Saturday, June 14, 2014

Ukraine Updates June 14 , 2014 -- Dozens dead as rebels down Ukraine army plane Kiev launches air strikes against rebels in Luhansk after 49 people die in downing of plane landing at city's airport - in light of the US State Department commentary Friday that Separatists had accumulated heavy weapons from Russian including tanks and rocket launches , expect to hear drumbeats for more sanctions against Russia . ......... Gazprom-Naftogaz meeting to be held in Kiev on June 14

14 June 2014, 21:57

Protesters in Kiev pelt Russian embassy with stones

Protesters in Kiev pelt Russian embassy with stones

Picketers outside of the Russian embassy in Kiev on Saturday evening started throwing smoke-puff charges at the building. An Interfax correspondent reports that they continue smashing the diplomats' cars and throwing eggs, car parts and stones at the embassy. Several windows have been broken.

According to Interfax, Maidan self-defense activists have joined the picketers. In addition to smoke-puff charges they are using smoke pellets. The attachment of the Ukrainian flag to the fence near the entrance to the embassy aroused a stormy reaction from the crowd.



Over 200 people are picketing at the Russian embassy in Kiev against Russian policy and aggression towards Ukraine. From Interfax-Ukraine:

According to an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent, about 200 people gathered near the main entrance of the diplomatic mission, blocked by various improvised means, in particular, old doors, and tires.
Several people are standing along the lattice fence of the embassy with slogans against Russia, with the appeals not to negotiate with the leadership of the Russian Federation and stop Russia's interfering in the internal affairs of Ukraine.
There are plenty of photos on social media of the event:

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
"Protesters throw eggs at Russian embassy in Kyiv. They're shouting 'for our soldiers'" TT @pavelsheremet

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter
Angry protesters took down Russian flag at Russian embassy in Kyiv via @Kateryna_Kruk

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
Few more fotos from . embassy.

Ukraine hits back after rebels down plane

Kiev launches air strikes against rebels after military transport plane is shot down near Luhansk, killing 49 people.

Last updated: 14 Jun 2014 18:17
Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker
Email Article

Print Article

Share article

Send Feedback
The Ukrainian military has launched air strikes against separatist strongholds in the country's eastern region following the shooting down of a transport plane that killed 49 people.
The military targeted on Saturday rebel checkpoints in Luhansk and a military base that had been taken over by pro-Russian separatists, in retaliation for the downing of the plane, Al Jazeera's Kim Vinnell, reporting near Luhansk, said.
"It's a very dangerous development here," our correspondent said. "Separatists in Luhansk are very much in control of the city, and they say that they are going to meet this attack with everything that they have got."
Al Jazeera's Neave Barker, reporting from the city of Horlivka, said shelling could also be heard in the nearby city of Donetsk, which was also controlled by the rebels.
On Saturday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko summoned his security chiefs for consultations and promised an "adequate" response after the transport plane was shot down.
"All those involved in cynical acts of terrorism of this magnitude must be punished," he said, declaring Sunday a day of mourning for the nine crew and 40 paratroopers aboard the Ilyushin-76 aircraft.
Overnight, rebel fighters, using anti-aircraft weapons and a heavy-calibre machine gun brought down the plane as it was coming in to land, a defence spokesman said.
Charred debris was scattered for hundreds of metres over the sloping wheat field where the plane came down near Novohannivka, a village 20km southeast of Luhansk.
The tail section jutted up from the ground, with parts of the engines, fuselage and other parts lying around it.
A platoon of rebel forces clad in camouflage fatigues scoured through the ruins for ammunition that had been intended for the government forces in east Ukraine.
Rebel fighters said they fired on the plane after it violated a "no-fly zone" imposed against government aircraft.
Deadliest attack
The toll is the highest suffered by government forces in a single incident since the conflict in Ukraine began, and is likely to fuel tension between Russia and Kiev's main ally, the United States, which accuses Moscow of arming the rebels.
In Kiev, the deadly plane attack has set off a protest outside the Russian embassy, with demonstrators turning upside down vehicles reportedly owned by embassy staff.
Meanwhile, NATO released on Saturday satellite pictures that it said raised suspicions about Russia's role in moving military equipment into eastern Ukraine.
NATO said that the images showed Russian tanks arrived at a staging area close to the Ukraine border days before similar tanks appeared this week in areas of eastern Ukraine under separatist control.
Ukrainian Interior Minister Arseny Avakov said the tanks had rolled across the border from Russia. Rebels claimed they were from a Ukrainian military stockpile.
Evidence that Russia is sending in heavy armour and weapons could encourage the US and the EU to impose new sanctions on Moscow, so far limited largely to visa bans and asset freezes on some individuals, banks and companies.

