Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by W.G.Ewald, Jan 29, 2014.
Mashable: Ukraine prime minister resigns as parliament scraps anti-protest laws
Kremlin Concern Rises Amid Ukraine Turmoil - WSJ.com
'Desperate struggle' in Ukraine: What you need to know about the crisis - World News
Maybe the threads can be merged, decision rests on Mods @pmaitra
Isnt this about Pro-EU Vs Pro-Russia tug of war?
I'm a military officer. It's hard for me to comment on internal political problems. My working, protect Ukraine from external encroachments.
In Romania, talked about the preparation for the invasion of Ukraine.
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"STATEMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DONETSK PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC
Today, on 04.15.2014, the newly founded Donetsk People's Republic became the target of military aggression on part of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian authority that came to power as a result of an armed anti-constitutional coup, initiated military actions in the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic, using the soldiers of Ukrainian armed forces, gunmen from illegal armed bands and servicemen from foreign private military companies financed by the USA.
Under the guise of false statements about an alleged anti-terrorist operation, they actually declared war on the people, using heavy weapons and aircraft. The lives of civilians are in danger. As Kiev has warned, the possibility of large-scale missile and bombing raids against cities is not out of the question.
Thus, the fascist regime of Ukraine, supported and financed by the USA and the Western European countries has actually started genocide of the Russian-speaking population in the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic.
The foundation of the Donetsk People's Republic is an objective reality that became necessary as a consequence of complete collapse of the Ukrainian government institutions after an anti-constitutional coup, it was founded in order to defend constitutional rights and liberties of the people residing in the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic.
Being aware that it is the last obstacle on the aggressor's way to the destruction of Russia, the people and the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, the command and personnel of the South Eastern Army hereby declare that the aggressor will be immediately rebuffed as it deserves.
We demand that the reactionary circles of the USA and the Western European countries who gave the Kiev regime their blessing to perform a military operation stop aggression and stop supporting and financing the illegitimate Ukrainian "authorities".
We apply to the multinational people of the Russian Federation, to our Russian brothers, to the authorities of the Russian Federation and to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin in person with a request to render diplomatic, humanitarian and, if possible, military aid to the Donetsk People's Republic, to act as a guarantor of its security, to curb the presumptuous death squads, to establish peace and to ensure the holding of peaceful nationwide referendum.
We ask the multinational people of the Russian Federation, our Russian brothers, the authorities of the Russian Federation and Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin in person to consider extending recognition to the Donetsk People's Republic as an international entity and concluding a treaty of political, economical and military cooperation with it.
We, the people of all the 180 ethnic groups living in Donbass, are Russians.
We were born as Russians, we live as Russians and we shall die as Russians if need be.
God and Russia are with us.
The enemy will be crushed.
The victory will be ours!"ï»¿
Ukraine on brink of civil war: Vladimir Putin | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Ukraine is on the verge of civil war, the Kremlin said on Wednesday, after the Kiev government sent in troops against pro-Moscow separatists in the east of the country.
"The Russian president remarked that the sharp escalation of the conflict has placed the country, in effect, on the verge of civil war," the Kremlin said in a statement on telephone talks between Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
But the leaders both "emphasised the importance" of planned four-way talks on Ukraine on Thursday between top diplomats of Russia, the European Union, the United States and Ukraine.
Ukraine pushed tanks towards a flashpoint eastern city on Tuesday to quash a separatist surge backed by Moscow â€“ a high-risk operation that was sharply condemned by the Kremlin but won Washington's support.
The 20 tanks and armoured personnel carriers sent to Slavyansk were the most forceful response yet by the Western-backed government in Kiev to the pro-Kremlin militants' occupation of state buildings in nearly 10 cities across Ukraine's rust belt.
"They must be warned that if they do not lay down their arms, they will be destroyed," Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) General Vasyl Krutov told a group of reporters tracking the sudden tank movements.
He insisted that the militants were receiving support from several hundred soldiers from the Russian army's Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) that had been dispatched to Slavyansk and surrounding villages.
The economically depressed industrial city of 100,000 has effectively been under the control of separatist gunmen since Saturday.
