News / Europe

    Ukrainе Anti-Terror Chief: This Is War

    • Pro-Russia protesters storm the governor's business premises in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
    • Pro-Russia protesters storm the governor's business premises in Donetsk, Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
    • Pro-Russian protesters gather to honor fallen comrades during fighting with pro-Ukrainian activists in Odessa on Friday, at the barricades in front of the administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
    • Russia's presidential human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin watches as foreign military observers hug each other following their release in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
    • Smoke billows from burning tires at a pro-Russian checkpoint with a Donetsk republic flag following an attack by Ukrainian troops in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
    • A protester walks past a burning pro-Russian tent camp near the trade union building in Odessa, Ukraine, May 2, 2014.
    • An injured pro-Russian activist looks on during clashes with supporters of the Kyiv government in the streets of Odessa, Ukriane, May 2, 2014.
    • People wait to be rescued on upper levels of a trade union building in Odessa, Ukraine, May 2, 2014.
    • A pro-Russian separatist guards a checkpoint as tires burn in front of him, near the town of Slovyansk, Ukraine, May 2, 2014.
    • Pro-Russian gunmen listen to instructions from their commander (center) behind barricades in Slovyansk, May 2, 2014.
    • A pro-Russian rebel aims his rifle at a checkpoint near a Ukrainian airbase in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, May 2, 2014.
    Latest images from Ukraine
    Brian Padden
    Ukraine expanded its military offensive Saturday against pro-Russia separatists in the country's chaotic east, where European observers who had been held hostage by militants now have been freed. And there is mourning in Odessa, in southern Ukraine, where more than 42 people died Friday during clashes between the two sides.
     
    Ukrainian forces moved into Kramatorsk, a town about 17 kilometers south of Slovyansk, where the offensive began Friday.
     
    Vasil Krutov, the head of Ukraine's Anti-Terrorist Center, reported heavy fighting and casualties but could not offer specifics about how many people were killed or wounded. At a news conference in Kyiv, Krutov said the confrontation in Kramatorsk was developing into a protracted military conflict.
     
    Unfortunately, he said, Ukrainian forces are facing "a very serious aggressor."
     
    "What's happening in Donetsk and across the eastern region is not just a planned short-term action," Krutov told reporters. "It's actually war."
     
    A combustible situation
     
    Local television showed scenes of armored personnel carriers moving through the town, and the country’s Interior Ministry said Ukrainian forces had retaken the security service headquarters.
     
    There also was gunfire reported in Slovyansk, where the military previously encountered fierce resistance from separatist fighters. On Friday, at least nine people were killed there, including two servicemen who died when militants shot down a pair of army helicopters.
     
    Krutov said Ukrainian forces have taken command of all roads leading into Slovyansk.
     
    He said the main concentration of pro-Russian militants - Krutov calls them "terrorists" - is now in Slovyansk. In addition to surrounding the city, Krutov said forces supporting the Kyiv government had taken complete control of radio and TV towers.
     
    Militants who had been holding a group of military observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe freed their 12 captives in Slovyansk. Russian media report the hostages - seven Europeans and five Ukrainians - were released after talks involving an envoy sent by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    But uncertainty remains. A resident of Slovyansk who declined to give his name said separatist forces there were rebuilding their defenses. "At this moment," the man said, "nobody is in control of the checkpoints. Local citizens are building back the barricades."
     
    Odessa death toll climbs
     
    In Odessa, the number of casualties from a clash Friday between pro-Russian activists and supporters of the Ukrainian government rose to at least 42. Most of those killed were pro-Russian protesters who’d taken refuge in a building that government activists set ablaze.

    The incident in Odessa, a key port city on the Black Sea, was the most deadly since the February uprising that that led to the removal of Ukraine's pro-Russia president, Viktor Yanukovych. 

    Mourners on Saturday placed flowers near the doors of the charred trade union building. Roughly 2,000 pro-Russian protesters gathered outside, chanting: "Odessa is a Russian city."
     