June 14, 2014

Ukraine: These Tanks ... And The State Department Lies Again

The Ukrainian coup government claims that Russian tanks crossed the border and are in use by federalists in east Ukraine. First claims talked about three Russian T-72 tanks but later claims changed the type of the tank to T64s. The tanks can be seen driving here (vid) and here (vid).
The U.S. State Department is now endorsing that claim:
The State Department said Friday that Russia had sent tanks and other heavy weapons to separatists in Ukraine, supporting accusations Thursday by the Ukrainian government.A convoy of three T-64 tanks, several BM-21 multiple rocket launchers and other military vehicles crossed the border near the Ukrainian town of Snizhne, State Department officials said. The Ukrainian Army reported Friday that it had destroyed two of the tanks and several other vehicles in the convoy.
“This is unacceptable,” said Marie Harf, the deputy State Department spokeswoman. “A failure by Russia to de-escalate this situation will lead to additional costs.”
The T-64 is an obsolescent tank no longer in active use by Russian forces, but still stored in southwest Russia.
“Russia will claim these tanks were taken from Ukrainian forces, but no Ukrainian tank units have been operating in that area,” the State Department said Friday. “We are confident that these tanks came from Russia.”
There are several lies in this State Department claims. Ukrainian tank units are operating in the area against federalists. Here are several photos (scroll down) from Associated Press showing them - also pic 7 here. The tanks re T-64 BV, the upgraded subtype used in the Ukrainian army.
T-64BV – Features "Kontakt-1" reactive armour and "Tucha" 81-mm smoke grenade launchers on the left of the turret.
All Soviet era T-64 tanks were exclusively build and later upgraded in Kharkov, Ukraine. The Ukrainian state dealer Ukrspecexport still selling such upgraded tanks. Distinct features of the T-64 BV subtype are marked in picture 17 of this gallery at Two smoke grenade launchers at the left side of the turret - none on the right -, the boxes at the rear of the turret and the infrared searchlight to the left of the gun are special features which can also be seen on page 4-14.1 of the OPFOR Worldwide Equipment Guide (pdf) of the U.S. TRADOC DCSINT Threat Support Directorate.
Russia had some 4,000 T-64s. It did not upgrade them but scrapped those it had.

Ukraine: Those Tanks ...

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said the tanks and several armored personnel carriers entered eastern Ukraine through a checkpoint manned by rebels in the Luhansk region. He said government troops attacked the convoy when it reached the neighboring Donetsk region, destroying part of it. The claim could not be independently verified.
Why bother to verify this "news" when one can just easily write "The claim could not be independently verified". Is that supposed to be journalism?
The New York Times is a bit more careful. Tanks, of Unknown Origin, Roll Into Ukraine:
The Ukrainian interior minister, Arsen Avakov, told reporters in Kiev, the capital, that the armored column included three tanks, as well as armored personnel carriers and armored cars, and had traversed the border at a separatist-controlled crossing.A video posted online appeared to show a tank, spewing exhaust, clanking down a street in Snizhne, a town about midway between Donetsk, a provincial capital controlled by separatists, and the Russian frontier. Reuters reported that two of its journalists saw the tanks in Snizhne but could not establish where they had come from; separatists on the scene said the tanks had been taken from a Ukrainian military warehouse.
The pictures I have seen seem to show a variant of the T-64 tanks that are modified and sold by the Ukrainian weapon industry and are used in the Ukrainian military. As far as I know Russia does no longer have such tanks in service. How difficult would it be for real journalists to verify that?
Other news from Ukraine:
The Ukrainian coup-government claims to have taken Mariupol, a city so far held by federalists. Taking is one part. Can they hold?
The coup government rejected a Gazprom offer to buy Russian gas for $385 per 1,000 cubic meter. That is about the same price that Ukraine's neighbors pay. But the coup government, likely advised by Washington, rejected that offer. It still did not pay the debt it owns to Gazprom and the flow of gas will accordingly reduced soon. There will be no immediate crisis as some reserves are kept in storage but the issue is destined to further escalate.

