Ukraine: Leading Russian MP Warns Of Yugoslav Scenario
February 19, 2014
1) Leading Russian parliamentarian says opposition organized as a military campaign, warns of repeat of Yugoslav model (ahead of fifteenth anniversary of NATO’s air war against Yugoslavia)
2) Extremists in Western Ukraine escalate violent attacks against government targets
3) Western nations fueling extremist violence in Ukraine: Russian foreign minister
4) Russian official accuses U.S. of acting as puppet master pulling strings on violent extremists
5) U.S. ambassador to Ukraine: Visas for Ukrainian officials annulled, more sanctions to come
6) Russian presidential spokesperson: Ukraine violence entirely the fault of Western-backed extremists
7) Rioters in Western Ukraine seize hundreds of firearms: security service
8) Health Ministry: Death toll climbs to 26, ten police and security personnel
9) Health Ministry: 342 police, 263 others hospitalized
10) 800 injured in Kiev violence, ten police officers shot dead
February 19, 2014
Russian MP warns against break-up of Ukraine under Yugoslav scenario
MOSCOW: MP Leonid Slutsky, who chairs the Duma committee on the Commonwealth of Independent States and Compatriot Relations, described the situation in Ukraine as “a limit provoked by the radicals, who organized it well in terms of a military campaign”.
Regrettably, the leaders of the Ukrainian opposition are no longer controlling the situation in full. I was their skyrocketing ambitions and the reluctance to agree to a compromise suggested by the Ukrainian authorities that provoked another spiral of pogroms, fires, clashes with 25 civilians, militia and journalists already dead, Slutsky told journalists on Wednesday.
The situation in Ukraine develops, incited by the West that seeks to resolve its geopolitical tasks, but is indifferent to the fate of the whole country and its people. The so-called protest movement has long gone beyond the permissible norms from the point of view of the democratic European values, and has brought the country on the verge of a break-up,” Slutsky said.
“Russia and deputies of the State Duma are prepared to give all the necessary assistance should the fraternal Ukrainian people ask for it.”
“One cannot let the situation in Ukraine develop to the “Yugoslav “scenario. It is necessary to put an end to the bloodshed by all possible means and prevent interference from outside,” Slutsky added.
“It is a pity that the Olympic truce was violated, and that the Ukrainian athletes, who are already urged to quit the Olympic Games, might also become hostages of extremists’ policies,” the deputy noted.
Russian Information Agency Novosti
February 19, 2014
Fear of Nationwide Turmoil in Ukraine Mounts as Unrest Spreads
KIEV: Violent unrest in Ukraine’s capital has spread to other cities in the former Soviet nation, highlighting geographical divisions and raising fears that civil conflict could spin out of control.
Reported disturbances were concentrated in the major cities of the country’s west, the heartland of Ukrainian nationalism, where there is strong backing for anti-government protesters in Kiev, but it also spread to the east where President Viktor Yanukovych draws his support.
In the Ukrainian city of Lviv, near the country’s border with Poland, mobs reportedly seized administrative buildings and set fire to a military base.
“Go out and use your weapons to protect people – your family, your neighbors, your friends,” Lviv Mayor Andrei Sadovy wrote in a Facebook post addressed to security services Wednesday, the UNIAN news agency reported.
“Be aware that a little aggression on your side against the people with be met with a stronger response. It will be impossible to stop,” he wrote.
Ukraine is deeply divided between its east, where much of the country’s industry is concentrated and people have closer ties with Russia, and the west, which is more orientated toward Europe and where people favor Ukrainian ahead of the Russian language made compulsory in Soviet times.
Violence rippled out in all directions, to both the east and west of the country, overnight from the capital Kiev where protesters and police are locked in a deadly confrontation that has claimed at least 25 lives.
As well as Lviv, the occupation of government buildings by anti-government activists and confrontations with police were reported Wednesday in the western cities of Ivano-Frankivsk, Lutsk, Rovno and Ternopil.
