KIEV- THE RISE OF HITLER…
May 2 events in Ukraine’s Odessa blatant manifestation of fascism — Lavrov
May 06, 18:50 UTC+4
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says that while condemning the tragedy in Odessa, the West turns a blind eye to its true reasons
Fire in the the House of Trade Unions in Odessa in May 2
Fire in the the House of Trade Unions in Odessa in May 2
© EPA/SERGEY GUMENYUK
On Sunday, May 4, more than a thousand people in Odessa blocked the office of the Interior Ministry’s city department demanding to release federalization supporters that had been detained May 2. Capture: release of part of the detained protesters
Odessa: Fate of federalization supporters
VIENNA, May 06. /ITAR-TASS/. The May 2 events in the Ukrainian Black Sea port city of Odessa are a blatant manifestation of fascism, but no culprits of this crime were arrested, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in his speech at a meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the European Council on Tuesday.
“On May 2, defenseless people, including women, were burnt alive in the House of Trade Unions in the city of Odessa. The fire was opened at those who tried to survive by jumping out from the windows. They were scoffing at corpses. They were glad about the number of victims. They did not conceal that they mark victory over Russians. We witnessed a blatant manifestation of fascism,” Lavrov said.
While condemning the tragedy in Odessa, the West tries to turn a blind eye to its true reasons, Lavrov said.“Though the West denounces the Odessa tragedy, they (Western countries) turn a blind eye to its true reasons, as the policy of former President Viktor Yushchenko and his associates to legalize “the heritage” of Bandera and Shukhevich, their atrocities and outrages under the disguise of some “new Ukrainian patriotism” was hushed up and even justified,” the foreign minister noted.
Prospects for talks between Kiev authorities and south-eastern leaders
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
No progress in Ukraine possible without participation of south-east — Lavrov
Russia hopes that those countries which blocked an opportunity for direct talks between current Kiev authorities and south-eastern Ukraine under the aegis of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will change their position, Lavrov said.
“Several days ago we discussed an opportunity for direct dialogue between the current Kiev authorities, country’s regions that support them and political leaders in south-eastern Ukraine,” the minister noted. “Then some quite influential countries have blocked this initiative. We hope that they will change their position. It is needed to determine Ukraine’s fate openly and honestly with full-fledged participation of all opponents of Kiev authorities,” Lavrov said.
Attempts to build unipolar world
The world once again is witnessing attempts to build a unipolar world, where all European states act at one order, Lavrov stated.
“Bloc-against-bloc mentality is bursting into Europe and we are witnessing attempts to impose the Cold War stereotypes,” he said. “Once again, we are witnessing attempts to build a unipolar world, where all European states act at one order. Such model of the world order is in diametrical opposition to the principles our organization advocates,” Lavrov stressed.
Instead of building a united Europe, attempts are being made to stimulate illegal actions aimed at toppling unwanted regimes and exporting “color revolutions,” Lavrov said, adding that in Ukraine such a revolution was tinted with brown.
“In opposition to the ideas of building a really united Europe, based on principles of respect to and due account of the interests of security of all states, of protection of legal rights of all peoples and each citizen of our continent, illegal actions are being stimulated to topple unwanted regimes and export ‘color revolutions’,” he said. “And as concerns Ukraine, this so-called “revolution” is manifestly tinted with brown,” the minister noted.
Not only Russians fear for safety in Ukraine
Not only Russians, but also ethnic Czechs, Hungarians and other ethnic minorities in Ukraine are concerned about their rights and security, Lavrov said.
“To understand the hateful nature of actions of those who glorified and continue to glorify “true patriots”, whose banners are being carried in western and central Ukraine, it is enough to print “division Galicia” in any Internet search engine,” the minister said.
“It is not accidental that not only Russians, but also ethnic Czechs, Hungarians and other ethnic minorities in Ukraine have deep fears for their rights and security,” Lavrov added.
Tanks, armored vehicles roll out on Red Square in Victory Day Parade rehearsal
Published on May 5, 2014 RT
The Russian army held one of the last rehearsals on Monday ahead of the annual parade to mark victory over Germany in World War II. Hundreds of spectators were invited to watch soldiers, armored vehicles and tanks parading through Moscow’s Red Square.
Forensic medical experts complete identification of fire victims in Odessa
May 06, 3:00 updated at: May 06, 4:35 UTC+4
Five people were shot dead, eight died when they fell from a height in an attempt to escape fire and those who pursued them, and 24 people died from burns and carbon monoxide poisoning
ODESSA, May 06 /ITAR-TASS/. The southern Ukrainian city of Odessa will continue burying those who died in a fire in the regional Trade Unions House set ablaze by radicals a few days ago. Funerals that started on Monday were suspended because Odessa forensic medical experts needed extra time to finish the identification of 37 victims, whose bodies were found in burnt-out offices inside the building, and determine the cause of their death.
