, an analyst told Press TV.
“It’s a flagrant violation of international law. It is establishing unilaterally by one nation, the United States, the right to kill at will,” said Rick Rozoff.
The analyst made his comments after a report by UN special rapporteur Chris Haines said that the US policy of using assassination drones presented a major challenge to the system of international law, that's been in place since WWII.
Rozoff said the US has been involved in “slaughter from the air” for a decade.
“They’re aerial assassins. If they offend international law, they certainly offend human morality,” he said.
Rozoff said it would be “simply ludicrous” to believe that thousands of Pakistanis killed in the US drone strikes have all been “high-profile al-Qaeda commanders.”
“This is no excuse in the war crimes tribunal. It certainly won’t be, if the US is ever held accountable for its actions,” said Rozoff.
The analyst said that US' unnamed aerial vehicles, known as ‘hunter killers’, “have accounted already, for - conservatively - five to six thousand deaths in the last 10 years.”
Washington claims its drone strikes target militants, although casualty figures show that civilians often fall victim to the attacks.
Over the past several years, Washington has been launching drone attacks on Muslim countries, including Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen.
‘Letter to Jews’, which Kerry cited, a fake.
A letter urging Jews in Donetsk to get registered, which the US Secretary of State cited in Geneva, is a fake, says the man whose signature appears on the communication.
Following the four-side meeting on the Ukrainian crisis in Geneva on Wednesday, John Kerry lashed out at a letter that was allegedly sent to Jewish citizens in Ukraine’s eastern town of Donetsk, asking them to register and report all their property, or be stripped of citizenship and face expulsion.
“In year 2014, after all of the miles traveled in all the journey of history, this is not just intolerable, it's grotesque - beyond unacceptable," he stated.
Images of the letter were sent circulating online.
The letter was stamped and signed by 'Denis Pushilin', who was identified on it as the “People’s Governor.”
However, Pushilin denied he had anything to do with the letter, and said it was a fake.
“There are similar letters, not only addressed to Jews, but also to businessmen, foreign students, people of certain other occupations,” he stated.
“This is actually a fake, and not a good one. There’s a sign “People’s Governor”. First of all, no one calls me by that title, no one elected me. Secondly, the stamp is the former mayor’s. Everything is photoshopped.”
Pushilin added that sensible people could only take what the authors of this “letter” are trying to say, with humour.
The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic “is multinational,” he said. “We get along perfectly well here with everyone. And there aren’t any conflicts on nationalist grounds, that’s for sure.”
Although the letter’s authenticity is questionable, the fact that it was mentioned by a top US official quickly sent the “Letter to Jews” story viral.
It struck a very sensitive chord with audiences worldwide, and cast a grave shadow over the anti-government protesters in Donetsk.
The Daily Mail in the UK parroted the story on its front page. (This, from a "newspaper" which featured "Hurrah for the Blackshirts!" as its headline in the 1930s).
A Ukrainian MP who visited the region, Boris Kolesnikov of the Party of Regions, urged us all to double-check information coming now from Ukraine.
He believes that Ukrainian law enforcement agencies aren’t being totally honest when they describe the people participating in the protests and claim that there are Russian servicemen among them.
Kolesnikov specifically refers to a video which appeared online earlier. In it, a man in a military uniform told police officers, who switched sides in the city of Gorlovka and joined protesters, that he was a Russian Lt-colonel from Simpheropol, in Crimea.
The man was later identified by Gorlovka residents as the former director of a local cemetery.
“Officially, I’ve only seen one Russian serviceman,” Kolesnikov says. “The next day he appeared to be the ex-director of the Gorlovka cemetery, fired 2 years ago for selling 38 fences, stealing a monument and extorting money from old women for new graves.
"There are Interior Ministry and intelligence services in the country, which should give us truthful information.”
He adds that it is quite obvious that protesters in Donetsk don't represent a danger to civilians and he calls for negotiations with the activists.
But the US appears to be relying on information from Kiev, and ignoring all other points of view.
Kerry, a top US official, is exposed as a fraud, for using a report of extremely questionable authenticity, for black propaganda.
Earlier in April, the spokesperson for the US Department of State, Jen Psaki, said that the protest events in eastern Ukraine “appeared to be a carefully orchestrated campaign with Russian support.”
She was then asked if the department was only relying on Kiev for its assessment of the situation, or used independent sources.
“Well, of course, we remain very closely in touch with the Ukrainian Government, and that’s who we work closely with, and, of course, they are on the ground, so their information is often very relevant and current,” was the reply.
