Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ukraine Updates ( August 14 , 2014 ) -- Ukraine in bloody chaos — Putin ( Good overview from Itar Tass ) ...... Ukraine passes latest sanctions against Russia measures ...... Federalist head of Luhansk People's Republic steps aside ....... Impact of Russia sanctions will bite EU , US and Australia noticeably ..... Latest news and updates....

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-08-14/putin-punks-west-again-guardian-reports-russian-troops-enter-ukraine

Putin Punks West (Again): Russian Troops Enter Ukraine, Guardian Reports

Tyler Durden's picture




 
As Russia's 300-strong 'humanitarian' convoy of white trucks slithered towards the Ukraine border, it appears, according to The Guardian, that, in spite of the market's exuberance at this morning's comments of "avoiding conflict," Vladimir Putin sent a real 'green' military Russian convoy across the Ukraine border late Thursday evening.

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While the white trucks came to a halt well short of Ukraine's border, a different Russian convoy did cross into Ukrainian territory late on Thursday evening.

The Guardian saw a column of 23 armoured personnel carriers, supported by fuel trucks and other logistics vehicles with official Russian military plates, travelling towards the border near the Russian town of Donetsk.


After pausing by the side of the road until nightfall, the convoy crossed into Ukrainian territory, using a rough dirt track and clearly crossing through a gap in a barbed wire fence that demarcates the border.Armed men were visible in the gloom by the border fence as the column moved into Ukraine.

Kiev has lost control of its side of the border in this area.

The trucks are unlikely to represent a full-scale official Russian invasion, and it was unclear how far they planned to travel inside Ukrainian territory and how long they would stay. But it was incontrovertible evidence of what Ukraine has long claimed – that Russian troops are active inside its borders.

...

The armoured column seen by the Guardian appeared to be further evidence of Russia's incursions, which the Kremlin has repeatedly denied.

A column of armoured vehicles and military trucks crossed the border from Russia into Ukraine on Thursday night, in the first confirmed sighting of such an incident by Western journalists.

The Telegraph witnessed a column of vehicles including both armoured personal carriers and soft-skinned lorries crossing into Ukraine at an obscure border crossing near the Russian town of Donetsk shortly before 10pm local time.

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We assume this means Stocks will give back all their gains? lol...

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Of course, we suspect if one were to ask Putin, this is merely an entry into an independent sovereign republic... not Ukraine per se... although we are sure he knows full well how the West will interpret this action.








http://www.businessinsider.com/russian-military-vehicles-crossed-into-ukraine-2014-8


A column of Russian armored personnel carriers (APCs) has reportedly crossed Russia's border with Ukraine. The APCs had earlier been seen traveling alongside a supposed Russian humanitarian convoy headed towards Ukraine's conflict-torn east.
Evidence of Russian troop movement over the border supports the Ukrainian claim that Russian soldiers have been actively supporting pro-Moscow separatist militants in the region. 
The Guardian's Moscow correspondent, Shaun Walker, and The Telegraph's Roland Oliphant witnessed the APC convoy cross over the border alongside other military vehicles bearing official Russian military license plates. 

So @RolandOliphant and I just saw a column of APCs and vehicles with official Russian military plates cross border into Ukraine.










Moon of Alabama....


Ukraine: Europe Stagnates, Russia Growns

Russia seems to somewhat de-russify the conflict in Ukraine:
15:39 GMT: - Igor Strelkov, the field commander and defense minister of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, has resigned, according to a statement published on the local militia’s website. He will be replaced by Vladimir Kononov as military commander, the website said.08:36 GMT: - Head of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic Valery Bolotov has resigned his position, citing an injury that prevents him to work to the full extend. He said the republic's Defense Minister Igor Plotnitsky is likely to replace him and that he will remain among the officials of the unrecognized entity in another capacity.
Last week the Donetsk People's Republic, the other of the two self-proclaimed entities in eastern Ukraine, had its head Aleksandr Boroday replaced.
At least Strelkov and Boroday are Russian citizens. Bolotov was born in Russia. Their replacements seem to be from Ukraine.

This step was probably taken to distance Russia from the insurgency.

Meanwhile 12 Red Sektor nazis from an Einsatzgruppe on its way to the battlefield were killed yesterday in an ambush by the insurgents. The city center of insurgency held Donetsk was under artillery fire today and several civilians died. Over thousand have died in the last two weeks alone and the situation in the insurgency held cities is bad with water and electricity distributions destroyed by Ukrainian government bombardments.

