Deep Crisis in Ukraine Cannot Be Resolved by Winning War Against Own People – Lavrov

"Our stand is crystal clear – we want peace in Ukraine which can only be attained through broad national dialogue in which all regions and all political forces of the country must participate," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview. © RIA Novosti. Evgeny Biatov

“Our stand is crystal clear – we want peace in Ukraine which can only be attained through broad national dialogue in which all regions and all political forces of the country must participate,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview.
© RIA Novosti. Evgeny Biatov

 

RIA NOVOSTI – INTERVIEW

Kiev has been conducting a special military operation in eastern Ukraine aimed at suppressing the region’s independence supporters since mid-April.
Over 2,000 people have been killed and more than 5,000 injured since the operation started, according to the UN reports. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shared his thoughts on the Ukrainian crisis in an interview.

Minister Lavrov, there has been repeated speculation, particularly in Western media, that Russian troops could be deployed in Ukraine and even that they have already crossed the border into Ukrainian territory. Is such an action possible in your view?

Sergei Lavrov: Unfortunately, mass media continue to spread rumours, distorted information and even outright lies. Recently there were claims by Ukraine that its artillery destroyed an armoured column that had allegedly crossed from Russia into Ukraine, and two British newspapers even said they witnessed the incursion. No evidence, however, was presented, and even the US State Department could not confirm the incident. We view all such stories as part of an information war.

But a real war is happening on the ground. What can Russia do to resolve this crisis?

Sergei Lavrov: Our stand is crystal clear – we want peace in Ukraine which can only be attained through broad national dialogue in which all regions and all political forces of the country must participate.

This is what Russia, the US, the EU and Ukraine have agreed upon in Geneva on 17 April. At a recent meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine in Berlin no one objected to confirming the Geneva Statement. The point is for Kiev to stop war games and to abandon the illusion that the deep crisis in Ukraine can be resolved by winning the war against your own people. It is deeply saddening that the US and the EU continue to blindly support anything Kiev does.

Let’s recall another document which Kiev and the West are trying to forget. On February 21 an agreement on settling the crisis was signed by Yanukovych, Yatsenyuk, Klichko and Tyagnibok and witnessed by Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Poland. They say now that the agreement “has been superseded by events” because Yanukovych left the country. But let me remind my colleagues that the 21 February agreement listed the commitment to form a government of national unity as number one priority. Does this goal depend on the personality of Yanukovych? Isn’t national unity a universal principle for any country which wants to stay in one piece? Instead of honoring this commitment the then opposition leaders staged an armed coup and publicly declared that they created a “government of the winners”. Unfortunately, the “winner takes it all” logic remains the thrust of Kiev’s actions resulting in thousands of victims among civilians, hundreds of thousands of refugees and displaced persons, as well as almost totally destroyed social infrastructure in many cities and towns in Eastern Ukraine.

There has been much talk of a new Cold War in relations between the West and Russia, with the United States and the European Union having imposed economic sanctions. If they pursue a further hardening of sanctions, how can Russia respond?

Sergei Lavrov: Attempts to settle any crisis by unilateral sanctions outside the framework of the UN Security Council decisions threaten international peace and stability. Such attempts are counterproductive and contradict norms and principles of the international law.

It is absolutely unacceptable to talk to Russia – and to anyone, for that matter – in the language of ultimatums and coercive measures.  Our response to unilateral steps by the United States, the EU and some other countries has been balanced and in line with the rights and obligations of Russia under international treaties, including WTO.

But sanctions continue to be threatened and implemented. Will Russia respond to new measures against it?

Sergei Lavrov: It is not at all our choice, but there should be no doubt that we will do whatever is necessary to protect our legitimate interests, including the interests of national security in all its dimensions. That was the basis of our decision to restrict import of agricultural and food products from several states which had adopted sectorial economic sanctions against Russia for the duration of one year.

But Russia does not want to proceed along the road of escalation. We hope that the US, the European Union and others heed to the voice of reason and put an end to these meaningless tit-for-tat vicious circle which they themselves started.

The crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 brought even more horror to the region. How does Russia view the investigation into what happened to the aircraft over eastern Ukraine?

Sergei Lavrov: The downing of the Malaysian plane is a shocking tragedy. Since it happened on 17 July we have been calling for an open and objective international investigation. It is impossible to explain why the Ukrainian authorities, who bear full responsibility for the safety of international flights over the territory of their country, had not closed the airspace over the area of combat.

The Resolution 2166 adopted by the UN Security Council on 21 July provides for a full, thorough and independent investigation into the incident in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines.

Unfortunately, from the very beginning we have been witnessing attempts to conceal evidence and to hinder the implementation of that resolution. The demand  for a ceasefire in the area of the crash was ignored by the Ukrainian authorities for more than 10 days, and our proposal to call for full respect of Resolution 2166 was blocked in the Security Council by the US, UK and Lithuania. At the same time those very countries and some others started spreading unfounded accusations against Russia.

Let me reiterate that Russia is fully committed to the international investigation in full compliance with Resolution 2166. We would like to see the International Civil Aviation Organisaton take a more active role in the matter, and we believe that the UN and ICAO should coordinate international efforts to ensure early and convincing results of the investigation. Russia is the only country which officially presented to the international community the data related to the incident as received through our space monitoring capacity. Others are still to provide the evidence they possess.

Do you think all of the evidence related to the crash will be made available so that investigators can establish exactly what happened?