According to officially published data, five people were shot dead, eight died when they fell from a height in an attempt to escape fire and those who pursued them, and 24 people died from burns and carbon monoxide poisoning. The death toll includes six women. Those who died were aged 18-62.
MP Oleg Tsaryov and a number of other Ukrainian politicians have already told journalists that the authorities deliberately understated the death count in fear of popular unrest. Local media said, with reference to unnamed law enforcers and forensic medical experts, that 72 or even 116 were killed.
The reports make the atmosphere in the city even tenser. The authorities have reinforced the protection of strategic facilities, canceled all mass events scheduled for Victory Day and taken other measures.
The parents of schoolchildren were told not to let their children go outside in the evening and teach them not to lift unknown objects from the ground.
Riots started in Odessa on May 2 after soccer fans who came from the city of Kharkov, as well as Right Sector far-right ultranationalist movement radicals and so-called “Maidan self-defense” representatives from Kiev organized a march along city streets that resulted in clashes with federalization supporters.
As a result, radicals set ablaze the Trade Unions House, where their opponents hid, and a tent camp where activists were collecting signatures for a referendum on Ukraine’s federalization and for the status of a state language for Ukrainian. The authorities said the clashes and fire left 46 people dead; more than 200 sought medical assistance.
Ukraine saw a coup in February after months of anti-government protests. New people were propelled to power amid riots as President Viktor Yanukovich had to leave Ukraine citing security concerns. Russia does not recognize the de facto Ukrainian authorities, who appear unable to restrain radicals and ultranationalists.
The Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, held a referendum March 16 in which it overwhelmingly voted to secede from Ukraine and reunify with Russia. The accession deal with Moscow was signed March 18.
After Crimea’s reunification with Russia, protests against the new Ukrainian authorities in Kiev erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern regions, with demonstrators demanding referendums on the country’s federalization and taking control of some government buildings.
Kiev has been conducting an antiterrorism operation in eastern Ukraine apparently aimed to clamp down on federalization supporters. Russia has condemned the operation.
The Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) will not hold a national referendum on federalization on May 25, after only 154 deputies voted for it, short of the required 226 majority required. Speaking to RBK-Ukraine, presidential administration representative Andrey Senchenko cited the military operation in eastern Ukraine and the “safety of members of electoral commissions” as one of the reasons behind the decision.
“We cannot guarantee that there will be impartial results under guns,” Senchenko said, adding that in such a situation it would be easy to manipulate the results of the referendum.
Russia not ready to give up nuclear weapons at present stage, diplomat says
May 06, 9:35 UTC+4
“Now the situation is unfavourable, if for no other reason than missile defence. So, conditions are far from being favourable for arrangements on new moves,” the diplomat says
Syria chemical weapons destruction may start before all are moved out
UNITED NATIONS, May 6./ITAR-TASS/. Russia is not ready to give up nuclear weapons as at the present stage it is a legitimate means of deterrence and protection of the national interests, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s department for security and disarmament, Mikhail Ulyanov, told ITAR-TASS on Monday.
Ulyanov leads the Russian delegation to a third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
The diplomat said representatives of many non-nuclear states had voiced disapproval of the pace of nuclear disarmament. Some of them are rather radically minded, suggesting “a ban on nuclear weapons as it happened with chemical and biological weapons”.
“But we are not ready for that, and proceed from the fact that nuclear weapons are a legitimate means of deterrence and protection of the national interests at the present stage,” he said. The diplomat believes disarmament must proceed stage-by-stage “in conditions of strategic stability, with due regard for all factors influencing international security and national security of Russia”.
Differences over Ukraine have not affected Russia-US disarmament cooperation
“Now the situation is unfavourable, if for no other reason than missile defence. So, conditions are far from being favourable for arrangements on new moves,” he said.
Ulyanov reminded the interlocutor that the 2010 treaty between the US and Russia on measures for the further reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms (new START) was in place at the present stage. It envisages, in particular, the decrease of arsenals of nuclear warheads to 1,550. “Its implementation will take long, and once we complete it, then we will look into the situation,” the diplomat noted.
Differences over Ukraine have not affected Russia-US disarmament cooperation
May 06, 8:19 UTC+4
“We have not imposed sanctions against the United States in the sphere, and American partners have not done that either,” the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s security and disarmament department says
© ITAR-TASS/Oled Bogdanov
US diplomat: there is no evidence of Russia’s involvement in Odessa massacre
UNITED NATIONS, May 06. /ITAR-TASS/. Differences over Ukraine have not told on the cooperation between Russia and the United States in the sphere of disarmament, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s security and disarmament department, Mikhail Ulyanov, said.