The Ukraine government seems unable to decide if it will allow an aid-convoy of 280 trucks with humanitarian supply from Russia into the areas of conflict. Letting the trucks in would require at least a temporary cease-fire and a stop of the continued artillery bombardment. Not letting in the urgently needed goods puts the Ukrainian government into a very bad light.

The sanctions the European Union was pressed to push onto Russia prove very effective in sending Europe back into a recession. While Europe's economic growth in the second quarter was flat and is likely to turn negative Russia's economy continues to grow.


This is the well deserved punishment for following the crazy foreign policies of the United States which are designed to keep Europe and Russia weak and apart.









http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-08-14/us-sending-600-troops-apcs-and-tanks-countries-bordering-russia-reassure-threatened-


US Sending 600 Troops, APCs And Tanks To Countries Bordering Russia To "Reassure Threatened Allies"

Tyler Durden's picture




Escalation over the Ukraine conflict, a/k/a Cold War 2.0, just took another major step forward. Because here comes the cavalry... literally.
While the world is focused on the first deployment of US marines in Iraq in nearly a decade, as "humanitarian advisors" of course so as not to destroy the Nobel peace prize-winning aura of the US president who is rapidly becoming a warmonger on par with his predecessor, a far more dangerous development took place overnight with nobody noticing, when the Pentagon announced that approximately 600 soldiers from the Army’s 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division will deploy to Poland and the Baltic states to help reassure European allies who feel threatened by Russian military moves. And while most Americans may be geographically challenged, Russians know very well that all of these countries border on Russia. As such this very demonstrative military expansion by NATO powers to "pre-contain" Russian military agression will only lead to one thing: even more "defensive" escalation.
Some more detail on the latest US dispatch of troops in the area now defined by the second coming of the Cold War from Stripes.com:
The troops and their equipment — which include M-1 Abrams tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and armored personnel carriers — will go to Europe in October for a three-month series of training exercises.
The troops will originate out of Fort Hood, Texas (keep this in mind for a post later today) and will replace 600 paratroopers from the Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade. "These land training exercises … help foster interoperability through small unit and leader training," Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said.
In addition to ground forces, the U.S. has also sent F-16 combat aircraft to Poland and participated in NATO air policing missions over the Baltics.
So why is the US sending military reinforcements at a time when every troop movement is scrutinized with a microscope around the globe:
The exercises came at the request of host nations that fear a resurgent Russia, which annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine earlier this year and continues to support a pro-Russia separatist movement in eastern Ukraine.
So to summarize: the countries that are most worried about Russian military aggression, those which by definition border on Russia, have decided to preempt Russia and demand additional US military presence on their territory, believing that the Kremlin will not see this US military build up as one which threatens Russia with even further NATO expansion on its borders. .
Brilliant. Why? Because recall what happened in December 2013 long before the Ukraine semi-hot proxy civil war was raging:
It seems [Putin] had a Plan B in case things escalated out of control, one that fits with what we wrote a few days ago when we reported that "Russia casually announces it will use nukes if attacked." Namely, as Bloomberg reports citing Bild, Russia quietly stationed a double-digit number of SS-26 Stone, aka Iskander, tactical, nuclear-capable short-range missiles near the Polish border in a dramatic escalation to merely verbal threats issued as recently as a year ago.
This comes from an article titled "Russia Stations Tactical, Nuclear-Capable Missiles Along Polish Border", in which we explained how Russia has done precisely this when it stationed a "double-digit" of SS-26 nuclear missiles in Kaliningrad on the border with Poland, over "concerns" what NATO encorachment close to its territory could imply.
And now, NATO appears to have decided to find out just what Russia's response to such an incremental tactical arms build up will be.
One thing is certain: the US response to a fresh contingent of this...