In Ternopil, about 300 activists stormed the regional administration building and set fire to a local police precinct, torching police vehicles and forcing officers exiting from police buildings to kneel in the streets, UNIAN reported.
Activists in west Ukraine have provided strong logistical support and manpower for the protests in central Kiev, which began in November after the government unexpectedly backed off from long-planned agreements to cement closer ties with the European Union. That deal was suspended in favor of forging closer ties with Russia, which has since committed to granting billions of dollars in loans to Ukraine.
The fighting in Kiev has also inspired violence in the country’s east, where Yanukovych was born and where he enjoys his highest levels of support.
The offices of the Batkivshchyna and Svoboda political parties, which have played a key role in organizing the ongoing protests in Kiev, were reportedly attacked with Molotov cocktails overnight by unidentified assailants in the Crimean city of Cherson.
The office of Svoboda, the most overtly nationalist of Ukraine’s mainstream opposition parties, was firebombed in the eastern city of Kharkiv, Ukrainian television channel 24 reported, citing local party members.
Despite strong backing for the ruling Party of the Regions and Yanukovych in eastern Ukraine, pro-government demonstrations have been sporadic and facilitated by strong logistical from the authorities.
The Higher Council of the Crimea, a southern region of the country on the Black Sea with historical Russian ties, issued a statement Wednesday calling on Yanukovych to take decisive steps to bring the situation under control, UNIAN reported.
“We demand that you, as head of state, take concerted action and extreme measures. This is expected by hundreds of thousands of people in the Crimea that voted for you in the presidential elections and who hope for stability,” the regional body said, according to UNIAN.
With the Kiev metro system shut and entry into the capital city restricted, communication links in other parts of the country also appeared to be breaking down.
Anti-government activists blocked the Krakovets border crossing between Ukraine and Poland overnight, lighting fires from piles of tires, UNIAN reported.
Trains between Lviv and Kiev and Ivano-Frankivsk and Kiev were delayed Wednesday morning after reports of explosive material being carried on board, Russian media reported.
February 19, 2014
Number of Western countries responsible for current events in Ukraine by encouraging opposition – Lavrov
KUWAIT CITY:Extremists are to blame for the events happening in Ukraine, however opposition forces, which refused the compromise, and Western countries, which interfered in the domestic affairs of Ukraine, bare some responsibility as well, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
“Of course, the blame is on extremists, who tried all these weeks and all these months to bring the situation to such forceful scenario but considerable share of responsibility is also on opposition activists, who refused compromise, gave the authorities demands outside the legal frame and in the end turned out to be incapable to fulfill what has been agreed,” Lavrov said at a news conference following a meeting with his Kuwaiti counterpart.
February 18, 2014
Moscow accuses US diplomats of ‘puppeteering’ Ukraine
A leading Russian Foreign Ministry official has condemned the US State Department attempts to influence the political situation in volatile Ukraine and warned that such behavior could lead to tragic results.
The United States is trying to impose a “Western vector of development” on Ukraine while camouflaging their intent with calls not to obstruct the free choice of the Ukrainian people, Russian news agencies quoted the ministry’s Aleksandr Lukashevich as saying.
The Russian diplomat called such an attitude “puppeteering”, adding that the recent statement by US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf was a typical example. In the statement, the US gave instructions regarding future actions of the Ukrainian government, Lukashevich said. Such instructions included a demand to stop all cases against the participants in the street riots, and to immediately start to form a multi-party technical government, the Russian official stated.
Such US behavior is very well known and it leads to tragic results, the Foreign Ministry representative emphasized.
Lukashevich also said that the US had apparently started “casting” for future places in the technical Ukrainian government, or at least such a conclusion could be made from a telephone conversation by a top US diplomats that had been made public on YouTube. In the clip that appeared on the internet in early February, Washington’s new top diplomat for Europe, Victoria Nuland, is heard saying “f**k the EU” while speaking with the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyat, on how to end the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine. The conversation continues with Nuland suggesting that one of Ukrainian opposition leaders, Vitaly Klichko is not fit for government work and should make way for another candidate, Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
As fresh violence erupted on Kiev’s streets on Tuesday the Russian Foreign Ministry issued another statement. It considers the crisis “a direct result of the permissiveness policy exercised by those western politicians and European structures who were from the very beginning turning a blind eye at the aggressive actions of the radical forces in Ukraine.” The ministry added that such an attitude was encouraging the radicals to escalate the violence and further provoke their opponents.
