News / Europe

    Ukraine Mourns Victims of Downed Jet with Sorrow, Anger

    People light and place candles in memory of Ukrainian servicemen killed when their transport plane was downed by pro-Russian rebels in Luhannk region, in a central square of Ukraine's western city of Lviv, June 14, 2014.
    People light and place candles in memory of Ukrainian servicemen killed when their transport plane was downed by pro-Russian rebels in Luhannk region, in a central square of Ukraine's western city of Lviv, June 14, 2014.
    Anita Powell
    As Ukraine observed a national day of mourning Sunday after the deaths of 49 servicemen, two strong emotions washed over its capital: sorrow, and anger.  

    At midday Sunday, the nation observed a minute of silence in mourning for 49 soldiers who were killed Saturday when pro-Russian fighters shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane.
     
    Pro-Russian fighters collect ammunition from the site of remnants of a downed Ukrainian army aircraft Il-76 at the airport near Luhansk, Ukraine, June 14, 2014.Pro-Russian fighters collect ammunition from the site of remnants of a downed Ukrainian army aircraft Il-76 at the airport near Luhansk, Ukraine, June 14, 2014.
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    Pro-Russian fighters collect ammunition from the site of remnants of a downed Ukrainian army aircraft Il-76 at the airport near Luhansk, Ukraine, June 14, 2014.
    Pro-Russian fighters collect ammunition from the site of remnants of a downed Ukrainian army aircraft Il-76 at the airport near Luhansk, Ukraine, June 14, 2014.

    President Petro Poroshenko has vowed to punish those responsible. He said in a statement the perpetrators will meet with "an adequate response."

    Throngs of worshippers prayed at a church in central Kyiv that offered refuge and medical facilities earlier this year to those involved in protests that unseated pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich.
     
    Outside, a blue-eyed young soldier who gave his name only as Private Nikolay said he empathized with the families who lost their loved ones.
     
    He said, as a soldier, he knows what it is like when a mother loses her son, what commanders and others feel protecting their country, their Ukraine, their children.

    Protecting Ukraine

    Nikolay said soldiers are carrying out the oath they gave to protect the interests of Ukraine and are fulfilling their duty.  
     
    A grandmother from northern Ukraine, Zinaida, said she spent more than a decade living in Russia.

    Zinaida said even now, during war, Ukrainians do not hate the Russian people and have no desire to kill.  

    She said the leaders of the two countries are "responsible for lots of things."  She added that she cannot understand why the two countries, which have so much in common, are fighting. She urged a reconciliation between the two.
     
    A woman speaks with a volunteer before he sets off for eastern Ukraine to join the ranks of the special battalion "Azov" during a rally in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, June 15, 2014.A woman speaks with a volunteer before he sets off for eastern Ukraine to join the ranks of the special battalion "Azov" during a rally in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, June 15, 2014.
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    A woman speaks with a volunteer before he sets off for eastern Ukraine to join the ranks of the special battalion "Azov" during a rally in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, June 15, 2014.
    A woman speaks with a volunteer before he sets off for eastern Ukraine to join the ranks of the special battalion "Azov" during a rally in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, June 15, 2014.

    But others expressed darker emotions.  

    On the streets of Kyiv, retired geologist Vasiliy Mikhaelovich had no kind words for the Russian leader.

    Mikhaelovich said he hates Putin and calls him an inhuman monster.  

    He also calls the situation a nightmare and a disaster that means "some kind of doom on Ukraine.”

    Words like that have become increasingly common in the cosmopolitan Ukrainian capital filled with Baroque architecture and chic sidewalk cafes, where Russian is still the most common spoken language.

    Kyivites said they applaud Poroshenko’s goal to join his nation with the European Union. But Poroshenko has more urgent matters before him with the ongoing violence.
     
    On Saturday, 300 protesters crowded the Russian Embassy in Kyiv, hurling epithets, as well as bricks, stones and eggs. Protesters also overturned luxury cars parked just outside the complex.