How a coup government proven to include fascists and anti-Jewish ministers can be "relied upon", is a moot point, but readers might like to know that Ukraine's "Free Territories" (in Ukraine's South East) fought Hitler, while the West of Ukraine actively supported Hitler's genocide, and slaughtered millions of Jews.
(As did "brave little Poland")
The US will deploy its ground forces in Poland in response to events in Ukraine, according to Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak.
He makes the remarks one day after a meeting with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon, The Washington Post reports.
The decision has been made at a political level and military planners are working out details, the minister says, adding that there will also be intensified cooperation in air defense, special forces, cyberdefense and other areas.
Poland will play a leading regional role “under US patronage,” he says.
“The idea until recently was that there were no more threats in Europe and no need for a US presence in Europe anymore,” says Siemoniak.
“Events show that what is needed is a re-pivot, and that Europe was safe and secure because America was in Europe.”
In a briefing with Siemoniak on Thursday, Hagel mentioned that Washington is considering sending US troops to Poland.
“We have to look at every possibility” based on the past actions of Russia, Hagel said.
He added that this includes “an entire range” of options, including a rotation of US troops sent to bases in Poland.
Meanwhile, Pentagon press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, says the agency is considering military options in Europe.
“As Secretary Hagel made clear, we continue to look for ways to reassure NATO allies of our strong commitment to collective defense, under Article Five,” he tells Fox News.
“To that end, we are considering a range of additional measures we could take to bolster air, maritime and ground readiness in Europe.”
The US military deployed 12 F-16 fighter jets to Poland in recent weeks and delivered 10 F-15s to Baltic states for air-patrol programs.
Russia Today suggests that Poland has asked for 10,000 US troops, but that 150 is the more likely figure.
UN SAYS STOP GAZA CRIMINAL SEIGE
A UN official renews calls on Israel to lift its seven-year blockade on the Gaza Strip, saying the regime must stop “collective punishment” of the Palestinians living in the enclave.
In his first trip to Gaza, the new Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, Pierre Krahenbuhl, says the Israeli blockade on Palestinian land “amounts to an illegal collective punishment.”
“The first thing, of course, you see of Gaza is the fence around it; a reminder of the blockade which…has lasted as long as some of the most infamous sieges of contemporary history,” adds the UNRWA official.
Krahenbuhl also voices alarm over the deteriorating living conditions in Gaza, saying the UN agency currently provides humanitarian aid to 800,000 refugees in the Israeli-besieged sliver.
GENEVA JOINT DOCUMENT - A JOKE? OR HAS RUSSIA BETRAYED SOUTH EAST?
Russia, the US, the EU and Ukraine adopted a joint document on de-escalating Ukraine's crisis.
It called for all illegal armed groups to lay down their arms, and for a "wide amnesty".
“Among the steps that have to be taken are: the disarmament of all illegal armed groups, and the return of all occupied administrative buildings,” Lavrov told the press at a briefing.
“An amnesty for all protesters must take place, except for those who committed grave crimes,” the Foreign Minister added.
The OSCE’s (Organization for Security and Co- operation in Europe) monitoring mission must play a “leading role” in assisting the Ukrainian authorities to resolve the crisis, he stressed, adding that Russia “will support” their mission.
Before Geneva's 4-way discussions started, Mr Lavrov talked privately with John Kerry, and the EU's foreign affairs chief Ashton met Ukraine’s acting Foreign Minister Deshchytsa, behind closed doors.
Before Geneva, all four parties disagreed on the purpose of the meeting - Moscow insisting they focus on resolving Ukraine's political crisis.
But Kiev rejected the idea of “the internal affairs of Ukraine being the subject of the talks,” even constitutional reform.
The Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada) --- stripped of its Party of Regions MPs --- announced on Wednesday, that the meeting should aim to end “aggressive actions and subversive activities by the Russian Federation that put the territorial integrity of Ukraine under threat.”
The Western powers reportedly wanted Geneva as a way to push Moscow into recognizing Kiev and its coup-imposed authorities as legitimate.
Lavrov stressed “this will not be the case.”
Speaking at his annual Q&A session, Russia's President Vladimir Putin said the Presidential election in Ukraine will not be legitimate, as the country has a current president.
Compromise on Ukraine must be found, not between Russia and the US, but among the political forces in Ukraine, he noted.
Putin urged an immediate start to dialogue between Ukraine’s authorities and regions
Putin is also ready to work with all parties to the elections in Ukraine, including with Poroshenko and Tymoshenko.
According to him, the Ukraine authorities are illegitimate, but that does not mean Russia refuses to talk with them.
