Friday, May 2, 2014

"Діти, мої діти, що ви наробили…"


Pro-Russian militants storm government office in eastern Ukraine: Any hope of dialogue between the Russian and Ukrainian governments appears to be slipping ever further away Thursday, as protesters opposed to the Ukrainian government in Kiev stormed the general prosecutor’s office in the eastern Ukrainian regional capital of Donetsk on Thursday, a day after they had taken over the city council building there.

Т.Г. Шевченко : "Діти, мої діти, що ви наробили…" 

» Putin's Promises To Eastern Ukraine Could Bankrupt Russia - Forbes
01/05/14 11:22 from Russia - Google News
Putin's Promises To Eastern Ukraine Could Bankrupt Russia Forbes As the moniker Petrostate implies, the Russian economy and state have an extreme dependence on energy: One half of budget revenues come from taxes and levies on oil and...
» Why NATO is such a thorn in Russia's side - CNN
01/05/14 09:49 from Russia - Google News
CNN Why NATO is such a thorn in Russia's side CNN Moscow (CNN) -- In a telephone call Monday between Russia's Defense Minister General Sergei Shoigu and the U.S. Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel, Shoigu described the activity of ...
» Russia stages first Red Square May Day parade since Soviet days - Reuters
01/05/14 09:45 from Russia - Google News
Russia stages first Red Square May Day parade since Soviet days Reuters MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia staged a huge May Day parade on Moscow's Red Square for the first time since the Soviet era on Thursday, with workers holding banners p...

The brink of war: Military helicopter shot down by pro-Russian rebels as violence rocks Ukraine's east

1 Share
  • Around 300 pro-Kremlin activists storm prosecutor's office in Donetsk
  • Guard of 100 police officers attacked with rocks and Molotov cocktails
  • Officers responded with tear gas and stun grenades but still overpowered
  • Rebels raised the Russian flag after taking control of the building
  • Armed forces held military drills in Kiev amid fears of Russian invasion
  • Ukraine detains Russia's military attache to Kiev on suspicion of spying
  • International Monetary Fund hands Ukraine $17bn to prop up economy
Published: 08:36 GMT, 1 May 2014 Updated: 10:22 GMT, 2 May 2014
19 shares

