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US/NATO/EU and the desperate subversion of Ukraine


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The junta and its western backers are liars

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Massive artillery shelling and airstrikes have resumed in Eastern Ukraine after Kiev terminated a shaky ceasefire with local militias. There are reports of yet another Ukrainian bomber jet downed.

“Starting this morning the active phase of the antiterrorist operation has resumed. Our forces are conducting strikes,” announced Aleksandr Turchinov, Ukrainian parliament speaker and former acting president.

Reports of night gunfight and explosions came Tuesday morning from Donetsk, the capital of Donetsk Region.

There were also causalities in Kramatorsk, where a bus was fired at early in the morning, with four people reported killed by militia sources. Five people were reportedly injured in the incident.

Meanwhile near the village Snezhnoye one of Ukrainian bomber jets was shot down by an anti-aircraft cannon, militia claimed.

The incident was not immediately confirmed by Kiev, but the militia has a record of taking down Ukrainian military aircraft.

Ukrainian tanks attacked a self-defense forces position near village of Karlovka in the east of the region, local news website 62uf reported.

Heavy artillery shelling was reported in Slavyansk, the militia stronghold that has been the focus of the Ukrainian military crackdown on the defiant east.

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MOSCOW, July 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow is urging the Ukrainian authorities to stop shelling their own cities and communities and to restore genuine, and not ostensible ceasefire to save people’s lives, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“The Ukrainian leadership keeps claiming that the Ukrainian government forces that are conducting the so-called anti-terrorist operation in the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions, which in fact is a punitive operation, do not go as far as using force against civilians and that they never open fire on residential areas,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“The real facts point to the opposite. As a result of regular shellings of cities and villages by the Ukrainian army, the National Guard and various territorial armed groups, including the Right Sector, there have been heavy civilian casualties.”

“This is the real truth. It cannot be concealed. Those responsible for crimes against civilians will be brought to justice,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“We are demanding the Ukrainian authorities should stop shelling peaceful cities and communities of their own country and return to the real cease-fire and not an ostensible one, in order to save people’s lives,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

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Tuesday, July 1

21:35 GMT:

The Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk Aleksander Boroday declared his readiness to continue consultations on the ceasefire, following the first two meetings between Donetsk and Lugansk representatives and those of Kiev, RIA Novosti reports.

“We take into account the opinion of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the OSCE. Given these opinions, we declare readiness to continue consultations on the ceasefire if the opposite side is ready for it,” Boroday said in Donetsk.

According to him, one of the stumbling blocks is the date for talks and the venue. The advisory group is apparently afraid to go to Donetsk amid the so-called ‘anti-terrorist’ operation, Boroday said adding that he has offered to provide maximum security for all participants.

The next meeting of the so-called tripartite contact group tasked with defusing the tension in Ukraine’s Donbass could also take place in Minsk, Belarus if all parties agree.

Boroday said that in the meantime Kiev is continuing its assault in eastern Ukraine. “The shooting did not stop. Our enemy continued shelling Slavyansk, Snezhnij and Kramatorsk.”

20:20 GMT:

Russia's Volgograd region has imposed a state of emergency due to the influx of a large number of refugees from south-eastern Ukraine.

"The decree on the introduction of such a regime tonight was signed by the governor Andrei Bocharov,” his spokeswoman, Ekaterina Golod, told Itar-Tass, saying that about 5,000 refugees are now in the region.

She said that the state of emergency will enable the authorities to better provide for the needs of the Ukrainian refugees escaping military operations in their country.

Golod said that mobile offices are already setup in refugee camps, that are designed to provide proper “sanitary” conditions as well as serve to provide migration registration.

19:46 GMT:

Power has been cut off in the city of Slavyansk as a result of military actions. The city of Kramatorsk has also faced partial disruption to the electricity supply.

There is no power in Kramatorsk’s central hospital, maternity wards and surgical department, the local power company said. It added that it is impossible to restore power as military action continues.

19:22 GMT:

Entrances to Lugansk airport have been mined and cut off from the outside world, an assistant in Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, Anton Geraschenko, said.

He added the Ukrainian army controls the airport. Planes are not permitted to land.

19:12 GMT:

Two Ukrainian journalists from local Gromadske TV, who have been detained by self-defense forces in a seized building in Lugansk, are safe and sound, RIA Novosti reported.

