RT News – 2014-06-07 00:54:33
181 People Killed, 293 Injured
In Kiev Military Operation
Confirmed: Ukrainian Air Force
Fired over 150 Missiles at Lugansk
LUGANSK (June 3, 2014) — Kiev has admitted showering the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk with dozens of missiles from the air, saying that its Air Force helicopters and jets “fired more than 150 missiles” in Monday’s military action.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) also confirmed on Tuesday that the deadly explosion at the city’s administrative building was indeed an airstrike. Kiev has so far denied the responsibility for the incident, saying its forces “do not target” civilian areas.
The OSCE Ukrainian mission’s daily report stated that “on 2 June, shortly after 15:00 hrs, rockets hit the occupied regional administration building. Based on the SMM’s limited observation these strikes were the result of non-guided rockets shot from an aircraft.”
According to an earlier statement by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, the intense bombing in Lugansk area was meant to “support the Ukrainian Border Guards,” which the local militia have been trying to take under control.
“All in all, for fulfilling the combat support of the Ukrainian border guards the army aviators fired more than 150 missiles, carried out three jet sorties and five helicopter sorties,” the statement says.
The air support was backed by fighter jets launching decoy flares to prevent the attacking aircraft from being targeted from the ground. According to the ministry, two self-defense checkpoints were destroyed in the attack.
Not all the Monday fighting was on the outskirts of Lugansk, apparently, as one Ukrainian missile hit the occupied Lugansk administration building, killing at least eight civilians inside and nearby. Some Kiev politicians have laid the blame on the self-defense forces for the “blast,” which has undoubtedly been confirmed as an airstrike by the accounts of witnesses and the CCTV footage from the scene.
8 Killed in Admin HQ Blast
As Fighter Jets Deployed to Lugansk
(June 2, 2014) — Eight people have been reported killed after an explosion in Lugansk’s regional administration building as Kiev deployed fighter jets to the city in eastern Ukraine. The jets overhead and heavy gunfire on the ground caused panic among civilians. A previous death toll of five people was first reported by RIA Novosti, and was later confirmed by local self-defense forces.
“Ukraine’s air force struck Lugansk downtown at 16.00 pm. Military aircraft made a targeted strike, deploying cluster bombs. The administration building is partially destroyed,” the government of the self-proclaimed Lugansk Peopleâ€™s Republic (LNR) said.
On Tuesday it was confirmed that a salvo of free flight rockets fired from the Ukrainian armed forces’ fighter jet killed eight civilians inside and near the administrative building.
Many wounded were trapped inside the administration headquarters, which caught on fire. About six ambulance vehicles have arrived at the site. The death toll may rise.
Those killed — three women and two men — are all civilians, witnesses told RT. One of them was the LNRâ€™s health minister, Natalia Arkhipova. During the air-strike, she was talking to another woman on the administration building’s steps, the self-proclaimed republicâ€™s premier, Vasiliy Nikitin, said.
Warning: Extremely graphic video
Large blood stains inside the HQ could be seen on live-streaming video from the area, with pieces of glass and stones also visible on the floor. The camera operator was choking with smoke. On the outside, many windows are shattered, shell fragments covering the nearby area and dark plumes of smoke are coming from the fourth floor.
#Lugansk eyewitness tells @RT_com: “I approached the local admin building & after just a few seconds, a jet fighter struck the building.”
7:24 AM- 2 Jun 2014
Unexploded shells were found in the park in front of the building, warn the self-defense forces. Locals were urged to leave the area.
“The fire has engulfed the third and fourth floors of the building, and the windows have been blown out. There are shards of glass everywhere. I saw paramedics carrying people out of the entrance,” a witness told RT.
Minutes earlier, heavy machine-gun shooting was reported in the center of Lugansk, as fierce fighting between the local self-defense squads and Kiev forces renewed after a brief truce.
The shooting sparked panic among visitors of a cafe, who rushed out searching for shelter.