Ukrainian troops were also helicoptered into a military aerodrome at Kramatorsk, south of Slavyansk which the interior ministry said was "liberated" without any casualties.
However pro-Russia activist Oleg Issanka said the troops had opened fire injuring two people.
The Kremlin statement described the actions of the Ukrainian army in eastern Ukraine as an "anti-constitutional course to use force against peaceful protest actions".
Kiev's response to the eastern insurgency prompted Putin to tell UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that Moscow "expects clear condemnation from the United Nations and the international community of the anti-constitutional actions" by Ukraine.
Ban in turn "expressed his alarm about the highly volatile situation in eastern Ukraine" and told the Russian leader that everyone involved needed to "work to de-escalate the situation", his office said.
But the White House described Ukraine's military operation as a "measured" response to a lawless insurgency that had put the government in an "untenable" situation.
The threat of all-out war breaking out just beyond the European Union's eastern frontier sent stock markets across Europe tumbling on Tuesday.
"New fears about Ukraine worried the market and could, at any time, send it plunging once again," said Saxo Bank analyst Andrea Tueni.
'Frank' Putin-Obama talks
The rapid turn of events on the ground was preceded by a telephone conversation Monday between US President Barack Obama and Putin that the White House described as "frank and direct".
The Kremlin chief continued to reject any links to the Russian-speaking gunmen who have proclaimed the creation of their own independent republic and asked Putin to send in the 40,000 troops now massed along Russia's border with Ukraine.
But Obama accused Moscow of supporting "armed pro-Russian separatists who threaten to undermine and destabilise the government of Ukraine".
The worst East-West standoff since the Cold War was exacerbated over the weekend by a Russian warplane "buzzing" a US destroyer in the Black Sea and a visit to Kiev by CIA chief John Brennan that was confirmed by the White House and condemned by Moscow.
The US meanwhile said it was coordinating with its European allies to slap more sanctions on Russia over the crisis.
"Our national security team is in active discussions about the next round of sanctions," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.
She added however that new measures were unlikely before the highly anticipated EU-US mediated talks on Thursday in Geneva between Moscow and Kiev.
Donetskâ€™s pro-Russians â€˜defending our people from fascists and the Westâ€™ - European News | Latest News from Across Europe | The Irish Times - Wed, Apr 16, 2014
Donetskâ€™s pro-Russians â€˜defending our people from fascists and the Westâ€™
â€œThey wonâ€™t get a nice welcome in Donetsk, letâ€™s just say that,â€ said Volodya, waving a baton of rolled-up leaflets towards Ukrainian troops he imagined approaching from Kiev.
â€œThose who come with good intentions are treated well here. But woe betide anyone who thinks they can push Donetsk around. Weâ€™re tough â€“ miners, metalworkers, builders â€“ we know how to work, and how to fight.â€
At 71, Volodya said he was too old to man the barricades outside this cityâ€™s looming local government building, which is now plastered with posters denouncing the European Union, the United States and the new government in Kiev.
It also bristles with Russian flags and the tricolour of the Donetsk Peopleâ€™s Republic, whose creation was announced by pro-Moscow activists who seized the building last week.
The barricades of old metal and tyres are guarded by men who wear balaclavas and orange-and-black ribbons that are traditional Russian emblems of the Soviet defeat of Nazi Germany, and now symbolise resistance toKiev.
â€œWe are defending our people. Defending our rights,â€ says one young man, who declined to give his name and occasionally clanged a heavy iron rod on the ground.
â€œFrom what?â€ he laughed mirthlessly, incredulous at the question. â€œFrom the fascists. And from the West, who paid for all the chaos in Kiev.â€
Donetsk, a million-strong city surrounded by Soviet-era coalmines and heavy industry, is the hub of resistance to the uprising that ousted President Viktor Yanukovich and ushered in a pro-western government backed by nationalists whom critics call Russian-hating neo-Nazis.
â€˜Slaves to the EUâ€™
People across this region are sceptical or openly hostile to what they call a cabal of corrupt politicians from western and central Ukraine, who came to power on the back of a bloody coup sponsored by Washington and Brussels.