“Negotiations are being held. I can tell they are in one of the seized buildings in Lugansk, at least they are alive, safe and sound,” said Yuriy Stetsya from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.

He added the self-defense troops have not made any demands.

19:02 GMT:

Self-defense forces say they have shot down two government strike-fighter jets during an engagement in Lugansk.

“Five government planes flew over the Cossack settlement of Luganskaya and dropped bombs,” said Vladimir Inogorodskiy, the press secretary of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Lugansk.

“After we brought down two of them, the other three managed to get away.”

Earlier, separatist units in the Donetsk Region claimed they also shot down a government plane.

19:02 GMT:

Government forces have captured three villages in the Donetsk Region, destroying a separatist “training camp” in the process, according to National Guard commander Stepan Poltorak.

Three government soldiers were wounded near the village of Zakotny during the six-hour operation

18:44 GMT:

Several apartment buildings caught fire following mortar shelling in Lugansk, Itar-Tass reports. There have been no reports of casualties so far.

18:27 GMT:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has warned of a "new round of bloodshed" during a a telephone call with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

"Lavrov stressed that the decision by (Ukrainian) President Petro Poroshenko not to extend the ceasefire ... unleashes a new round of bloodshed, with unpredictable consequences for the Ukrainian state," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website.

Lavrov emphasized that the countries concerned in the crisis should work together to achieve immediate and sustainable ceasefire, to address urgent humanitarian needs and start real negotiations. John Kerry assured Lavrov that he shares these goals. However, he acknowledged the differences in their approaches on how to achieve them.

16:01 GMT:

One of the self-defense force leaders, Igor Bezler, has attempted to seize power in the Donetsk Region as his troops have taken control of local police headquarters, RIA Novosti reported, citing a representative of the office of the Donetsk People’s Republic’s prime minister, Aleksandr Borodai.

“Igor Bezlar, aka Bes and his unit, have seized the local police HQ,” the source told the news agency.

A criminal case has been launched.

Earlier reports said that five people were injured in a shooting outside the police office.

“There is an anti-terrorist operation is going on now. In case of resistance, terrorists will be eliminated,” the source added.

13:30 GMT:

Several gunshots have been heard in the center of Kiev, where people have gathered for mass protests, Vesti.ua reports. Among the demonstrators are local doctors demanding an end to corruption in the healthcare sector and Euromaidan activists.

12:44 GMT:

#Donetsk:Ppl reportedly evacuating shooting zone in city's center. Kiev's ATO resumed last night. Photo:@novostidnua pic.twitter.com/v6ank6gjsM

— PaulaSlier_RT (@PaulaSlier_RT) July 1, 2014
11:20 GMT:

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has called the authorities to take necessary measures to ensure the safe work of journalists in the country’s south-east, where Kiev launched a massive military operation, reported the presidential press service.

Earlier on Tuesday, two journalists from Russian Ren TV were injured in Lugansk Region after shelling from Kiev troops. All in all, five journalists have been killed in the recent violence in the south-east of the troubled country.

10:59 GMT:

Russia has demanded that Kiev stop the military attacks in eastern Ukraine and announce a new ceasefire.

“Unfortunately the first hours after the termination on June 30 by Kiev of its ceasefire the number of victims among the civilian population has increased,” the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed in a statement.

“We demand that the Ukrainian authorities stopped the shelling of peaceful cities and villages of their nation and return to a real rather than phony ceasefire to protect lives,” it added.

09:38 GMT:

Ukrainian journo & cameraman from #HromadskeTV reportedly captured by #Lugansk People's Republic fighters last night. Ukr media reports.

— PaulaSlier_RT (@PaulaSlier_RT) July 1, 2014
09:19 GMT:

A Russian TV crew has been caught under fire near the village of Izvaryino in Lugansk Region, 1km from the Ukraine-Russian border, a Ren TV official representative told RT.

Correspondent Denis Kulaga and cameraman Vadim Shchukin were severely injured.

“A shell, presumably, from a howitzer exploded near Ren TV journalists,” she said, “Everything happened the moment our journalists were working on the territory of the local poultry factory, which was shelled by mortars by Ukraine’s army.”