“The differences on Ukraine have virtually not affected the sphere of nonproliferation and armament control,” Ulyanov told ITAR-TASS on Monday.
“We have not imposed sanctions against the United States in the sphere, and American partners have not done that either – apparently proceeding from the fact that cooperation between our countries, cooperation of the ‘Nuclear Five’ in this field meets the interests of Washington. I think it is also in our interests to a certain extent,” he said.
Two new rounds of three-party gas talks to be held in May – European Commission
May 06, 6:05 UTC+4
Brussels will analyze the issue shortly before the European Council’s meeting in June
BRUSSELS, May 06 /ITAR-TASS/. Two new rounds of three-party talks on gas issues between representatives of Russia, Ukraine and the European Union will be held in the middle and at the end of May, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger’s spokeswoman Sabine Berger said.
Asked by journalists about the results of the first meeting on May 2 in the Polish capital Warsaw, Berger disagreed with the viewpoint that the talks ended without effect. She said all sides stressed that three-party discussions are important and agreed to meet again.
The spokeswoman also said Tuesday the European Commission hopes all gas issues may be resolved at the end of this month.
At Warsaw’s meeting, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Ukrainian parliament-appointed Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yury Prodan and Oettinger reached an agreement to draft measures by the end of May to overcome the crisis around the deliveries of Russian gas to Ukrainian and European consumers.
Commenting on Oettinger’s statement that the purchasing price for gas should be one and the same for all EU members, Berger explained that the EU’s national energy markets are becoming ever more interconnected and gas prices should not be pegged to oil prices, so that different manufacturers and gas suppliers are able to compete with each other.
Berger said she and her colleagues will analyze the issue shortly before the European Council’s meeting in June for which they are drafting a survey on reinforcing EU energy security and cutting its dependency on Russian gas.
Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz’s debt to Moscow currently stands at about $3.5 billion with the gas price standing at $485.5 per 1,000 cu m. European consumers are afraid the situation may affect transit gas supplies to Europe.
On April 10, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a letter on the situation in Ukraine to the leaders of 18 European countries who buy Russian natural gas. In the letter, he explained in detail the current critical situation with Ukraine’s debt for Russian gas supplies, which could affect gas transit to European consumers.
Moscow recently substantially raised the price for gas supplied to Ukraine from the figure of $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters agreed last year when an association agreement with the EU was shelved in November 2013.
In the second quarter of 2014, the price for Russian gas for Ukraine was set at $385.5 per 1,000 cu m. Russian energy giant Gazprom said earlier that the price rose from $268.5 due to the return to earlier contract agreements, as Ukraine failed to fulfill its commitments under an additional agreement concluded in December 2013, which obliged the country to pay for supplied volumes of Russian gas in time.
On April 2, Putin signed a law on denunciation of the Kharkov Accords with Ukraine, which were struck in 2010 and stipulated that Russia’s lease of naval facilities in Crimea [then part of Ukraine] would be extended by 25 years beyond 2017 – until 2042.
The Kharkov deals envisioned a discount of $100 per 1,000 cu m on Russian gas for Kiev. Now that the accords have been denounced due to Crimea’s accession to the Russian Federation, the discount will no longer be applied, raising the gas price by another $100 to $485.5 per 1,000 cu m, which is expected to make the economic situation in Ukraine even more complicated.
Coup in Ukraine and Crimea’s secession
Ukraine is in political and economic turmoil following a coup that occurred in the country in February after months of anti-government protests triggered by Kiev’s decision to suspend an association agreement with the EU in November 2013 to study the deal more thoroughly.
New people were brought to power in Kiev amid deadly riots that involved radicals after President Viktor Yanukovich had to leave Ukraine citing security concerns in February 2014. Russia does not recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, who appear unable to restrain ultranationalists and radicals.
Ukraine’s crisis soured further when the Republic of Crimea, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new self-proclaimed Ukrainian leadership. Crimea held a referendum March 16 in which an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted to secede from Ukraine and reunify with the Russian Federation. The accession deal with Moscow was signed two days later.
Kiev and Western nations do not recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean plebiscite conformed to the international law and the UN Charter and was in line with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008.
Some Russian and Crimean officials and companies have been subjected to sanctions by Western nations after Crimea’s incorporation by Russia. Russia has also taken some limited punitive actions in response.
