Tag Archives: Information Telegraph Agency of Russia

Militia down chopper near Slavyansk, 9 feared dead – military spokesman

Nine people are feared dead after self-defense forces in the Donetsk region shot down a Ukrainian army helicopter, which was used for transporting military cargo, a Kiev spokesman said.

The Mi-8 helicopter was downed “at about 5 pm local time at Karachun Mountain near Slavyansk by a rocket fired from a portable air defense system,” eastern Ukraine military operation spokesman, Vladislav Seleznyov, wrote on his Facebook page.

“There were nine people aboard the helicopter. According to preliminary information, all those aboard died in the crash,”
he said, adding that the helicopter was returning to a Ukrainian checkpoint after a cargo delivery mission.

The self-defense troops, who fired the missile, escaped to the nearby village of Bylbasovka, Seleznyov wrote.

The Ukraine’s National Guard fighters told the Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper that the Mi-8 helicopter was downed during takeoff from Karachun Mountain (a strategic high point near Slavyansk where the Ukrainian army’s artillery is deployed).

The place where the shot came from has been established, with troops currently being deployed there, the source in the National Guard added.

The Ukrainian forces continued shelling the village of Semyonovka on the outskirts of Slavyansk on Tuesday night and during the day, the self-defense forces of the People’s Republic of Donetsk told ITAR-TASS news agency earlier.

The heavy artillery fire has prevented the self-defense forces from recovering the bodies of two of its troops killed the previous day, they said.

“There’s no living thing left in the village. Everything is devastated, including factories and railway crossings,” the self-defense forces stressed. “The houses are abandoned. Nobody is harvesting crops from their gardens.”

Meanwhile, the town of Slavyansk remains without a water supply, with the majority of shops and pharmacies staying closed.

Also on Tuesday, a crew from Russia’s Channel One was caught in the shelling outside Slavyansk; the journalists luckily avoided injury.

Also, fighting is currently underway in the suburbs of the city of Donetsk, said Aleksandr Boroday, prime minister of the People’s Republic of Donetsk.

“Artillery and armored vehicles are being used,” he told RIA-Novosti news agency, adding people have already been killed and injured in the fighting.

President Vladimir Putin has expressed concern over the resumption of hostilities in Slavyansk and urged Kiev to strive to bring about an end to the bloodshed in southeastern Ukraine.

“Unfortunately, now I have relevant information that in one of the most troubled areas – near the city of Slavyansk – the fighting is currently underway; [Kiev’s] paratroopers have landed there and there are already victims. It’s sad,” Putin said during a press-conference in Vienna, Austria.

Read more: Putin: Weeklong cease-fire in Ukraine should be extended, accompanied by talks

The fighting in the Donetsk region is continuing despite the seven-day ceasefire announced by Ukraine’s new president, Petro Poroshenko, on June 20, which was agreed to by the self-defense forces on Monday.

Putin stressed that “the declarations should be backed by real actions, otherwise none of the problems will be solved.”

“Simply declaring a ceasefire isn’t enough,” the Russian president said, calling on the sides to begin “substantive negotiations” on the matter as soon as possible.

“Seven days of ceasefire is insufficient,” he added.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has not excluded the possibility of a premature cancellation of the ceasefire in the country’s southeast, the president’s press service said.

During a meeting with the heads of the country’s security agencies, he touched upon the issue of the downed helicopter, saying that the self-defense forces have no respect for the truce.

According to the president, Kiev’s forces have come under fire 35 times since he announced his peace plan last week.

Poroshenko gave the security agencies “an order to open fire without hesitation” on the self-defense forces,” the president’s press service said.

But the authorities of the People’s Republic of Donetsk said the “so-called ceasefire,” which Porosheko now wants to cancel, “was never in place.”

“The Ukrainian security forces began shelling Semyonovka and Slavyansk in the morning,” Miroslav Rudenko, one of the Donbas self-defense leaders, told Interfax news agency, adding that the artillery fire was less intense than in previous days, but still steady.

“It was only a declaration [of truce]. On the ground, hostilities didn’t stop even for an hour,”
he added.

RF ambassador : NATO seeking to make maximum use of Ukrainian crisis to prove its worth

BRUSSELS, May 13. ITAR-TASS.

NATO seeks to make maximum use of the crisis in Ukraine to prove it is still in demand, Russia’s permanent representative at NATO Alexander Grushko said on Tuesday.

