News / Europe

Ukraine Rebels Killed Near Donetsk Airport

A Ukrainian special police unit takes position during a battle with pro-Russian separatist fighters at Slovyansk, Ukraine, May 31, 2014.
A Ukrainian special police unit takes position during a battle with pro-Russian separatist fighters at Slovyansk, Ukraine, May 31, 2014.
Reuters
Ukrainian separatist leader Denis Pushilin said on Saturday six rebels had been
killed while trying to collect the bodies of comrades who had died under Ukrainian army fire earlier this week close to Donetsk airport.

Ukrainian forces regained control of the airport in the east of the country on Monday, killing at least 50 separatists, after a Sunday presidential election which gave billionaire Petro Poroshenko an overwhelming victory.

It was the first time the Ukrainian side had unleashed its full force on the pro-Russian two-month rebellion, caused partly by the ouster of a Moscow-friendly president and the annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russian troops.
 
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Meanwhile, the Kremlin-backed leader of Chechnya has denied sending fighters to support pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, but said some could have gone of their own accord.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry raised concerns with Moscow this week about reports of Chechens and other fighters crossing into Ukraine from Russia to join the rebellions against the leadership in Kiev.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who fought Russian troops in the North Caucasus province in the 1990s, echoed Moscow's denials of involvement but said he had recognized some of the fighters in pictures from Ukraine.

"We did not send them. They are absolutely not our staff," he said in an interview to be shown on the Russian television show Vesti on Saturday with Sergey Brilev. "If a person voluntarily leaves [Russia], we have no right to stop him. This is his own decision."

He did not rule out sending Chechen fighters to Ukraine if ordered to do so by President Vladimir Putin, who reserves the right to use force in Ukraine if its Russian-speaking minority is in danger.

"If there is an order, we will fulfil it with pleasure, because any warrior is a defender of his people, his Fatherland," Kadyrov said. "If we imagine there's about 14 Chechens in Donetsk [in eastern Ukraine] and they have already caused such a stir, what happens if a battalion is sent there?"

Kadyrov's security services have been accused of human rights abuses such as kidnappings and torture in mainly-Muslim Chechnya, but his aides deny it.

Kiev alleges Moscow is involved in the armed uprising in its east but the Kremlin dismisses the accusation. A rebel leader in Donetsk this week said some of his fighters were "volunteers" from Russia.

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by: Robert Ezergailis from: Canada
June 02, 2014 12:19 PM
The recent events, as to the attack on the airport, with at least 30 of approximately 50 deaths, being repatriated to Russia, and the subsequent attack on border guards, could indicate Russian Federation special forces activity in Ukraine, potentially precedent to a possible larger scale Russian Federation military incursion. Such actions are typically probings of defenses and reactions, intelligence gathering, and can include attempts to gain control over key strategic positions (such as an airport), prior to larger numbers crossing the border into military action. It can also be an indication of a possible full scale invasion in the planning stages. Clearly it ought to raise the alarms, concerning Kremlin led actions, to a new level of international concern.

by: gen from: Japan
June 01, 2014 11:46 PM
How about Russia hire the all separatist solders as a protection for Crimea.Then Russia have only to make all soldrrs move to Crimea.
So the West and Ukraine government would not say ″Return Crimea to Ukraine.″
It is a deal.

by: gen from: Japan
June 01, 2014 11:33 PM
The separatists would be more radical group as it is.How about russia hire their all and join its army as a special forces for protecting Ukraine border or Crimea or gas pipeline.It leads Russia would come to disarm the separatists solders and hire as their safty nets for the separatists.Then the separatists make pull back behind russian borders.
Russia could make the separatists solders disarm the buildings in Donezc or else.
Now Ukraine bloodshed war would not stop.Then Russia have only to charge the gas price including hireing cost of the separatists on Ukraine government.

by: Anonymous
June 01, 2014 5:17 PM
So in the USA we need to be concerned about Canada protecting it's citizens who live in Vermont and Northern New York? Or Mexico entering the US to project it's citizens in Arizona? After all southern Arizona was once owned by Mexico.

by: Stefano from: Italy
June 01, 2014 3:56 AM
We must stop Russia! Ukraine voted in favor of EU and USA,but what can we do with this situation? Can we punish Russia? Yes we can and must do something! Russia did not stop after it annexed Crimea. We betrayed Ukrainians...

