Tag Archives: Eastern Ukraine

Putin: Kiev authorities are junta if they use force against civilians

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If Kiev authorities have started to use force against the civilian population, this is a serious crime, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. Taking this action makes them a “junta” and may affect their relations with other countries, he added.

“If the Kiev regime started military actions against the country’s population, this is without doubt a very serious crime,” Putin said at All-Russia People’s Front media forum.

According to Putin current situation in East Ukraine is another proof Russia was right when it supported Crimeans, when they decided to have a referendum.

“[Otherwise] it would have seen there the same things which are now happening in the east of Ukraine, or even worse,” he said. “That’s one more proof to the fact we did it all right and in time.”

Putin believes that the use of force by the coup-imposed government in Kiev means that it’s actually a junta.

“If current authorities in Kiev have done this [used force], then they are junta,” the president said. “For one thing, they don’t have nation-wide mandate. They might have some elements of legitimacy, but only within the framework of the parliament. The rest of the government bodies are for various reasons illegitimate.”

Vladimir Putin described the use of force in eastern Ukraine as a “reprisal raid” and said that it would have an impact on Russian-Ukrainian relations.

Earlier in the day, fighting erupted just outside Slavyansk, a town in eastern Ukraine where the population voiced their protest against the Kiev authorities. Ukrainian troops in tanks and armored vehicles have been trying to break into the town.

According to the Ukrainian Interior ministry, at least five self-defense guards have been killed and one policeman injured after the “anti-terrorist operation” launched by Kiev in the town. Three checkpoints erected by the anti-government protesters have also been destroyed.

Self-defense forces managed to repel an attack at one checkpoint 3 kilometers north of Slavyansk, forcing at least three infantry vehicles to retreat, Russia-24 TV reports.

On Wednesday, authorities in Kiev announced they were resuming a military operation against protesters in eastern Ukraine, which they described as an “anti-terrorist” one.

Protesters believe the move was contrary to the agreement on de-escalation reached in Geneva.

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Kiev must immediately deescalate east Ukraine crisis, call back troops – Moscow

Ukrainian soldiers drive an airborne combat vehicle near Kramatorsk, in eastern Ukraine April 16, 2014.

Kiev authorities must “immediately” deescalate the situation in southeast Ukraine by withdrawing its troops from the region, Russia’s Foreign Ministry has said, adding that Kiev must start nationwide talks and stop “distorting” the Geneva agreement.

“The Russian side once again insists on an immediate deescalation of the situation in the southeast of Ukraine, the withdrawal of divisions of the Ukrainian Army and the start of a real inter-Ukrainian dialogue including all the regions and political entities of the country,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website.

Moscow is “surprised” by Kiev’s interpretation of the four-sided Geneva agreement adopted by Russia, Ukraine, the US and the EU on April 17, it added.

Despite the call for disarmament of “all the illegal armed groups” specified by the agreement, Kiev, Washington and a number of European leaders “keep harping on the necessity to ‘hand over weapons’ [referring] only to the Ukrainian citizens defending their rights in southeastern Ukraine.” With that, the Western powers “are turning a blind eye to the ongoing provocative actions of the gunmen of the far-right groups, including that of the so-called Right Sector.”

Such actions, which have been taking place in both the capital, Kiev, and in southeastern Ukrainian cities, “have already led to death of people overnight into April 20,” the ministry said.

Russia continues to believe that the Western partners are “earnest” in their stated commitment for the peaceful resolving of the Ukrainian crisis, the statement said. However, the facts “regretfully speak to the opposite,” it added. Kiev has not moved to enter a dialogue with the regions of Ukraine protesting against its rule, while the US officials have apparently chosen not to discourage the coup-imposed authorities in their “strongarm ambitions.”

Immediately after US Vice-President Joseph Biden ended his April 21-22 talks and left the Ukrainian capital, Kiev announced the renewal of the so-called “anti-terrorist operation” in eastern Ukraine, the statement noted. Previously, CIA director’s John Brennan’s April 13 visit to Kiev coincided with the start of the same military operation, it said.