“These days, NATO representatives have said many words how important it is for the alliance to waken from sleep, and, judging by the enthusiasm of the rhetoric about the emergence of a new threat in Europe, NATO is seeking to make maximum use of the Ukrainian crisis to prove that it is still needed in the current security environment,” he said. “The aim of this deliberately heightened rhetoric is simple – to reanimate the bloc, to have more funds for military needs. And this requires an enemy.”

“The base of argument is being built up to prove that Russia has some expansion plans,” he noted, adding that for these ends new threats were being invented. “Thus, one of NATO’s military chief has worded a universal formula explaining any protest movements – everything gives away the hand of Moscow.”

“At the same time, they prefer not to see the contribution our country has made to do away with the heritage of the Cold War and put an end to the arms race. If truth be said, Europe should be thankful to Russia that it can spend only one to two percent of its GDP on defence. Now, amid this campaign, taxpayers will be tapped for additional money on defence,” Grushko said.

“The alliance denies the fact that the crisis in Ukraine is an internal one and, despite all the tragic instances, keeps on speaking about a foreign interference in Ukraine’s eastern regions,” the Russian ambassador said. “I hope that now that they have seen longest queues to polling stations in Donetsk and Lugansk NATO would admit that this is civil society but not mythical ‘agent provocateurs.’ If the alliance is really interested in deescalating of the situation, as its representatives are claiming, it can also make its contribution by urging the Kiev regime to stop the punitive operation, to pull back its troops and by stopping any aid to it.

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Crimea observes 3-day mourning over tragic events in Ukraine’s southeast

89898989SIMFEROPOL, May 04.

The republic of Crimea is observing a three-day mourning over Friday’s tragic events, which claimed dozens of lives across Ukraine’s southeastern regions.

The days of mourning on May 3,4 and 5 were declared upon an order from Sergei Aksyonov, the acting head of Crimea.

All flags across the republic were lowered to half-mast and local authorities of all levels as well as radio and television administrations were asked to cancel festivities and entertainment programs dedicated to May 1 celebrations.

Massive protests against the new Ukrainian authorities, who were propelled to power in Kiev amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February, erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern regions in March after Crimea’s incorporation by Russia. Demonstrators, who are demanding referendums on the country’s federalization, seized some government buildings.

Crimea’s urge to reunify with Russia was caused by the republic’s refusal to accept the new Kiev authorities. In a March 16 referendum, Crimeans overwhelmingly voted to secede from Ukraine and accede to Russia. The reunification deal with Moscow was signed March 18.

On Friday, Ukraine witnessed the bloodiest violence since the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovich in February with the death toll exceeding the figure of 60.

The highest death toll took place in the southern city of Odessa. A total of 46 people were killed and over 200 wounded after radicals attacked pro-federalization activists and then set on fire Odessa’s Trade Union House with activists inside, burning them alive.

The violence erupted in Odessa in the daytime on Friday with a mass brawl at Grecheskaya Street. It was reportedly instigated by football fans from Kharkov and Right Sector and Self-Defense radicals from Kiev, who decided to organize a march on Odessa streets.

They provoked clashes with federalization supporters. Forcing them out, radicals set fire to a camp at Kulikovo Field where activists collected signatures to hold a referendum on federalization of Ukraine and the official status of the Russian language. Activists from the camp escaped to the located nearby Trade Union House, and radicals set fire to the building.

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Duma demands tribunal for Kiev authorities for bloodbath in Odessa

Irina Yarovaya, chair of the Duma Security Committee

MOSCOW, May 03. ITAR-TASS.

The Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) said the Kiev authorities were committing war crimes and therefore must face a military tribunal.

“I think this is an organised criminal group that has 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, said on Saturday, May 3.

She believes that any support 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 happened in Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and Odessa in Ukraine.

“It’s awful that the unleashing of civil war Ukraine is supported by the West that in no time has forgotten human rights and democratic values, of which EU countries and the United States claimed to be the advocates. Now no one has any doubt as to who is sponsoring unrests in Ukraine and who sponsored them from the start,” he said.

“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 waning, judging from the reaction of Western politicians,” Neverov said. “Instead of defending peaceful citizens of Ukraine, they are blocking Russian proposals in the U.N. Security Council, which are aimed at peaceful resolution of the issue. The West is conniving at the Ukrainian radicals and Nazi whose ideology is extermination. Apparently Europe has learnt no bitter lessons from last century.”