Two military helicopters have been shot down by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, shattering hopes of a peace deal in the region.
The first gunship was blasted out of the sky with a surface-to-air missile over Slaviansk as Ukrainian forces stormed the city this morning, desperate to flush out militants who have seized a number of government buildings in the area. The other was forced to land under heavy attack.
The pilot of the first helicopter was killed in the battle and another was taken hostage, it was reported. An unspecified number of crewmen were also injured.
A third helicopter carrying medics was also hit, wounding at least one person on board, the SBU security service said.
Scroll down for video
Under fire: A Ukrainian military helicopter lands near a Ukrainian checkpoint near the town of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine. Two others were today shot down by pro-Russian militants
Copy link to paste in your message
Under fire: A Ukrainian military helicopter lands near a Ukrainian checkpoint near the town of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine. Two others were today shot down by pro-Russian militants
Missiles: The first gunship was blasted out of the sky with a surface-to-air missile over the city of Slaviansk this morning, Ukraine's Security Service said, while the other was forced to land under heavy attack
Copy link to paste in your message
Missiles: The first gunship was blasted out of the sky with a surface-to-air missile over the city of Slaviansk this morning, Ukraine's Security Service said, while the other was forced to land under heavy attack
Fierce fighting: It comes as Ukrainian forces stormed the city this morning, desperate to flush out militants who have seized a number of government buildings
Copy link to paste in your message
Fierce fighting: It comes as Ukrainian forces stormed the city this morning, desperate to flush out militants who have seized a number of government buildings
Armed guard: A Ukrainian soldier looks on at a Ukrainian checkpoint near the eastern town of Slaviansk - a city that has become the focus of the insurgency
Copy link to paste in your message
Armed guard: A Ukrainian soldier looks on at a Ukrainian checkpoint near the eastern town of Slaviansk - a city that has become the focus of the insurgency
The SBU said the fact that handheld missile-launchers were used against one helicopter was proof that 'trained, highly qualified foreign military specialists' were operating in the area 'and not local civilians, as the Russian government says, armed only with guns taken from hunting stores'.
Stella Khorosheva, a spokeswoman for the pro-Russian militants, said one of their men was killed and another injured. She offered no further details. 
It comes as Ukraine launched what appeared to be its first major assault against pro-Russian forces who have seized government buildings in the country's east, with fighting breaking out on Friday in Slaviansk - a city that has become the focus of the insurgency. Three deaths were reported in early fighting. 
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said the offensive 'effectively destroyed the last hope for the implementation of the Geneva agreements' which were intended to defuse the crisis. 
Offensive: Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said the offensive 'effectively destroyed the last hope for the implementation of the Geneva agreements' which were intended to defuse the crisis
Copy link to paste in your message
Offensive: Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said the offensive 'effectively destroyed the last hope for the implementation of the Geneva agreements' which were intended to defuse the crisis
Desperate: Civilians plead with Ukrainian troops at a checkpoint as fighting raged just a few miles away
Copy link to paste in your message
Desperate: Civilians plead with Ukrainian troops at a checkpoint as fighting raged just a few miles away
Meanwhile, Ukraine announced it was bringing back conscription as a mob of some 300 pro-Russian militants seized control of the prosecutor's office in Donetsk after overrunning police.
Several of the 100 police officers guarding the building were injured and in some cases severely beaten as the crowd hurled rocks, threw Molotov cocktails and stripped them of their weapons and shields.
Rebels quickly took control of the building after mounting a second assault from the back, hoisting the Russian flag, barricading the front door and burning Ukrainian symbols in the street.
The outnumbered police injured some rebels as they responded with stun grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets, but were quickly overpowered.
Ambushed: Pro-Russian activists storm the prosecutor's office in Donetsk, Ukraine, after overrunning police with rocks, tear gas and Molotov cocktails as the unrest escalates in the embattled country
Copy link to paste in your message
Ambushed: Pro-Russian activists storm the prosecutor's office in Donetsk, Ukraine, after overrunning police with rocks, tear gas and Molotov cocktails as the unrest escalates in the embattled country
Under siege: Several of the 100 police officers guarding the building were injured and in some cases severely beaten as the crowd stripped them of their weapons and shields
Copy link to paste in your message
Under siege: Several of the 100 police officers guarding the building were injured and in some cases severely beaten as the crowd stripped them of their weapons and shields
Violent clashes: The outnumbered police injured some rebels as they responded with stun grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets, but were quickly overpowered
Copy link to paste in your message
Violent clashes: The outnumbered police injured some rebels as they responded with stun grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets, but were quickly overpowered