Russian diplomats again called upon the Ukrainian opposition to abandon threats and ultimatums and start a meaningful dialogue with the authorities in order to take the country out of the deep crisis.
Russian politicians have repeatedly called on their foreign colleagues to abstain from interfering in the Ukrainian political crisis. In January the upper and lower houses of the Russian parliament passed separate declarations that called the civil unrest in Kiev an organized campaign aimed at displacing lawfully elected officials. The Russian MPs also warned that the Ukrainian crisis could have grave consequences for the country’s people, statehood and territorial integrity.
President Vladimir Putin also expressed concern about the political situation in Ukraine in late January but assured that Russia would not cancel its help to the Ukrainian economy and people if Ukraine also honors the agreements.
In mid-December the Russian and Ukrainian presidents agreed on a plan under which Russia is buying $15bn of Ukrainian debt in 2-year bonds and also giving Ukraine a $3.5 billion discount on natural gas purchases on behalf of state-owned Gazprom. Ukrainians will pay $268.5 per thousand cubic meters of natural gas instead of $400, a nearly 33 percent discount.
At a recent government conference Putin spoke of the aid plan and told officials that all contracts with Ukraine must be completely fulfilled. However, the President added that Russia would wait for Ukraine to form a new government before starting to execute its obligations.
Voice of Russia
February 19, 2014
US annuls visas to Ukrainian officials, new sanctions expected – US diplomat
The United States is considering all means to influence those guilty of using violence in Ukraine, US Ambassador to Kiev Geoffrey Pyatt told reporters on Wednesday.
As to the sanctions, the US has already cancelled visas of some officials, who, as the US thinks, are involved directly in using force at Maidan, Pyatt said.
The US has already said that all instruments of policy are currently on the table, the ambassador said.
Pyatt said he expected Washington to announce new sanctions soon. The US condemns the violence that occurred during the Maidan protests and thinks that the right to peaceful protests should be protected, he said.
Voice of Russia, Interfax
February 19, 2014
Responsibility for events in Ukraine completely on extremists, Dmitry Peskov says
MOSCOW: All responsibility for the current unrest in Ukraine lies squarely on the extremists, Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has said.
“The Russian leadership and president believe that the responsibility for the current developments lies squarely on extremist elements, whose actions can be regarded as a government coup,” Peskov said. “This applies to the seizure of buildings and attempts to lay hands on weapons.”
At the same time he said that “the Russian president’s position is confined to waiting for an early settlement of the situation,” Peskov said, adding that the ways and means of achieving a settlement was Ukraine’s own business.
Peskov said that late last night the Russian and Ukrainian presidents had a telephone conversation. He dismissed as a fake mass media allegations about the contents of what was said.
“Everything that has been published about the contents of the conversation is not true,” Peskov said.
“The Russian president did not give any advice before and is not giving advises to his Ukrainian colleague on what to do. And he does not intend to advise him in the future,” Peskov added.
The presidential spokesperson said that Moscow was maintaining a dialogue with all civilized political forces in Ukraine.
In reply to journalists’ question about extending a second loan tranche he said: “I cannot say anything on the issue yet.”
“Obviously, in the situation when extremists stage what is happening in Ukraine, settlement of this situation is the top priority,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated.
February 19, 2014
Rioters in Western Ukraine seize hundreds of firearms – security service
Rioters who stormed the service’s offices in the Ivano-Frankovsk Region and also in the Lvov and Ternopol regions in the west of the country have laid hands on a large amount of weapons
KIEV: A senior official of Ukraine’s Security Service said that rioters who stormed the service’s offices in the Ivano-Frankovsk Region and also in the Lvov and Ternopol regions in the west of the country have laid hands on a large amount of weapons.