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RT :

Russia’s president has blamed the turmoil in Ukraine on the country’s newly-elected leader Petro Poroshenko. Vladimir Putin also criticized the West for its intention to turn the planet into a "global barracks."

Click here for top 10 takeaways from Putin's foreign policy speech

Russia’s president has laid the blame for the ongoing turmoil between Kiev and south-eastern regions squarely at the feet of Petro Poroshenko, after the Ukrainian leader terminated the ceasefire.

He has stressed that Russia and European partners could not convince Poroshenko to not take the path of violence, which can’t lead to peace.

“Unfortunately, President Poroshenko has made the decision to resume military actions, and we – meaning myself and my colleagues in Europe – could not convince him that the way to reliable, firm and long-term peace can’t lie through war,” Putin said. “So far, Petro Poroshenko had no direct relation to orders to take military action. Now he has taken on this responsibility in full. Not only military, but also political, more importantly."

On Monday, the leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine held a phone call in which Putin stressed the need to prolong the ceasefire and the creation of “a reliable mechanism for monitoring compliance with it and the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] should play an active role.”

Russia offered that checkpoints on the Russian side should be monitored by representatives of the Ukrainian Border service as well as OSCE observers for “the joint control of the border.”

As the violent conflict continues in the east of Ukraine and the number of refugees fleeing to Russia grows, Putin vowed to provide help to everyone who needs it.

“Everything that’s going on in Ukraine is of course the internal business of Ukrainian government, but we are painfully sorry that people die, civilians,” Putin said. He added that the killing of journalists was “absolutely unacceptable.”

“In my opinion, there is a deliberate attempt to eliminate representatives of the press going on. It concerns both Russian and foreign journalists,” the president said.

‘West should stop turning world into 'global barracks'

Speaking in front of ambassadors on Tuesday, Putin expressed hope that Western partners will stop imposing their principles on other countries.

"I hope pragmatism will still prevail. The West will get rid of ambitions, pursuits to establish a ‘world barracks’ – to arrange all according to ranks, to impose uniform rules of behavior and life of society,” Putin said.

"I hope the West will start building relations based on equal rights, mutual respect and mutual consideration of interests.”

Putin recalled the situation with France and the delivery of the Mistral-class ships that was agreed between Moscow and Paris, but was jeopardized in March.

“We know about the pressure that our American partners put on the French so that they would not deliver the Mistral [ships] to Russia,” Putin said. “And we know that [they] hinted that if the French don't deliver Mistral, sanctions on banks will be gradually removed, or at least minimized. What is this, if not blackmail?"

Russia is ready to have dialogue with the US only bases of equality, Putin added.

“We are not going to stop our relations with the US. The bilateral relations are not in the best shape, that is true. But this - and I want to emphasize - is not Russia’s fault,” he told diplomats.

Speaking about international relations, Putin stressed that Russia always tried to be “predictable, to do business on an equal basis”, however, in return, its interests were quite often ignored.

‘Ukraine devised shady schemes to get gas’

Putin then touched upon a gas deal with Ukraine, saying that the country “devised some shady schemes with some of their partners” to get “the so-called reverse supplies.”

“It is artificial reverse traffic. There is no such thing in reality,” Putin said. “How is it possible to use the same pipe to pump gas both ways? You do not have to be a major specialist in the gas sector to understand that this is unrealistic," he said. “They have devised some shady schemes with some of their partners,” Putin added. “They are getting Russian gas and paying to some of their partners in Europe, who under-consume these amounts."

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KIEV, July 01. /ITAR-TASS/. As a result of combat operations in eastern Ukraine, the city of Slavyansk and part of the city of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk Region were blacked out, regional electricity distribution company DTEK Donetskoblenergo said Tuesday.

The company said the power outage occurred after the Slavyansk Severny 110kV substation was disconnected from the power grid.

“This led to a complete blackout of the city of Slavyansk, as well as to disruptions of power supplies to a number of facilities in the city of Kramatorsk: the central city hospital, a maternity clinic and a surgery department,” DTEK Donetskoblenergo said.

Restoration of damaged electric equipment is impossible due to active warfare, the company said.

Hundreds of people have been killed, buildings destroyed and tens of thousands forced to flee Ukraine to Russia as a result of Kiev’s military operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine’s embattled Southeast involving armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation, which has been conducted since mid-April.

