Tag Archives: Lugansk

Confirmed: Ukrainian air force fired over 150 missiles at Lugansk, bombed admin HQ

Kiev has admitted showering the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk with dozens of missiles from the air, saying that its Air Force helicopters and jets “fired more than 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 the deadly explosion at the city’s administrative building was indeed an airstrike. Kiev has so far denied the responsibility for the incident, saying its forces “do not target” civilian areas.

The OSCE Ukrainian mission’s daily report stated that “on June 2, around 15:00 local time missiles hit the building of the regional government administration. According to the observers’ data, the strike was carried out with 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 the army aviators fired more than 150 missiles, carried out three jet sorties and five helicopter sorties,” the statement says.

The air support was backed by fighter jets launching decoy flares to prevent the attacking aircraft from being targeted from the ground.

According to the ministry, two self-defense checkpoints were destroyed in the attack.

Not all the Monday fighting was on the outskirts of Lugansk, apparently, as one Ukrainian missile hit the occupied Lugansk administration building, killing at least eight civilians inside and nearby. Some Kiev politicians have laid the blame on the self-defense forces for the “blast,” which has undoubtedly been confirmed as an airstrike by the accounts of witnesses and the CCTV footage from the scene.

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Self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic elects head, passes constitution

“People’s Governor” of the Lugansk Region Valery Bolotov (center) read an address to the residents of Lugansk at the rally devoted to the results of the referendum on the status of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) on May 12, 2014

The self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR) elected its head and passed its own constitution on Sunday. This comes after the region held a referendum on May 11 and proclaimed itself independent from Kiev.

LNR’s state council – which acts as a temporary legislative body – has chosen Valery Bolotov as the head of the republic. The council also elected its speaker, Aleksey Karyakin, and Prime Minister – Vasily Nikitin.

Bolotov was born in Russia’s southern port city of Taganrog in 1974. He has two university degrees. He also worked his way up from a manager to the director at a meat factory. Before being elected as the head of the self-proclaimed republic, he was serving as the “people’s governor” of Lugansk region.

Deputies of the council who where elected earlier on Sunday on also adopted a temporary constitution of the Lugansk People’s Republic.

The newly elected prime minister already identified what his first steps in the office will be. “As the prime minister I will form a new government. I will announce the specific candidates later. The members of the new cabinet will be determined in the second part of the day [tomorrow],” Itar-Tass quoted Nikitin as saying.

Last weekend, Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions held referendums in which the majority of voters supported self-rule.

In Lugansk region 96.2 percent of voters supported the region’s self-rule, according to final figures announced by the local election commission. Almost 90 percent of voters in Donetsk region have endorsed political independence from Kiev.

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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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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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Kiev cracks down on eastern Ukraine after 2 regions proclaim independence

A pro-Russian militant holding a bat guards a barricade in front of the Donetsk regional administration building on April 8, 2014.

 A pro-Russian militant holding a bat guards a barricade in front of the Donetsk regional administration building on April 8, 2014.

Dozens have been arrested as Kiev authorities launched a crackdown on anti-Maidan activists in cities of eastern Ukraine that attempted to declare their independence.

At least 70 activists have been arrested after a so-called “anti-terrorist operation” launched by Ukraine’s Interior Ministry in the eastern city of Kharkov.

According to the country’s interior minister, Arsen Avakov, “the building of the regional state administration is totally free of the separatists who seized it earlier.”

On Monday, Kharkov protesters erected barricades around administrative buildings and the regional headquarters of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU). The demonstrators soon took control of the building.

This was followed by clashes with police who reportedly unleashed fire-hoses, stun grenades and tear gas to push the crowd back from the building. In response, protesters threw several Molotov cocktails at the building and set a pile of tires on fire. The blaze soon spread to the first floor of the building.

Eventually, a group of local police outside the administration building moved in to push protesters back, allowing fire crews to extinguish the blaze. The building was slightly damaged by the blaze and several windows were broken in the scuffles.

Activists at the scene said the law enforcement officers who used force against protesters had been deployed from western Ukraine. According to some witnesses, the violence was initially triggered by a group of provocateurs.

Despite the crackdown, a group of at least 150 people gathered in front of Kharkov’s administration building Tuesday to protest against the new authorities in Kiev.

Donetsk

Ukraine’s southeast has been seeing weekly anti-Maidan demonstrations.

In Donetsk, activists proclaimed the creation of a People’s Republic of Donetsk after seizing the local administration building.