... with a range of this:
Will hardly be wrapped in the tidy, media-friendly package of on ICBM build-up for "humanitarian advisory" purposes...


http://en.itar-tass.com/world/745083


Russia calls for ceasefire in Ukraine to ensure security of aid convoy

 August 14, 22:27 UTC+4
“This must be done in order to guarantee the security of the upcoming humanitarian mission", the Russian Foreign Ministry said
© AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin
MOSCOW, August 14, 21:41 /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday urged the warring sides in Ukraine to cease fire immediately in order to guarantee the security of the humanitarian convoy for the eastern regions of Ukraine.
“Now that the multifaceted efforts to settle all aspects of the initiative to provide humanitarian assistance to the population of the south-east of Ukraine has entered the final stage, the Foreign Ministry of Russia is strongly urging the warring sides to cease fire immediately,” the statement said.
“This must be done in order to guarantee the security of the upcoming humanitarian mission. A ceasefire is required by the appalling situation in the South-East of Ukraine,” the ministry said.
It also called on the warring parties in Ukraine to show political will and alleviate the suffering of people in the south-east of the country.
The passage of the humanitarian convoy to the south-eastern regions of Ukraine will be a test of adequacy for Kiev, Alexander Brechalov, a Public Chamber member, said.
Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council spokesperson Andrei Lysenko said earlier the Ukrainian army would ensure the safe passage of the convoy. However, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov wrote on his Facebook page that the Russian humanitarian convoy would not be let go through the Kharkov region as was initially intended.
“It will be a test of adequacy as people’s lives are at stake, and playing with ‘we will let them in or we won’t let them in’ is the lot of the weak,” Brechalov said.
“I do hope that it will all work out,” he added.
The convoy of 262 automobiles is carrying over 1,800 tonnes of relief supplies including power generators, foodstuffs, water, baby’s food, medical supplies and sleeping bags.

http://en.itar-tass.com/world/745065


Donetsk People’s Republic dismisses defense minister

 August 14, 20:06 UTC+4
ITAR-TASS has no confirmation of the news from other sources
© AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky
DONETSK, August 14. /ITAR-TASS/. The Council of Ministers of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic on Thursday agreed to dismiss the defense minister, chief of the republic’s General Staff, Igor Strelkov, of his own accord. Strelkov is moving to another position. He is to be succeeded by Vladimir Kononov, the DPR’s press-centre has said.
“The appointment will be presented to the republic’s legislature for approval on Friday,” DPR Prime Minister Aleksandr Zakharchenko announced.
ITAR-TASS has no confirmation of the news from other sources.

Morning News......



























































































































Itar Tass.....


Ukraine in bloody chaos — Putin

 August 14, 14:23 UTC+4
He said that the situation is deteriorating
© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky
YALTA, August 14. /ITAR-TASS/. President Vladimir Putin described on Thursday the current situation in Ukraine as “bloody chaos”, pledging that Moscow will make every effort to stop the conflict.
“The country has fallen in bloody chaos, fratricidal conflict,” Putin said at a meeting with Russian lawmakers in the Black Sea resort city of Yalta. He said that the situation is deteriorating. “A major humanitarian catastrophe has broken out in the southeast [of Ukraine],” Putin said.

Russian sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russian sanctions are not just retaliatory measures, but a means to support domestic producers and open up the domestic market to new partners.
“They are not just retaliatory steps. In the first place they are measures to support the domestic producers and to open up our markets to the countries and producers who are eager to cooperate with Russia and prepared for such cooperation,” the head of state said at a meeting with State Duma members in the seaside Crimean resort of Yalta on Thursday.
He recalled that the decisions on Russian sanctions had been taken in relation to the countries that had earlier imposed “utterly groundless and illegal sanctions” on Russia.
Putin added that regardless of the foreign political and foreign economic situation “the most important thing for us now is internal affairs, our tasks and goals that the people of Russia, the citizens of Russia set to us.”
Putin explained that the authorities should focus on the solution of national problems.
“Our future is in our own hands,” Putin said with certainty.
He believes that it is of extreme importance to ensure the highest quality of state governance and “most importantly, a high quality of Russian citizens’ life.

Isolation from the rest of the world

Russia does not seek isolation from the rest of the world, but the country intends to take the development course by relying more on domestic resources and by boosting industrial and agricultural sectors, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
“We must calmly, with dignity and effectively improve our country without isolating it from the outside world, without breaking ties with our partners, but also not allow us to be treated in insolent and tutorial manner,” Putin said at a meeting with members of the Russian parliament’s lower house, the State Duma, in Russia’s southern resort city of Yalta.
The president said he was confident that the Russian society needs to consolidate itself and mobilize “neither for any wars, nor conflicts, but for persistent work for Russia and in the name of Russia.”
Much of the Russian people’s solidarity depends on the work of lawmakers, according to Putin.