Fierce military attacks of the pro-Kiev forces on the country’s southeastern regions resumed after Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko decided to end the ceasefire in the Southeast on Monday.

Poroshenko announced the ceasefire on June 20 and extended it on June 27 by three days. However, there were numerous reports that the truce had been violated by Kiev.

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MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow is concerned by Kiev’s decision to reject a four-party declaration on the deployment of observers to the Russian-Ukrainian border, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

The document endorses Russia’s initiative to deploy OSCE monitors and Ukrainian border guard representatives at three crossing points on the border between Russia and Ukraine. The declaration was agreed by top diplomats from Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine during a phone conversation late on Monday.

“The Ukrainian side refused to publish the agreed document at the last moment, saying it was ready to do this only after establishing an unconditional mutual ceasefire. This move by Kiev causes deep regret,” the ministry said in a statement.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia was ready to submit a draft document to the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe authorizing the placement of OSCE monitors and Ukrainian border guards at the Izvarino, Dolzhanskiy and Krasnopartizansk checkpoints to ensure the transparency of cross-border movement.

The three crossing points in question are currently under the control of local self-defense forces, but Kiev has insisted they return under its control.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced early Tuesday the end to the ceasefire between pro-Kiev forces and independence supporters in the country’s east.

Just a few hours after Poroshenko lifted the ceasefire the Ukrainian army resumed fighting on the Russian-Ukrainian border in Luhansk Region.

The border control zones of Donetsk-Izvarino and Krasnoparizansk-Gukovo have been closed.

Two people were reported wounded in the fighting between national guard forces and independence supporters near the Izvarino border checkpoint.

Ukrainian National Guard forces on Tuesday morning began to actively fight on the Russian-Ukrainian border in the Luhansk region, just a few hours after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko lifted the ceasefire.

The border control zones of Donetsk-Izvarino and Krasnoparizansk-Gukovo have been closed, the head of Russia’s Federal Customs Service, Andrei Belyaninov told RIA Novosti.

“Fighting began at around 9:00 a.m. The border patrol stations are currently closed. Russian border guards and employees of the Federal Customs Service have retreated to a safe distance,” Belyaninov said.

He said that before closing the posts, Russian authorities were able to get all of the Ukrainian refugees, who were located at the posts at the time, over the border into Russia.

“After closing these humanitarian corridors, which about 90% of all Ukrainian refugees cross into Russia, there is no more possibility [for others], women and children have nowhere to run,” he said.

MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti) – Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reminded that Russia is not a party to the conflict in the east of Ukraine and its influence on self-defense forces should not be overestimated.

“Russia is not a party to the confrontation, it’s an internal Ukrainian conflict. And Moscow can’t tell self-defense forces what to do and how to do it. It can appeal to self-defense forces and use its existing influence,” Peskov said answering a question from Kommersant newspaper whether Moscow will pressure the authorities of self-proclaimed people’s republics in Donetsk and Luhansk to comply with ceasefire.

According to Peskov, “Russia’s influence on self-defense forces shouldn’t be overestimated.”

Later Ukraine’s President Poroshenko announced that he decided not to extend the ceasefire in the east of the country, which expired on Monday night, blaming the independence supporters for not complying with its terms.

Poroshenko first declared a week-long ceasefire on June 20 and later extended it for three more days to implement the measures to de-escalate the crisis requested by the EU.

MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti) - External influence pushed Kiev to decide against extending the ceasefire in southeast Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

“There's an impression that Kiev’s change in position, including its announcement late on June 30 on the non-extension of the ceasefire regime, happened regardless of the position of leading EU members,” the ministerial statement reads, suggesting “external influence” underlay Kiev’s decision.

In this regard, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that all parties involved in the conflict need to be focused on the goal of immediately ending bloodshed, stopping gunfire and beginning negotiations.

“Once again we call for an end to using Ukraine as a bargain chip in geopolitical games and stop imposing criminal lines on the forceful pressure of protest performances,” the Foreign Ministry concluded.

Early on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced that the armed forces, national guard, border troops and security service are no longer restrained by the ceasefire regime, thus enforcing his decision against another extension of the ceasefire in east Ukraine.

According to Poroshenko, the move to call off the ceasefire was dictated by the fact that protection of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, safety and the lives of civilians require offensive as well as defensive action against independence supporters.