Pivotal location: Donetsk is the heartland of support for Russia-friendly former President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted in February after months of protests in the capital
Copy link to paste in your message
Pivotal location: Donetsk is the heartland of support for Russia-friendly former President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted in February after months of protests in the capital
Flashpoint: The clash, the latest unrest in the increasingly lawless east of Ukraine, erupted after what started as a peaceful demonstration by some 10,000 pro-Russian supporters in Donetsk
Copy link to paste in your message
Flashpoint: The clash, the latest unrest in the increasingly lawless east of Ukraine, erupted after what started as a peaceful demonstration by some 10,000 pro-Russian supporters in Donetsk
On the frontline: Riot police fired stun grenades as the protesters moved on the building in Donetsk, but some demonstrators wrested shields away from officers
Copy link to paste in your message
On the frontline: Riot police fired stun grenades as the protesters moved on the building in Donetsk, but some demonstrators wrested shields away from officers
Unrest: The clash came after a march by the Donetsk People's Republic, a movement that seeks either greater autonomy from the central government, or independence and possible annexation by Russia
Copy link to paste in your message
Unrest: The clash came after a march by the Donetsk People's Republic, a movement that seeks either greater autonomy from the central government, or independence and possible annexation by Russia
There was no visible sign of live ammunition being used by either side, AFP reporters on the scene said.
Once inside the building, which was empty for the May 1 public holiday, dozens of insurgents, dressed in civilians clothes and wearing balaclavas, tore down official photos and began a search for weapons.
Many of the captured police officers were abused and slapped as they were led through an angry crowd but then eventually released, if uninjured, or allowed to climb into waiting ambulances if hurt.
The clash, the latest unrest in the increasingly lawless east of Ukraine, erupted after what started as a peaceful demonstration by some 10,000 pro-Russian supporters in Donetsk.
Casualty: An injured Pro-Russian activist speaks with an armed protester during clashes with police in front of the regional administration building in Donetsk
Copy link to paste in your message
Casualty: An injured Pro-Russian activist speaks with an armed protester during clashes with police in front of the regional administration building in Donetsk
Wounded: Pro-Russian separatists receive medical assistance after getting injured during the riot
Copy link to paste in your message
Wounded: Pro-Russian separatists receive medical assistance after getting injured during the riot
Injured: A pro-Russian activist is helped away after being wounded in the clashes with Ukrainian police
Copy link to paste in your message
Injured: A pro-Russian activist is helped away after being wounded in the clashes with Ukrainian police
There was no visible sign of live ammunition being used by either side, according to witnesses
Copy link to paste in your message
There was no visible sign of live ammunition being used by either side, according to witnesses
It came after Ukraine's armed forces held a series of military drills in the capital overnight after being placed on 'full combat alert' for a Russian invasion.
As tensions mounted, troops mobilised in the government quarter of central Kiev for exercises involving some 10 armoured personnel carriers and soldiers armed with Kalashnikov rifles.
Russia has placed 40,000 troops near the border with Ukraine and acting president Oleksandr Turchynov said the threat of a Russian invasion was 'real'. 
But Mr Turchynov admitted his security forces were 'helpless' to quash the pro-Moscow insurgency that has tightened its grip on the increasingly chaotic east of the country.
Meanwhile, in a show of strength to Vladimir Putin, British troops are being deployed to Baltic states.
A pro-Russian militant burns the uniform of a prosecutor as a crowd of some 300 of them stormed the prosecutor's office in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk
Copy link to paste in your message
A pro-Russian militant burns the uniform of a prosecutor as a crowd of some 300 of them stormed the prosecutor's office in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk
Up in flames: Pro-Russian activists burn uniforms outside the prosecutor's office in Donetsk
Copy link to paste in your message
Up in flames: Pro-Russian activists burn uniforms outside the prosecutor's office in Donetsk
Symbolic: Pro-Russian activists burn a Ukrainian flag after removing it from the prosecutor's office
Copy link to paste in your message
Symbolic: Pro-Russian activists burn a Ukrainian flag after removing it from the prosecutor's office
Activists marched to the prosecutors office and overran the police guarding the building
Copy link to paste in your message
Pro-Russian activists burn a Ukrainian flag after removing it from the prosecutors office on May 1
Copy link to paste in your message
The swift takeover of the building appears to lend weight to an admission by acting President Oleksandr Turchynov this week that police and security forces were 'helpless' to stifle unrest in the country's east
Celebration: Rebels quickly took control of the building after mounting a second assault from the back
Copy link to paste in your message
Celebration: Rebels quickly took control of the building after mounting a second assault from the back
Jubilant: Upon occupying the building, protesters discarded the Ukrainian flag and replaced it with that of the Donetsk People's Republic
Copy link to paste in your message