This action on Monday was also followed by a special operation. Police took weapons seized by the protesters in the SBU’s regional headquarters, Donetsk Mayor Aleksandr Lukyanchenko said.

A woman raises her fist as pro-Russians demonstrate in front of the Donetsk regional administration building, held by pro-Russian militants, on April 8, 2014.

Ukrainian media however report that the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk has ceased to exist.

“The Committee on Patriotic forces of Donbass has been receiving numerous calls from the public voicing their disagreement with the proclamation of the republic and its joining the neighboring state as well as conducting a referendum – all those without a legal base in place,” Ukrainskaya Pravda daily cited the committee said as saying.

The proclamation and referendum plans were thus annulled till the legal base is created, the committee said. The group’s original posting on Facebook has become unavailable.

Lugansk, Nikolaev, Dnepropetrovsk

On Tuesday, protesters gathered in Lugansk – also outside the regional department of the SBU. Interfax-Ukraine reported that the protesters were setting up barricades and pouring flammable mixtures on them.

The speakers at the demonstration called for the creation of a parliament of the Lugansk republic, choosing new MPs and establishing a new government. Calls for an independence referendum were also heard.

On Monday, clashes erupted in the southern Ukrainian city of Nikolaev after at least 300 activists attempted to storm the city administration building. The protesters were also trying to remove the Ukrainian flag from the administration building. Police reportedly used rubber bullets to force the crowd back from the building.

At least 15 people have been injured, with 11 of them were admitted to hospital, and more than 20 arrested, the city’s Health Department reported.

An elderly woman looks at the Russian flag set up by pro-Russian activists at a barricade blocking access to the Ukrainian Security Service building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on April 8, 2014.

After pro-Russian demonstrators expressed their discontent with Kiev authorities in the city of Dnepropetrovsk, the city authorities moved to negotiate with the anti-government activists.

According to the region’s deputy governor, Boris Filatov, both the “left-wing” and the pro-Russian protesters agreed to refrain from “calls for separatist actions.” In return, the authorities said they will let the activists use some offices in the administrative buildings for their “meetings and work,” as well as provide them with “free access” to local printed media.

Meanwhile, Russia has called on Kiev and Washington not to ignore the interests of all of Ukraine’s regions, including those in southeastern Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry voiced concerns over the build-up of Ukrainian forces and US mercenaries in southeastern parts of the country, calling on Kiev to immediately cease military preparations which could lead to a civil war.

According to Russian FM Sergey Lavrov, the coup-appointed government in Ukraine has not made any positive steps towards these regions and the people there “fear that their interests are being ignored by Kiev.”

 

 

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Defensive blockade: Activists stop Kiev’s military trucks heading to Russian border

Activists in eastern Ukraine in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions are blocking columns of heavy military equipment heading from Kiev to the border with Russia.

Late Thursday activists from the Donbass people’s militia blocked the way of columns with about 20 trucks carrying heavy military equipment near Donetsk heading to the Russian border, a local activist and former officer of the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry told RT.

“At about 5pm [1500 GMT], local activists called me,” said Sergey Rzhavsky. “They reported that a column [with military equipment] was situated near the town of Volovaha from the side of the Valeryanovka settlement. We, the Donbass People’s Self-Defense Units of Pavel Gubarev [the local governor, currently arrested in Kiev] promptly headed there. We saw about 20 heavy trucks there with some carrying airborne combat vehicles.”

According to Rzhavsky, the activists engaged in negotiations with the troops that lasted about an hour or two. During the negotiations, the activists found out that the trucks were heading to a polygon situated near the border with Russia for some military training, he said.

“Since we do not want fratricidal carnage, we suggested the military to refrain from using force. We were unmasked, without any means of self-defense. We asked them to turn around and leave, because the military equipment was really heavy and if the columns passed the city it would escalate tensions, [and evoke] shock and panic,” he said.

The activists and the troops, who called their superiors for guidance, came to a compromise, and the Kiev troops decided to turn around, Rzhavsky told RT.

“There were no conflicts. A lot of people gathered. They stopped and offered their help and moral support, they just wanted to express their views.”

Rzhavsky added that he knows of 58 airborne combat vehicles which are moving through the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and are heading for the eastern border.

Residents of Lugansk also stopped a train, carrying heavy military equipment, which was headed for the border Thursday. They put scrap metal on the rails to stop the train from moving any farther.

“Currently there is an escalation of different kind of extremist organizations in our region” he said, adding, “We don’t want the same developments as in Kiev.”