Frants Klintsevich, deputy chair of the Duma Defence Committee, drew historical parallels with the current events in Ukraine.

“The European Union and America 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 said.

Klintsevich recalled that “during the Great Patriotic War [1941-1945], SS battalions manned with Ukrainian nationalists commanded by fascists destroyed the village of Khatyn in Belarus, burning the elderly, women and children alive”.

“Practically 70 years on, the decedents of those fascists did the same. They blocked people inside the Trade Union House and set it on fire,” he said.

“Why does Europe support such atrocities?” the MP asked.

He stressed that all opposition parties in “enlightened Europe” and the whole world must know what “present-day fascists” did in Odessa.

Chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs and Ties with Compatriots Leonid Slutsky said the bloodbath in Odessa on May 2 “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 said.

“Especially outrageous is the benevolent reaction of the West to the crimes committed by the Kiev authorities against their own people,” he said, and stressed 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, condemned the Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s statement that the Trade Union House in Odessa had been set on fire by the activists who had seized it.

“By the degree of cynicism, this statement is beyond the good and the bad,” he said. “This is yet another evidence that certain political forces in the world will stop at nothing in a bid to achieve their goals.”

He stressed that Russia was trying to conduct a dialogue on the settlement of the situation in Ukraine at all levels, including the Foreign Ministry and parliament. “However our opponents remain deaf to reasonable proposals on how to de-escalate violence. As a result, innocent people died,” Starshinov said, adding that “this scenario would have been unheard of two months ago”.

Unrests erupted on Friday, May 2, with a mass fight started by football fans from Kharkov, Right Sector radicals and members of the so-called “Maidan self-defence” force from Kiev, who had decided to march along the streets of Odessa, thus provoking clashes with the supporters of Ukraine’s federalisation. As a result, 46 people had been killed in the clashes and over 200 had requested medical attention.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said the building had been set on fire by the same people who had seized it. However this disagrees with the footage and eye-witness reports from the scene.

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Bluefin submersible fails to find Boeing 777 on designated search area

Bluefin-21 submersible

SYDNEY, April 28

Bluefin-21 submersible has finished the exploration of the area, which was initially designated for it to search for missing Malaysian Boeing 777 and failed to find any objects of interest, according to representatives of the search coordination center that continues operating in Australia’s Perth.

Despite lack of results, the rescuers decided to continue using the submersible: at present, Bluefin-21 is making its 16th immersion and explores the bottom of neighboring sections.

On Sunday, there were no search operations involving planes and ships due to a strong storm in the ocean. On Monday, weather conditions improved, and it made possible to go on with the search operation. In the course of the day, nine planes and 12 ships will be monitoring a 54,920 square km area in some 1,670 km from Perth.

Vanished airliner

Boeing 777-200 of Malaysian Airlines was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing March 7. It carried 227 passengers and 12 crewmembers onboard. Communication with the jet was interrupted nearly two hours after its departure from the Malaysian capital. Since then, there was no information about the missing airliner.

March 24, the air carrier issued a statement informing about the death of all people who were onboard of the missing plane.

According to experts, the search operation involving 26 countries may become the most expensive in aviation’s history. $44 million are already spent on the search, and the overall expenditures may reach several hundreds of millions of dollars.

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In Lugansk, federalization supporters proclaim creation of a “people’s republic”

They demand “an amnesty for all participants in the protest movent in Ukraine’s east, recognition of the Russian language as a state one, and the holding of a referendum on matters concerning self-determination of the region”

DONETSK, April 28. ITAR-TASS.

In Lugansk, federalization supporters at a meeting on Sunday proclaimed the establishment of a “Lugansk People’s Republic”, Ukraine’s radio “Freedom” reports.

In that city, where a joint headquarters of the country’s South-East was established several days ago to coordinate the work of other headquarters in other districts, federalism supporters delivered an ultimatum to the Kiev authorities on Sunday.

In particular, the protesters demand “an amnesty for all participants in the protest movent in Ukraine’s east, recognition of the Russian language as a state one, and the holding of a referendum on matters concerning self-determination of the region”.

If their demands are not met by April 29, they promise “to move on to energetic actions”.

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Ukraine halts canal water supply to Crimea

KIEV, April 26  Itar-Tass

Ukraine had closed sluices of the North Crimean Canal, halting water supply from the Dnieper River to the peninsula, Ukraine’s UNIAN news agency reported on Saturday.