Jubilant: Upon occupying the building, protesters discarded the Ukrainian flag and replaced it with that of the Donetsk People's Republic
It comes as Ukraine detained Russia's military attache to Kiev on suspicion of spying and ordered the diplomat to leave the country, reports said today.
Interfax-Ukraine, citing the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, said the unnamed diplomat was detained on Wednesday while undertaking 'intelligence activities'.
The ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.
Ukraine accuses Russia of orchestrating the fall of towns and cities across its industrial east to pro-Russian separatists over the past month, spearheaded by well-organised gunmen in masks and military fatigues.
Gearing up for war: Ukrainian soldiers stand guard during an exercise near the Parliament building in Kiev armed separatists seized more government buildings in the east of the country
Copy link to paste in your message
Gearing up for war: Ukrainian soldiers stand guard during an exercise near the Parliament building in Kiev armed separatists seized more government buildings in the east of the country
On alert: Ukrainian armed forces took part in a combat night exercise near the Parliament building in Kiev as the president warned the threat of a Russian invasion is 'real'
Copy link to paste in your message
On alert: Ukrainian armed forces took part in a combat night exercise near the Parliament building in Kiev as the president warned the threat of a Russian invasion is 'real'
Yesterday, pro-Russian gunmen seized more administrative buildings in the east including a government building and police headquarters in the town of Horlivka.
The U.S. has also accused Moscow of accelerating the crisis instead of sticking to an agreement to ratchet back tensions.
Russia denies having any part in the rebellion, but has warned it reserves the right to intervene to protect ethnic Russians and has massed tens of thousands of troops on its western frontier with Ukraine.
Interfax said the diplomat had been ordered to leave the country.
'The military-naval attache of the embassy of the Russian Federation in Ukraine is declared persona non grata in connection with his actions, which are not in accordance with his diplomatic status,' the agency quoted the ministry as saying.
Mobilising: A column of Ukrainian armoured vehicles file past the Parliament building in Kiev
Copy link to paste in your message
Mobilising: A column of Ukrainian armoured vehicles file past the Parliament building in Kiev
On brink of war: Ukraine's pro-Western leaders conceded they were 'helpless' to counter the fall of government buildings and police stations to the separatists in the east of the country
Copy link to paste in your message
On brink of war: Ukraine's pro-Western leaders conceded they were 'helpless' to counter the fall of government buildings and police stations to the separatists in the east of the country
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund has thrown a $17billion lifeline to recession-wracked Ukraine.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde said 'urgent action was necessary' to prop up the economy, which the fund predicts will shrink by 5 per cent this year as the crisis takes its toll on industry and consumers.
The immediate deployment of aid may also help Kiev pay a bill to Russian state-owned gas firm Gazprom the company calculates at $3.5billion. 
Russia has threatened to turn off the taps to Ukraine - and by extension to several European countries - if the bill is not paid in full, amid the worst East-West showdown since the Cold War.
Standing guard: Ukraine accuses Russia of orchestrating the fall of towns and cities across its industrial east to pro-Moscow separatists over the past month
Copy link to paste in your message
Standing guard: Ukraine accuses Russia of orchestrating the fall of towns and cities across its industrial east to pro-Moscow separatists over the past month
Ready for action: Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said armed forces have been put on 'full combat alert' in the face of what he called a 'real threat' of a Russian invasion
Copy link to paste in your message
Ready for action: Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said armed forces have been put on 'full combat alert' in the face of what he called a 'real threat' of a Russian invasion
Ukraine's pro-Western leaders conceded on Wednesday they were 'helpless' to counter the fall of government buildings and police stations to the separatists in the Donbass coal and steel belt of eastern Ukraine, source of around a third of the country's industrial output.
Having seized key buildings in the capital of the easternmost province, Luhansk, on Tuesday, gunmen took control at dawn on Wednesday in the nearby towns of Horlivka and Alchevsk.
In Donetsk, the biggest city to fall, mainly Russian-speaking separatists have declared a 'People's Republic of Donetsk' and called a referendum on secession for May 11, threatening to undercut a planned presidential election in Ukraine two weeks later.
Some Ukrainians were appalled by the loss of control over eastern regions and accused the central government of inaction.
Valeriy Kalnysh, former editor of the Kommersant daily, wrote on Facebook: 'In a normal society when Oleksandr Turchynov admits the fact that the authorities do not control the situation in the east of the country is ground for resignation. 
'And not just of him, but all the security forces. But can we afford this now? And is it the right move in the conditions of an undeclared war with Russia?'
Ukraine hopes the presidential poll will help restore order after five months of the worst civil turmoil in the country since independence in 1991, which have seen Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovich toppled by street protests, gun battles in central Kiev and Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