The West has threatened Russia with new economic penalties unless the country changes its foreign policy, but Moscow has dismissed the unfriendly measures saying the language of sanctions is counterproductive and will have a boomerang effect on Western nations.
Crisis spreads to southeastern regions
After Crimea’s accession to Russia, protests against the new Ukrainian authorities erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern territories, with demonstrators demanding referendums on the country’s federalization and taking control of some government buildings.
Ukrainian parliament-appointed interim head of state Alexander Turchinov on April 15 announced the start of an antiterrorism operation in the Donetsk Region in eastern Ukraine. Russia has condemned the operation, which is apparently aimed to crack down on federalization supporters.
A total of 46 people died in clashes and a fire in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa where riots started on May 2 after soccer fans who came from the city of Kharkov, as well as Right Sector far-right ultranationalist movement radicals and so-called “Maidan self-defense” representatives from Kiev organized a march along city streets.
Clashes with federalization supporters followed. Radicals set ablaze the Trade Unions House, where their opponents hid, and a tent camp where activists were collecting signatures for a referendum on Ukraine’s federalization and for the status of a state language for Ukrainian.
Council of Europe diplomats to discuss Ukraine events
May 06, 2:23 UTC+4
Russia will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
VIENNA, May 06 /ITAR-TASS/. The Council of Europe’s decision-making body, the Committee of Ministers, will gather on Tuesday in Vienna, the capital of Austria, whose presidency in the CE will go over to Azerbaijan in May. The meeting is expected to focus on the situation in Ukraine.
According to the Austrian Foreign Ministry, the heads and representatives of foreign policy departments from 47 countries will attend. Russia will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who will also take part in the political debate of the session entitled “Council of Europe values and stability in Europe: current challenges”.
The topics that Austria initially planned to touch upon will go to the background due to the crisis in Ukraine, where dozens were killed a few days ago when the Trade Unions building in the southern city of Odessa was set on fire by radicals.
The Russian Foreign Ministry expects its colleagues to discuss the situation in Ukraine as well. Earlier the ministry stressed that the potential of the Council of Europe “should be used for expert and legal contribution to the holding of a deep constitutional reform in the country based on inclusive national dialogue aimed at overcoming the society’s split”.
The ministry said it believes the efforts of the International Advisory Panel, set up by the Council of Europe to investigate rights violations in Ukraine, should be aimed at that, adding that it hopes the panel will be “unbiased and not politicized” when analyzing events in Ukraine.
“The policy of restricting the freedom of media, imposing restrictions on movement between Russia and Ukraine, using armed forces against civilians, practiced by Kiev, runs counter to the fundamental norms and principles of the Council of Europe and must be immediately stopped,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
“Relevant CE bodies should give this practice a proper assessment,” it said.
Moscow proceeds from the fact that the Council of Europe “should call on the current de facto Kiev authorities to unconditionally implement agreements reached in Geneva on April 17 to de-escalate the tensions and to draft a new constitution that would to the right degree take into account the legal hopes and concerns of all Ukrainian regions”.
The Geneva Statement, adopted after the April 17 meeting on Ukraine that involved Russia, the United States, the European Union and Ukraine, in particular envisions that all illegal armed formations should be disarmed in Ukraine, all administrative buildings unblocked and all protesters except for those who committed serious crimes pardoned.
Prior to the session of the Committee of Ministers, in an interview with Austrian media, CE Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland said the constitutional reform should lay the foundation for a united Ukraine. He said Ukraine needs certain decentralization and added that power bodies in regions should get broader powers.
However, Jagland does not expect breakthrough solutions from the current session. He said the fact that the top diplomats of Russia and Ukraine will sit at one table is already a success.
The Council of Europe, established in 1949, comprises 47 countries with an overall population of 800 million people. Its key task is to promote human rights protection and development of democratic values.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Russia’s activity in the CE “is aimed at consolidation of efforts to strengthen the uniting European agenda, search for common answers to real challenges and threats common for Europeans, including terrorism, uncontrolled migration, drug trafficking, extremism…, nationalism and neo-Nazism…, intolerance and discrimination against ethnicities, religions, cultures etc.”
Russia is one of the leading CE member states in terms of broadness of its activity and is among top five contributors to the CE budget.
Massive protests against the new Ukrainian authorities, who were propelled to power in Kiev amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February, erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern regions in March after Crimea’s incorporation by Russia. Demonstrators, who are demanding referendums on the country’s federalization, have seized some government buildings.
Crimea’s urge to reunify with Russia was caused by the republic’s refusal to accept the new Kiev authorities. In a March 16 referendum, Crimeans overwhelmingly voted to secede from Ukraine and accede to Russia. The reunification deal with Moscow was signed March 18.