The president’s most recent initiative is inconsistent with his previously voiced intention of crisis-resolution, because the peaceful settlement effort was intended to immediately stop the violence.

Ukraine’s government promised to stick to the implementation of the peace plan, which envisages disarmament, decentralization, unrestricted use of the Russian language and reconstruction of destroyed housing at the government’s expense.

Earlier Tuesday, Russia’s lower house speaker Sergei Naryshkin stated that without a comprehensive ceasefire, peace in Ukraine cannot be restored.

KIEV, July 1 (RIA Novosti) – Ukrainian authorities on Tuesday renewed the active phase of special operations in the country’s east and are firing on pro-independence forces, Ukrainian parliament Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov said.

Turchynov said during a parliamentary session that he had spoken with the Ukrainian defense minister.

“The active phase of the anti-terrorist operation was renewed Tuesday morning, our forces have commenced fire,” Turchynov said, referring to his earlier conversation with the acting defense minister and the interior minister.

Turchynov’s statement comes after Kiev announced that the armed forces, national guard, border troops and security service are no longer restrained by the ceasefire.

Early on Tuesday, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko announced his decision against another extension of the ceasefire in east Ukraine, initially declared on June 20 as part of his 15-step peace plan.

According to Poroshenko, the move to call off the ceasefire was dictated by the fact that protection of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, safety and the lives of civilians require offensive as well as defensive action against independence supporters.

At the same time Ukraine’s government promised to stick to the implementation of the peace plan, which envisages disarmament, decentralization, unrestricted use of the Russian language and reconstruction of destroyed housing at the government’s expense.

KIEV, July 1 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s political coalition has called on President Petro Poroshenko to submit an act to the parliament to introduce martial law in the country’s east, Batkyvshchina party leader Serhiy Sobolev said Tuesday.

Following Poroshenko’s announcement that the ten-day ceasefire in the east was over, Ukrainian parliament Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov announced Tuesday that the active phase of the special operation had resumed.

“I hold in my hands the signatures of five party leaders except the Communists and Party of Regions [parties], which is not surprising because of three key issues: First, the issue of the European choice; second, the issue of necessary reforms; and, third, the issue of how fast peace can be reached in the east,” Sobolev said.

“We believe that the introduction of martial law in two regions, Donetsk and Luhansk, will allow us to introduce a situation in which the protection of civilians and military personnel, as well as the conduction of a quick anti-terrorist operation under martial law will be a just response to the terrorists who have not for a single day stopped these terrible things that have happened during this so-called unilateral peace [regime], where explosions on railroads were heard, when dozens of our compatriots were killed, and when hundreds of wounded were hospitalized,” Sobolev said, adding: “And this is why we call on the president to immediately submit an act [to parliament] on introducing martial law for consideration.”

Just a few hours after Poroshenko lifted the ceasefire, active fighting resumed in Ukraine’s restive east.

The Ukrainian army conducted artillery attacks against the cities of Slaviansk and Kramatorsk, shelled the villages of Semenivka and Nikolayevka.

Battles are also taking place on the Russian-Ukrainian border in Luhansk Region, and the first injuries have already been reported.

Earlier in June, Ukraine’s factions called for the imposition of martial law in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. At the time, Russia’s foreign minister said that the measure could give carte blanche to the authorities in Kiev to use any kind of force necessary to quash protesters in the east, and Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin stressed the move would only deepen the crisis, leading to even more violence.

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MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti) – The events in Ukraine provoked by the West are a concentrated political expression of deterrence toward Russia and an attempt to create a tense center on the Russian border, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

“We all need to clearly understand that the events provoked by the West in Ukraine have become a concentrated political expression of deterrence toward Russia. Its roots go deep in history and it’s obvious that this policy has not stopped even after the ‘Cold War,’” Putin said during a meeting with Russian ambassadors and permanent representatives.

“Attempts have been made through Ukraine to rock the situation in the region and to create a tense center on our borders,” Putin said.

The Russian leader expressed hope that eventually the West would drop its ambitions of building a “global barracks” and acknowledge the right of each country to develop the way they see fit.

“I hope, nonetheless, that pragmatism will prevail, the West will drop its ambitions of trying to build a ‘global barracks,’ placing everyone in formation, imposing single rules of behavior and social life and start building relations on the basis of equality, mutual respect, and mutual interests,” Putin stressed.