Share or comment on this article


​Ukraine army launches assault on rebel stronghold

1 Share
Russia has massed tens of thousands of troops along the border with Ukraine, and Friday’s developments raised the risks of a Russian military response.
Ukrainian troops attacked the rebel stronghold of Slovyansk at dawn, taking several checkpoints around the city but meeting heavy resistance from pro-Russian separatists.
Two Ukrainian helicopters were shot down and two crew members killed, the Defense Ministry said. One pilot was captured by the rebels and transferred to a local hospital, medics told local media. Rebels said one of their fighters was killed.
Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said the army attacked at 4:30 a.m. local time and came under heavy fire from what he called “terrorists” and “professional mercenaries,” as it attempted to take the city.
“Against Ukraine’s special forces, terrorists used heavy fire, including grenade launchers and antiaircraft rocket launchers,” he posted on his Facebook page. “It is the real battle with professional mercenaries.”
The Ukrainian Security Service said its fighters were facing “highly skilled foreign military men” in Slovyansk. It said one of the helicopters was shot down with a surface-to-air missile, which it said undercut Russia’s claims that the city is under the control of civilians who took up arms.
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt agreed. “Ukrainian helicopters shot down in Slovyansk. Some elderly ladies bought some RPGs or missiles at the local grocery store, I assume,” he posted on Twitter.
Avakov said the separatists were firing from residential apartment buildings because they knew the army was under orders not to fire at such buildings.
He said the army took control of nine checkpoints around the city, although some remained in rebel hands, according to a Washington Post correspondent in the area. Ukrainian troops in armored personnel carriers were stationed on roads leading into Slovyansk, although fighting seemed to have subsided by late morning.
In a video message posted on the Internet, he urged women, children and senior citizens to remain in their homes but asked men with guns “to render all possible assistance.”
“We will defend the city. We will win,” he said.
A spokesman for the military wing of the pro-Russian forces, who identified himself only as Vladislav, said fighting broke out at several points around the city and that Ukrainian troops made incursions into the city itself, AP reported.
At one burning barricade manned by rebels, a fighter who gave his name as Thunder said he had two children and a pregnant wife at home. “I believe the Russian army will be here soon,” he said. “It is time.”
Ukraine’s assault began a day after Putin demanded that the government in Kiev withdraw all military units from the southeast of the country. It also came a day after the International Monetary Fund warned that it would have to redesign a $17 billion bailout of Ukraine if the government lost control of eastern Ukraine, its industrial heartland.
Putin on Thursday sent a special envoy, Vladimir Lukin, to eastern Ukraine to negotiate with pro-Russian separatists who have taken seven international observers hostage in Slovyansk, his spokesman Dmitri Peskov told the Interfax news service.
Lukin, Russia’s human rights commissioner, was also Putin’s special envoy to Kiev in February during negotiations before Ukraine’s then-president, Viktor Yanukovych, fled the country in the face of popular protests.
Tens of thousands of Russian troops have massed at the Ukrainian border, and Russia says it reserves the right to intervene to protect ethnic Russians. Ukraine accuses Russia of financing and arming the separatists, who have seized government buildings across the east of the country and have vowed to hold a referendum on independence on May 11. Russia denies the charge.
Residents of Slovyansk used tires, sandbags and logs to barricade their neighborhoods, and some complained that the Ukrainian army was endangering their lives.
Others linked arms to form human chains in an attempt prevent Ukrainian troops from advancing, according to photos posted on social media.
“We should be evacuated, but Kiev thinks of us as terrorists,” said Natalye Botte, a 26-year-old woman who left her home to visit a local kiosk and find out what was happening. “They fly above our heads shooting all day, but there is an orphanage here full of kids, and we have children at home.”
She said she had heard shooting between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. local time, and two loud explosions, adding that her 2-year-old girl had been scared and unable to sleep. A nearby checkpoint was now controlled by the Ukrainian army.
Ukraine’s internal security service accused separatist leaders of ordering their fighters to collect civilians at checkpoints and in buildings to be used as “human shields.”
“The militants also fired at the helicopter of Ministry of Emergency, which arrived on the scene with a team of doctors to provide assistance and evacuation, and wounded one of the doctors,” the security service said in a statement.
Ukraine’s acting president said this week that police were “helpless” to prevent pro-Russian separatists from taking control of large parts of eastern Ukraine. Although the Kiev government announced it had launched an “anti-terrorist” operation in early April, it has been slow to act until now, partly for fear of provoking a Russian intervention in response.
Rebels in Slovyansk have taken several hostages, including journalists and the seven members of a European security monitoring organization. Interior Minister Avakov said the objective of Friday’s operation was to free the hostages, force rebels to lay down their arms, release administrative buildings from their control, and restore the normal functioning of the city administration.
Denyer reported from Donetsk, Ukraine. Birnbaum reported from Moscow.
Read the whole story
 