According to the service’s deputy chief, Vladimir Poroiko, in Ivano-Frankovsk the attackers seized 268 firearms, including two machine-guns, 92 hand grenades, and about 10,000 cartridges.
“We are trying to track down where the weapons are to leave no chance for them to be used in mass riots,” he said.
Also, Poroiko said that the rioters may have seized some classified information.
“The Security Service is doing its best to ensure the confidential information the rioters may have obtained should not be disclosed,” he said, adding that the information concerned had been received from foreign counterparts.
The main task of the Ukrainian Security Service is now to maintain the country’s security and territorial integrity, and we do hope that the standoff will be defused and an escalation of the conflict prevented.
Earlier in the day the Ukrainian Security Service had announced a decision had been made to launch a nation-wide counter-terrorist operation.
February 19, 2014
Ukraine riots death toll climbs to 26 – Health Ministry
The death toll from the riots in Kyiv has climbed to 26, and 10 of these people are Interior Ministry officials, Ukrainian Health Minister Raisa Bohatyriova said.
“As for the overall number of people who have died or have been killed during these events, this number is 26. Ten of them are Interior Ministry officials and the rest are participants in the events that have taken place in the center of Kyiv,” Bohatyriova said at a press conference in Kyiv on Wednesday.
The Health Ministry reported earlier about 25 fatalities.
February 19, 2014
In Kyiv 263 participants of disturbances, 342 policemen hospitalized – acting Health Minister
As of now, 263 participants of mass disturbances and 342 policemen, mostly with gunshot wounds, are currently is Kyiv medical facilities, acting Ukrainian Health Minister Raisa Bohatyriova said.
“Out of 388 citizens, who sought medical care, 263 participants of mass rallies have been admitted to hospitals and about 160 patients are in serious condition, moderately serious condition and extremely serious condition,” Bohatyriova said at a briefing in Kyiv on Wednesday.
Main injuries are gunshot wounds, she said.
At the same time, 371 law enforcement officers have sought medical care (since yesterday’s events until noon on Wednesday) and “342 people have been hospitalized and, as of 2 p.m. (4 p.m. Moscow time), ten people, including two traffic police officers, have been killed,” Bohatyriova said.
Policemen wounded are in Kyiv hospitals and central hospital of the Interior Ministry and 72 of them have gunshot wounds and 82 are in moderately serious condition and serious condition, the acting minister said.
Voice of Russia
February 19, 2014
About 800 injured in Kiev clashes – Ukrainian officials
A senior Interior Ministry official said on Wednesday that about 800 people, including 392 police officers, had been injured in current clashes in Kiev.
Oleh Tatarov, deputy head of the ministry’s investigation department, said during a meeting in Kiev with foreign ambassadors that 350 people, both police and civilians, had been hospitalized with injuries.
“Eighty-three law enforcement officials were admitted [to the hospital] with gunshot [sic] wound and are in severe condition,” Tatarov said. He said 10 officers had been shot dead, and that all of them had been killed with “improvised weapons.”
Tatarov said 59 people had been arrested.
Voice of Russia, Interfax
NATO moving east, building 'Roman Empire' in Europe – FM Živadin Jovanović
Berlin and Washington foment civil war in Ukraine
20 February 2014
Recent events in Ukraine are a warning to the working class. They make clear that political leaders in Washington, Berlin and Brussels are prepared to split the country, drive it into civil war and risk a conflagration across the entire region to achieve their geopolitical goals.
Following the failure of the Ukrainian opposition and its Western supporters to overthrow President Viktor Yanukovych by means of demonstrations and replace his regime with an EU-friendly government, armed fascist gangs are being mobilized to achieve the same aim.
On Tuesday, Kiev witnessed the bloodiest clashes since the protests began three months ago. Twenty-six people, including several policemen, were killed, and some 1,000 were injured when gangs armed with paving stones, guns and firebombs engaged in violent street battles with government security forces.