Crimea received 85% of fresh water through the canal, which was built in 1961-1971. It streches from the Khakhovka Reservoir to Kerch.

Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov told the CrimeaInform news agency that restrictions on the supply of water to Crimea is 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 that the Crimean authorities were engaged in negotiations with all agricultural producers who have been cut off from water supply 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 were being offered to agricultural producers.

“The federal budget is ready to compensate agricultural producers for possible losses,” Aksyonov said. He recalled that this issue had been discussed with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak. “Special conditions have been created for Crimea. No one will be left without help,” the prime minister said.

“We are also considering an alternative plan for drilling wells and we are working on this day and night,” he added.

Aksyonov stressed that “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 get a proper assessment from the people of Crimea and will always be persona non-grata in the republic. Usually, those who mischief hatch, mischief catch,” he said.

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Ukrainian troops destroy check point of federalization supporters near Slavyansk

KIEV, April 25, 23:50 UTC+4 – ITAR-TASS.

Ukrainian troops, which are conducting a special operation in Ukraine’s southeast, have destroyed a check point organized by supporters of federalization at the approaches to the town of Slavyansk, Donetsk region, the Ukrainian Security Service said on Friday.

According to the Ukrainian Security Service, the Ukrainian troops are conducting reconnaissance operations to expose gun posts near Slavyansk. “Measures have been taken to prevent any movement” of self-defence groups and not to let “additional forces and means” reach Slavyansk, the service said.

“Apart from that, Ukrainian interior ministry’s troops installed a check point at the motorway linking Izyum and Slavyansk,” the service said.

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Ukraine army launches next stage of military op ‘to isolate Slavyansk’

Ukrainian soldiers stand guard in front of an armoured personnel carrier at a checkpoint in the village of Malinivka, east of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine April 24, 2014.

Kiev authorities say “the second stage” of the military operation in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk has been launched, which will “completely isolate” the anti-government stronghold. Self-defense forces are preparing for an assault.

Follow RT’s LIVE UPDATES on military operation in eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian troops were ordered to commence the next stage of the so-called ‘anti-terrorist operation’ around 12pm local time (10:00 GMT), according to coup-appointed acting head of presidential administration Sergey Pashinsky.

“The aim is to completely isolate Slavyansk to localize the problem. At the moment, the operation is ongoing,” the official told media as quoted by RIA Novosti.

Ukrainian armed forces have set up a military base some 20 kilometers from Slavayansk, RT’s stringer, Ukraine-based British journalist Graham Phillips reports. According to Phillips, there is an ongoing buildup of troops in the area and “snipers hiding in forests in position.” The city is being encircled, he tweets.

The military do not intend to storm Slavyansk, fearing civilian casualties, the Ukrainian Security Service has claimed.

“We will not go the length of [civilian] casualties, to storm the city. We understand that this may lead to many people coming to harm,” General Vasily Krutov, first deputy head of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), was quoted as saying by Interfax.

Pashinsky meanwhile repeated earlier Kiev’s claims that “terrorists have placed their key strong points in kindergartens and hospitals,” branding the situation in Slavyansk as “classic terrorism.” The claims have been dismissed by Slavyansk activists as “ridiculous.”

Despite the promises of no storming of the city planned, Slavyansk self-defense activists have braced for an assault, which they fear may soon start under the guise of the city’s “blockade.”

Self-defense activists cited by ITAR-TASS have claimed that a convoy of military armored vehicles and troops bearing “no insignia” was spotted moving in the direction of Slavyansk and then “disappeared in the woods” surrounding the city.

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Military dolphins from US to take part in NATO summer exercises in the Black Sea

MOSCOW, April 21, ITAR-TASS

American military dolphins will take part in NATO’s forthcoming summer exercises in the Black Sea, Tom LaPuzza, spokesman for the US Navy’s marine mammals program, told the newspaper Izvestia. He said those would be NATO’s first exercises involving military dolphins.

“It may so happen that American and Russian military dolphins will meet in the open sea for the first time: it is known that such dolphins are trained only in Russia and the USA,” the newspaper writes.

LaPuzza says the exercises involving 20 dolphins and 10 sea lions will continue for about one to two weeks (the maximum permissible period for the stay of (naval craft of) countries which have no outlet to the Black Sea is 21 days).

LaPuzza said that when in the Blacks Sea the American dolphins would test a new anti-radar which is designed to “disorientate enemy sonars while sea lions would look for mines and naval divers”.

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