The Kiev authorities have been conducting an antiterrorism operation in eastern Ukraine, in particular, in the Donetsk Region. Russia, which does not recognize the de facto Ukrainian leaders, brought to power by the coup, has condemned the operation, apparently aimed to crack down on Ukrainian nationals supporting federalization.
In Odessa, riots started on May 2 after soccer fans from Kharkov, Right Sector far-right ultranationalist movement radicals and so-called “Maidan self-defense” representatives from Kiev organized a march along city streets.
After clashes with federalization supporters, they set ablaze the Trade Unions House, where their opponents hid, and a tent camp where activists were collecting signatures for a referendum on Ukraine’s federalization and for the status of a state language for Ukrainian. As a result of the clashes and the fire, 46 people died and more than 200 sought medical assistance.
Russia thanks Serbia for opposing anti-Russian sanctions
May 06, 0:01 UTC+4
State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin met with Serbian parliament speaker Maja Gojkovic to “discuss in detail the causes and evolution of the deep crisis in Ukraine”
BELGRADE, May 05 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia is grateful to Serbia for opposing anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union and other countries, Mikhail Yemelyanov, deputy head of the Just Russia faction in the State Duma (lower house of the Russian parliament), said on Monday, May 5, while on a visit in Serbia.
At the talks with Serbian MPs, the Russian delegation led by State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin thanked them for “not giving in to pressure and not joining the sanctions” as well as for support during the vote on anti-Russian resolutions in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the United Nations.
“It’s not a secret that the Americans were exerting pressure to prevent Naryshkin from coming [to Serbia]. That on one hand they are seeking to join the European Union and on the other hand were not afraid of receiving our delegation testifies to their [Serbs’] courage,” Yemelyanov said.
Earlier in the day, Naryshkin said he had met with Serbian parliament Speaker Maja Gojkovic to “discuss in detail the causes and evolution of the deep crisis in Ukraine”.
In Belgrade, Naryshkin laid flowers to the war memorial to Soviet soldiers who died while liberating the Serbian capital in 1944, to the monument to the heroes of World War I and to the tomb of Mikhail Rodzyanko, the speaker of the 3rd and 4th State Dumas in the early 20th century.
Water lost in Crimean Canal to help deal with water shortages in Crimea
May 05, 23:19 UTC+4
One of the ways to deal with shortages of water in Crimea is to supply it from central parts of the peninsula
MOSCOW, May 05 /ITAR-TASS/. Faced with possible shortages of water after Ukraine’s decision to stop water supplies, Crimea can use water lost during the operation of the North Crimean Canal, according to the draft federal target programme on the socioeconomic development of the peninsula up to 2020 prepared by the Ministry of Regional Development and obtained by ITAR-TASS.
“Crimea’s dependence on supply of water via the North Crimean Canal can be eventually reduced or eliminated by searching for underground water sources, including manmade ones,” the document says, adding that such sources were created by the almost fifty-year-long operation of the canal. The conduit built in 1961-1971 and never repaired since then is worn out so much that about 40% of water transported by it is lost on the way.
Experts also pin hopes on new technologies that can conduct geological prospecting at a depth of 500 metres compared to no more than 200 metres before.
Other solutions would include conditioning water vapours from air using household appliances that can act as both air conditioners and heaters; employing active meteorological impact methods to increase precipitation; and desalinising seawater and salted underground water.
Russia may invest 2.28 billion roubles in desalinisation in Crimea up to 2017.
Crimea has scarce water resources and is one of the most water-deficient parts of Europe. Its eastern regions from Sudak to Kerch have virtually no surface sources of water. Crimea is 82% dependent on external water supplies via the North Crimean Canal that links the Dnepr and the peninsula.
More than two-thirds of all water (600-700 million cubic meters) is used for agricultural purposes and the rest is kept in eight water reservoirs, three of which are now the only source of drinking water in Kerch, the Leninsky District of Crimea, and the cities of Feodosia and Sudak.
“Even a brief halt in water supply from the North Crimean Canal to Crimea will cause a severe shortage of both agricultural and drinking water,” the draft programme said.
Meanwhile, the Russian Defence Ministry will provide army units for helping to supply fresh water to Crimea.
A pipeline battalion of the Western Military District will lay field trunk pipelines within several days to bring fresh water from artesian wells in the south-east of the peninsula. The more than 120 km pipelines will be able to deliver over 9,000 cubic meters of water a day.
Crimea has enough underground drinking water sources and can even solve irrigation problems by storing rain and snow water, Valery Lukyanchikov, deputy director of the All-Russia Research Institute of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology, told ITAR-TASS.