Crimea's role in unifying Russia

Vladimir Putin believes that Crimea may play a unifying role for healing historical scars and cementing Russian society.
“I believe that Crimea today may be a unique yardstick. It is capable of playing a unique unifying role for Russia, the role of a historical and spiritual source and another line of reconciliation of the Reds and the Whites,” Putin said.
Putin recalled that the Crimean peninsula remembers triumphs and the tragedy of the fratricidal civil war in the early years of the 20th century, where Russians were killing Russians.
The head of state said Crimea may help heal the injury the Russian people suffered as a result of the dramatic split of the 20th century and to mend the timeline of Russia’s history.
Putin urged legislators, representatives of political parties, religious organizations and culture workers to give thought to how to cope with this task.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has reiterated his call for ensuring the real equality of three languages - Russian, Ukrainian and Tatar - in Crimea.
He was speaking at a meeting with State Duma members in the seaside resort of Yalta on Thursday.
“The work to exonerate the repressed people of Crimea must be carried out in full and the real equality of the three languages guaranteed,” he said.


Crimean trip

Russian Prime Minister and chairman of Russia’s ruling United Russia party Dmitry Medvedev, State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin and a number of federal ministers are also attending Putin’s meeting with the State Duma lawmakers in Crimea’s Yalta.
Later on Thursday, the Russian president will meet with men of culture to discuss issues of Crimea’s integration into Russia’s cultural space.
INFOGRAPHICSThe Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol as constituent  entities in the Russian FederationThe Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol as constituent entities in the Russian Federation
The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol as constituent entities in the Russian Federation. Infographics ITAR-TASS
President Putin is currently on the visit to the Republic of Crimea, which merged with Russia earlier this year.
The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean peninsula, signed reunification deals with Russia on March 18 after a referendum two days earlier in which an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.
Work to integrate the Crimean Peninsula into Russia’s economic, financial, credit, legal, state power, military conscription and infrastructure systems is actively underway now that Crimea has become part of Russia.
Sergei Aksyonov, the republic’s acting head, earlier said that the full adaptation of the republic of Crimea to the Russian legislation may take up to five years.
In the Soviet Union, Crimea used to be part of Russia until 1954, when it was gifted to Ukraine by Soviet Communist Party leader Nikita Khrushchev.


http://en.itar-tass.com/world/744938


Head of self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic resigns

 August 14, 14:54 UTC+4
Valery Bolotov says it's a fact that Luhansk on the brink of a humanitarian disaster
Valery Bolotov

Valery Bolotov

© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Ryumin
LUHANSK, August 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) in Ukraine Valery Bolotov said he resigns. "I've decided to temporarily quit the post of head of the Luansk People's Republic," Bolotov told reporters on Thursday. "The impact of the wound is preventing me from being fully efficient at this post."
He said he would ask LNR Defense Minister Igor Plotnitsky to replace him, promising to continue the struggle. "I'm a resident of Luhansk; it's my home, and I will continue to fight for our common ideals," he said, adding that he was confident that the LNR would be successful.
He acknowledged a difficult situation in the self-proclaimed republic, saying Kiev had sent a large taskforce against LNR cities in a purposeful move to destroy LNR infrastructure.
"It's a fact that we're on the brink of a humanitarian disaster," he said, urging the republic's leadership to exert themselves to strenuous efforts to work for the sake of people's lives.