"We think the authorities are not legitimate, and they can not be so: they do not have a national mandate to govern the country. However, we do not give up contacts with anyone," he said.
"Our ministers have relations with Ukrainian colleagues. Dmitry Medvedev talked with Arseny Yatsenyuk and (Chair of the Duma) Sergei Naryshkin talked to Oleksandr Turchynov," said Russia's president.
The current Kiev regime, illegitimate or not, talked to by Russia or ignored, says it is going to press ahead with its army and special forces operations to quell dissent in South-Eastern Ukraine.
NATO LED BY LEAKY LIAR, SAYS PUTIN
Vladimir Putin said the current unelected NATO Gen Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen secretly recorded and then leaked a private conversation with him, when he was head of the Danish government.
“During his time as Prime Minister he once requested an unscheduled meeting with me, and we met and talked. As it turned out, he had a voice recorder on him, and surreptitiously recorded our conversation, and leaked it to the press,” the Russian president recounted during his annual TV hotline.
“I couldn’t believe my ears and eyes – what nonsense!”
The Russian president didn’t specify when the meeting took place, but Rasmussen was his country’s PM between 2001 and 2009.
“He explained to me that he recorded the conversation for posterity. I am flattered, of course, but he should have warned me, or at least asked permission to make the content public,” continued Putin.
“How can you trust someone after an incident like that?”
Putin spoke about the leak when questioned on the relationship between Russia and NATO, frayed after a succession of contretemps, climaxing with the crisis in Ukraine.
“From interpersonal to official relations, there should be more transparency, stability, and partnership,” summed up the Russian leader.
Rasmussen’s current office in Brussels, which he has occupied for five years, produced a swift response.
NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu emailed: “These accusations are complete nonsense. During his term in office as Danish Prime Minister, Mr Fogh Rasmussen never brought a dictaphone to record meetings with Mr Putin or anybody else.”
100 YEARS AFTER WORLD WAR ONE !!!
The United States’ radical policies against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, will plunge the world into World War III, a US analyst has warned.
Michael Billington said WWIII has “effectively” started, as Washington is escalating tensions in Ukraine, where pro-Russian protesters are facing a military crackdown.
“What's at stake here isn't a war over Ukraine; it is not even a war with Russia; this is a war demanded by the British and the Obama administration, who take orders from Wall Street and the City of London bankers, who want a war. And this is not going to be a war in Europe; this is going to be a global war,” says the analyst.
Billington said Obama remains “committed to war” as long as he is in office.
“There is nothing that is going to stop this war other than impeaching Obama and immediately dealing with the financial collapse of the entire European and American banking system in order to, basically, take the power out of the hands of this financial cartel which is driving this push for war,” he added.
The analyst said CIA Director John Brennan ordered the post-coup Ukrainian government to quell pro-Russian protests on his visit.
WE WANT A NEW UKRAINE GOVERNMENT
The Ukrainian Communist Party's leader, parliament member & presidential candidate Petro Symonenko, who spoke before the Geneva Document:
"I think the main issue of the four-party talks is to stop the madness of civil war and the use of the army against its own people,"
"The fact that the Ukrainian authorities do not hear people, is one more reason for me to state it's necessary to immediately reset the authorities."
He cited the acting defence minister as saying on Wednesday at a closed meeting of the Verkhovna Rada that over 1,100 armored vehicles were used against Ukrainian citizens.
In violation of the country's constitution, 50,000 armed servicemen were sent against Ukrainian citizens in the so-called "anti-terrorist operation", the deputy noted.
Symonenko on activities of US officials in Ukraine:
"I asked Turchynov (Ukrainian parliament-appointed acting president) to explain for what purpose the CIA director had arrived in Ukraine under another name.
"He didn't answer. For what purpose did he hold a meeting with senior Ukrainian officials? Why was a US representative present in the Verkhovna Rada?
"I want all of us to be patriots of Ukraine, we must protect Ukraine's people & our statehood," he said.
ABYSS OR PUTIN's LAST STAND?
“Have they lost their minds!?” asked Putin, in his annual question and answer session.
“They are deploying tanks, armored vehicles and weaponry! Against whom?! Are they nuts?!"
Putin said he hopes he will not have to use his "right" to send Russian military forces into Ukraine, in a signal that this option is still very much open.
"I very much hope that I am not obliged to use this right, and that through political and diplomatic means we can solve all of the acute problems in Ukraine."
Putin emphasized that he favors dialogue as the way out of the crisis, saying he believes the Geneva talks were "extremely important".