· · · ·

Ukraine Launches Military Assault On Slavyansk

1 Share
Two pilots have been killed after pro-Russian separatists shot down helicopters during the most significant government offensive so far in the east of Ukraine.
Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov urged local residents to stay indoors during the "anti-terrorist operation" in rebel-held Slavyansk.
Posting on Facebook, he said the city was "tightly surrounded" after troops had seized nine rebel-held road checkpoints in the morning raid.
"Against Ukraine's special forces, terrorists used heavy artillery, including grenade launchers and portable anti-aircraft missile launchers," Mr Avakov claimed.
A Reuters photographer reported seeing a military helicopter open fire on the outskirts of the town.
Vyacheslav Ponomarev, the insurgency-appointed mayor of Slavyansk, said self-defence forces had shot down two helicopters and taken one person hostage.
Shoulder-launched missiles had downed the two aircraft, according to the Ukrainian defence ministry.
A third helicopter, said to be carrying carrying medical staff, was also hit and one person wounded, according to the ministry.
Ukrainian officials believe the use of such heavy weaponry proves Russian forces are in the area - something repeatedly denied by Moscow.
Mr Avakov said the government had "simple" demands.
"Free the hostages, lay down weapons, vacate administrative buildings and get municipal infrastructure back to normal," he said.
However, at lunchtime on Friday separatist forces were still reported to be firmly in control of Slavyansk's streets, with Ukrainian armoured vehicles restricted to the city's outskirts.
A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said the "punitive operation" had destroyed a peace plan agreed with Western powers two weeks ago.
The offensive by the Ukrainian government marks the first significant military response by Kiev.
Officials have been criticised for being slow to act to stop the rebels seizing swathes of its Donbass coal and steel belt.
Armed groups seeking union with Russia have seized a number of government buildings in towns in eastern Ukraine.
President Putin on Thursday called on Ukraine to remove its forces from the east and south of the country as Russia staged a huge May Day parade on Moscow's Red Square.
It was the first since the Soviet era - with workers holding banners proclaiming support for Mr Putin after the seizure of territory from its neighbour.
Hours later Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, ordered that military conscription of men aged 18-25 be restarted because of "threats of encroachment on the nation's territorial integrity".
» Cold War Against Russia—Without Debate - The Nation.
01/05/14 15:06 from Russia - Google News
Cold War Against Russia —Without Debate The Nation. Future historians will note that in April 2014, nearly a quarter-century after the end of the Soviet Union, the White House declared a new Cold War on Russia —and that, in a grave failu...





» Russia's Weimar Syndrome - New York Times
01/05/14 08:18 from Russia - Google News
The National Interest Online Russia's Weimar Syndrome New York Times LONDON — Sergei Karaganov, a prominent Russian foreign policy expert at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, recently provided a useful summation of his vast c...
» Ukraine crisis: Russian military attache held for 'spying' - BBC News
01/05/14 06:10 from Russia - Google News
BBC News Ukraine crisis: Russian military attache held for 'spying' BBC News A Russian military attache has been held in Ukraine on suspicion of spying and ordered to leave the country. The attache - who was not named - had been ...

No comments:

Post a Comment