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Video- General Vasily Krutov
2014.04.16 08:14:15

In this video, General Vasily Krutov, the Ukraine commander in Kramatorsk, is seen urging a group of pro-Russians to disperse. They take his microphone from him and repeatedly surround him chanting. A shot is heard at 6m 47s, with more at about 8m 35s. According to journalist Alec Luhn, two people were injured.

The video was posted to Youtube by the local news site, 6264.com.ua on April 15.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Fighter jet flying over the airport in Kramatorsk
2014.04.16 08:11:46

This video, posted on Youtube by 6264.com.ua reportedly shows a fighter jet flying over the airport in Kramatorsk, north of Donetsk, on April 15. Local reports said an unidentified jet was fired on while trying to land, and flew away, and that aircraft had then strafed the area. This footage shows planes flying over the airport with a pro-Russian group visible in balaclavas.

The plane's silhouette resembles a Sukhoi Su-25, a ground support aircraft.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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A list of government buildings occupied by pro-Russian
2014.04.16 08:09:30

A list of government buildings occupied by pro-Russian armed men in Ukraine's eastern cities:

Donetsk: Regional government building occupied

Slovyansk: Police station and security service buildings occupied

Kramatorsk: Police station evacuated, airfield cleared, but the city council still occupied

Horlivka: Police station occupied

Artemivsk: No buildings are seized, but the mayor let protesters put a flag of the "Donetsk Republic" on the city council as a compromise

Luhansk: Security service building occupied



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Ukraine’s Batkivshchina announces formation of national resistance movement
2014.04.16 08:08:14

Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, who is running for president with the Batkivshchina (Fatherland) party has announced the formation of the national resistance movement.

“Law enforcement structures and the army are failing to cope with their tasks because they have been plundered,” Batkivshchina’s press service quoted Timoshenko as saying on Tuesday. “That is why it is necessary to form special brigades in each city. Mobilization centres will be set up on the basis of our party’s offices, where everyone will be able to join people’s volunteer corps.”

Such brigades, according to Timoshenko, are already being formed in the Kharkov, Zaporozhye and Dnetpropetrovsk regions.

TAR-TASS



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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France's ambassador
2014.04.16 02:45:06

France's ambassador says the members of the UN Security Council fell silent after viewing a series of ghastly photographs of dead Syrian civil war victims. The pictures show people who were emaciated, with their bones protruding, and some bearing the marks of strangulation.

Ambassador Gerard Araud says the pall of silence lingered, and then questions slowly began about the credibility of the slides of the dead, who offer mute testimony to the savagery of a Syrian civil war in which more than 150,000 have died.

[AP]



Tags: Syria | France

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Putin urges UN and world to condemn Kiev's actions
2014.04.16 02:16:51

Russian President Vladimir Putin told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday that the United Nations and the international community should condemn the use of force by the Ukrainian authorities in eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin said.

In a telephone conversation with Ban, Putin "underscored that the Russian side expects a clear condemnation from the United Nations and the international community of these anti-constitutional actions", a Kremlin statement said. [Reuters]

A statement issued by the UN said: "The Secretary-General expressed his alarm about the highly volatile situation in eastern Ukraine and underlined that any deepening of the crisis would be profoundly detrimental for all concerned; hence the need for everyone to work to de-escalate the situation."



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Fighter jet shot down
2014.04.16 02:15:49

Shots are being fired at the airdrome near the city of Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, and one fighter plane has been shot down, witnesses report from the scene.

As follows from what the people say four fighter planes, presumably Sukhoi-27 were hovering over Kramatorsk. At a certain point they opened fire at the local airdrome. Who commanded the planes and who downed the fighter remains unclear. Witnesses claim there have been casualties at the airdrome. An ambulance is on the way to the scene.

Earlier, a Ukrainian daily reported with reference to witnesses that shots and explosions were heard at the military airdrome near the city of Kramatorsk.

According to the website of the daily Novosti Kramatorska, a military aircraft circled over the airdrome for a while.

