RT News – 2014-06-15 02:32:09
‘White Phosphorus’ Reports: Ukraine Military ‘Dropped Incendiary Bombs’ on Slavyansk
(June 13, 2014) — Residents of Slavyansk and its suburbs were awoken overnight on Thursday by what they say were incendiary bombs that were dropped on their city by Kievâ€™s military. Witnesses and local media reports suggested that the bombs might be phosphorous.
Much of the village of Semyonovka, located in the Slavyansk suburbs, was set ablaze. Local residents told RT that the ground didn’t stop burning for some time.
â€œWe all saw what happened here yesterday. They used rocket launchers as well as incendiary bombs against us. The ground was on fire. How can the ground burn by itself. It burned for about forty minutes,â€ resident Roman Litvinov told RT over the phone.
â€œStarting from 2 a.m. everyone Iâ€™ve met has a sore throat and is coughing all the time. I think this is because of the burning. I think weâ€™ll feel the true consequences later. There are still a lot of people here, a lot of children we havenâ€™t managed to get out yet,â€ resident Tatyana told RT.
The use of incendiary bombs — designed to start fires using materials such as napalm, white phosphorus or other dangerous chemicals — is strictly prohibited by the UN.
Kiev authorities have denied reports that such weapons were used against civilians. The National Guard also refuted reports that phosphorous ammunition was used, its press service stated.
During the latest news briefing, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki veered away from answering an AP journalistâ€™s question about the reported use of white phosphorus bombs by Kievâ€™s army. But when cornered, she let it slip that she was quite clueless as to the situation on the ground — saying she thought the reference was to the Russians using the bombs.
When asked about the report for the second time, Psaki replied: “By whom? By Russians?â€
The journalist replied: â€œNo, by the Ukrainians,â€ specifying that there is video and photographic evidence of the attack.
Psaki replied by saying, â€œNo, I didnâ€™t see those reports.â€
Slavyansk, an industrial city in southeastern Ukraine with a population of over 100,000 people, has been a focal point of the governmentâ€™s crackdown against the region. The cityâ€™s residential area has been under regular artillery fire for weeks.
â€œIt does appear that there is at least a case to be argued that something similar, if not itself white phosphorous, was used overnight. Iâ€™ve seen the video, Iâ€™ve looked at it closely…[there are] whole signs, whole marks of white phosphorous use. For example, a very bright light burning and multiple burns coming down from the sky. Itâ€™s an airburst weapon that has been used, such as a mortar or a manned aircraft,â€ Charles Shoebridge, a former army officer, Scotland Yard detective, and counter-terrorism intelligence officer who has recently returned from Ukraine, told RT.
â€œWhite phosphorous cannot be put out with the use of waterâ€ and it will â€œburn through oneâ€™s body to the bone,â€ Shoebridge added. â€œIf there is going to be large amounts used it can also be a poison — large amounts can be set to contaminate water supply.â€
According to the video, â€œitâ€™s very likely that white phosphorus” was used, Shoebridge added. â€œItâ€™s very difficult to fabricate the video we saw combined with the evidence on the ground.â€
Moscow demanded an immediate investigation into the reported use of incendiary bombs in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday.
“We are concerned to hear reports that the Ukrainian military forces use incendiary bombs and some other indiscriminate weapons,” he said. “These reports should be probed into immediately.”
On Thursday, Russia introduced a draft resolution to the UN Security Council that condemns attacks on residential quarters and civilian facilities in southeastern Ukraine, said Vitaly Churkin, Russian envoy to the UN.
He also voiced concern over reports of the use of prohibited ammunition, including incendiary bombs, during the military crackdown.
The draft resolution calls for an immediate end to all violence and for a lasting ceasefire.
“The draft resolution will aim to stop the violence and support the political efforts the OSCE has been undertaking in vain so far. We urge the UN Secretary-General to support them,” Churkin said, adding that its adoption would demonstrate the UNSCâ€™s support for the crisis settlement efforts.
Kiev’s Nloody Eastern Ukraine Campaign
(April 15, 2014) — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called on fighters to lay down their arms as the crisis deepens, with dozens dead, hundreds wounded and tens of thousands of refugees. In the last few days, 20,000 people have crossed the border into Russia.
Sunday, June 15
The head of the Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee, Aleksey Pushkov, believes the attack on the Russian embassy in Kiev was pre-planned.
“Otherwise, where did the protesters get the firecrackers?!â€ he wrote on Twitter. “It was not a spontaneous action, but a thoroughly planned one.”
Saturday, June 14
Several provocateurs responsible for the attack on the Russian embassy in Kiev have been detained, Ukraineâ€™s Foreign Ministry said early on Sunday. It added that the authorities are taking all measures to ensure the safety of the diplomatic premises.
Western countries of the UNSC blocked Russia’s draft resolution to condemn the attack on the Russian embassy in Kiev, Itar-Tass quoted a source as saying.
Ukrainian troops have destroyed two self-defense checkpoints around Lugansk, military operation spokesperson Vladislav Seleznev said on his Facebook page.
The situation in front of the Russian embassy in Kiev has normalized, Russia 24 TV channel reported, adding that 200-300 demonstrators remain at the site.
Meanwhile, Ukraineâ€™s Foreign Minister Andrey Deshchitsa and head of the Interior Ministry Arsen Avakov have arrived at the Russian embassy to stabilize the situation, the Ukrainian government’s website stated.
Two Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jets fired missiles at water treatment facilities near the towns of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, according to Slavyansk self-defense forces. They added that “no opposition has ever been there.” The scale of damage to the facilities has not yet been reported, but there are already problems with water supply in the region.
About 200 people gathered in front of Ukraineâ€™s embassy in Moscow, Itar-Tass reported. The demonstrators gathered to protest the attack on the Russian embassy in Kiev. The protesters also voiced their opposition towards Kievâ€™s actions in eastern Ukraine. Some demonstrators carried signs reading, â€œFree the journalistsâ€ and â€œWe wonâ€™t forgive for the dead children.â€
On Saturday, a few hundred Ukrainian protesters overturned several diplomatic cars and piled up tires to block entry into the building. They also threw stones, smoke grenades, eggs, and paint at the premises.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.