    Inciting protesters

    Acting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia urged them to stop, but incited the crowd with his description of Russia President Vladimir Putin.

    "Did I say that I am against you protesting? I am for you protesting. I am ready to be here with you and say 'Russia, get out of Ukraine.' Yes, Putin is a [expletive], yes,'' Deshchytsia said.

    The comment drew a rebuke from Moscow on Sunday, which urged Ukraine to fire its top diplomat.

    As for the protesters, Russian officials condemned the failure of action by Ukrainian police outside the embassy, calling it a violation of Ukraine's international obligations.

    The former Soviet nations are struggling to hold peace talks after pro-Russian separatists began a military campaign in the Russian-speaking east.  
     
    Ukrainian protesters turn over cars near the Russian Embassy during a rally in Kyiv, Ukraine, June 14, 2014.Ukrainian protesters turn over cars near the Russian Embassy during a rally in Kyiv, Ukraine, June 14, 2014.
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    Ukrainian protesters turn over cars near the Russian Embassy during a rally in Kyiv, Ukraine, June 14, 2014.
    Ukrainian protesters turn over cars near the Russian Embassy during a rally in Kyiv, Ukraine, June 14, 2014.

    The two nations are also on the brink of a breakdown in talks over Russia’s role in supplying natural gas to Ukraine, which Moscow has threatened to cut off as soon as Monday.

    In Kyiv's Independence Square on Sunday, the Maidan - hardcore Ukrainian nationalists in dirty, mismatched camouflage - stood next to striking, fashion-conscious women.

    Together, they yelled phrases such as “Glory to Ukraine!”

     At the rain-soaked protest, leaders urged Ukrainians to fight for their sovereignty.

    Plane shot down

    The Ukrainian prosecutor general's office said 40 service members and nine crew members were killed early Saturday when rebels shot down the Ukrainian Air Force plane.

    The Defense Ministry said the Ilyushin-76 aircraft was about to land at the Luhansk airport when separatists downed it with a large-caliber machine gun.

    Surveillance video shows a distant explosion near the ground that is believed to be from the plane.

    The prosecutor's office said a criminal investigation has been opened under anti-terrorism laws.

    Also Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to make clear Moscow's commitment to ending the flow of Russian weapons and tanks across the border into Ukraine.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: eusebio manuel vestias from: Portugal
    June 16, 2014 5:44 PM
    Good Bless the population civil of Ukraine

    by: Mark Franketti from: Sundaya Times
    June 16, 2014 2:58 AM
    An information bomb had exploded while an independent Sunday Times' jornalist Mark Franketti told live what he saw and heard while being inside Donbass batallion. "It was normal, civil east-ukranian guys a few of them were russian voluntiers with no military preparation". Mark has a huge experianse being as information source from hot points. More over, being him neutral towards Russia doesn't makes not to believe to him. Look for english-translated video for more info.

    by: greatukr from: RF
    June 16, 2014 2:18 AM
    one smart comment on eight idiotic.

    by: pc from: serbia
    June 15, 2014 4:21 PM
    The people of Ukraine will cry. USA and the EU will fight until the last of Slavic blood. Fight against corruption and set the oligarchs to power. You settle on Masonic deception. Let God help.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    June 15, 2014 11:05 AM
    MY OPINION? -- NONE of this violence, killings, destruction and war in Ukraine, would have happened (if) the US, EU, and NATO countries hadn't interfered in the politics of Ukraine, like they did in the (non-European Union countries) of Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, and now Ukraine?

    THINK ABOUT IT? -- Whenever the US, EU, and NATO countries interfere in the internal politics of (non-European Union countries), they bring nothing but violence, killings, destruction and wars, (that continues on to this day), and never bring peace of any kind, to any of these countries they interfered in...