Explored sources of underground drinking water can give over 1 million cubic metres a day, and since Crimea previously received water from Ukraine via the North Crimean Canal, many water wells were never used. Some of them are now being put into operation.
One of the ways to deal with shortages of water in Crimea is to supply it from central parts of the peninsula to regions that lack it. Another option is desalinisation.
Lukyanchikov has just returned from Crimea where he led a working group that sought to study the situation on the ground.
It will take 10-15 billion roubles to solve the problem of water supply to Crimea, Russian presidential aide Andrei Belousov said.
“Crimea can be independent in terms of water supply, but it will cost 10-15 billion roubles,” he said.
One of the solutions would be supplying water from Russia’s southern Kuban region by building a pipeline. However, Belousov said this would be an “exotic” option.
Another solution would be “drilling wells and using the existing water reservoirs”.
The Ukrainian authorities reduced water supplies to Crimea on April 26 alleging the peninsula owned Kiev a large sum for water.
Crimea’s acting Head Sergei Aksyonov said restrictions on the supply of water to Crimea were an act of sabotage on the part of Ukraine.
Aksyonov said “negotiations are underway with Ukraine at the federal level” to resolve the issue. “There are backup plans. In any case, Crimea will not be left without water. As for drinking water, there are no problems with it,” he said.
Report on mass violations of human rights in Ukraine goes to Putin
Russia ITAR TASS
May 05, 22:47 UTC+4
The Russian State Duma said it would use its parliamentary possibilities to make the facts stated in the White Book widely known
MOSCOW, May 05 /ITAR-TASS/. A report on mass violations of human rights in Ukraine submitted to President Vladimir Putin on Monday, May 5, is designed to draw international attention to the problem, the Kremlin said.
“This document has been published in public-domain resources and on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website to lend publicity to the results of the ministry’s work on the issue that tops the agenda, including the head of state’s one,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told ITAR-TASS.
Putin received the White Book, a report prepared by the Foreign Ministry, which lists numerous facts of human rights violations in Ukraine in the period from late November 2013 to late March 2014.
The document is based on information from Russian, Ukrainian and Western media sources, statements by representatives of the current authorities in Kiev and their supporters, eyewitness accounts and on-the-spot observations and interviews of Russian non-commercial organisations.
The data in the report make it possible to assert that severe violations of the basic human rights’ principles and norms have taken on a mass nature in Ukraine.
The main purpose of the White Book is to provide the public with facts and evidence of the events in Ukraine, thus helping to form non-politicised, unbiased assessments and to call to account those who are responsible for the illegal actions.
Purges, repressions and physical violence have become commonplace in Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry said.
The Book consists of several sections. The first of them lists clashes between extremists and law enforcers, and facts of extortion and blackmailing. It also contains evidence of torture of political opponents by extremists who poured gasoline on the former and threatened to set them on fire, beat them with spades and drove needles under their nails.
The second section deals with instances of interference by foreign countries in events in Ukraine, including visits to the Maidan (Kiev’s Independence Square, the scene of confrontation and mass unrests in late 2013 and early 2014) by European Parliament deputies and diplomats from Europe and the United States.
A separate section describes extremists’ tactics used in clashes with law enforcers and is based to a large extent on evidence provided by Ukrainian law enforcers themselves, including members of the Berkut anti-riot police force, which was accused of using violence against “peaceful” demonstrators in Kiev and eventually dissolved.
Another section focuses on censorship in Ukrainian mass media after the coup that brought the opposition to power and forced legitimate Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich to flee the country. It also cites facts of ethnic strife and discrimination on linguistic, ethnic and religious grounds.
“The forceful seizure of power and the anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine led to the collapse of the legitimate system of state power and to lawlessness. The rise of ultranationalist, extremist and neo-Nazi sentiment, religious intolerance and xenophobia, threats and pressure from ‘Euro Maidan’ leaders against their political opponents, purges, repressions, physical violence and downright banditry have become commonplace,” the ministry said.
The Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) said it would use its parliamentary possibilities to make the facts stated in the White Book widely known.
The White Book was published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website and presented to President Vladimir Putin on May 5.
“It is necessary to use all possibilities, including parliamentary ones, to make the events described in the White Book widely known and discussed in the world and key human rights organisations, and to ensure that they provide the basis for an impartial international investigation of the crimes committed in Ukraine,” MP Olga Batalina said.
She believes that the White Book “can open the eyes of the politicians who prefer to keep them tightly shut during the rampancy of fascism in Ukraine and who do not want to notice the bloody violence against peaceful people”.