Since the very beginning of the Ukrainian conflict, the West has been blaming Russia for fomenting tensions in the country, though Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement in the issue.

Relations between Russia and the West stalled after Crimea voted in March to rejoin Russia, which was interpreted by many world leaders not as an expression of the free will of Crimean residents, but as a violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

Following the move, the United States and the European Union imposed sanctions against a number of Russian officials and companies. Moscow was also threatened with tougher restrictive measures that may target key sectors of the country’s economy.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has labelled the measures counterproductive and warned of the boomerang effect they might have.

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MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti) — The current global events clearly demonstrate that the unipolar model of the world has failed, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

“There can hardly be doubts that the unipolar world model failed. Louder and louder, peoples and countries express their determination to choose their destiny on their own, to preserve their civilizational and cultural identity, which contradicts the West’s attempts to keep dominating in the military sphere, politics, finance and economy, ideology,” Putin said at a meeting with Russian ambassadors and permanent envoys.

Putin drew on the fact that Russia's Western partners have spent the past two decades trying to convince Moscow of their good intentions and readiness to jointly build a strategic partnership, when, in fact, they have expanded NATO and pushed the military-political space they control closer to Russian borders.

“Those who continue to claim their unique role actively dislike Russia’s independent policies. The events in Ukraine confirm that, and they also confirmed that the model of relations with Russia, full of double standards, is no longer operational,” the president concluded.

The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier criticized its Western partners for their one-sided position on the Ukrainian crisis, urging the US and EU to take into account the interests of all parties involved, including citizens of the southeastern regions of Ukraine, instead of blindly supporting every move the Kiev authorities make.

Moscow has repeatedly called for a new multipolar system of international relations, built on respect for mutual interests and effective work benefiting individual nations and the entire international community.

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MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti) — Russia intends to continue to actively defend the rights of its compatriots abroad and will resort to all available means for the purpose, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

“I want everyone to understand [that] our country would continue to actively defend the rights of Russians, our compatriots abroad, [and will] use all available means for the purpose — from political and economic [measures] to humanitarian operations permitted by the international law,” Putin said at a meeting with Russian ambassadors and permanent envoys.

President Putin stressed that what happened in Ukraine is the climax of negative trends in global affairs accumulated over the past years, and that Russia has warned its partners about this build-up.

Amid the ongoing special operation of Kiev-backed forces against independence supporters in southeastern Ukraine, Russia fears Kiev’s crackdown is verging on ethnic cleansing.

Russia’s OSCE envoy Andrei Kelin said the Ukrainian Army is “cleansing Donbas of its Russian-speaking population, rather than of fictitious Russian saboteurs.”

In late June, Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov described the hostilities in eastern Ukraine as a “civil war steadfastly heading toward genocide.”

Moscow first acted to defend its compatriots, when nationalistic leaders came to power in Kiev following a regime change in late February, threatening the rights of the Russian-speaking population of the country.

The Crimean peninsula, previously an autonomous republic within Ukraine, voted for reunification with Russia. Following the respective referendum in mid-March, anti-government rallies swept other regions of Ukraine, where independence supporters refused to recognize Kiev’s interim government, and held similar referendums on self-determination, ultimately setting off violent clashes with government forces.

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MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow advocates an urgent meeting of the contact group on settling the crisis in Ukraine and will render any assistance necessary to the negotiation process, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

“We are convinced that efforts to put the situation back on the track of negotiations should continue, including an urgent meeting of the Contact group. We will render all assistance to it,” the ministry said.

Earlier in the day, Ukraine’s envoy in the trilateral contact group said the next meeting on defusing the crisis in eastern Ukraine may be held in Minsk, Belarus. Iryna Herashenko, however, did not give an exact date for the next round of talks, which include the European Union, Ukraine and Russia.

In a four-party telephone conversation on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke in favor of the third round of consultations between representatives from Kiev and the country’s breakaway southeastern regions.

Following talks between the four leaders, the foreign ministers of the four countries held the phone call, during which the sides formulated a four-party declaration, stipulating among other things, the urgent need to resume the work of the contact group.

Ukraine, however, at the last minute decided not to publish the document, saying it was ready to do so only after establishing an unconditional mutual ceasefire.

