Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ukraine Updates April 13 - 2014 --Do we have civil war at this point in Eastern Ukraine ? Ukraine's Slavyansk under siege as Kiev orders crackdown on protests ..... ....... Ukraine’s nationalist party leader calls for Right Sector’s total mobilization .... Live Updates on the Protests / Uprisings in East Ukraine and the crackdown from Kiev Authorities .... .....

Check to Russia for its response ......

Ukraine Mobilizes Military, Gives Separatists Ultimatum; Russia Slams Escalation As "Criminal", Yanukovich Warns Of Civil War

Tyler Durden's picture

If Russia's intention was to give Ukraine enough "escalation" rope with which to hang itself once again, it may have succeeded when a little over an hour ago acting president Oleksander Turchinov said in a televized address that Ukrainehas mobilized its armed forces to launch a "full-scale anti-terrorist operation" against pro-Russian separatists. Furthermore, knowing the only real escalation Kiev can engage in is in the war of words department, Ukraine set an 0600 GMT Monday deadline for pro-Russian separatists to give up their weapons and leave buildings they have occupied in the east of the country, a presidential decree said. It is unclear if this would be the catalyst to launch the military operation, but should Kiev indeed bring in the army it is certainly clear that Russia will respond in kind.
Reuters reports:
Angered by the death of a state security officer and the wounding of two of his comrades near the flashpoint eastern city of Slaviansk, Turchinov gave rebels occupying state buildings until Monday morning to lay down their weapons.

He blamed Russia, which opposed a pro-Europe uprising that forced Moscow-backed former president Viktor Yanukovich to flee, for being behind the rash of rebellions across Russian-speaking towns in eastern Ukraine.

"The blood of Ukrainian heroes has been shed in a war which the Russian Federation is waging against Ukraine," he said in an address to the nation. "The aggressor has not stopped and is continuing to sow disorder in the east of the country."
Russia promptly responded, alleging Ukraine's planned operation is criminal:
Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that an announcement by the authorities in Kiev that they will mobilise the army to put down a rebellion by pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine was a "criminal order".

The ministry said the West should bring its allies in Ukraine's government under control. "It is now the West's responsibility to prevent civil war in Ukraine," it said in a statement posted on Facebook.

It also said that Russia would put an urgent discussion of the situation in eastern Ukraine on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council.

"The situation in southeastern Ukraine is taking on an extremely dangerous character. The authorities in Kiev, who put themselves in power as a result of a coup d'etat, have set a course to use force to put down popular protests," the statement said.

"We decisively condemn attempts to use brute force against protesters and activists ... We are particularly indignant about the criminal order of (Ukrainian Acting President Oleksander Turchinov) to use the army to put down protest."

The statement said the West had sponsored the rulers in Kiev and should now "rein in its out-of-control proteges, force them to distance themselves from neo-Nazis and other extremists, stop using armed force against the Ukrainian people, and immediately start a genuine dialogue".
As usual, the only solace out of NATO was issuing wordy statements:
With East-West relations in crisis, NATO described the appearance in eastern Ukraine of men with specialised Russian weapons and identical uniforms without insignia - as previously worn by Moscow's troops when they seized Crimea - as a "grave development".
Adding even more fuel to what increasingly appear a civil war fire, was self-exiled president Yanukovich whosaid in a televized from Russia's Roston-on-Don that Ukraine is a foot in the door to civil war. “Blood was spilt today,” Yankovich told journalists referring to the events in the eastern city of Slavyansk. “Now our country finds itself in a totally new situation – with one foot in the door of a civil war. Kiev junta has issued a criminal order to use military forces.”
Part of the responsibility for dragging the country into domestic war lays on the US, which brutally interfere in the situation and to point out what to do, Yanukovich said. The ousted president declared that CIA chief John Brennan visited Ukraine and it was after the meeting that the coup-imposed authorities in Kiev ordered a military operation in the country’s east.

Brennan “de facto sanctioned” the use of weapons and thus provoked the bloodshed, Yanukovich said.

Ukraine is now “inexorably” heading towards bankruptcy, Yanukovich also warned in his speech.
So according to the counter-West narrative, it is the CIA's actions that have led to the escalation in the east, not Russian actions.  Bottom line: for now lots of enflamed words, yet no actual actions to resist the "pro Russia separatists." And in the meantime the casualties mount:
Though the Ukrainian military did not resist the Russian takeover of Crimea with force, Turchinov threatened robust action against the rebels in the east. "The National Security and Defence Council has decided to launch a full-scale anti-terrorist operation involving the armed forces of Ukraine," he declared.