Moscow blasted the US-backed distinction between “legally occupied” buildings in central Kiev at the Independence Square (Maidan) and the “illegally occupied” buildings in southeastern Ukraine, calling US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s recent statements on the issue “absolutely incorrect.”

The statements voiced by the Ukrainian oligarch and multibillionaire Igor Kolomoysky, picked by the Kiev authorities as the governor of the Dnepropetrovsk region, “look even more absurd,” the ministry said. Kolomoysky’s deputy Boris Filatov recently announced a $10,000 bounty for each “Russian mercenary” captured and handed over to the Kiev-backed authorities and a $200,000 reward for each regional administration building freed. Filatov also said the servicemen at the Mariupol military base, who on April 16 killed three people and injured 13 more during an attempted storming allegedly inspired by the anti-government activists, have been paid 500,000 hryvnas ($43,000).

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Russian President Vladimir Putin expresses hope he won’t have to send troops to Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin replies to questions from Russian citizens at the Gostiny Dvor studio during annual question and answer session "Direct Line with Vladimir Putin,"

Russian President Vladimir Putin replies to questions from Russian citizens at the Gostiny Dvor studio during annual question and answer session “Direct Line with Vladimir Putin,”

MOSCOW — Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Thursday rejected claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine, but recognized for the first time that the troops in unmarked uniforms who had overtaken Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula before its annexation by Moscow were Russian soldiers.

He expressed hope for a political and diplomatic solution of the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War, saying he hopes that he won’t have to send Russian troops into eastern Ukraine, which has been engulfed by violent protests against the new authorities in Kyiv.

Speaking in a televised call-in show with the nation, Putin harshly criticized the West for trying to pull Ukraine into its orbit and said that people in eastern Ukraine have risen against the authorities in Kyiv, who ignored their rights and legitimate demands.

A wave of protests, which Ukraine and the West said was organized by Russia and involved Russian special forces, have swept eastern Ukraine over the past weeks, with gunmen seizing government offices and police stations in at least 10 cities.

“It’s all nonsense, there are no special units, special forces or instructors in the east of Ukraine,” Putin said.

At the same time, he recognized for the first time that soldiers in unmarked uniforms — dubbed “little green men” by some — who have swept Ukraine’s Black Sea region of Crimea laying the ground for its annexation by Moscow last month were Russian troops.

Putin, who previously said the troops were local self-defence forces, said the Russian soldiers’ presence was necessary to protect the local population from armed radicals and to ensure the holding of a referendum, in which an overwhelming majority of its residents voted for seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia.

“Our servicemen stood behind the back of Crimea’s self-defence forces,” Putin said. “They acted politely, but resolutely and professionally. There was no other way to hold the referendum in an open, honest and honourable way and allow the people to express their opinion.”

Putin insisted that protests in the east of Ukraine only involve locals. He said that he told his Western counterparts that only local residents are involved in the protests in the east, and “they have nowhere else to go, they are masters of their land.”

Putin denounced the Ukrainian authorities’ decision to use the military to uproot the protests in the east as a “grave crime.”

He expressed hope for the success of Thursday’s talks in Geneva that brings together the United States, the European Union, Russia and Ukraine for the first time since the Ukrainian crisis erupted.

“I think the start of today’s talks is very important, as it’s very important now to think together about how to overcome this situation and offer a real dialogue to the people,” Putin said.

via Russian President Vladimir Putin expresses hope he won’t have to send troops to Ukraine.

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Russia expects clear condemnation by UN and int’l community of Kiev’s actions in eastern Ukraine – Putin

Putin says Russia expects a clear condemnation by the United Nations and international community of “Kiev‘s anti-constitutional actions in eastern Ukraine“, RIA reports. Russian President Vladimir Putin talked with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the telephone on Tuesday.

“The crisis situation in Ukraine, which escalated rapidly due to the forceful operation initiated by the Kiev authorities in the country’s south-east, has been discussed,” the Kremlin press office said in a statement.

“Putin emphasized in particular that Russia expected the UN and international community to clearly condemn these anti-constitutional actions,” the document said, Interfax reports.

