Despite Ceasefire, Kiev Amassing Troops along E. Ukraine Frontline
November 16, 2014
RT News & Super News Planet
Kiev is not fully committed to the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, Russian deputy UN ambassador Aleksandr Pankin said during Wednesday's UN Security Council meeting. He added that the Ukrainian military is amassing forces along the front line. Russia has denied NATO claims that its army has crossed into eastern Ukraine in the past few days, calling them groundless.
Kiev Not Fully Committed to Ceasefire,
Amasses Troops along E. Ukraine Frontline
(November 13, 2014) -- Kiev is not fully committed to the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, Russian deputy UN ambassador Aleksandr Pankin said during Wednesday's UN Security Council meeting. He added that the Ukrainian military is amassing forces along the front line. "Throughout the ceasefire period a concentration of Ukrainian troops was observed almost along the entire front line," Pankin said.
The withdrawal of heavy weapons and tech gear from the front line has not begun, he added.
Kiev's allegations of the presence of Russian troops and weapons in Ukraine contradict the real situation on the ground, Pankin stated, adding that this misinformation is spread to justify Kiev's own failures.
"Apparently, Kiev's fear of the self-defense forces is so great that it tries to justify their own failures and massive transfer of personnel and equipment to the front lines by loudly claiming alleged Russian weapons and army," Pankin explained.
"A more logical explanation is the presence of increasingly fortified positions of the self-defense forces, noted by the OSCE, in the regions that are being increasingly exposed to attacks by security forces."
The deputy UN envoy also expressed Russia's concern over the annulment of the law giving special status to the Lugansk and Donetsk regions by Ukrainian authorities, adding that the law is "a cornerstone of the Minsk protocol."
The lack of reaction from the OSCE on the actions of Kiev's forces has only added fuel to the fire, Pankin stated.
Kiev said on Wednesday that it is sending more troops into eastern Ukraine out of fear that militias might start a new military offensive.
Meanwhile, the US called for greater international pressure on Russia to adhere to the Ukrainian ceasefire during the UNSC meeting.
"What we need to do is keep ratcheting up the pressure on Russia until it abides by Minsk and chooses the path of de-escalation," US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said.
The UN Security Council gathered for an emergency session on Wednesday to discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine, where the conflict between Kiev and anti-government forces is still unfolding, despite previous Minsk ceasefire agreements. The UNSC has also discussed the elections which took place in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics on November 2, which Moscow recognized as legitimate.
Also on Wednesday, NATO once again accused the Russian army of crossing the Ukrainian border, saying that over the last few days they "have seen columns of Russian equipment, primarily Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air defense systems, and Russian combat troops entering into Ukraine." Moscow has refuted the accusations, saying that no evidence has been provided to support them.
Meanwhile, despite the ceasefire agreement, Kiev troops are preparing for a winter campaign against the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said on Wednesday. He accused the self-defense forces of a military build-up in eastern Ukraine.
In turn, the Donetsk People's Republic militia's deputy head said it plans to observe the Minsk memorandum.
According to the militia, the Ukrainian army has been actively shelling Donetsk, with explosions being heard throughout the city.
Since the beginning of what Kiev calls an 'anti-terrorist' operation in eastern Ukraine in April, the number of victims on both sides has exceeded 4,000 people. Over 9,300 others have been wounded.
Moscow Slams NATO's Accusations of
Invasion in Ukraine as Groundless
(November 12, 2014) -- Russia has denied NATO claims that its army has crossed into eastern Ukraine in the past few days, calling them groundless, the Defense Ministry said.
"We have stopped paying attention to the groundless accusations made by NATO's Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, US General Philip Breedlove, of the 'observed' Russian military columns allegedly invading Ukraine," said Defense Ministry official representative, General-Major Igor Konashenkov on Wednesday.
He gave a reminder of earlier and similar NATO claims, which have not been backed by any evidence.
"[We have] repeatedly stressed that there was and is no evidence supporting Brussels' regular trumpeting over the alleged presence of Russian forces in Ukraine," Konashenkov said.
Earlier on Wednesday, General Breedlove declared that NATO had "seen" the Russian army crossing the Ukraine border.
"Across the last two days we have seen the same thing that OSCE is reporting. We have seen columns of Russian equipment, primarily Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air defense systems and Russian combat troops entering into Ukraine," Breedlove told journalists in Sofia.
Although he added that NATO does not "have a good picture at this time of how many. We agree that there are multiple columns that we have seen."
NATO has previously made numerous statements of the kind, but failed to provide any concrete evidence.