Ukraine has repeatedly said the rebellions are inspired and directed by the Kremlin. But action to dislodge the armed militants risks tipping the stand-off into a new, dangerous phase as Moscow has warned it will protect the region's Russian-speakers if they come under attack.

One Ukrainian state security officer was killed and five were wounded on the government side in Sunday's operation in Slaviansk, interior minister Arsen Avakov said. "There were dead and wounded on both sides," he wrote on his Facebook page.
Looking ahead in terms of immediate catalysts, 0600 GMT is in a few hours hours, and certainly well before the US market opens. What happens then, certainly nothing if Russian response to previous Ukraine ultimatums is any indication, may determine of last week's sell off continues in earnest on Monday or if, by some surprising development, there is a relief rally.
Or just in time for the Nikkei open.

One Killed, Many Wounded After Shooting Breaks Out Between Ukraine Special Forces And Pro-Russia Separatists

Tyler Durden's picture

"Ball is in Kiev's court." That is how we concluded our article yesterday reporting that Moscow won't accept force against demonstrators after Kiev warned it would use special forces to quell ongoing "terrorist" uprisings across cities in east Ukraine.
Predictably, Ukraine couldn't wait to shoot the ball right back at Russia and re-escalate (in hope that the west will finally stand up and side along the acting government in what continues to be a very foolish gambit) and early this morning local time, units of the Ukraine special forces started an anti-terrorist operation in eastern town of Slavyansk, where police station was seized yesterday by separatist protesters, as reported by the Interior Minister Arsen Avakov posts on Facebook, who also warned local residents to stay inside, saying separatist protesters have opened fire in direction of approaching special police units.

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Security Service officer killed, four Ukrainian security officials hurt in Sloviansk |DefenceUA

Moments later the operation turned deadly after at least one member of the special forces was killed and as many as 9 wounded, as well as an unknown number of casualties on the "separatist" side. But most importantly, Russia now has a pretext to step in and "defend" its ethnic population just as it warned it would do.
A Ukrainian special forces officer was killed and five others wounded Sunday in a gunbattle with heavily armed pro-Russian forces who had commandeered a police station in the eastern city of Slavyansk, Ukraine's top police official said.

The firefight erupted early Sunday as Ukrainian forces moved to clear the building where approximately 20 men dressed in camouflage had seized control the day before. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said an unspecified number of the pro-Russian activists had been wounded in the exchange.
This wasn't the only casualty as other firefights broke out in close proximity to the first one.
In addition to the dead and wounded at the police station, Russia's Interfax news agency reported one person was killed and four others wounded in a gunfight at a checkpoint along the road leading from Slavyansk to the regional capital of Donetsk. The Slavyansk operation, dubbed an "antiterrorist action," involved Ukraine's state security service and military and police units from across the country, Mr. Avakov said. "May God be with them," Mr. Avakov wrote on his Facebook page early Sunday, announcing the operation had begun.

A short time later, he said that the men holed up inside the building had begun firing at the Ukrainian forces and urged residents in the center of the eastern Ukrainian city to remain indoors and away from their windows.

Residents reported seeing armored personnel carriers approaching the city and helicopters flying overhead. Russian television station Rossiya 24 reported that tires that had been used as a barricade in front of the building had been set on fire and black smoke could be seen above the city center.

The clash comes after pro-Russia protests spread Saturday in eastern Ukraine, with armed men, some in unmarked, military-style uniforms, moved to commandeer more government buildings.
So now that Ukraine has had its official warning by Lavrov, which it openly ignored, and commenced a crack down on the separatist forces, who may well have been camouflaged Russian army units just like in the Crimea scenario, Kremlin now sees itself fully in its right to cross the border and "defend" people in the east. To be sure, NATO and the west will hardly share Russia's interpretation of events which only means that the situation will further escalate some more.
And if not in Slavyansk, there are more than enough other cities that allow both sides to escalate into lethal gunfights.Reuters reports:
Separatist protesters on Sunday seized control of the mayor's office in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, on the Azov Sea, local media said.