Kiev and the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics have already met twice in the city of Donetsk for consultations on settling the crisis in the troubled regions.

The meetings were also attended by Russian ambassador Mikhail Zurabov, former President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma, envoys from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, leader of the “Ukrainian Choice” movement Viktor Medvedchuk, leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Boroday and other officials.

MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti) - Kiev’s refusal to extend the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine is a “negative sign” inconsistent with the peace plan declared by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Russia’s envoy to the EU said Tuesday.

“The refusal to extend the ceasefire is, naturally, a negative sign. It’s hard to understand the logic behind combining the confirmation of the so-called 15-step reconciliation plan and the rejection of a ceasefire,” the envoy, Vladimir Chizhov, said.

Russia’s EU envoy said the prior roundtable discussions in Donetsk "gave some hope for the establishment of internal Ukrainian political dialogue,” but the current circumstances only exacerbate the situation. Chizhov noted that, judging by the “real situation on the ground” the clashes never stopped.

Early on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced the move to call off the ceasefire on the grounds that protection of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, safety and the lives of civilians require offensive as well as defensive action against independence supporters.

The Ukrainian National Guard, after the previous ceasefire was cancelled, resumed the active phase of Kiev’s military operation in the area of the Donetsk-Izvarino and Krasnopartizansky-Gukovo border control zones in Luhansk Region, the head of Russia’s Federal Customs Service, Andrei Belyaninov told RIA Novosti earlier the same day.

MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti) — Moscow is urging Kiev to refrain from attacking peaceful cities and villages and target a true ceasefire, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

“We demand the Ukrainian authorities refrain from striking peaceful cities and villages in its own country, and return to an actual and not an imaginary ceasefire in order to save the lives of people,” the statement reads.

The ministry said that “crimes against the civilian population must be paid for.”

The ministry noted, with regret, that the first hours after Kiev failed to extend the official ceasefire saw an increase in the number of civilian casualties.

The Ukrainian National Guard, after the previous ceasefire was called off, resumed the active phase of Kiev’s military operation in the area of the Donetsk-Izvarino and Krasnopartizansky-Gukovo border control zones in Luhansk Region, following the respective announcement by Ukrainian parliament Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov. The head of Russia’s Federal Customs Service, Andrei Belyaninov, confirmed the resumption of military activity in the region.

Turchynov’s statement came after Kiev announced that the armed forces, national guard, border troops and security service are no longer restrained by the ceasefire.

Early on Tuesday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced his decision against further extending the ceasefire in east Ukraine, initially declared on June 20 as part of his 15-step peace plan.

Russia’s envoy to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, said Kiev’s refusal to extend the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine is a “negative sign,” inconsistent with the peace plan declared by President Poroshenko.

According to Poroshenko, the move to call off the ceasefire is dictated by the fact that protection of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, safety and the lives of civilians require offensive as well as defensive action against independence supporters.

MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti) — A reporter from Russia’s REN-TV channel was injured in a howitzer projectile blast in Ukraine, near the border with Russia, the TV channel said on its official Twitter account Tuesday.

“Our correspondent was injured in the Luhansk region, about 1 kilometer [0.6 miles] from the Russian-Ukrainian border," the channel said.

“A projectile, presumably from a howitzer, exploded near the journalists. Denis Kulaga suffered a concussion, he has hearing problems and his ears are bleeding,” the channel said, adding that another cameraman also suffered a concussion.

In an official Tweet, the channel later reported that the journalists were on their way to the hospital.

According to Reporters Without Borders, more than 200 journalists have been injured or attacked in Ukraine since the start of the year, when political tensions in the country boiled over resulting in large-scale clashes between the Kiev-led forces and independence supporters in the country’s southeast.

Late on June 29, cameraman from Russia’s Channel-1 television station Anatoly Klyan was fatally shot in Donetsk Region. Prior to the tragedy, on June 17, two Russian journalists were killed in a mortar attack near the Ukrainian city of Luhansk.

The Ukrainian National Guard, after the previous ceasefire was called off, resumed the active phase of Kiev’s military operation in the area of the Donetsk-Izvarino and Krasnopartizansky-Gukovo border control zones in Luhansk Region, the head of Russia’s Federal Customs Service, Andrei Belyaninov told RIA Novosti earlier the same day.