 The Voice of Russia

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Breaking news ‘Kiev resorted to force against protesters, ignoring demands of citizens’

Breaking News

Kiev authorities have reportedly started a military operation against the anti-government protesters in eastern Ukraine. Protesters say, the troops are storming some areas with the assistance of armored vehicles.

A Ukrainian general leading the operation against protesters in the east of the country has warned that activists who refuse to lay down their arms will be “destroyed.”

“They must be warned that if they do not lay down their arms, they will be destroyed,”General Vasily Krutov, first deputy head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) told reporters, as cited by AFP.

Krutov, recently appointed chief of the SBU’s Anti-Terrorist Center, then alleged that activists were being supported by hundreds of soldiers from the Russian army‘s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU).

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Kiev military take positions in eastern Ukraine as operation starts

Members of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry walk past a MI-8 military helicopter and armored personnel carriers at a checkpoint near the town of Izium, eastern Ukraine, April 15, 2014.

The coup-imposed Ukrainian government has amassed military hardware near the eastern Ukrainian towns refusing to recognize Kiev’s rule, and rallying for the country’s federalization. Videos from the area show tanks, APCs and army helicopters.

Following the Tuesday announcement of an “anti-terrorist operation” by the coup-imposed acting president Aleksandr Turchinov, armored vehicles have been spotted moving and taking positions kilometers away from the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk, where activists seized several administration buildings with the assistance of armed self-defense volunteers.

While Slavyansk is in the Donetsk region, sightings of groups of military vehicles have been reported in the neighboring Kharkov and Lugansk regions, where pro-Russian and anti-Kiev sentiment is high.

Some 40 kilometers from Slavyansk in the Kharkov region town of Izyum, hundreds of troops with armored vehicles, including tanks and a helicopter, have been filmed by media and amateur reporters.

The force is being described as a mix of army troops, Ukrainian special forces and the so-called National Guard troops loyal to Kiev, with some reports claiming armed radical Right Sector members have also been transferred to the area. The unusual mix is explained by the fact that Ukrainian army divisions have previously refused to act on orders from Kiev to crack down on eastern Ukrainian protesters.

Late on Monday, dozens of armed Ukrainian vehicles moving in the direction of Slavyansk were filmed by locals in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Near the town of Volodarsk, a massive force was spotted on the move.

Locals opposing Kiev’s military operation have repeatedly tried to block the movement of the military, in one instance halting a tank in Rodninskoye town on Monday. The vehicle was manned by young conscripts who eventually chose to shut down the engine and negotiate with the people.

Kiev has ordered military vehicles transferred to Ukraine by Russia from Crimea, to move to eastern Ukraine to cover up for the lack of hardware, a source in the Ukrainian Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti.

 RT News

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Telephone conversation with President of the United States Barack Obama

54362April 14, 2014, 23:30

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the United States of America Barack Obama.

The leaders discussed various aspects of the crisis in Ukraine, first and foremost in the southeastern regions engulfed by mass protests against the policies of the current authorities in Kiev.

The Russian side stressed that the protests in Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkov, Slavyansk and other cities in southeastern Ukraine are the result of the Kiev authorities’ unwillingness and inability to take into account the interests of the Russian and Russian-speaking population. Vladimir Putin called upon Barack Obama to use the American side’s capabilities to prevent the use of force and bloodshed.

In response to the US President’s expressed concern about Russia’s alleged interference in southeastern Ukraine, the President of Russia noted that such speculations are based on inaccurate information. The current Ukrainian authorities must think first and foremost about truly involving all the main political forces and regions in a transparent process for developing a new constitution that guarantees the main rights and freedoms for citizens, the nation’s federal structure and its non-aligned status.

The two sides agreed to continue efforts to seek diplomatic cooperation in the context of the Ukrainian situation ahead of the four-party meeting (EU, Russia, US and Ukraine) scheduled to take place in Geneva on April 17.

via President of Russia.

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Kiev launches military operation in eastern Ukraine

Ukraine’s coup-appointed acting President Aleksandr Turchinov has announced a crackdown on anti-government protesters in the north of the Donetsk Region, eastern Ukraine.