The protesters entered the building following a rally involving about 1,000 people demonstrating in favor of the creation of a separate republic in eastern Ukraine, a local journalist for the newspaper Priazovsky Worker said.

Police did not try to stop them. They entered the offices, took down the Ukrainian flag and were erecting barricades outside the building, the journalist said.
A photo from Mariupol:

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Мариуполь сейчас. Кругом мусор.
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City Hall in Donetsk province right now, seized by separatists pics via @0629ComUa

As we said earlier, if this is merely a gambit by Kiev to provoke western nations into action, it will likely fail. Poland PM Tusk explained why earlier when speaking on Polish radio Zet on events in the Ukraine, when he said that he’s “concerned” there is “relatively little will” in EU, other countries to “strongly support Ukraine. Nobody accepts Crimea annexation, but nobody wants to head for sharp conflict. Which also means Poland itself is isolated in a potential expansion next: Tusk said it’s important Russia doesn’t threaten Poland’s security "we need to know how to mobilize international community." Hopefully it will have more success than Ukraine.
Sure enough, the best the west can mobilize was and continues to be nothing more than harsh language.

Russia must desist from steps which destabilise and undermine the possibility of Contact Group talks

Something Putin knows too well and continues to capitalize on.

French far-right leader opposes ‘EU demonization of Russia’

Published time: April 12, 2014 15:22
French far-right party Front National (FN) presidente Marine Le Pen (AFP Photo / Kenzo Tribouillard)
French far-right party Front National (FN) presidente Marine Le Pen (AFP Photo / Kenzo Tribouillard)
French far-right leader Marine le Pen has spoken out in support of Russia and expressed her dismay at Paris’s refusal to allow MPs to meet State Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin, simply because of his inclusion in the US sanctions list.
Speaking at a meeting with Naryshkin in Moscow, the leader of the National Front party, a member of the European parliament, also believes that Russia is being unfairly “demonized” and that the campaign against the Russian political administration has been cooked up at the highest levels of the EU leadership, with the implicit support of the United States.
"I am surprised a Cold War on Russia has been declared in the European Union," she told colleagues at the meeting. "It's not in line with traditional, friendly relations or with the economic interests of our country or EU countries and harms future relations," she was cited by Interfax as saying.
“Even the threat of sanctions is a counterproductive measure. Decisions can always be reached at the negotiating table – and not by blocking talks.”
“Bans tend to only radicalize positions, and all this at a time when we are all looking for a diplomatic solution to the conflict,” Le Pen said.
She said she believes that the only viable way out of the deadlock would be a policy of Ukrainian federalization. She sees the prospect of holding referendums and federalization as a “wise and carefully weighed” decision.
Another key point for the French party leader has to do with getting all the regional leaders together to discuss the proposals; as such an issue can only be discussed jointly, according to le Pen.
She is also convinced that people have the right to “decide their own fate,” but only when the conditions for doing so are implemented. One such condition has to do with not allowing extremism to flourish, which has the power to derail negotiations between bickering powers.
Meanwhile, the city of Donetsk has since March been seeing people come out en masse in support of a federalized Ukraine. Similar large crowds were seen in Kharkov and Lugansk, with the demonstrations showing no signs of stopping, after Kiev’s recent decision by the coup-appointed authorities to strip the Russian language of its special official status in Ukraine and remove a number of pro-Russian officials from government in the areas.
Naryshkin, for his part, is of the opinion that friendly relations between France and Russia must be preserved for the sake of their peoples. The Duma speaker said that “Russian-French relations are undergoing a difficult period, especially with Russophobic and anti-Russian sentiments sprouting up in Western Europe.”
He also believes France remains one of Russia’s key partners in Europe.