â€œThe government doesnâ€™t listen to us, it doesnâ€™t care about us. They want to ban the Russian language and make us slaves to the EU and Nato. What good are they to us? Russia is here, next to us, our brotherly nation, and they want to cut us off from each other,â€ said Olya Mironenko, a retired teacher in Donetsk.
Like many people here, she associates the West above all with the misery of the 1990s, when the promise of market democracy delivered poverty, violence and corruption to the former Soviet Union, and its republics were forced to go cap-in-hand to their cold war adversaries for aid. They have not forgotten that humiliation, and expect something similar from the prospect of integration with the EU.
â€œThe bandits in Kiev donâ€™t want to talk to us and now they are sending in tanks and God knows what else to bomb us. We have to defend ourselves â€“ and we have to ask Russia for help,â€ Ms Mironenko said.
Kiev and the West say Russia is already here, in the shape of the men in camouflage, carrying modern Russian weapons, who have seized official buildings in about 10 towns in Donetsk region in recent days.
Ukraineâ€™s security services claim to have arrested more than a dozen Russian operatives and intercepted phone calls that reveal the unrest is co-ordinated by Russian intelligence agents and â€œpolitical technologistsâ€ close to the Kremlin.
In the case of several towns around Donetsk, the buildings were stormed by small, well-armed and apparently well-drilled units, before being handed over to local activists who are unhappy with the new government.
Moscow may be exploiting and intensifying instability in the east, but local people are angry with the new government, and unnerved by the prospect of being ruled by people from regions that had little influence under Donetsk-born Yanukovich.
He is denounced by many people in Donetsk and surrounding towns, but less for the corruption and brutality of his regime than for fleeing protests in Kiev and hiding in Russia â€“ leaving his people in the lurch to face the new order without him.
â€œWe supported him through that mess in 2004 â€“ the Orange Revolution thing,â€ said Viktor Shevchuk, a Donetsk electrician, looking ready to spit at the memory of Ukraineâ€™s previous, ill-fated turn to the West.
â€œAnd we made him president, and supported him right to the end, against the fascists â€” and he ran away. Heâ€™s a coward. The boys inside there are a better bunch.â€
He gestured towards the Donetsk administration, as Soviet martial music blasted from loudspeakers at the end of another speech that compared Kievâ€™s new rulers to 1940sâ€™ Ukrainian guerrillas who sometimes allied with the Nazis against the Red Army.
The protesters around Donetsk region vow to hold the besieged buildings until the government grants them a referendum on greater autonomy or, according to some, on whether to split from Ukraine and join Russia.
Kiev sees Moscow behind a plan for â€œfederalisationâ€ that would weaken the pro-EU government, strengthen more Russia-friendly regions and, as premier Arseniy Yatsenyuk puts it, potentially create a host of â€œmini-Yanukovichsâ€ across the east.
Mr Yatsenyuk and his colleagues say they are ready to boost the powers of local government, but not to allow the Kremlin to continue a process of dismembering Ukraine that began with the annexation of Crimea â€“ under the guns of other â€œself-defence volunteersâ€ who were clearly Russian servicemen.
Cabinet under pressure
Having lost Crimea without a fight, the cabinet is under huge pressure from the protesters who brought it to power to crack down hard on â€œseparatistsâ€ in the east, whom they regard as puppets of a Russia that will not accept a pro-western Ukraine.
Last night, a skirmish near an airfield at Kramatorsk and the sight of Ukrainian army vehicles near Slovyansk â€“ both places about 100km from Donetsk â€“ were taken as signs that Kievâ€™s promised â€œanti-terroristâ€ operation could be swinging into action.
If it is, Donetskâ€™s defiant protesters expect trouble to come their way very soon. â€œWe expect to be stormed at any moment,â€ said Denis Pushilin, a local businessman who now claims to lead the self-declared Donetsk Peopleâ€™s Republic.
â€œNo one here is scared,â€ he added. â€œThatâ€™s why weâ€™re here.â€
A lot of heavy breathing at that site...
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