“Witnesses say it was a MiG-25 or Sukhoi-27 plane. It was flying at a very low altitude,” the paper said.

ITAR-TASS



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Russia involved in the crisis in eastern Ukraine
2014.04.16 02:14:00

Russia is deeply involved in the crisis in eastern Ukraine where pro-Moscow separatists have seized control of a number of government buildings, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Tuesday.

Asked if he had seen evidence of Russian involvement in events in eastern Ukraine, Rasmussen told reporters:

We never... comment on intelligence, but I think from what is visible, it is very clear that Russia's hand is deeply engaged in this.

NATO ambassadors are expected on Wednesday to discuss options put forward by military planners for reinforcing the defences of eastern allies through exercises and temporary deployments of planes and ships sent by other allies. [Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | NATO

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Pro-Russian politicians attacked
2014.04.16 02:12:20

Two pro-Russian politicians have been attacked by pro-Ukrainian activists in the capital Kiev as tensions grow over unrest in eastern parts of Ukraine, where pro-Russian gunmen have seized government buildings in nearly 10 cities.

Oleh Tsaryov, a pro-Russian lawmaker and a candidate in the May 25 presidential elections, was beaten by dozens of enraged activists in the early hours of Tuesday as he was leaving a television studio. The activists pelted him with eggs, shouted insults and then assaulted him.

Tsaryov's press service said in a statement that he was "brutally beaten".

Another Russian-leaning politician and presidential hopeful, Mikhaylo Dobkin, was sprayed with a green disinfectant and had flour thrown at him late Monday.

Moscow accused Kiev authorities of condoning such activism. [AP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Harboring 'brutal plans'
2014.04.16 02:11:27

Ukraine's acting president accused Russia on Tuesday of harboring "brutal plans" to destabilize the southeast of his ex-Soviet country by backing separatists.

"Russia had and continues to have brutal plans," Oleksandr Turchynov told a session of parliament. "They want to set fire not only to the Donetsk region but to the entire south and east -- from Kharkiv to the Odessa region." [AFP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Russian Foreign Minister
2014.04.16 02:10:06

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday said he welcomes signs that the government in Kiev was ready for dialogue with separatists in eastern Ukraine, calling it "a step in the right direction", the Interfax news agency reported.

Speaking during a visit to Beijing, Lavrov said Kiev's apparent willingness to "resolve through negotiations all the problems relating to the legal demands of the inhabitants of the south-east regions of Ukraine, is certainly a step in the right direction, albeit very belated." [Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Pro-Russian separatists ignored ultimatum
2014.04.16 02:09:14

Pro-Russian separatists ignored an ultimatum to leave occupied government buildings in eastern Ukraine and instead seized more buildings as Kiev failed to follow through on a threatened military crackdown.

To read the full article click here.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Syrian rebels receive US-made TOW anti-tank
2014.04.16 01:53:04

Syrian rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad for the first time received at least 20 US-made TOW anti-tank missiles from a "Western source," a rebel official told AFP news agency Tuesday.

"Moderate, well-organized fighters from the Hazm movement have for the first time received more than 20 TOW anti-tank missiles from a Western source," the source said on condition of anonymity, and without specifying who had supplied the rockets.

The Hazm movement, part of the opposition Free Syrian Army, brings together mainly ex-army officers and soldiers who defected from the military to join the revolt.

"More have been promised should it be proven that the missiles are being used in an effective way," the source said.

"Dozens of fighters have been trained with international assistance in the use of these missiles," the rebel said, adding that the weapons have been used in flashpoint areas of Idlib, Aleppo and Latakia provinces in the north.

Amateur video distributed by the opposition Masarat media network showed rebels unpacking, loading and firing several missiles at unnamed locations in the Syrian countryside.

"Most of the targets were tanks," said the rebel official, adding that "the 20 missiles have been used 100 percent effectively, always hitting their targets."

Vastly outgunned by the army, rebels have frequently called on the West to provide them with specialized weaponry.