The "western" media start to report bits of the humanitarian crisis the Ukrainian government is creating with fight against its own people or "terrorists" as it claims. The honeymoon most "western" media have had with the coup government in Ukraine seem to end. Bits of the truth come into play. Unless of course the media that "reports" is the Washington Post.

Dozens dead as rebels down Ukraine army plane

Kiev launches air strikes against rebels in Luhansk after 49 people die in downing of plane landing at city's airport.

Last updated: 14 Jun 2014 07:07
Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker
Email Article

Print Article

Share article

Send Feedback

Ukraine's Defence ministry said the Ilyushin-76 was carrying soldiers and supplies [Flickr/Ronnie Macdonald]
Pro-Russian separatists have shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane 10km from the eastern city of Luhansk, killing 49 people on board, a defence spokesman has said.
Ukrainian officials offered condolences on Saturday to the families of the killed soldiers.
A ministry statement said "terrorists" had "cynically" fired a large-calibre machine gun hitting a Ukrainian air force Ilyushin-76 as it was about to land at Luhansk airport, the AFP news agency reported.
Al Jazeera's Kim Vinnell, reporting from Donetsk, said the Ukrainian military had launched air strikes on separatist positions inside Luhansk in retaliation for the downing of the plane.
Close to the Russian border, Luhansk is the main city of one of two eastern regions hit by violence and which has declared its independence from Kiev.
The airport is the only area of Luhansk still under Ukrainian government control, Vinnell said.
'Anti-terrorist' clampdown
On Friday morning, Ukrainian troops, including special forces, launched an operation to expel pro-Moscow fighters in the port city of Mariupol, leaving five rebels and two soldiers dead.
Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov called the raid a success, and witnesses said that at least four separatists had been arrested, the AP news agency reported.
Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of supplying separatists with weapons, supplies and fighters.
Also on Friday, the US confirmed earlier reports that a convoy of armoured vehicles, including three Russian T-64 tanks, had moved in to Ukraine from Russia and were now in rebel hands.
US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Washington had information that Russia had accumulated tanks of a type no longer used by its own forces in southwest Russia, and some had recently left the area.
Harf said the alleged transfer of arms from Russia to rebels in Ukraine was "unacceptable".
An "anti-terrorist" clampdown by Ukrainian armed forces has left at least 270 people dead in eastern Ukraine over the past two months.

Gazprom-Naftogaz meeting to be held in Kiev on June 14

 June 14, 14:32 UTC+4
The Russian position in talks with Ukraine on gas was clear and consistent
© © AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev
MOSCOW, June 14 (ITAR-TASS) - A new meeting between Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine would be held in Kiev this Saturday, Gazprom's spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov told ITAR-TASS.
'Now a new meeting is being prepared in Kiev to be held in another format, not the same as the previous consultations," - he said.
The Russian position in talks with Ukraine on gas was clear and consistent, he noted.
"We are ready to look for compromises, but it is not helpful to press on us. Our approaches to the solution of the accumulated problems have been repeatedly presented,"- Kupriyanov said.
"We will see what the new consultations will give," - he added.

Yatsenyuk wants to disrupt trilateral gas talks between EU, Russia and Ukraine - Pushkov

 June 14, 1:41 UTC+4
MOSCOW, June 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk wants to disrupt gas talks with Russia, Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian State Duma Committee for International Affairs, said on Friday, June 13.
“As a U.S. puppet, Yatsenyuk is trying to disrupt the gas talks,” Pushkov tweeted on his page on Friday.
“Both Europe and Ukraine are going to lose. But Yatsenyuk is not caring a dime about that. He is Obama’s servant,” Pushkov wrote.
Gazprom’s Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller said the day before that Arseniy Yatsenyuk was to blame for the disruption of trilateral gas talks between the European Union, Russia and Ukraine. He explained that Yatsenyuk had said that Ukraine would not pay more than 268 USD per 1,000 cu m of gas in the midst of trilateral talks between the European Union, Russia and Ukraine. Miller also said that Gazprom would no longer delay the date of transition to pre-payment in relations with Naftogaz Ukrainy. The final deadline for paying the debt is 10:00 Moscow time on June 16.
Yatsenyuk has, in turn, accused Russia of disrupting the gas talks.