Sunday, April 13

17:12 : GMT : Events in south-eastern Ukraine have taken a very dangerous turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Moscow slammed Sunday’s order, issued by the coup-imposed President Aleksandr Turchinov approving a full-scale security operation in the country’s eastern regions, as “criminal”.
We demand the Maidan henchmen, who overthrew the legitimate president, to immediately stop the war against their own people, to fulfill all the obligations under the Agreement of 21 February,” the Foreign Ministry said.
It depends on the West now to stop the civil war in Ukraine, the ministry stressed.
The Russian side calls the UN Security Council and the OSCE to urgently consider the crisis in south-east Ukraine,” Moscow concluded.
16:46 GMT:
Over 1, 000 people have gathered in central Slavyansk to protest for the federalization of Ukraine. They demand holding a referendum and to stop pressure on Donbas from Kiev. Protesters are chanting “Glory to Donbas”.
16:36 GMT:
A car with passengers was fired at and two were killed and one injured, said journalist Maxim Levin as cited by Interfax. An unconfirmed report suggests that a press card was found in the car. The injured person is in a serious condition and needs to be transported to Donetsk, Levin added.
16:35 GMT:
One man has been killed in Slavyansk near the hospital, medical officials told RIA Novosti. The man has not yet been identified. There have been unconfirmed reports in Ukrainian media that the man could be a journalist.
16:35 GMT:
A rally was held in a south-eastern city Zaporizhia as the people took to the streets holding St. George’s ribbons and Russian flags. The pro-Russian protesters were circled by pro-Maidan activists, who said they want to prevent the seizure of government buildings. Police used tear gas to disperse the crowd and restored the cordon separating the two conflicting sides, UNIAN news agency reported. The pro-Maidan activists reportedly threw eggs and toilet paper rolls at the supporters of Ukraine’s federalization.

15:43 : GMT : 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.
Aleksandr Turchinov (Reuters / Mykhailo Markiv / Ukrainian Presidential Press Service)
Aleksandr Turchinov (Reuters / Mykhailo Markiv / Ukrainian Presidential Press Service)

15:06 GMT:
OSCE monitors have arrived at the protests-gripped city of Slavyansk, local news website reported. An OSCE representative from Poland told the news portal that its position is that people of Ukraine have to solve their domestic conflict without bloodshed. Protesters stopped a car with OSCE representatives as it entered the city. They surrounded the car, shouting that they want to show European monitors what is really happening in Slavyansk, because what European media is reporting is not an accurate picture. They first offered to take them behind the barricades, but then refused to do so.
14:33 GMT:
The US is going to ramp up sanctions against Russia if recent actions continue in Ukraine, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power warned.
"I think we've seen that the sanctions can bite and if actions like the kind we've seen over the last few days continue, you're going to see a ramping up of those sanctions," Power said on ABC's "This Week".
13:58 GMT:
Pro-federalization protesters have seized a Kharkov city administration building, members of the Ukrainian Eastern Bloc movement told RIA Novosti. The information could not be immediately confirmed.
13:36 GMT:
A column of anti-Maidan activists is now heading to the local pre-trial detention center where other anti-government activists are being held. People are shouting slogans such as“Kharkov, wake up!” and “Free Kharkov heroes!” The crowd is demanding the release of at least 70 pro-autonomy activists who were detained by police some days earlier in a demonstration against the Kiev coup-appointed government.
13:35 GMT:
Ten protesters have been injured in clashes in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov between the anti- and pro-Maidan activists, said Svetlana Gorbunova-Ruban, the city’s deputy mayor, Interfax reports. A police officer is among the injured, she added.
13:19 GMT:
The pro-independence activists have erected barricades in the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol next to the building of the local city council, report Interfax. All the entrances to the building have been blocked by tires and sticks.

Protesters hold a rally outside the mayor's office in Mariupol, April 13, 2014. (Reuters)

13:00 GMT:
Pro-independence demonstrations and rallies in support of the Kiev coup-appointed government are taking place in the southeastern city of Zaporozhye, Interfax reports. Police cordons are controlling the situation in the city to prevent clashes.
12:45 GMT:
Clashes between pro-autonomy protesters and those who support new Kiev authorities have escalated in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov, Interfax reports. According to the witnesses, at least three people have been injured in the clashes.
Now the protesters have moved to Svoboda (Freedom) Square and the police cordons are trying to split up the activists.
The clashes started when the column of anti-Maidan activists has heading to the local pre-trial detention center where other anti-government activists are being held . The crowd demanded the release of at least 70 pro-autonomy activists who were detained by police some days earlier in a demonstration against the Kiev coup-appointed government.