Meanwhile, fighting in the Lugansk region continued later on Monday, with another airstrike reported by the self-proclaimed republicâ€™s authorities. They said that Kiev forces launched an air strike on a checkpoint in the region and there were casualties.
Kiev Denies Air Strike
On Administration Building
Kiev, however, denied attacking the HQ, insisting that its forces are not firing on residential areas in the cities, and do not use air power in those areas, reports the Ukrainian news agency UNN.
The Ukrainian authorities sent its air force to Lugansk to support border guard units stationed in the area, said Vladislav Seleznyov, the spokesman for the military operation against the pro-autonomy protesters in eastern Ukraine.
The fighter jets eliminated two opposition mortar detachments, he told a media briefing. Seleznyoov added that according to preliminary experts’ conclusions, the explosion resulted from an attempt to launch some anti-aircraft missile.
“Fighter jets could become vulnerable while making turns,” he said. “Perhaps, terrorists were trying to shoot them down from some air defense system, but the explosion occurred inside the building.”
In the early hours of Monday, self-defense fighters attacked the Lugansk border unit’s department.
“About a hundred armed men drove up towards the Lugansk border unit’s department at around 00:30am and took positions along the perimeter. The first attack with the use of using machine guns and under-barrel grenade launchers began at about 04:00am, and lasted for about 40 minutes. The border guards successfully deterred the attack,” the Ukrainian State Border Service reported on its website.
The second and third attacks were also successfully repelled, it said, adding that there were wounded among the border guards and several victims among the self-defense.
According to the State Border Service, “terrorists” kept pulling in forces to the border unit’s department, and by 7am there were “about 400” at the site.
The fighting continued for several hours before a short truce was reached in the early afternoon, which allowed for the wounded to be removed from the area. Violence renewed though only half-an hour later.
Talks between self-defense activists and the border guardsâ€™ command reached a deadlock, a spokesperson for the Peopleâ€™s Republic of Lugansk told Itar-Tass. The local authorities were seeking “a peaceful solution to the situation” and wanted the “servicemen living in the People’s Republic of Lugansk” to leave the border guardsâ€™ unit and return to their homes, he added.However, military officials rejected the proposal.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called Kievâ€™s ongoing military operation in southeastern Ukraine, and the use of the air force a “gross violation” of international law.
“The authorities in Kiev have committed another crime against their own people,” a statement on the ministry’s website said. “Everything that has taken place (there) indicates the downright unwillingness of the Kiev authorities to move towards seeking ways for national accord in the country.”
Moscow also urged NATO to demand that Kiev immediately stop its military operation and fulfill the Geneva accords, as well as the OSCE roadmap of the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, Russiaâ€™s envoy to the alliance said.
Kiev’s ‘Indiscriminate Shelling of Residential Areas’ Must Be Stopped — Russia
(June 3, 2014) — The humanitarian situation in Ukraine needs to be addressed immediately, without the usual “theoretical exercises” from the UN Security Councilâ€™s “usual suspects,” ambassador Vitaly Churkin said after a closed-door meeting on a Russian draft resolution.
“The draft is not politicized and is of a purely humanitarian nature,” Churkin told reporters in New York, stressing that the document is aimed at “alleviating human suffering.”
“Every day civilians get killed, among them women and children,” Churkin said. “Ukrainian military and paramilitary forces impede the peaceful population, leaving besieged cities or sending their children to safe places. Buses of children are turned back.”
A swift reaction is absolutely necessary, Churkin said, as Kiev continues its full scale military operation in southeastern Ukraine with “heavy and indiscriminate shelling of residential areas” using both artillery and aviation.
Just on Tuesday alone, at least five civilians were killed in a Ukrainian air raid on a local administrative building in Lugansk, the aftermath of which was shown in numerous horrific videos posted online. [WARNING: Extremely graphic footage of maimed, dead and dying civilian men and women hit by air attack.] Yet authorities and pro-Kiev media deny the incident, even claiming that self-defense forces were behind the attack on their own headquarters.