"Only through dialogue, through democratic procedures & not with the use of armed forces, tanks and planes, can order be imposed in the country," Putin stated then, adding that Kiev's authorities are "out of their mind" to do this.
"It is very important today to think about how to get out of this situation and offer people a genuine dialogue and not one just for show."
But he accused the Ukrainian authorities who took over after the fall of president Viktor Yanukovych in February, of driving the country toward the abyss.
"I hope that they manage to understand towards what abyss the Kiev authorities are going, dragging with them the whole country."
CIA "EXTERNAL FORCE"?
China's Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun warns that “external forces” are trying to provoke new waves of “colour revolutions” as they exploit socio-economic contradictions and problems in target countries.
“They use socio-economic contradictions and problems to overthrow governments, trying to provoke new waves of ‘colour revolutions’,” Guo stresses at the 9th meeting of secretaries of security councils of Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
“This poses a serious threat for the sovereignty and security of countries in the region and is a cause of general concern for CSTO states,” the minister underlined, calling for the working out of joint counter-measures.
PARTY OF REGIONS QUITS RADA
Deputies of the Party of Regions at the Ukrainian Rada, refused to take part in voting at Rada unless their demands, voiced at their party congress in Donetsk, were met.
"People, rather than 'criminals', as Mr. Turchynov (Rada Speaker) put it, have been perishing in the east of Ukraine. People, citizens of Ukraine," said the head of the Donetsk regional organization of the Party of Regions Mykola Levchenko.
"The current administration of Ukraine came into power by force to act as 'gauleiters', but in return, they got a mutiny in the east of Ukraine," Levchenko said.
"The stabilization of the situation is possible only if the central administration of Ukraine heeds the voice of the people.
We have raised the question of amending the Constitution so as to delimitate powers between the centre and regions once and for all and give the Russian language the status of a second state language spoken in Ukraine," Levchenko said.
"The Party of Regions will not vote in parliament until our demands are met," Levchenko says. "The people are demanding a referendum," he emphasized.
Greek Communists accuse West of conniving with fascist forces in Ukraine
The United States, the European Union and NATO don't hesitate to support fascist forces in Ukraine for the sake of their political interests, stated the Communist Party of Greece, about Kiev’s military moves against protesters in Ukraine's south-east.
“The government in Kiev, that came to power as the result of a coup and is supported by the US, the EU and NATO, has turned the armed forces of Ukraine against protesters, against the people of Eastern Ukraine, causing new bloodshed,” the Communist Party said in its statement.
“This conflict, brought about after the open interference of imperialistic forces in Ukraine, and against the background of their tough competition with Russia for control over energy resources and their delivery routes, shows capitalism brings only suffering to the world's peoples,” their statement said.
It added: “apparently, the US, EU and NATO, which don’t hesitate to support even fascist forces in the Kiev government, to advance their geopolitical interests, are gambling now on further escalation & confrontation with Russia”.
“In fact, they are playing with the fire of a larger-scale war, that will be waged not only by diplomatic, political and financial means, but also through military ones.
“Thus, they are creating the threat of a huge catastrophe & numerous casualties for our wider region and peoples.
“It is becoming evident that NATO is not a guarantor of peace & security, as Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras maintains, in connection with developments in Ukraine, but the Alliance has become a cause of war and destabilization for the world's peoples.
“The earlier the Greek and other peoples get free of all imperialistic organizations, the better,” the Communist Party said.
Anti-govt protesters seize Ukrainian APCs, as army units 'switch sides'
Kiev’s military faced off with protesters in east Ukraine to sort out their differences --- and found none.
Soldiers appeared reluctant to go into battle against anti-government activists.
As Ukrainian Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) entered downtown Kramatorsk as part of Kiev’s military operation against anti-government protesters in the east of the country, they were stopped in their tracks, and surrounded by crowds of local residents.
One YouTube video of what happened next showed a woman coming to a soldier with the reproach: “You are the army, you must protect the people.”
“We are not going to shoot, we weren’t even going to,” was the soldier’s reply.
Similar conversations could be heard at each of several APCs which entered the city, with locals promising to defend their neighbours, if the soldiers started a military operation.
Military vehicles parked in downtown Kramatorsk turned into hotspots for political discussion, with people beside the vehicles trying to get their views through to people on top of the tanks.
Another video featured Kramatorsk crowds loudly chanting “Army with the people” and applauding the soldiers as they left their APCs.
“Guys, we are with you! You are great!” women were heard yelling to the vacating soldiers.
Six Ukrainian military vehicles in Kramatorsk switched sides and began flying Russian flags.