UN Under-Secretary-General Feltman goes to Moscow for talks on Ukraine
Russia ITAR TASS
May 05, 22:31 UTC+4
He will hold meetings with Russian officials
© AP Photo/Osama Faisal
UNITED NATIONS, May 05 /ITAR-TASS/. U.N. Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman will arrive in Moscow within several hours for consultations on Ukraine, an informed source in the United Nations told ITAR-TASS on Monday, May 5.
He said Feltman had wound up his mission in Cyprus and was on his way to Moscow. In Moscow, Feltman will hold meetings with Russian officials.
On May 7-8, he is planning to visit Kiev.
Last week, he said that during his talks in Moscow and Kiev he would seek to convey U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call for restraint and immediate resumption of dialogue.
Ban told Agence France Presse earlier on May 5 that he was “ready to play a role” in the resolution of the Ukrainian crisis.
He said he was maintaining contact with all sides involved – Ukraine, Russia, the European Union and the United States – and urged all sides to resolve the issue peacefully.
His deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq said Ban’s mediation would be possible only if the sides concerned wished so.
Serbia reaffirms priority of South Stream gas pipeline project
Economy ITAR TASS
May 05, 21:53 UTC+4
EuroCommission claims against South Stream may be solved by yearend — Russia’s EU envoy
BELGRADE, May 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Serbia has reaffirmed the priority of the South Stream gas pipeline project, State Duma First Deputy Speaker Ivan Melnikov said after talks with Serbian parliament Speaker Maja Gojkovic on Monday, May 5.
“Serbia has adopted a government decision that the South Stream project is a priority,” Melnikov said referring to Gojkovic’s statement. “This is a very important project and nothing can cause Serbia to waive its implementation.”
South Stream will be built across the Black Sea to South and Central European countries to diversify gas supplies to Europe and reduce the dependence on transit countries.
To build the onshore sections of the pipeline, Gazprom has signed agreements with Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia, and Austria.
Luhansk ‘people’s governor’ orders referendum May 11
World ITAR TASS
May 05, 21:29 UTC+4
At a referendum, people will be asked to say whether they support state autonomy for the Luhansk People’s Republic
© ITAR-TASS/EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO
Civil war provoked by Kiev authorities raging in Ukraine – Luhansk Region Council
KIEV, May 05. /ITAR-TASS/. The “people’s governor” of the eastern Ukrainian Luhansk region, Valery Bolotov, has authorized a referendum on May 11 where people will be asked to say whether they support state autonomy for the Luhansk People’s Republic.
Bolotov believes that people in the region will be able to express their will freely. “We will act in the interests of people in a manner as transparent as possible. It will be a fair referendum. We will not take any other steps except worthy expression of the will,” he said.
Vote-counting groups have been set up and places for polling stations chosen, Bolotov said, adding that the authorities have confirmed that lists of voters have been drawn up and ballots are being prepared.
Tuesday, May 6
00:23 GMT: RT
Members of two Donetsk coal mines have gone on strike, assembling in the center of the city to protest against the authorities in Kiev, Itar-tass reports.
South Donbass No. 1 and No. 3 mines in the city of Ugledar, Donetsk region have partially seized production and are now demanding that Kiev’s military units end assaults on people in the east of the country.
Some miners have expressed their desire to join the self-defense squads to help protect Ukraine’s industrial region. Others are volunteering to help organize this week’s referendum.
Kiev to use first portion of IMF loan for augmenting gold and currency resreves
Economy ITAR TASS
May 05, 21:11 UTC+4
On April 30, the IMF Board of Governors approved a two-year standby credit facility of $17 billion for Ukraine
© EPA/ROMAN PILIPEY
No doubts about Ukraine gas debt, EU intends to help Naftogaz – EU energy commissioner
KIEV, May 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Kiev will use the first portion of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan for augmenting its gold and currency reserves in order to stabilize the financial situation in the country, National Bank Chairman Stepan Kubiv said on Monday, May 5.
“Over $1 billion from the first portion of the loan will go into the gold and currency reserves of Ukraine, which will strengthen the financial system of the country. The remainder will go to the budget to stabilize the macroeconomic and financial situation in Ukraine,” he said.
Kubiv believes that the IMF loan “will send a positive signal to foreign investors and domestic entrepreneurs, improve the investment climate in the country and stabilize the hryvnia”.
On April 30, the IMF Board of Governors approved a two-year standby credit facility of $17 billion for Ukraine. The first portion will amount to around $3.2 billion.
Russian troops will not enter Ukraine, but will pursue its national interests via other means, NATO’s top military commander and head of the US European Command, General Philip Breedlove, said.
“Today I would tell you I don’t think that’s the most likely course of action…I think now that [President] Putin may be able to accomplish his objectives in eastern Ukraine and never go across the border with his forces,” Breedlove told a defense conference in Ottawa.