12:39 GMT:
Kiev authorities have ordered a crackdown on the eastern city of Slavyansk, DNR Slavyansk reports. A column of armored infantry vehicles and several helicopters have been sent to the city.
However, the column was blocked by local residents at the city limits. The vehicles then turned toward the eastern city of Kharkov. Two fishermen have reportedly received gunshot wounds and have been taken to hospital.
Meanwhile, a group of Crimean Cossacks and members of the coup-disbanded Berkut riot police are heading to help people of Slavyansk, DNR Slavyansk reports. The city residents have dug trenches and resisted the nationalists from the Pravy Sektor (Right Sector ) group. “We [city residents] are chasing them [Right Sector] into the forests,” said a local activist.
11:46 : GMT : The anti-government protesters in the city of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine have taken over the building of the city council, local media reports. At least 1,000 people take part in the demonstration in the center of the city. The protests in Mariupol started in the morning as activists seized the city hall.

Barricades in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, on April 13, 2013 (Photo by Egor Zinin /
Barricades in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, on April 13, 2013 (Photo by Egor Zinin /

11:34 GMT:
The Kiev authorities have ordered a crackdown on two more towns in the Donetsk region, Khartsyzk and Ilovaisk, anti-government activist Nikolay Soltsev told RIA Novosti.
The town of Khartsyzk has 60,000 residents, while 15,000 people live in Ilovaisk.
Image from
Image from

11:12 GMT:
Conflicting reports of casualties are coming in from Slavyansk, which remains the scene of an armed confrontation between pro-Kiev troops and anti-Maidan protesters controlling the city.
The Donetsk region health authorities said one person has been killed on a road connecting Slavyansk with Artyomovsk, and another five injured by gunshots in Slavyansk.
It was not immediately clear whether these casualties were the ones referred to earlier Sunday by Arsen Avakov, Kiev’s acting Interior Minister, or those reported by the protesters.
11:10 GMT:
Three people have been reported killed in Slavyansk after Kiev’s crackdown on the city, anti-government activist Nikolay Solntsev told RIA Novosti. He said that one anti-Maidan protester was killed and two injured, while two people were reportedly killed from the Pravy Sektor (Right sector) nationalist group.
The eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 13, 2014. (AFP Photo / Anatoliy Stepanov)
The eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 13, 2014. (AFP Photo / Anatoliy Stepanov)

11:46 GMT:

10:42 GMT:
A protest rally in the city of Mariupol in eastern Ukraine has escalated into a takeover of city hall, local media reported. This continues the string of seizures of government buildings by anti-Maidan activists in the Donetsk region.

Thousands of anti-Maidan protesters and those who support the new Kiev authorities are holding rival demonstrations in the eastern city of Kharkov.
The anti-government protesters who have already gathered in Svoboda (Freedom) Square in the city center, are demanding the creation of a southeastern Ukraine autonomous region and more powers for the region. They also declared their opposition to Ukraine’s presidential elections scheduled for May 25.
09:58 GMT:
A video, showing anti-Maidan protesters in Slavyansk who have erected barricades in front of the regional police department, has been published online by an eyewitness.

09:54 GMT:
A video showing armored infantry vehicles in the Donetsk region city of Slavyansk has been published online by Delovoy Slavyansk newspaper. The video shows at least a dozen vehicles with military personnel apparently preparing for the Kiev-ordered crackdown.

09:25 GMT:
One Ukrainian state security officer was killed and five others were wounded on the side of government forces in a security operation against anti-Maidan protesters in Slavyansk, Ukraine’s east, according to the acting interior minister.
On the side of the protesters, there was an "unidentifiable number" of casualties during the operation, Arsen Avakov said on his Facebook page.
09:23 GMT:
The troops besieging Ukraine’s Slavyansk all come from Western Ukraine, a source in Ukraine’s security agencies told RIA Novosti on condition of anonymity. The source also alleged that they are the entire contingent of western Ukrainian forces.
09:06 GMT:
The anti-Maidan protesters have seized the city council, police and prosecutors’ office buildings in the Donetsk region town of Enakievo. The town is home to some 85,000 people.
09:06 GMT:
US Vice-President Joe Biden will visit Kiev on April 22 to show Washington’s support“for a united, democratic Ukraine that makes its own choices about its future path,” the White House said.
Meanwhile, CIA director John Brennan has reportedly already visited Kiev and held a meeting with the country’s leaders, as well as with representatives of Ukraine’s security agencies, a source from Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, told Interfax news agency.
According to unconfirmed reports, Brennan influenced the decision by the Kiev authorities to crackdown on anti-Maidan activists in the eastern city of Slavyansk, the source said.
09:05 GMT:
A Russian cameraman has been denied entry to Ukraine at the Donetsk airport, the Moscow bureau of a Dutch state broadcaster reports. The cameraman didn’t have enough money on him, local authorities said.