In one such case in August, after Kiev accused Moscow of alleged invasion, NATO made satellite images public, saying that were "proof" that Russian artillery was on Ukrainian territory. The images also allegedly showed about 1,000 Russian troops taking part in special operations in eastern Ukraine. The images were provided by a commercial company, DigitalGlobe, operating civilian satellites.
At that time, Konashenkov ridiculed the so-called NATO proof, adding that this time NATO officials were even hesitant to put their names on it.
"You know, it has become ridiculous . . . If earlier, someone would at least put their names on those images, be it Breedlove, [NATO former Secretary General Anders Fogh] Rasmussen, or even [NATO spokeswoman Oana] Lungescu, now, they are hesitant," Konashenkov said then, as cited by RIA Novosti. "It makes no sense to comment seriously on this."
Martin McCauley, author and Russian analyst from the University of London, noted that Russia is entitled to do what it likes inside its borders.
"There have always been military units [on Russian territory near the Ukrainian border]. They always engage in exercise," McCauley told RT. "But of course if you are on the Ukrainian side, you see all the military exercises across the border in Russia, you put two and two together and perhaps get five and say: 'Ah, they are preparing to attack us.'"
Russia's Defense Ministry Ridicules NATO's
Photo-proof of Invasion in Ukraine
(August 29, 2014) -- It makes no sense to comment in detail on the satellite imagery released by NATO as "proof" of Russia's military involvement in Ukraine, Defense Ministry's spokesman said, pointing out that even high NATO officials were hesitant to put their names on it.
Referring to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Supreme Allied Commander Europe Philip Breedlove, and NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu, Russia's Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov ridiculed the so-called NATO proof.
"You know, it has become ridiculous . . . If earlier, someone would at least put their names on those images, be it Breedlove, Rasmussen, or even Lungescu, now, they are hesitant," Konashenkov said as cited by RIA Novosti. "It makes no sense to seriously comment on this."
The General also criticized western media outlets for accepting such images and anti-Russian stance at face value.
"The phrase 'NATO published satellite shots of Russian troops' presence in Ukraine' has become as common in recent months as the famous 'British scientists have discovered . . . " Konashenkov said, referring to a media cliché often ridiculed in Russia. "Usually those words are followed by the results of some new crazy research that has no practical sense whatsoever."
"Apparently, the new Secretary General of NATO in the near future will have to exert much effort in order to restore the severely tainted image of the alliance as a high-status international organization," Konashenkov added.
The Defense Ministry statement follows a war-mongering media rhetoric blaming Russia for invading Ukraine, after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday, accused Russia for violating its sovereignty and called on the UN Security Council to assess the situation.
Simultaneous to Kiev's accusations, NATO made public satellite images that were offered as "proof" that Russian self-propelled artillery was on the Ukrainian territory, as well as about 1,000 Russian troops taking part in special operations in eastern Ukraine.
The images, as usual, were provided by a commercial company DigitalGlobe operating civilian satellites. The images were not altered or edited with NATO experts only adding extra information for the general public to understand what they are looking for.
The US as always sided with Poroshenko's statements and NATO-offered evidence, with US Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki saying that Washington has "no reason to doubt their [NATO's] assessment."
Meanwhile both the head of OSCE's Ukrainian monitoring team and Russia's representative said there was no Russian presence spotted across the Ukraine border, refuting claims that a full-scale invasion was underway.
On Thursday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Russian troops had entered Ukraine. The statement came as NATO released satellite images that it claimed showed Russian self-propelled artillery on Ukrainian territory. The alliance said about 1,000 Russian servicemen were taking part in hostilities in eastern Ukraine.
Russia's permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov also said neither NATO, the United States or the European Union have presented any evidence of Russian troop presence in the east of Ukraine.
According to him, the "stuffing of misinformation through the media and directly from Kiev" each time is carried out on the eve of important meetings at the EU level, this time ahead of the summit on August 30 in Brussels, "probably in anticipation of some critical language and even sanctions from the EU," Itar-Tass quotes.
And indeed, US President Barack Obama joined the chorus of anti-Russian rhetoric on Thursday, warning Moscow that more sanctions are in the works as the US is currently in consultation with its "European allies" ahead of a NATO meeting next week.
NATO Unable to Prove Russia's Military Presence in Ukraine
(September 2, 2014) -- NATO has recently provided the photographs that allegedly proved the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine. However, the accuracy of the report was quickly compared to widely ridiculed studies of infamous "British scientists." The provided photos lack such important details as the time and the location of the shooting. It can be possible that the photos were made on the Russian territory during military maneuvers.
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