He also blamed Moscow for having a hand in the unrest in Ukraine.
“Now I think probably the most likely course of action is that he [Putin] will continue doing what he’s doing, discrediting the [Ukrainian government], creating unrest, trying to set the stage for a separatist movement,” Breedlove said.
Russian, Austrian foreign ministers begin talks in Vienna
Russia ITAR TASS
May 05, 20:45 UTC+4
VIENNA, May 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz have begun a meeting in Vienna.
Kurz met Lavrov at the airport. After exchanging greetings, the ministers headed for closed-door talks.
22:13 GMT: RT
Moldova has placed its border guards on alert as the security situation in Ukraine deteriorates, the country’s leadership has announced.
Security forces have been ordered “to take all necessary actions to ensure public order inside the country,” a joint statement by Moldova’s President Nicolae Timofti, Prime Minister Iurie Leanca, and Parliament speaker Igor Coreman reads.
Moldova has 1,500 Russian peacekeepers stationed in Trans-Dniester, on the border with Ukraine, who have been tasked with keeping order since the War of Transnistria in 1992.
Washington is making little effort to scrutinize Kiev authorities’ failure in preventing the deadly clashes in Odessa which killed dozens of peaceful anti-Maidan protesters on May 2.
“What Kiev is doing now, does it qualify as restraint?” RT’s Gayane Chichakyan asked US State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf.
Harf replied, blaming the “pro-Russian forces and separatists” for instigating the violence via “mob-action,” while praising Kiev’s punitive measures against law enforcement officers after Friday’s tragedy, which saw dozens of civilians burnt alive at Odessa’s House of Trade Unions.
Yet contrary to Kiev’s and Washington’s line, Russia’s Channel One investigation alleges that authorities and police in Odessa might have been behind the incident. Gayane Chichakyan has more.
Russia urges Kiev to stop bloodshed in Ukraine’s south-east, begin negotiations
May 05, 20:42 UTC+4
“It is important that both sides participate,” Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said
MOSCOW, May 05 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin urged the Ukrainian sides to begin negotiations but said this would depend on the Kiev authorities’ readiness to do so.
“We would like both sides – the Kiev authorities and representatives of Ukrainian regions, representatives of those who are wishing constitutional reform – to sit down at the negotiating table and discuss the future system of Ukraine. For format is a separate question,” he said on Monday, May 5.
“It is important, though, that both sides participate,” he said.
Karasin believes this dialogue is necessary. “How much the Kiev authorities are prepared for this remains a question,” he added.
The Foreign Ministry urged the Kiev authorities to stop the bloodshed, pull back the troops and begin negotiations in order to discuss how to resolve the political crisis in the country.
“Punitive actions by Kiev’s law enforcers are causing new casualties among civilians. A humanitarian catastrophe is looming in the blocked cities as there is a shortage of medicines and food supply is becoming unsteady,” the ministry said.
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yevgeny Perebeinos said earlier in the day that Kiev welcomed the initiative to hold a new round of consultations between the parties to the Geneva agreement of April 17. He believes that a new round of consultations, if held, should have the same format as the previous one: Russia, the European Union, the United States, and Ukraine.
20:27 GMT: RT
Three activists have died in clashes between Ukrainian troops and pro-federazation forces near the village of Semyonovka. Another 30 were wounded and 10 are still missing, Itar-Tass reports, citing sources in the Slavyansk self-defense headquarters.
“We can confirm the deaths of two civilians as a result of Kiev’s retaliatory operation,” the source said, claiming that “mobile groups of Right Sector radicals” are operating in the city.
Raiffeisen Bank subsidiary suspends work in Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk regions
World ITAR TASS
May 05, 20:09 UTC+4
Earlier, Ukraine’s biggest bank, Privatbank, also halted operations in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions
© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov
Civil war provoked by Kiev authorities raging in Ukraine – Luhansk Region Council
MOSCOW, May 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s Raiffeisen Bank Aval, a subsidiary of Raiffeisen Bank International, has temporarily closed branches in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the bank said on Monday.
“Three branches of Ukraine’s Raiffeisen Bank Aval in the Luhansk region and 22 branches in the Donetsk region have been closed down temporarily on May 5,” Leonid Zyabrev, a spokesman for the bank said, adding that customers could access their money from cash machines and could still use their credit cards.
Earlier, Ukraine’s biggest bank, Privatbank, also halted operations in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, saying the situation in eastern Ukraine posed a threat to staff safety. The bank said its clients could access their accounts via the Internet and mobile devices, use their cards in shops and make cashless transactions at self-service terminals.