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vladimir-putin.jpgMoscow, Jul 1 (Prensa Latina) President Vladimir Putin reiterated today the persistence of a policy of restraint towards Russia, as a Cold War tool, which was demonstrated in events in Ukraine.

Moscow, Jul 1 (Prensa Latina) Russian President Vladimir Putin today denounced the West''s blackmail and unilateral policy of sanctions on Russia, contrary to the international law and the UN Charter. In a meeting with ambassadors and special envoys, Putin said that the US and European Union reprisals against his country are not in accordance with Article 7 of the UN Charter, making them a unilateral policy tool.

The Russian president said in his speech that US authorities efforts to torpedo an operation in the Russia-France military cooperation sector are outrageous, and can only cause indignation in Europe as well.

Putin insisted that the US is putting strong pressure on France to cancel its sale of Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia. "We know," said Putin, "that if French partners give in to US pressures, the fine imposed on French banks will be gradually withdrawn, or at least will be minimized."

Apart from the bank and finnacial sector, Washington, in complicity with some European governments, is preparing another package of sanctions to hit strategic sectors of the Russian economy, including the energy and defense industries.

With regard to Washington's active role in events in Russia and Ukraine, Putin warned that Europe is being used by foreign interests.

Russia has always had the reputation of a reliable energy supplier to Europe and has invested in developing gas infrastructure, he said.

Russian companies have built the North Stream jointly with their European partners and, despite difficulties, Russia will advance with the South Stream project, Putin stated.

sgl/sa/ajs/pgh/oda Modificado el ( martes, 01 de julio de 2014 )

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KRAMATORSK, July 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian military forces have waged a massive artillery fire at east Ukraine’s Donetsk regional city of Kramatorsk overnight to Wednesday, a representative of people’s militia told ITAR-TASS.

“A strong gunfire had been waged at the city which was literally showered with shells. Powerful blasts were heard with a frequency like in automatic fire,” he said, adding that the gunfire had been waged presumably from Grad missile multiple fire launch systems.

Several residential houses caught fire in the shelling in the settlement of Krasnogorka near the city of Kramatorsk.

No reports are available about destroyed buildings and casualties. At night, almost all local residents went down to basements and bomb shelters, massive communications breakdowns were reported in the city. “It is extremely dangerous to go out in the street and, moreover, drive in shelled districts,” the representative said.

Shelling started on Tuesday evening. The facade wall of the last floor at a nine-story residential house was literally smashed down in the blast in Dnipropetrovskaya Street in Stankostroy district of the city. Meanwhile, a shell exploded near a public transport stop leaving a hole of about a meter in diameter on the roadside. A private house was destroyed in Novy Svet district and the area of a local conditioner-producing plant came under fire.

Fighter jets appeared in the skies over the city just half an hour later.

Active gunfire resumed in the city of Kramatorsk at 10.30pm on June 30, half an hour after the ceasefire regime expired between law enforcers and militias. The gunfire has been waged in the center of the city and residential districts almost all night. Single gunfire shots were made, and massive artillery strikes were delivered at the city with intervals of 10-15 minutes. The breathing spell set in only at 2am, but at 4am on Wednesday the gunfire was resumed.

An air alert siren was activated in the city, shells were exploding at the bus terminal, shops next to the bus terminal were strongly damaged. Meanwhile, several mines hit residential houses in Bogdan Khmelnitsky and Rumyantsev Streets. A projectile exploded at the entrance of a school, shattering its windows.

Another shell hit a shuttle taxi, killing four people, namely a driver and three passengers.

Meanwhile, eyewitnesses said that Kramatorsk residents were fleeing the city. People lined up in queues to get on buses to leave the zone of combat actions on Tuesday morning. Four buses have evacuated people in the morning on July 1.

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Wednesday, July 2

07:01 GMT:

A Russian citizen has been killed after Kiev troops shelled the city of Slavyansk, eastern Ukraine, reported LifeNews. According to the neighbors of the victim, she arrived from St. Petersburg to see if her apartment in Slavyansk was safe after repeated attacks from Ukrainian army. When the shelling started, many of the local residents hurried to the bomb shelters but the Russian woman didn’t manage to reach the shelter and was killed in the apartment building. Three people were also injured in the attack. One woman remains in serious condition.

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