    The current Ukrainian government and the West believe that the Kremlin is supporting separatists who are destabilizing the country ahead of the planned May 25 elections. Moscow said Kyiv and its Western sponsors were provoking the bloodshed and would bear direct responsibility for it.

    Some reporting by Reuters
     

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
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    by: karl from: Ukraine
    May 04, 2014 3:10 PM
    is President Obama again surrendering to dictators just like he did in Syria for the last 13 hundred days watching the dictator murder women and children..! President Obama cares more about gay rights than he does about innocent women and children being murdered at will By a corrupt dictator

    by: gen from: Japan
    May 03, 2014 8:18 PM
    US is the country of chritable mind and excesive kindness.
    Truchynev and right sectot natinolists make use of this.
    Why dosen't US realize that US's supportive comments and actions is rising the tention between pro-Russian and the right sector nationalists?
    The more US shout the sanction on Russia and supprot illegal government in kiev,the more active the right sector nationalists like Nazi.
    Kiev use again the nationalists against kiev.
    But Russian soldiers,Don't move. If Russian soldiers moved in Ukraine border,Russia won at a war.very very easily.But Soldiers don't move like a mountain and be quiet like a forest.
    If Russian soldiers invaded Ukraine,Russia would be a loser in the rule of western game and information war.Russian should better show different in the past image and the law and order country to the world. The world come to realize the truth of inside inUkraine.

    by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
    May 03, 2014 7:21 PM
    China should take notes of west supporting Ukraine's killing separatists. Next time China will kill all Tibetan and Uygurr separatists!

    by: War
    May 03, 2014 1:47 PM
    Putin is a master propagandist. These Russians are pretty dumb to go along with it.

    by: gen from: Japan
    May 03, 2014 1:43 PM
    In Odessa, the number of casualties from a clash Friday between pro-Russian activists and supporters of the Ukrainian government rose to at least 42. Most of those killed were pro-Russian protesters who’d taken refuge in a building that government activists set ablaze.
    I don't believe this.
    Russia called UN meeting for Ukraine crisis.Russia said Ukrine government made a punitive opration.But West ignored Russian call for UN meeting.
    West said it was a hypocritical lie.
    In the mean time,US and NATO expand their military presence in Europe.US and IMF loan money to the interim government in Kiev preparing for civil war.US said the Ukraine government had the right of recover order and law in Ukraine.(even if the interim government is coup government and it makes use of right sector nationalists forces.Ukraine(including the pro russian separatists) has the right of dismissing the coup government to recover order and law in Ukraine. )
    IMF imposed the condition to loan to the interim government in kiev. The condition of IMF loan to delet unrest in easten cities in Ukraine.The interim government needs money for pro ukraine people.So Truchynev decided to reinstate military conscription for a punitive operation against the earsten separatists.
    Western countries ignored the separatists and Russia for protecting western benefits.
    And westen countries say what is next action of Putin.Even if Putin says dipromatic solutiion and demands UN meeting for Uraine crisis.But west ignored and then say what Putin will do next.
    And west come to shout sanction against Russia.US S&P credit rating company downgraded Russia rating.and west are demanding Russia economy weak.
    It causes Ukraine also to be more weak Ukraine economy.Then Ukraine would be more harsh and radical.West impose a civil war in Uraine and a war against Russia for western benefits.
    Then yesterday the pro ukraine activists backed by the kiev government and US killed the pro russian people in Odessa.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    May 03, 2014 1:31 PM
    CRAZY isn't it? -- The terrorists that seized the democratic government of Ukraine by force, are now attacking the terrorists opposed to this western backed non-democratic neo-Nazi, Right Sector government of Ukraine?
    Whatever side the US supports are the good guys, and those the US oppose, are the terrorists? -- Let all-out war begin?
    The US always brings violence and war, to all the non-western European countries they politically interfere with, and leave a lot of dead bodies and destruction, and never bring peace or democracy to the people or countries they interfered in?

    by: tas from: Prague
    May 03, 2014 1:22 PM
    The West has given money,regarding payments for Russia 's gas,oil,to wrong country. And now we see a first victim of that misleading. We must stop purchasing Russia's gas!!! Putin is like Gitler!

    by: Z-West from: USA
    May 03, 2014 12:23 PM
    I'm glad not to be a russian.

