Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ukraine updates May 27 , 2014 -- Two days after the Presidential Election , Kiev military actions against South Eastern Ukraine continue with substantial loss of life ( perhaps 100 deaths between self - defense fighters and civilians just in Donetsk Region ) ..... Donbass coalminers to strike until Kiev withdraws troops from region ......


More than 50 self-defense fighters and as many civilians have been killed since Ukrainian troops stepped up their offensive in the region on Monday, according to the PM of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Boroday.
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“We’ve lost more than 50 self-defense fighters,” Boroday said, as cited by RIA Novosti. “Many of the casualties are a result of two Kamaz trucks having been shelled by the Ukrainian army. The trucks were driving the wounded from the battlefield near the airport. Around 15 people died there.”
Boroday spoke to journalists next to a morgue in Donestk where identification of the bodies is under way.
“Two of our Kamaz trucks were fired at from the air and from an ambush on the ground. Shooting the wounded runs contrary to all international conventions,” Boroday added.
A wrecked Kamaz truck is seen near the Donetsk airport May 27, 2014. (Reuters / Yannis Behrakis)
A wrecked Kamaz truck is seen near the Donetsk airport May 27, 2014. (Reuters / Yannis Behrakis)

He said the significant number of casualties could be explained by extensive use of air force by the Ukrainian military on Monday.
Chairman of the Donetsk People’s Republic Supreme council, Denis Pushilin, also estimated that around 100 people might have been killed by Ukrainian troops.
It’s still “impossible to pick up all of the dead bodies as snipers are shooting at anyone who tries to come near them,” Pushilin said.
Donetsk City Council, however, puts the number of casualties at 40, with the official statement released by its press office saying that "two civilians and 38 fighters died.”
Footage by LifeNews shows a truck full of dead bodies. Representatives of the self-defense squads say they cannot yet give the names of those killed; the process of identification has only just began.
They were wounded. The car was driving them from a battlefield,” a masked representative of the self-defense forces in Donetsk told LifeNews. “First snipers shot the driver, then they fired point-blank at the rest from a shoulder-launcher. The survivors were then gunned down by Right Sector militants - no one in the truck survived.”
Also overnight, self-defense forces reported that Ukrainian military opened fire at an ambulance transporting two injured from the Donetsk airport. The doctors inside the ambulance were unharmed, deputy of Donbass’ self-defense forces, Sergey Tsypakov, told RIA Novosti. The two wounded remain in the ambulance and it is not possible to evacuate them at this point, he added.
This comes as the Ukrainian military is broadening its offensive against anti-Kiev forces in the southeast of the country.
A Ukrainian helicopter Mi-24 gunship fires decoy flares over a residential area moments after attacking Donetsk international airport May 26, 2014. (Reuters / Yannis Behrakis)
A Ukrainian helicopter Mi-24 gunship fires decoy flares over a residential area moments after attacking Donetsk international airport May 26, 2014. (Reuters / Yannis Behrakis)

The fighting in Donetsk continued throughout the night around the airport, which was on Monday taken under control by Ukrainian troops, after they unleashed fighter jets and helicopters at the armed self-defense forces, who occupied the airport earlier in the day.

Boroday claims the troops also suffered losses.
“They were on the offensive, that’s why their losses have not been that big. We intercept their conversations, they are demoralized and are counting on breaking through from the airport.”
Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, however, denies any casualties on the army side.
"The airport is fully under control. The enemy sustained serious losses, we have none,” Avakov said on Tuesday, as cited by the ministry’s press service.
A self-defense fighter called Evgeny, wounded in the fighting at the airport, told RT the National Guard wasn’t just shooting at military targets.
They occasionally turned their weapons away from us and started firing at two-storeyed buildings, private houses - they were demolishing first floors, and also shooting at a school.”
Airstrikes started after the self-defense forces failed to comply with the ultimatum put forward by Kiev's troops, that is to surrender by 1pm local time, Vladislav Seleznyov, the head of the counter-terror operation said on his Facebook page.
The State Aviation Service halted air traffic through the airport till 9.00am local time Tuesday.
Loud explosions and gunfire were reported from Donetsk throughout the day, with Ukrainian army aircraft occasionally circling around the airport.
Reports of fighting outside the city airport also emerged. RT’s sources in Donetsk said a private housing area was being shelled by mortar fire “for over an hour.
The body of a civilian lies on the ground outside a train station in Donetsk on May 26, 2014. (AFP Photo / Fabio Bucciarelli)
The body of a civilian lies on the ground outside a train station in Donetsk on May 26, 2014. (AFP Photo / Fabio Bucciarelli)

Also on Monday, at least three civilians were reportedly killed and several wounded when the Ukrainian military launched a mortar attack on the town of Slavyansk in eastern Ukraine.
The clashes in Donetsk began just a few hours after the early results of the elections were announced.
Ukrainian confectionary tycoon Pyotr Poroshenko is winning the presidential election in the first round of voting, having secured more than 50 percent of votes.
Government troops will go on with the military operation until not a single self-defense fighter “is left on the territory of Ukraine,” said Vice Premier Vitaly Yarema, as cited by RIA Novosti.
Yarema said the military operation was suspended on May 25, the day the presidential election was held in Ukraine.
It has now been resumed, we saw the results yesterday,” Yarema said on Tuesday. He did not specify how long the operation might take.
President Putin once again urged “immediate termination of the military punitive operation in the southeastern regions [of Ukraine] and a launch of peaceful dialogue between Kiev and the regions,” says a statement issued on Tuesday by his press-service.