by: gen from: Japan
June 01, 2014 3:04 AM
The separatists in east Ukraine look like a last samurais in Japan.In JapanTokugawa shognate resigned ,then twe samurai groups waged a cilvil war,one is a side of emperor and the other is for Tokugawas.
Samurai group which sided with the emperor won at the civil war.They are from Satsuma(now called Kagoshima prefecture in Kyushu)and Choshu(now Yamaguchi prefecture,where the current japanese prime minister was born)
in Japan.
After the war,there left over lots of samurais in Japan,who didn't need because the end of the civil war.Satsuma samurai group were unsatisfied with their situation after the civil war.then lots of Satsuma samurai changed to the extremeists and radicals.The top of Satsuma,who was Takamori Saigou,took them to Satsuma(kagoshima pref.) Then again They armed there.They fought again a new reborned Japanese government in Tokyo which the emperor was a top.New government in Tokyo was armed by west countries and westernized.But Satsuma samurai,most of them ,fought only with their swords.Guns versus Swords.Satsuma samurais were killed and suppresed by the new government in Tokyo.
But japan at last was united again and had a peace for a whle.I think the separatists would be the same fate like Satsuma samurai,the last samurai.

by: Vannak from: usa
June 01, 2014 12:54 AM
Ukrain leaders should sitdown face to face with saparatis if you your country getting peace. Not puni once side is terroris. If you can not get this point your country will loss 2 other parts . Do not truth the west. Your country is facing a big powerfull as russia.
In Response

by: Steve Froud from: A safe Bunker in a forest
June 02, 2014 10:46 AM
Can say that again in English please? The bit I did understand at the about Russia being big and powerful, well that may have been the case before 1990, but Russia isn't the great power it once was.

Old Soviet Russia would have steam rolled it's way across Ukraine within the first few weeks of unrest, those days are long gone.

Putin has to rely on stealth and back-handed tactics to achieve his goals these days, and he can't even manage that.

by: Panas from: US
May 31, 2014 10:09 PM
It is very regrettable what happens during military conflict, but the main problem is misunderstanding and misinformation. If it is true that the terrorists used ambulances to move their fighters and ammunition, then it becomes difficult to assess what else is being done "under cover". And then the whole bloody conflict did not have to happen but for the dubious claim of restoring Russian "pride". Armed or unarmed Russian citizens have no business being in Ukraine without a passport. The billions of Dollars spent on "annexing" Crimea and keeping unrest in Eastern Ukraine could have been use a lot more effective in improving lives of average Russian through better infrastructure, improved education, social and health services. Such changes could have made the Russians truly proud, but then, that would not assure Mr. Putin's election to the presidency.
In Response

by: greatukr from: RF
June 02, 2014 2:46 AM
And you try to give the Russian high technologies, raise the standard of living in Russia. Reduce tariffs, import cheap goods to Russia, open free restaurants, Mcdonalds. Maybe then the Russians will not be aggressive and they will not have to annex the Crimea. If you cannot get to the understanding that the Crimea itself left the Ukraine and there would now have killed civilians for their opinion that differs from yours.

by: meanbill from: USA
May 31, 2014 7:23 PM
THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW? -- The Russian little green men, with Chechnya and other foreign fighters, are the Russian Foreign Legion troops. -- (and they have very long memories) --- And what goes around, comes back around, and save a bullet for yourself?

by: karina from: usa
May 31, 2014 4:37 PM
Now its doubly obvious, there are no "terrorist attacks" in RUSSIA for all eligible Chechens are on the Ukrainian front! Consequently one has to accept that bombing attacks on Volgograds railroad station and bus were staged by FSB(KGB) using delusional Chechen subjects to divert the worlds attention from CRIMEA annexation and following military adventures of ras-PUTIN!
In Response

by: Ringo from: Volgograd
June 02, 2014 2:59 AM
Delirium. When was a blast and the Crimea? The explosion was when He was in power-the overthrow of Yanukovich was two months before the blast in Volgograd. Play logic pulls on two Psaki.
In Response

by: Tango from: USA
June 01, 2014 12:17 AM
sure and Boston bombing marathon was staged by joint US-Russian teams to boost world in their support against Chechen "terrorists" in the Sochi Winter Olympics.
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