Later a report emerged that 3 more Ukrainian armored vehicles switched sides in Donetsk.
The vehicles came to the centre of Slavyansk, took down their Ukrainian flags and handed their weapons to self-defense squads.
“We decided not to be at war with the people and not to defend authorities like this,” the crew members explained to RIA Novosti.
One YouTube video showed an encounter where some Ukraine military vehicles raised Russian flags, while others raised the flags of Donetsk People’s Republic. The crowd reacted with loud cheers.
Vladimir, a resident of Kramatorsk who witnessed the events, told RT in a phone call, that a clear majority of the soldiers who arrived at Kramatorsk in armored vehicles were “boys of only 18-20 yrs old, with their heads freshly shaved, as they had just entered military service.”
Immediately after the column of armored vehicles was blocked near the local market, local residents surrounded the column with a human chain, but did nothing more, Vladimir said.
“Both sides were simply standing there, smoking, waiting for God-knows-what. Then the local militia came to the scene, and asked the locals to step back, and start negotiations. The soldiers were asked if they would like to surrender. They then thought a little bit – and agreed,” Vladimir said.
The soldiers and civilians started fraternizing very quickly and soon were joking about “coming for a visit without weapons next time.”
Many soldiers put on St. George’s ribbons, the traditional Russian emblem used to commemorate the Soviet Union’s fight against Nazism in World War II.
The tanks have already been driven away to a safe place by the local militia, the witness said.
Vladimir said that Kramatorsk wasn't under siege, but confirmed that there were armed checkpoints throughout the city.
Military helicopters have been flying over the city, since clashes at a local airport occurred.
The local Internet connection is extremely unstable and mobile networks have been functioning only intermittently over the last few days, he said.
When the military operation against anti-government protesters in the east was launched, it was not so peaceful.
According to activists, four people were killed and two others injured when troops seized an airfield in Kramatorsk, which had earlier been controlled by protesters.
CIA Involvement in Repressive Ukraine Operation Denounced
The military operation by the Government in the country's eastern region is a result of the visit by CIA Chief John Brennan, a Ukrainian expert affirmed.
President of the Centre for Systemic Analysis and Forecasts, Rostislav Itschenko, said that the repressive operation taking place in south- eastern Ukraine was not a casual coincidence, considering the presence of Brennan in Kiev.
After Moscow's insistence on a convincing explanation for the emergency visit, the US State Department confirmed that Brennan was in the Ukrainian capital, but denied that the CIA had backed a "tactical operation" in the regions outside Kiev.
Head of the International Affairs Committee of Parliament, Alexéi Pushkov, said that Brennan's visit was a corroboration of the "extremely close relationship" between Ukrainian and US leaders.
Meanwhile, in Tallin, US Republican Senator John McCain declared to the Estonian media that the US will provide arms to Ukraine "so it can defend itself from Russian threats."
The US Department of State announced that $11.4 million USD would be allocated for the snap presidential elections, on May 25th.
Zionist Police Break into Al-Aqsa temple in Jerusalem, Wound 30+
Over 30 Palestinians holding a sit-in in Al-Aqsa Mosque were wounded after Israeli occupation forces shot at them in an attempt to eject them by force from the mosque, Al-Manar says.
A large number of police officers broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard, firing rubber bullets and stun grenades. The occupation forces also detained a mosque guard.
Palestinians held the sit-in to stop Israeli forces attempting to bring Jewish settlers to Al-Aqsa to perform their rituals, Palestine Today said.
Witnesses say that Zionist Special Forces and snipers were deployed to force Palestinians to leave the yards of Al-Aqsa as troops besieged those in the mosque, Arabs48 website reports.
Special Forces were deployed at all entrances of Al-Aqsa. They set up checkpoints, to stop hundreds of women and men under the age of 50, from worshiping in the mosque.
Israeli forces also assaulted protestors near Bab Hatta and Bab Al-Silsila.
It is noteworthy that tightening the security measures in and near Al-Aqsa coincides with extremist Jewish calls for breaking into Al-Aqsa.
Kiev launches military operation in eastern Ukraine
Ukraine’s coup-appointed acting President Aleksandr Turchinov announced the start of a crackdown on anti-government protesters in the north of Donetsk Region:
“The aim of these actions is to protect the citizens of Ukraine.”
According to Turchinov, this ‘anti-terrorist operation’ also aims to prevent “attempts to break Ukraine apart.”
The anti-government protesters in south- eastern Ukraine have recently protested against the coup-appointed authorities.
They demand constitutional reform that takes into consideration the interests of all Ukrai