Churkin said the new draft demands “an immediate cessation of hostilities, urges parties to commit themselves to sustainable ceasefire, and calls for the establishment by the parties of humanitarian corridors in order to allow the civilian population to leave safely and to ensure humanitarian assistance.”
The draft emphasizes the Geneva statement of April 17, which urges all parties in Ukraine to refrain from “violence, intimidation, or provocative actions,” as well as OSCE roadmap for Ukraine that stresses a need for dialogue and calls for a ceasefire and de-escalation of tensions.
Churkin said the draft was submitted because “we believe for the situation in Ukraine not to deteriorate further, something needs to be done now in order to stop the violence.”
He cited the joint statement by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which expressed “extreme concern about the humanitarian situation resulting from the current crisis in southeastern Ukraine” and called on everyone to allow Red Cross workers and volunteers to perform their humanitarian duties.
‘Usual Suspects’ See No Humanitarian Crisis
Yet some of the council’s members seemed to be deliberately trying to stall any real action, he added.
The “usual suspects” in the Security Council are “showing no urgency” when it comes to dealing with the escalation of the Ukrainian conflict, Churkin said.
The Russian envoy said that while the Ukraine crisis was developing, “every time there was procrastination, every time there was a delay of stopping and preventing” further escalation of the conflict. Instead, Churkin said the West often views Ukraine’s turmoil as a “theoretical exercise.”
“How come we talk all the time, as you know, theoretically about the need of preventing diplomacy, about the need to stop conflict, and then some colleagues sit in the Council and sort of shake their heads and say, ‘Well, maybe they are doing the right thing, this military thing, they have the right to do that.’ Looking for various legal frames for this kind of an attitude is wrong. It is our duty to stop the conflict as quickly as possible, to try to stop violence as quickly as possible,” he said.
One of the apparent suspects — the US State Department — has called the Russian draft resolution “hypocritical,” blaming Moscow for instigating the unrest in Ukraine.
“It is hypocritical of the Russian leadership to call for an end to violence and the creation of humanitarian corridors when, at the same time, armed irregular forces are entering Ukraine from Russia, weapons are being brought illegally from Russia into Ukraine, Russian-backed separatists are attacking new targets and holding OSCE monitoring teams hostage, and Russia is doing nothing to stop these activities. So if they are going to call for or would support a reduction in tensions and a de-escalation, it would be more effective for them to end those activities,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at a daily press briefing.
When confronted by AP reporter Matthew Lee about photographic evidence of “severe destruction and civilian — at least what appear to be — civilian deaths,” Psaki replied that she stands by previous statements that the US has no concerns about Kiev’s military actions in southeastern Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Churkin said that some of the 15 members of the Security Council do support Russia’s initiative.
“There were some positive reactions from some members of the Council. However, others were asking so many questions that if we were to try to answer them then we would be talking about things for weeks,” he said, adding that “We have not yet decided what out next move is going to be in terms of working on this resolution.”
British Ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall Grant and his French counterpart, Gerard Araud, claimed there are key elements missing from the new draft.
“We must be clear that the crisis in Ukraine is a political security crisis. It’s not a humanitarian crisis,” Lyall Grant told reporters.
“There were things missing like the reference to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine for instance, the right of Ukraine to defend its territorial integrity,” said Araud, adding that a UN report on the situation is needed because he is unaware that there is a “major crisis” in Ukraine.
Earlier on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that despite Western assurance that Ukraine’s turmoil will be reversed after its May 25 presidential election, “everything is happening in exactly the opposite way.”
Jamie Clemons 05.06.2014 18:14
I tried to point out about the Neo-Nazi presence and involvement in the overthrow of the Ukraine on the daily kos and my comments were censored out.
Andre Gawliko 05.06.2014 13:17
“Kiev’s â€˜indiscriminate shelling of residential areasâ€™ must be stopped” this is too funny, go back to 1999-2000 when the Russian army was pounding Grozny with artillery, aircraft and rockets; the UN said the same thing ” Russia’s indiscriminate shelling of Grozny must be stopped” Russia didn’t stop and thousands of Chechen civilians died, so why should the Ukrainian military stop?
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