Mijn (Russische) cameraman mag Oekraïne niet in. Tegengehouden op vliegveld Dontesk. Reden: hij heeft niet genoeg geld bij zich.

08:51 GMT:
Pro-independence protesters in Slavyansk have erected barricades, one of them near the road leading to the city of Donetsk, in response to Kiev troops besieging one of the city’s checkpoints, RIA Novosti reported. The activists say they are not going to let the troops into the city.
Entrances to the city as well as the city center have been blocked by police troops, a helicopter is flying overhead and almost all the stores have been closed. The anti-Maidan protesters have gathered on the square in front of the regional police department, burning tires from the barricades.
Earlier Kiev announced that it was launching a crackdown on the protests in Slavyansk.

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Inside barricades

08:43 GMT:
A Russian cameraman has been denied entry to Ukraine at the Donetsk airport, the Moscow bureau of a Dutch Netherlands Broadcasting Foundation (NOS) reports. The cameraman didn’t have enough money on him, local authorities said.
07:52 GMT:
An emergency session of Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, is due to start in a few minutes. It was called on Saturday evening in response to the crisis in the southeast of the country, where anti-Maidan protesters have started seizing governmental buildings.
The parliamentary debate comes as gunfight was reported Sunday morning in the town of Slavyansk, where protesters have taken over police and other buildings. Kiev announced Sunday it was launching a crackdown on the protests.
05:57 GMT:
Coup-appointed Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has announced an “anti-terrorist operation” in the city of Slavyansk, eastern Ukraine, where anti-Kiev activists seized several governmental buildings on Saturday. He made the announcement on his Facebook page, which he regularly uses to report on his ministry’s activities.
Avakov already announced “zero-tolerance policy towards armed terrorists” in Slavyansk and the deployment of anti-terrorist troops in the city on Saturday morning. However no action materialized, as security troops reportedly refused to follow an order to attack protesters.
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.
03:33 GMT:

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anti- protestors' night life.A place 2 come when u feel lonely: there is always some1 to talk to there

01:24 GMT:
Ukraine is de-facto bankrupt, said Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, on a visit to Odessa. The West will help improve the financial situation in Ukraine, but will strictly monitor the use of international funds, he added.
"Ukraine is de facto bankrupt. The country suffers from extensive corruption," said Bildt, ITAR -TASS reported citing local media. He also expressed hope that the IMF recovery package will help Ukraine's economy, stressing that the West will not tolerate if the money settles in the hands of private individuals.
Bildt also said that Russia "must stop dictating terms to Ukraine," and in order to de-escalate the conflict Moscow also "must reverse the Federation Council's decision" allowing potential use of Russian troops in Ukraine, as well as "pull back troops" from Ukraine's border.
00:07 GMT:
Using force to suppress pro-federalization protests in south-east of Ukraine is out of the question, presidential candidate Sergey Tigipko said.
“This situation cannot be resolved by force. The first victims will trigger a civil war,” the presidential candidate was quoted by his press service, as he urged the Parliament in Kiev to adopt measures aimed at deescalating tensions in the country.
In particular Tigipko called on PMs to announce “specific dates” for governor elections and to consider early parliamentary elections. He also urged Kiev to take measures to disarm the militias across the country.

Ukraine’s far-right leader calls for Right Sector’s total mobilization

Published time: April 12, 2014 19:22
Edited time: April 13, 2014 10:34

Supporters of the radical movement "Right Sector" (RIA Novosti/Grigoriy Vasilenko)
Supporters of the radical movement "Right Sector" (RIA Novosti/Grigoriy Vasilenko)
Far-right Right Sector party leader Dmitry Yarosh has called his supporters to mobilize and get ready to take decisive steps to ‘defend Ukraine’s sovereignty’. He urged the security forces not to interfere but help the nationalists restore ‘legal order’.
In an online video on the Right Sector Youtube page Yarosh “commanded all arms of the Right Sector to fully mobilize and get ready to take decisive steps to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“I call upon the Ukrainian security forces not only to refrain from counteracting the Right Sector, but also help [the party members] to bring legal order to the Ukrainian land,” he said.
On Monday radical activists representing the Right Sector attempted to storm Kiev’s Supreme Court building, demanding the adoption of lustration legislation, which implies that people connected to the former regime may not hold office in the new authority.
Over 1,500 nationalists from the Right Sector circled the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev on March 27. They demanded the resignation of Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov after the police killed Aleksandr Muzychko also known as Sashko Bilyi, one of the Right Sector leaders. The group held Avakov personally responsible for the death of the notorious radical militant.