Even Western media outlets, which have propagandized in support of the opposition, could not entirely ignore the role of ultra-right forces in the violent protests. The Financial Times reported, “Some demonstrators wearing camouflage clothing, military helmets and bullet proof vests responded with what appeared to be hand guns.” The same newspaper wrote: “Right Sector, one of the most militarized protest groups, urged citizens with guns to join the encampment.”
German news channel N24 reported that the “radicals of Right Sector have hijacked the protest movement.” Noting that the group consists of “supporters of ultra right-wing organizations across the country,” it added, “With their faces hidden behind masks or helmets, they attack the police in Kiev with batons and iron bars.”
The US and German governments are supporting these paramilitary neofascist groups in order to increase pressure on Yanukovych and his government. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung expressed this bluntly. It “no longer matters if it was radical opponents of the regime or the security forces who first resorted to violence on Tuesday,” the paper stated. “Now only one thing can help: the rapid resignation of Yanukovych.”
On Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warmly received Ukrainian opposition leaders Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Vitali Klitschko, but turned down their call for sanctions. After the bloody riots in Kiev, she reversed herself and expressed support for sanctions against the Yanukovych government. In a joint appearance with French President François Hollande, she denounced the security forces in Ukraine for brutality.
Similar comments were made by the US government, which called on the Ukrainian government to withdraw its riot police. “There will be consequences if people cross a line,” President Barack Obama threatened.
The fact that Berlin and Washington are prepared to exploit the services of paramilitary fascist gangs for their own purposes exposes the official propaganda, which states that what is at issue in Ukraine is the rule of law and democracy. In fact, the aim is to replace the regime of Yanukovych with one that will distance itself from Russia, subordinate itself to the European Union and impose brutal austerity policies on the Ukrainian working class.
This is also the aim of the opposition led by Klitschko, Yatsenyuk and Oleh Tyahnybok, whose Svoboda party openly celebrates the Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera and espouses anti-Semitism and racism.
The battle for Ukraine is part of efforts by the US and the European powers to incorporate all of Eastern Europe into their sphere of influence and isolate Russia. This process began with the restoration of capitalism, continued with the incorporation of the former Eastern Bloc countries and the Baltic States into NATO and the EU, and is now to be extended to large parts of the former Soviet Union.
Ukraine, with its network of energy pipelines, strategically important military bases and heavy industry, is a major target of American and European imperialism. On two occasions in the last century, in 1918 and 1941, German imperialism invaded Ukraine. In World War II, Hitler’s armies massacred millions of Ukrainians.
Ukraine also serves as a base to draw other former Soviet republics into the sphere of influence of the EU. In an article for Carnegie Europe, journalist Judy Dempsey referred to the crisis in Ukraine as “a great opportunity for the EU.” She continued: “Now is the time for the EU to start selling itself, not just in Ukraine but also in Georgia and Moldova.”
The installation of a client regime in Ukraine or imperialist carve-up of the country is ultimately aimed against Russia itself. Various think tanks are studying the ethnic and political tensions that could be exploited to bring about regime change in Russia and dismember that country as well.
The policies pursued by Washington, Berlin and Brussels in Ukraine, with the support of their right-wing and fascist allies, are directed against the social and democratic rights of the working class. They risk civil war and increase the danger of a military confrontation with Russia.
The Ukrainian working class cannot avoid these dangers by supporting the camp of Yanukovych. His regime is corrupt and bankrupt, representing a different faction of oligarchs than those backing the opposition. They all agree when it comes to the looting of public property and the impoverishment and suppression of the working population.
The only way forward for the working class is to build an independent socialist party that fights for the expropriation of the oligarchy and the nationalization of the banks and corporations, uncompromisingly rejects imperialism and nationalism, and fights for the unity of Ukrainian workers with the workers of Russia, Europe and the rest of the world.
=== Coordinamento Nazionale per la Jugoslavia - ONLUS http://www.cnj.it/ http://www.facebook.com/cnj.onlus/ === * ===
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