“All that is happening is a provocation of the extremist organizations that are attempting to undermine the situation in the region,” Rzhavsky said.

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He added that the people in eastern Ukraine are not against the country’s army, but they are calling for the politicians to sit down at the negotiating table.

“We don’t want a fratricidal war,” Rzhavsky said, adding that many in eastern Ukraine support the currently ongoing Crimea referendum on either becoming an integral part of Russia or staying within Ukraine under the conditions of broad autonomy.

via Defensive blockade: Activists stop Kiev’s military trucks heading to Russian border — RT News.

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Popular uprising looming in eastern Ukraine

Riot police stand guard in front of a regional government building as pro-Russian demonstrators take part in a rally in Kharkov

Protests against the self-proclaimed government in Kiev continue in eastern regions of Ukraine. Thousands-strong gatherings in Donetsk and Lugansk are rallying in support of the Russian language and holding a referendum on the federalization of Ukraine.

In Donetsk, the city that once used to be the stronghold of the ousted President Viktor Yanukovich, people are protesting against the new governor appointed by Kiev last Sunday.

The appointee is Ukrainian oligarch, billionaire Sergey Taruta, the owner of ISD, one of the biggest mining and smelting companies in the world, he also owns the Donetsk-based Metallurg Football Club.

The oligarch governor failed to come to Donetsk immediately after the appointment, so demonstrators have chosen a “people’s governor” of their own, the leader of the ‘National levy’ Pavel Gubarev advocating setting a referendum that might ask the citizens of Donetsk region about reunification with Russia. The ‘National levy’ also started collecting signatures to conduct referendum on allegiance of the region.

During this week the regional administration building in Donetsk changed hands many times, with either the ‘National levy’ or pro-Kiev forces declaring capture of the authority headquarters.

Several videos allegedly made in downtown Donetsk on March 5 exposed that armed pro-Kiev forces had come to Donetsk, as a group of unidentified men in military outfits and equipped with Russian AK assault rifles and American М4А1 carbines were securing protection of some pro-Kiev activists amidst anti-government popular protests.

Later, Rossiya 1 TV channel made an assumption that these people could be from a group of several hundred mercenaries that allegedly arrived to Kiev recently. Rossiya 1 1 maintained that mercenaries work for the notorious Academi (formerly known as Blackwater and Xe Services), a privately owned American security services provider that employ over 20,000 guns for hire.

But even the appearance of mercenaries in the center of Donetsk did not stop the citizens from protesting against self-proclaimed government in Kiev.

Early Thursday morning a special group of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) that arrived from Kiev conducted a hit-and-run operation and arrested Pavel Gubarev on charges of an attempt of power seizure, an exactly the same accusation used by the opposition leader against the self-proclaimed government in Kiev.

According to the ‘National levy’ webpage on Facebook, Gubarev was convoyed to the capital Kiev. Police also put under arrest several dozens of activists.

The same day, Governor Taruta arrived to Donetsk and held a meeting with region’s new police chief also appointed by Kiev.

Yet late at night citizens of Donetsk attempted to storm local headquarters of SSU, demanding to release their leader. They also managed to stop and topple prison truck carrying unknown number of arrested activists.

When top-ranked police and internal troop officers came out to the people, they were heckled with jibes like, “Do you remember those you’re protecting? Those who mistreated you in Kiev?” reported Komsomolskaya Pravda.

After pondering for some time police opted to free the detained activists which immediately joined the protesters.

A new stage of anti-Kiev rally is appointed for Friday afternoon, maintains the ‘National levy’ website.

In Lugansk, another regional center in eastern Ukraine, a thousands-strong rally waving Russian flags and chanting “Russia! Ukraine! Belarus! Together!” elected a “people’s governor” of their own, the leader of the local ‘Lugansk guards’ militia, Aleksandr Kharitonov. Members of the guards have already repelled an armed assault force from Kiev that attempted to seize local power institutions in the city on February 20 and currently continue to stand against the attackers from Kiev’s Maidan.

Because the local prosecutor’s office never bothered to launch a criminal investigation into the attempted power seizure by the armed militants from Kiev, the citizens of Lugansk now put their trust in vigilante groups rather than police.

All attempts to gather in Lugansk a significant nationalist rally similar to Maidan in Kiev have failed, largely because they looked increasingly pale in comparison with massive anti-government demonstration rallying in the center of the city.

In other regional centers of Ukraine, such as country’s second-largest city of Kharkov, anti-government protests were of a much smaller scale, perhaps also due to the heavy presence of the riot police at rally sites.

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