http://en.itar-tass.com/world/744961

Ukraine’s parliament endorses law on anti-Russian sanctions

 August 14, 14:29 UTC+4
Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council was given the right to block assets, restrict trade operations, stop the transit of resources, air flights and haulages via Ukrainian territory
© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin
KIEV, August 14. /ITAR-TASS/.  Ukraine’s parliament adopted a package of anti-Russian sanctions by 244 votes on Thursday.
Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council was given the right to block assets, restrict trade operations, stop, fully or partly, the transit of resources, air flights and haulages via Ukrainian territory; prevent the outflow of capital, suspend the implementation of financial and economic obligations and annul licenses.
In addition to that, the anti-Russian measures ban Russian sea vessels from calling at Ukrainian ports and entering Ukraine’s territorial waters and bars planes to land at Ukrainian airports. Ukraine is supposed to terminate all trade agreements with Russia, stop all joint projects and industrial programs in certain spheres, including defense and security.
The measures also provide for stopping cultural exchanges, scientific cooperation, educational and sport contacts, entertainment programs; denying visas to the residents of foreign countries and cancelling official visits, meetings and talks for the conclusion of treaties and agreements.
Prior to the final vote, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk had said that a ban of mail services and restrictions on media and printed editions should be excluded from the anti-Russian package.
“Such decisions can be passed in courts,” the premier explained. At the same time, the Ukrainian government suggested imposing sanctions against 172 Russians and citizens of other states as well as 65 Russian companies.
The Ukrainian parliament has also passed a law in the second reading on the reformation of the country’s gas transportation system, the parliament’s website reported on Thursday.
The bill was passed in the repeat second reading, with 228 deputies voting for it.
The bill is the first step towards stimulating EU and US investment in the Ukrainian gas transportation system, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said before the vote.
Yatsenyuk earlier said the Ukrainian government was planning to establish an operator company to run the country’s gas transportation system, which pumps Russian natural gas to Europe. The Ukrainian government will hold at least 51% in the new company, Yatsenyuk said at the time.
“The other shares may be transferred to gas transport companies from EU member countries and the US,” the Ukrainian premier said at the time, emphasizing that the country’s gas transportation system and underground gas storage facilities would remain in state ownership.
The Ukrainian premier said before the parliament’s vote on the bill on Thursday that the legislation required from “EU or US companies operating the gas transportation system to disclose all information on the structure of their ownership.”
“If an operator changes its ownership structure, it will be required to inform the Ukrainian government about this,” the premier said.
“An operator company shall be required every five years to report to the Ukrainian parliament about its activities,” Yatsenyuk said.


Russian import ban may cause Europe to “choke" with own products — official

 August 14, 15:28 UTC+4
On August 7, Russia announced suspension of food imports from Norway, Canada, Australia, the United States and the 28-nation European Union worth billions of dollars
© EPA/BAS CZERWINSKI
ANKARA, August 14. /ITAR-TASS/. The European market is oversaturated in the wake of Russia’s ban on products from Western countries, a source in Russia’s veterinary inspection service Rosselkhoznadzor said on Thursday.
“With Russia imposing restrictions on supplies, they (European markets) will literally choke with their own products,” the source said after Rosselkhoznadzor specialists held negotiations in the Turkish capital on expanding food imports to Russia. “And the Russian market is opening now,” he added.
“The EU is a union comprising states which are more or less connected with deliveries to Russia,” the official said.
“If such countries as Poland or Lithuania supplied products worth about a billion dollars, it seems quite natural that this is a very severe blow to them,” he said, noting that these countries might re-establish their presence in the Russian market in twelve months, when the sanctions were lifted.
Besides Turkey, the Russian side is discussing the possibility of stepping up imports from countries of Latin America, the official added.
“Last week, we had a series of talks with ambassadors of Latin American countries. A delegation headed by three deputy agriculture ministers came from Brazil,” he said.
China, which is also interested in boosting food exports to Russia, “created special trade platforms to supply farm produce to the Far East”, the official said.
On August 7, Russia announced suspension of food imports from Norway, Canada, Australia, the United States and the 28-nation European Union worth billions of dollars in retaliation for sanctions imposed by those nations in recent weeks over events in Ukraine.
The ban, targeting cheese, fish, beef, pork, fruit, vegetables and dairy products over the next 12 months, is expected to seriously affect Western economies.
Combined with other import bans imposed earlier this year, the new trade measures cover Western imports worth $9.1 billion in 2013, according to Russian customs data.
The European Union will feel much of the loss. Exports of sanctioned products from the EU to Russia were worth $6.5 billion last year. Non-EU member Norway exported about $1.2 billion in food and agricultural goods to Russia, the United States - $843.8 million, Canada - $373.6 million. Australian agricultural exports to Russia amounted to $182 million.


Anti War.....


Ukraine Sets New Conditions for Russian Aid Convoy

Insists Border Troops Have to Inspect All Aid

by Jason Ditz, August 13, 2014
With the civilian death toll soaring in Ukraine, Ukrainian officials are setting new conditions for a Russian humanitarian aid convoy that is slowly making its way from Moscow to the border.
The Ukrainian government had initially charged the Red Cross with getting aid into the area, but after Russia confirmed a deal with the Red Cross they started vowing to block the shipments, insisting it was a pretext for invasion.
Now, Ukraine is saying they’ll let the shipments, which were already going to be sent in under the auspices of the Red Cross, into the country, but only after the Ukrainian border troops have inspected all of it.
No Russian troops are to accompany the convoy in, but it will be accompanied by OSCE monitors, and the Red Cross has pressed the Ukrainian military to assure that it will be safe in delivering needed aid to civilians trapped in their eastern invasion.