    USA! USA! USA!

    by: gen from: Japan
    May 03, 2014 11:12 AM
    I don't believe this.
    Russia called UN meeting for Ukraine crisis.Russia said Ukrine government made a punitive opration.But West ignored Russian call for UN meeting.
    West say it is a hypocritical lie.
    In the mean time,US and NATO expand their military presence in Europe.US and IMF loan money to the interim government in Kiev preparing for civil war.US said the Ukraine government had the right of recover order and law in Ukraine.(even if the interim government is coup government and it makes use of right sector nationalists forces.Ukraine(including the pro russian separatists) has the right of dismissing the coup government to recover order and law in Ukraine. )
    IMF imposed the condition to loan to the interim government in kiev. The condition of IMF loan to delet unrest in easten cities in Ukraine.The interim government needs money for pro ukraine people.So Truchynev decided to reinstate military conscription for a punitive operation against the earsten separatists.
    Western countries ignored the separatists and Russia for protecting western benefits.
    And westen countries say what is next action of Putin.Even if Putin says dipromatic solutiion and demands UN meeting for Uraine crisis.But west ignored and then say what Putin will do next.
    And west come to shout sanction against Russia.US S&P credit rating company downgraded Russia rating.and west are demanding Russia economy weak.
    It causes Ukraine also to be more weak Ukraine economy.Then Ukraine would be more harsh and radical.West impose a civil war in Uraine and a war against Russia for western benefits.
    Then yesterday the pro ukraine activists backed by the kiev government and US killed the pro russian people in Odessa.

    by: Dr. Ron Paul from: UK
    May 03, 2014 11:08 AM
    It looks like the civil war in Ukraine is getting much worse. Western Ukraine right now is being urged on by its Western supporters, meaning its NATO supporters, the European Union, the United States, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Western Ukraine has moved to take back control of the cities in Eastern Ukraine that have been taken over by supporters of Russia.

    Of course, it’s said in the major media that Russia has started all of this trouble, and so all this has to be done. The truth is, the coup of several weeks ago to overthrow the elected leader Viktor Yanokovych was stirred up by the same group: NATO, the European Union, the US, and the IMF.

    Since this whole mess was started, we’ve been very much involved, spending more than $5 billion to control Ukraine. And this intervention continues. But the current fighting looks like a serious escalation that may get out of control, even though it’s in the interest on both sides, the West as well as Russia, not to escalate. There have been a lot of threats and intimidation on sanctions and economic penalties, which very well could get out of control.

    Added recently has been a promise from the IMF of $17 billion to Ukraine under a specific condition: get rid of the control of these Eastern cities by Russian supporters. This is a condition that has been placed on them, so it’s not a surprise that seemingly all of a sudden we are seeing more aggressive activity by the Western Ukrainians to try to conquer these cities.

    Ironically, the IMF doesn’t seem to have much common sense in trying to help the Ukrainian people, because in order to get this $17 billion not only must they fight and control the East, they also have to raise taxes and increase oil prices — which will not help the people. This is generally the case when there are sanctions placed on a country, or when war breaks out: the people suffer and the special interests seem to thrive.

    Also, I think this is certainly a shift from pretending that the Western Ukrainians are on the defensive because they’ve now instituted a military draft. In all seriousness, if a country is defending itself, then the people rally and you don’t have to use conscription to get fighters.

    I maintain that it’s a mess over there, and it’s getting worse. We’re contributing to the problems. It would be much better for the Ukrainians, for the Europeans, for the Russians, and for the Americans, for us to just stay out and follow the principles of a non-interventionist foreign policy. Don’t send the money and don’t send them weapons. Don’t get involved and don’t pick sides. Then I think the Ukrainian people might be able to settle this on their own, and a lot better than when there’s outside interference.
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