Following the siege of Kiev parliament Ukraine’s security officials discussed banning the Right Sector.

The Right Sector movement first came to international spotlight at the end of November 2013 supporting the pro-EU protests in Kiev. Its members were very active in the violence which triggered the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovich. Right Sector fighters used clubs, petrol bombs, and firearms against Ukrainian police while wearing Nazi insignia.

In March the ultra-nationalist movement decided to become a political party, nominating Yarosh for president.

Yarosh has headed an ultra-right Stepan Bandera All-Ukrainian Organization ″Tryzub″ since 2005. During the EuroMaidan protests, the organization became the base of the Right Sector. Russia put Yarosh on an international wanted list and charged him with inciting terrorism after he urged Chechen terrorist leader Doku Umarov to launch attacks on Russia. Yarosh has also threatened to destroy Russian pipelines on Ukrainian territory.

​Kiev risks ruining four-party talks if force used in Ukraine’s east – Lavrov to Kerry

Published time: April 13, 2014 02:44
Edited time: April 13, 2014 04:59

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry (AFP Photo/Kevin Lamarque)
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry (AFP Photo/Kevin Lamarque)
If Kiev fulfils its threat to use force against desperate South-eastern Ukrainians, it will undermine the prospect of a four-sided meeting in Geneva as well as other cooperation on the Ukrainian crisis, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov told his US counterpart.
In a phone call on Friday the top diplomats discussed the Ukrainian crisis and preparations for a meeting in Geneva planned to take place next week.
Lavrov has warned John Kerry that “if Kiev’s threats to use force against people driven to despair in the southeast are carried out, prospects for further cooperation on the Ukrainian issue, including a planned four-party meeting in Geneva, will be foiled,” according to Russia’s foreign ministry’s statement.
“The leadership in Kiev is demonstrating its inability to bear responsibility for the fate of the country and to effectively engage all political forces and regions in an inclusive process of drafting a new constitution,” the ministry said.
Lavrov once again drew Kerry’s attention to the fact that the political crisis in Ukraine – particularly the south-eastern regions – was caused by the “present Kiev authorities’ failure to take into account the legitimate needs and interests of the Russian and Russian-speaking population.”
The US Secretary of State in the meantime expressed his concerns over the mass protests in the south-eastern regions of Ukraine, claiming that was the “result of ‘instigation’ and nearly direct intervention of the Russian side,” the ministry said.
However, Kerry has stopped short of providing any concrete facts whatsoever, instead repeating that “Russia must remove its people from the South-East.”
According to a senior State Department official, US Secretary of State John Kerry also said that if Moscow does not de-escalate the crisis in eastern Ukraine and “move its troops back from Ukraine's border,” there would be “additional consequences."
The Russian Foreign Ministry was prepared to consider solid information about “Russian agents”allegedly operating in Ukraine.
Armed men stand in front of the police headquarters building in Slaviansk, April 12, 2014. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)
Armed men stand in front of the police headquarters building in Slaviansk, April 12, 2014. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)

In a phone conversation, Lavrov recalled similar complaints from the coup-imposed Ukrainian FM Andrey Deshchytsia, who has also failed to provide a single piece of evidence.
“If the American side has concrete information to this effect, we are ready to consider it,” Lavrov told Kerry.
Elaborating on a phone call further, a US State Department official told Reuters that Kerry“expressed strong concern that attacks today by armed militants in eastern Ukraine were orchestrated and synchronized, similar to previous attacks in eastern Ukraine and Crimea."
Speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, the official claimed that "militants were equipped with specialized Russian weapons and the same uniforms as those worn by the Russian forces that invaded Crimea.”
"We are very concerned by the concerted campaign we see underway in eastern Ukraine today by pro-Russian separatists, apparently with support from Russia, who are inciting violence and sabotage and seeking to undermine and destabilize the Ukrainian state," said a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, Laura Lucas Magnuson.
Pro-Russian protesters shout slogans at the police headquarters in Slaviansk, April 12, 2014. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)
Pro-Russian protesters shout slogans at the police headquarters in Slaviansk, April 12, 2014. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)