"The international community needs to help stop Assad's army and Iran. We are calling for anti-aircraft weapons to be shipped over," opposition National Coalition member Louay Muqdad told AFP Tuesday.

[AFP]



Tags: Syria

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Mortar rounds landed near schools
2014.04.16 01:50:35

Two mortar rounds landed near schools in predominantly Christian districts of the Syrian capital Tuesday, killing one child and wounding 41 other people, state media said.

Syria's official news agency said one of the shells struck a school in the Bab Touma neighborhood, killing one child and wounding 36 others. In a separate attack, another mortar round exploded near the Mar Elias Church in the Dweilaa district, wounding five people. The church compound also includes a school.

Opposition fighters say they aren't specifically targeting Damascus' large Christian minority. Still, because the mortars cannot be precisely targeted, their victims have often been civilians, including children in schools.

In the central city of Homs, 15-year-old Tarek Ghrair, a player for the country's national youth football team was killed when a mortar shell exploded near his home in the Ghouta district, according to the Syrian Football Association's president. The city's main stadium is located the neighborhood.

[AP]



Tags: Syria

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Court banned members of the Muslim Brotherhood
2014.04.16 01:49:41

A court in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria on Tuesday banned members of the Muslim Brotherhood from running in upcoming elections, a lawyer and state media said.

The court authorities to bar any candidacies from Brotherhood members or former members in presidential and parliamentary elections.

Egypt's military-installed authorities are engaged in a deadly crackdown against the Islamist movement, which swept elections in Egypt after the overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak in 2011 but is now blacklisted as a "terrorist group." [AFP]



Tags: Egypt | Muslim Brotherhood

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Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister
2014.04.16 01:47:38

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal on Tuesday said the "grave news" that President Bashar al-Assad's forces had carried out two poison gas attacks last week was a challenge to "international will".

Rebels and the Syrian government have blamed each other for the alleged poison gas attacks on Friday and Saturday on rebel-held Kfar Zeita village in the central province of Hama.

Both sides said chlorine gas had been used.

These continuous violations by the Damascus regime require the international community to take firm action against the continuous defiance of international, Arab and Islamic will,

Prince Saud said at a news conference in Riyadh.

The reported gas attacks posed a clear challenge to the Security Council decision to dismantle Assad's chemical arsenal, he said.

[Reuters]



Tags: Syria | Saudi Arabia

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Muslim Brotherhood
2014.04.16 01:46:00

State-owned television channels reported that a verdict was issued by Alexandria Urgent Matters Court banning Muslim Brotherhood members form running in upcoming presidential and parliament elections.



Tags: Egypt | Muslim Brotherhood

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UN's refugee agency
2014.04.16 01:43:54

The UN's refugee agency said Tuesday it was partially lifting a call to stop returning asylum seekers to Bulgaria because conditions there had improved.

Under current rules, European countries must return asylum seekers to the first country on the continent they arrive in.

But in January the United Nations urged European nations to suspend all returns to Bulgaria, citing "systematic deficiencies in reception conditions and asylum procedures" after the country was swamped with refugees from war-ravaged Syria.

On Tuesday the agency said the situation had improved, but the advice still stood for vulnerable people such as children or people suffering trauma or injuries.

Since there have been significant improvements, we are relaxing our directive, but only partially.

UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told reporters in Geneva.



Tags: Syria

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Egypt's presidential election
2014.04.16 01:26:34

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi gained eight times the number of signatures needed to register as a candidate in Egypt's presidential election, according to his campaign.

To find out more click here.



Tags: Egypt | Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

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Syria's army launched a major ground assault
2014.04.16 01:24:07

Syria's army launched a major ground assault on the central city of Homs on Tuesday, state television said, with troops entering rebel-held districts under government siege for nearly two years.

"The Syrian army and the National Defense Forces have achieved key successes in the Old City of Homs," Syrian state television said, adding that troops were advancing in several besieged neighborhoods in the area.

[AFP]



Tags: Syria

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