Itar Tass....

Donbass coalminers go on open-ended strike to demand troop withdrawal from region

 May 27, 15:31 UTC+4
Six coalminers have joined the industrial action so far, others are expected to join the strike later
DONETSK, May 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Coalminers in the Donbass coalfields have gone on an open-ended strike to demand that Ukrainian troops and other forces leave the Donetsk Region, Konstantin Kuzmin, First Deputy Coal Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, told ITAR-TASS.
“Donbass coalminers are starting an open-ended strike to demand an end to the military crackdown and the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the region,” he said.
Six coalminers have joined the industrial action so far. "We expect that many more will follow suit,” he said.
In the meantime, fighter planes keep flying over Donetsk. The situation in the center of the city is relatively calm, but many businesses, including shops, banks and cafes, are closed. Public transport operates depending on the situation.
The press-service of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said the authorities in Kiev resumed the military operation on Tuesday afternoon. According to some sources, local residents have been warned that they have three hours to leave the city. The authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic expect that the city of Donetsk will be stormed soon.

West looking for pretexts to exert pressure on Russia — Lavrov

 May 27, 14:21 UTC+4
Russia is interested in crisis settlement in Ukraine and was not going to disrupt the May 25 presidential elections, Russian Foreign Minister stressed
Sergei Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov

© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Sevostyanov
MOSCOW, May 27. /ITAR-TASS/. The West is looking for pretexts to exert pressure on Russia, but these attempts are ridiculous, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday after a meeting of the Russian-Turkish High-Level Cooperation Council. 
The attempts to put pressure on Russia have never yielded results, Lavrov added.
Lavrov said that he had also heard the US statement regarding the Ukrainian debt for Russia’s natural gas, alleging that Russia’s actions in this sphere are illegitimate and sanctions may follow. “It is ridiculous, the people are engaged in the search for at least some little pretext for exerting pressure on us, it is laughable,” the minister stressed.
“As far as the Western sanctions are concerned, if there had been no Ukrainian issue, then something else would have been found,” Lavrov said. “Way before the tragic events in Kiev’s squares, before the radicals seized Kiev’s Independence Square, there had been many other attempts to find Russia's fault over Syria and Iran and the Winter Olympics. All this reflects some in-depth processes in the West," the minister explained.

Casualties in Donetsk clashes may reach 100 people

 May 27, 13:50 UTC+4
Denis Pushilin added that there were up to 50 civilians among the victims
People wait in line to donate blood to the wounded at a hospital in Donetsk

People wait in line to donate blood to the wounded at a hospital in Donetsk

© ITAR-TASS/Konstantin Sazonchik
DONETSK, May 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Fatalities may reach 100 people in a punitive operation active stage of which Ukrainian law enforcement agencies started in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Monday. Chairman of the Supreme Council presidium of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin reported this to ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.
Denis Pushilin added that there were up to 50 civilians among the victims.
“At present, it is known that more than 50 militiamen have been killed. In addition, according to preliminary reports, from 20 up to 50 civilians died,” he said. Pushilin has noted that until now “it is impossible to take away the bodies of all the victims, because snipers are shooting at everyone who attempts to approach them”.
Earlier, Donetsk mayor Alexander Lukyanchenko has confirmed that at least 40 people were killed in a military operation carried out by the Ukrainian security forces in the city. He said that all of them died in combat near the city’s airport.
Parliament-appointed Minister of Interior Affairs Arsen Avakov has confirmed that “dozens of people” died in the special raid.

Situation in Donetsk

Clashes in the area of the Sergei Prokofyev international airport in Donetsk started Monday morning. Ukrainian armed forces used storming aviation, in particular, fighter planes and combat helicopters. Fighting near the airport continued the whole day through and the following night as well. Denis Pushilin said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel that people’s militia forces managed to shoot down two helicopters of the Ukrainian armed forces and take control over the airport’s building.
Several hours ago near the Putilovskiy bridge and local military enlistment office fierce fighting between militiamen and servicemen of the Ukrainian National Guard took place. An ITAR-TASS journalist reported from the spot of the events that the area of combat actions was cordoned by the police, but law enforcement officers were avoiding actions since they were armed only with service guns instead of automatic weapons.
According to the press service of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, the situation in the city is currently calm.