The protests in south-eastern Ukraine were stemmed on the fact that the people were being ignored by Kiev authorities for over two months and while their own Russian culture was being ripped away from them, the Russian FM said in an interview on Friday.
Protest rallies have been taking place in the region every weekend since the coup deposed the government in Kiev back in February.
Tensions escalated this week when – desperate to attract Kiev’s attention to their problems – protesters in several cities, including Donetsk, Kharkov and Lugansk started seizing local administration buildings. Ukraine’s Interior Ministry promised a harsh response to the riots in the east, especially in the “separatist regions” of Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkov. The coup-appointed authorities said they would arrest all violators, "regardless of the declared slogans and party affiliation."

‘Dead, wounded’ on both sides in Ukraine police raid

An armed man stands next to a barricade in front of the police headquarters in Slavyansk April 13, 2014. (Reuters)
Both sides have suffered casualties during a raid by Ukrainian special forces on a police station in the eastern city of Slavyansk that was seized by pro-Russian gunmen, Agence France-Presse reported Ukraine’s interior minister as saying.

“There are dead and wounded on both sides,” minister Arsen Avakov wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday.
“On our side - an ABU (Ukrainian Security Service) officer... On [the] side of the separatists -- an unidentified number... The separatists have started to protect themselves using human shields.”
The raid followed the announcement by Avakov of  an “anti-terrorist operation” in Slavyansk to end pro-Russia separatists’ control over police and security services buildings.
“An anti-terrorist operation has begun in Slavyansk. It is being directed by the anti-terrorist center of the state security service,” the minister wrote on his Facebook page.
“Units from all of the country’s force structures are participating. May God be with us,” he added.
On Saturday, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on all sides in the Ukraine crisis to “exercise maximum restraint” and engage in dialogue to de-escalate the situation there, AFP reported.

Ban’s appeal came as Ukraine accused Moscow of “aggression” after Kalashnikov-wielding gunmen seized two security buildings in its restive eastern rust belt amid spreading protests demanding the Russified region join Kremlin rule.

Ban is “deeply concerned” about the deteriorating situation and “growing potential for violent clashes,” a U.N. statement said.

The secretary general “appeals to all sides to work towards calming the situation, adhere to the rule of law and exercise maximum restraint,” the statement added.

He also “calls again for urgent and constructive dialogue to de-escalate the situation and address all differences.”

Ukraine's Slavyansk under siege as Kiev orders crackdown on protests

There are reports from the scene of a gunfight in the city of Slavyansk in eastern Ukraine, where anti-government protesters seized several buildings. It comes after Kiev announced an “anti-terrorist operation” against the protesters.
Helicopters are flying over the defiant city in the Donetsk region. The aircraft are Ukrainian, judging by two white markings on their tails painted on all Ukrainian military hardware to distinguish them from Russian ones of the same design. Armored infantry vehicles have been also spotted near the city.
Local residents said several transport helicopters landed at an old airfield some 5 kilometers from the town center. Troops wearing black uniforms disembarked and went toward Slavyansk.
The shooting reportedly started at a checkpoint, which was established by protesters Saturday evening on the outskirts of the city.
In the skirmishes, one of the troops from Kiev was killed and five others were injured, coup-appointed Interior Minister Arsen Avakov reported on his Facebook page, which he regularly uses to report on his ministry’s activities.
The officer killed was a member of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), he said, adding that among those injured is the commander of the SBU’s Anti-Terrorist Center.
Avakov said that the protesters had also sustained casualties, but gave no further details. He accused them of using civilians as human shields. Reporters in Slavyansk said that some locals were present at the protester-held buildings and barricades, but said they were volunteers supporting the pro-independence cause.
At least one of the protesters’ checkpoints was taken down and demolished by troops from Kiev. However, the defenders fell back and erected a new barricade at a bridge, RIA Novosti reports.
The defenders of the city set on fire some of the barricades, which were made from tires.
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