    Ho Chi Minh told America; "If you want to fight a war for (40) years or more, we'll fight a war for (40) years or more, but if you want to sit down and drink tea, we'll sit down and drink tea, and talk" -- (AND?) -- it took (9) long years of fighting the Vietnam war, before America finally decided it was better to drink tea and talk, and end the Vietnam war. -- (CRAZY?) -- How long will it take for Ukraine, the US, EU, and NATO countries to decide to drink tea, and talk? -- (HOW LONG?)..
    In Response

    by: ANTI-ZARIST from: USA
    June 15, 2014 11:23 PM
    MEAN BILL SHOULD MOVE TO VIETNAM... OR TO RUSSIA, FOR THAT MATTER. IF HE WERE IN EITHER, OR IN CHINA, IRAN, NORTH KOREA OR RUSSIA, AND SAID ANYTHING LIKE HE CHIDES ABOUT THE US AND NATO, HE'D BE HUNG IN LESS TIME THAN A RUSSIAN CAN SAY "STUPID GRINGO".

    RUSSIA IS TRYING, JUST LIKE CONSERVATIVE RACIST TEA BAG HEADS ARE ALSO DOING, TO TURN BACK THE CLOCK
    TO A DARKER ERA. THERE IS A PRICE TO PAY FOR THAT.

    AN EX-KGB THIRD RATE OPERATIVE LIKE PUTIN WILL SOON ROLL. FORTUNATELY FOR HIM, THE FRENCH RETIRED THE GUILLOTINE TWO CENTURIES AGO!
    In Response

    by: Evan from: USA
    June 15, 2014 7:00 PM
    Dear Bill Putinbotovich, dictators and thugs invade other nations, deny citizens of those nations the right to self-rule, if not outright steal from them, rape them and murder them. It is the rule of the jungle. When some other nation shows real willingness to stand up for the rights of the repressed, we will stand down, have a seat and drink some tea. Lord knows we deserve it after all this time.
    In Response

    by: lari from: london
    June 15, 2014 6:02 PM
    In my opinion, the us, eu and nato have nothing to do with whats happening in ukraine. If they did the military would be better equipped. Russia has been a strong player in the region and the us has been afraid to go in. I wish nato took a stronger stance to russia
    ...maybe they can finally think twice before invading!
    In Response

    by: leo from: canada
    June 15, 2014 4:55 PM
    mr.Meanbill is wrong completely. If you do not know about Viet nam history. Please, shut up. I am a Vietnamese Canadian. there were democratic South VN supported by USA and allies and communist North VN supported by Soviet and China. Ho Chi Minh was just a puppet of communist Soviet and China. North VN was very poor and barbaric under Ho chi Minh and his communist regime. But they were very violent ( and hypocritical), because they have Soviet and China's bosses. More dirty and shameless, North VN still lied with propaganda to make the Americans at that time believe wrongly that VN war was wrong of the American government. So, finally USA withdrew. But South VN people always thank and appreciate USA with our hearts. Thanks to USA, VN kept democracy for a long time. The Russian Soviet and China always controlled communist VN, but they denied, like fascist Russia nowadays towards Ukraine ( still send fighters and weapons to stir up Ukraine but still lied). Presently, communist China is aggressive on the East Asian Sea and bullying and invading the small weak Asian countries. The necessary and important role of USA and democratic allies are become more and more important. Without them, who can stop FASCIST RUSSIA AND CHINA????
    In Response

    by: huh? from: USA
    June 15, 2014 4:31 PM
    And Khruschev said "By 1980, the U.S. won't even exist." Khruschev is dead, the U.S. is still here.
    In Response

    by: straightbill from: usa
    June 15, 2014 4:28 PM
    Looks like Ho Chi Minh was wrong by 31 years, then.
    In Response

    by: Lev Havryliv from: Sydney
    June 15, 2014 4:24 PM
    Russia is to blame for the violence and destruction in Ukraine because Putin cannot accept that a sovereign Ukraine has the right to chose a pro-Europe destiny.

    Putin punished Ukraine by annexing Crimea and is now making a grab for east Ukraine. This is naked Russian imperialism.
    In Response

    by: Mattias from: Sweden
    June 15, 2014 3:53 PM
    I'm thankful for what USA has done in Europe. USA liberated us from fascism and protected us from russian aggression.

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