Read RT’s LIVE UPDATES for the latest developments in Ukraine

“The anti-terrorist operation started overnight Monday,” said Turchinov. “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 been protesting against coup-appointed Kiev authorities. They demand constitutional reform that would take into consideration the interests of all Ukrainian regions. They also propose the federalization of the country and to make Russian the second official language in the regions.

Earlier, a clip posted to YouTube showed local people in the town of Rodinskoye, Donetsk Region, have stopped a tank allegedly on its way from Kiev to take part in the crackdown against south-eastern Ukrainian cities.

Meanwhile, the first battalion of Ukraine’s National Guard have left Kiev for the south-east, said the head National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Andrey Parubiy.

According to Parubiy, the “battalion is comprised of volunteers from the Maidan self-defense troops”.

On Monday, Turchinov signed a decree to officially begin a “special anti-terrorist operation” in the east of the country.

He ordered “that the National Security and Defense Council’s decision of April 13, 2014, ‘On urgent measures to overcome the territorial threat and to preserve the territorial integrity of Ukraine’ be put into effect.”

Supporters of a referendum on transforming Ukraine into a federation at the entrance to the building of the Slavyansk City Administration in the Donetsk Region.

Russia has warned that if Kiev uses force against anti-Maidan protests in eastern Ukraine, this would undermine the effort to convene a four-party conference on resolving the crisis in the country, which would include the US, the EU, Russia and Ukraine.

Turchinov also proposed conducting a joint operation with UN peacekeeping forces, a decision that was strongly condemned by Russian FM Sergey Lavrov at a Beijing press conference on Tuesday as “totally unacceptable.”

The Kiev authorities have already tried to launch a so-called “anti-terrorist operation” in the eastern city of Slavyansk, Donetsk Region, after anti-government protesters seized several buildings in the city.

Gunfire broke out on Sunday, after troops in black uniforms supported by armored vehicles and several helicopters approached the roadblock set up by the locals. One person was killed and two others injured during the crackdown.

There were rumors that among the troops were the members of the radical ultranationalist Right Sector movement, who were mobilized to take decisive steps to “defend Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

 

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No sign of crackdown as Ukraine deadline passes

Armed pro-Russians storm police stations

Armed pro-Russians storm police stations

A Ukrainian government deadline for pro-Russian protesters to lay down their arms and leave occupied buildings passed Monday with no sign of it being heeded in the eastern cities of Donetsk or Slaviansk.

Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov had given the protesters until 2 a.m. ET to disarm or face a “full-scale anti-terrorist operation” by its armed forces.

But the deadline passed with no movement at the regional government building in Donetsk, which has been occupied for more than a week, and where barricades have been strengthened in the last few days.

In Slaviansk, pro-Russian protesters milled around with makeshift shields outside the occupied police station.

Similar deadlines in the past passed with no consequence.

Turchynov had issued a promise of amnesty for the activists — made up of protesters as well as armed militants who in recent days have stormed public buildings and planted Russian flags on them — in eastern Ukraine but warned that anyone who continues to support the takeover of government buildings would be held responsible for their actions.

“We’ll not allow any repetition of the Crimean scenario in the east of Ukraine. I have signed a decree that would allow those who did not shoot at our officers to lay down their arms and leave the occupied buildings by Monday morning without fear of being prosecuted,” he said.

Turchynov added that anyone who supports violence will be punished.

“We are ready to consider a significant expansion of regional powers of all regions and the wider reform of local self-government. However, all those supporting aggressors and occupiers in an armed struggle against our country will not escape punishment and will be prosecuted,” he said.

No top Ukrainian officials immediately posted any updates to mark the passing of the deadline.

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Breaking news – Ukrainian Security Council launches full-scale security op in eastern regions

Breaking News

Ukraine’s Security Council has agreed to launch a full scale security operation in the country’s east following the crackdown in Slavyansk, coup-imposed president Aleksandr Turchinov said. Military forces will take place in the operation, he added.

At the same time, the new authorities in Kiev are ready to consider granting more autonomy to regions, Turchinov said. He demanded pro-independence supporters in eastern Ukraine leave government buildings they have occupied by Monday morning.

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