Ukraine rebels shoot down military plane

At least 49 killed after transport jet brought down near Luhansk airport in major blow for Kiev
Ukraine tanks
A Ukrainian military plane has been brought down in Luhansk, while Washington has criticised Russia after tanks crossed the border. Photograph: Efrem Lukatsky/AP
Pro-Russian separatists have shot down a large military transport plane in eastern Ukraine, reportedly killing 49 people on board in a major blow for the government's efforts to quell the insurgency.
The defence ministry said the plane was shot down as it approached an airport at Luhansk. The Il-76 transport plane had been carrying service personnel, equipment and food. The military spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov told the Reuters news agency that 49 people had died.
The toll would be the biggest suffered by government forces in a single incident since Kiev began a military operation to try to defeat the insurgency in eastern Ukraine.
A defence ministry statement said the rebels "cynically and perfidiously" shot down the plane using anti-aircraft guns and heavy calibre machine guns.
An Il-76 is a four-engined jet that can be used to transport heavy equipment and people. Luhansk, near Ukraine's eastern border withRussia, is an area where separatists have seized government buildings and declared independence after holding disputed referendums.
On Saturday, the Russian energy firm Gazprom said preparations were underway to avert gas supply cuts and possible flow disruption to Europe amid demands for Ukraine to pay £1.15bn of its debts by Monday.
"We are ready to seek compromise, but it is useless to put pressure on us," Gazprom's Sergei Kupriyanov said. Previous talks between Russia and Ukraine, brokered by the European commission, have ended without a firm agreement.
On Friday the US state department said a convoy of military vehicles, including three tanks, had been transported from a Russian depot into Ukraine this week. Three T-64 tanks, multiple rocket launchers and other military vehicles crossed from Russia into Ukraine near the town of Snizhne, the state department said, describing the action as unacceptable. The vehicles – apparently out-of-use Russian tanks – appear to have been commandeered by Ukrainian separatist forces.
Ukraine first raised concerns about the tanks on Thursday, after several reports, including video footage uploaded to YouTube (video), appeared to show them passing through Snizhne.
Kiev maintains that the pro-Russian forces who facilitated Russia's annexation of Crimea and were now laying claim to parts of eastern Ukraine were being covertly supported by Moscow. Russia has denied direct military involvement in eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine's newly elected president, Petro Poroshenko, raised concerns about the tanks directly with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on Thursday. Russia has not officially responded to the claims.
On Friday, the US state department deputy spokesperson, Marie Harf, said it believed separatists in eastern Ukraine had "acquired heavy weapons and military equipment from Russia, including Russian tanks and multiple rocket launchers". She said internet videos had shown the same type of tanks that crossed the border in the eastern cities of Snizhne, Torez and Makiyivka.
The statement did not explicitly blame Russia for supplying the weaponry directly to the Ukrainian separatists. But it stated Washington's unequivocal belief that the tanks had crossed the border and hinted at Moscow's complicity. The US secretary of state, John Kerry, had also raised the issue with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, according to the state department.
"We have information that Russia has accumulated tanks of a type no longer used by Russian forces at a deployment site in south-west Russia, and some of these tanks recently departed," Harf said.
"Russia will claim these tanks were taken from Ukrainian forces, but no Ukrainian tank units have been operating in that area. We are confident that these tanks came from Russia."
Harf added: "We also have information that Russia has accumulated multiple rocket launchers at this same deployment site in south-west Russia, and these rocket launchers also recently departed."
Earlier on Friday, Harf told reporters: "They [the tanks] were somehow pulled out of the Russian warehouses, someone taught them how to use them, and they were sent from Russia to Ukraine."

Also on Friday, the Associated Press reported that Ukrainian troops had attacked pro-Russia separatists in Mariupol, driving them out of buildings they had occupied in the southern port. Mariupol is the second-largest city in the eastern Donetsk region, where armed separatists have declared independence from the government in Kiev.