UN: Nearly 1,000 Killed in East Ukraine in Past Two Weeks

Death Toll Doubles as Ukraine Pushes Offensive

by Jason Ditz, August 13, 2014
The UN human rights office reports the death toll has been soaring in eastern Ukraine over the past two weeks, nearly doubling from 1,129 to 2,080, with at least 4,953 others wounded.
The office termed the tolls “very conservative estimates,” put suggest a massive increase in slain easterners as the Ukrainian military has pushed its offensive into more densely populated rebel territory.
Russia has been warning of a soaring humanitarian crisis in East Ukraine, which has displaced somewhere around 1,000,000 civilians, many of them fleeing into neighboring Russia.
The Red Cross has agreed to a deal with Russia to bring large amounts of humanitarian aid into the region, though Ukraine continues to issue new demands on the convoy, and it remains to be seen if it will actually be delivered.


http://www.businessinsider.com/russias-aid-convoy-has-gone-rogue-and-is-headed-to-rebel-held-ukraine-2014-8

A large Russian aid convoy resumed its journey toward Ukraine on Thursday, taking a road leading directly toward a border crossing controlled by pro-Russian rebels in the Luhansk region.
The convoy of more than 200 vehicles had been parked at a military depot in the southern Russian city of Voronezh since late Tuesday amid disagreement over how and where the aid could be delivered to Ukraine, where government troops are battling pro-Russia separatists.
On Thursday the white trucks, some flying the red flag of Moscow city and accompanied by green military vehicles, traveled down a winding highway through sunflower fields and rolling green hills. They turned off that road near the city of Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, driving west toward the Ukraine border crossing of Izvaryne, which is currently under rebel control.
By taking such a route, Russian appeared to be intent on not abiding by a tentative agreement to deliver aid to a government-controlled border checkpoint in the Kharkiv region, where it could more easily be inspected by Ukraine and the Red Cross. Moscow has insisted it coordinated the dispatch of the goods, which it says range from baby food and canned meat to portable generators and sleeping bags, with the international Red Cross.

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Russia Today ......


3 days in Donetsk: 70+ civilians killed, over 100 wounded

Published time: August 14, 2014 09:31
Edited time: August 14, 2014 11:23

File photo. A car hit by a shell during an artillery attack by the Ukrainian Security Forces in Lugansk. (RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)
File photo. A car hit by a shell during an artillery attack by the Ukrainian Security Forces in Lugansk. (RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)
Over 70 people have been killed in the Donetsk Region, and 116 others have been wounded over the last three days of fighting in eastern Ukraine, according to a statement by regional authorities.
Many civilians are also feared dead after Kiev authorities resumed shelling of eastern districts in Lugansk, the city council reported. No figures for the number of casualties are known yet.
“According to residents’ reports, eastern Lugansk came under intensive artillery attack on Wednesday,” the city council said on its website. “Witnesses say that as a result of the shelling, many civilians have been killed and wounded.”
The city has been without water, electricity and fuel for almost two weeks.
On Wednesday, the UN Human Rights office issued a statement saying that number of casualties in eastern Ukraine has doubled over the last two weeks, reaching over 2,000 people according to “conservative estimates.” Almost 5,000 have been wounded.
Over 60 people have been killed or wounded every day, UN human rights spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly added.
Dmitry Kazadaev, a Lugansk resident, told RT that the Ukrainian forces are targeting mostlycivilian locations – not the one where the self-defense forces are stationed.
“There are a lot less casualties among the self-defense forces than among the civilians,” he said.“And these stupid bombings of residential areas... you can take a look. There are a few houses destroyed here, two more over there, and one person died near that school. Why are they doing this?”
Lugansk residents say that have “to wait in line several times just to get humanitarian aid stamps,” then “go stand in another line for this store, in order to actually get this aid.” The whole process is described as a “big hassle.”
One woman lost consciousness right before her turn in line came. So she was taken to hospital without getting her aid, one resident told RT.
Women with their children, refugees from Donetsk and Lugansk regions, queue to receive humanitarian aid from the UN mission in Yalta, some 142 km from eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, on August 2, 2014. (AFP Photo / Alexander Khudoteply)
Women with their children, refugees from Donetsk and Lugansk regions, queue to receive humanitarian aid from the UN mission in Yalta, some 142 km from eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, on August 2, 2014. (AFP Photo / Alexander Khudoteply)