Sergei Lavrov: We formally put forward a number of questions on our part that remain unanswered. For example, where are the transcripts of exchange between the pilots of MH17 and the Ukrainian air controllers and why were they not presented to the international community? Why did the controllers instruct the flight to enter the zone of war conflict? What was a Ukrainian Air Force plane doing in the vicinity of the Malaysian Boeing right before the incident? What is happening to the wreckage at the crash site and why has it not been thoroughly examined by the appropriate international investigating authorities? To what extent can an objective and independent investigation be assured without safe and unimpeded access of experts to the crash site, where Kiev continues its war activity in violation of the UNSC Resolution 2166? And where is the documented evidence of claims by the US officials regarding the causes of the downing of the aircraft?

We hope to get answers to these and other questions both from the states which took the leading role in the international investigation and from those who made unsubstantiated public statements. The truth must be revealed. That was our strong demand at the recent meeting of the UN Security Council while some member States showed little enthusiasm in pursuing the investigation in a transparent and accountable manner.

We must not allow the investigation of MH17 crash to be manipulated into oblivion like it already happened to investigations of many Ukrainian tragedies, including a sniper assault against civilians in Kiev in February, massacres in Odesa  and Marioupol in May and others. We are determined to insist on bringing all those who bear responsibility for these crimes to justice.

The cost in human life of this conflict has already been high and tens of thousands of people have been displaced because of the fighting. How do you view the humanitarian situation in Ukraine?

Sergei Lavrov: The humanitarian situation in Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine is catastrophic and continues to deteriorate. And it is not only our view. This assessment is widely shared in the United Nations, including the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, in the International Committee of the Red Cross and in the Council of Europe.

More than two thousand people have been killed and over five thousand wounded, many of them children. There is acute shortage of food and medicine and growing risk of outbreaks of infectious deceases. Over 200 thousand people in Luhansk are deprived of electricity, drinking water and means of communication.
A lot of people have fled the area of the conflict. Since 1 April nearly 775 thousand Ukrainian citizens entered the Russian territory, and 190 thousand Ukrainians applied for a refugee status in Russia. Temporary shelters have been put up in our country to accommodate tens of thousands of refugees.

Under these circumstances it is crucial to ensure immediate supply of humanitarian aid to the people of southeastern Ukraine. Humanitarian issues must bring together all people who act in good faith trying to alleviate the suffering of people in dire need – especially women, children and the elderly.

But Russia has been sending aid. What has happened with the humanitarian convoy?

Sergei Lavrov: Russia in cooperation with the ICRC sent a humanitarian convoy of around 300 trucks carrying 2000 tons of medical supplies, food, sleeping bags, power generators and other basic commodities. The convoy was ready to move as early as 17 August, but was delayed primarily due to procrastination tactics employed by Kiev authorities though they had recognized the cargo as humanitarian aid of the ICRC and sent Ukrainian border guards and customs officers to monitor all procedures at the Russian check point Donetsk.

We urge the Ukrainian government to deliver on its promises and to facilitate safe and unhindered passage of future humanitarian assistance. We also hope that our partners in the West and international organizations fully understand the magnitude of the disaster and contribute in practical terms to meeting the basic needs of the civilian population in southeastern Ukraine.

But the central task in the efforts to stop the suffering of civilians in Ukraine remains, of course, in reaching a ceasefire. People are dying, and civilian infrastructure is being destroyed every day. We firmly believe that ceasefire must be unconditional and open the way for serious political dialogue and constitutional reform process with the participation of all regions and all political constituencies of Ukraine, as agreed by the EU, Russia, Ukraine and the US in Geneva Statement of 17 April 2014.

Breaking News: 25 August, 2014

Armed anti-goverment fighters walk in front of garages set ablaze by what locals say was recent shelling by Ukrainian forces in Donetsk August 23, 2014 (Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)

Armed anti-goverment fighters walk in front of garages set ablaze by what locals say was recent shelling by Ukrainian forces in Donetsk August 23, 2014 (Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)

Friday, August 22

Artillery attack destroys roof and walls of Donetsk museum

An artillery attack destroyed the roof and walls of the Donetsk Regional Museum of Local History on Thursday. (Xinhua/Alexander Ermochenko)

 

Monday, August 25

18:00 GMT:

The Crimean Telegraph newspaper said that two of its journalists have gone missing in the warzone in Donetsk Region of Ukraine on August 24.  “Yesterday, in the area of the ‘anti-terrorist operation’ not far from the city of Donetsk reporter Evgenia Korolyova and photographer Maksim Vasilenko were removed from their bus by Right Sector [radical movement] representatives,” the paper said.  “Korolyova was allowed to make one phone call, but couldn’t speak freely as it was obvious that “people, who controlled her every word, were with her,” the Crimean Telegraph added.  “When asked if she felt a real threat to her life, Evgenia said ‘no’, but confirmed that they were detained not as ordinary Crimean citizens, but as journalists,” the newspaper said.

15:58 GMT:

The distribution of humanitarian aid from Russia has started in the besieged city of Lugansk in southeastern Ukraine, with 12 issuing points opening in the city on Monday.

The minimum package handed out to residents includes rice, buckwheat and sugar, three canned meats, a packet of tea and 10 liters of water.

Poroshenko warns of ‘detailed Plan B’ if Ukraine ceasefire fails

If his current proposal for a truce, which came into force on Friday, fails to bring results, Ukraine’s newly elected president Petro Poroshenko warns he has an alternative “detailed plan” of regaining control over south-eastern Ukraine.  “Peaceful scenario – it is our plan A,” Poroshenko said in a statement on his website. “But those who expect to use the peace talks only to gain time to regroup, should know that we have a detailed plan B. I am not going to talk about it now, because I believe that our peace plan will work.”  Poroshenko claims the ceasefire is designed to enable local self-defence militias to lay down their arms and flee the country, or be destroyed. He also, while drafting the plan with Kiev-appointed governors of the defiant regions, rejected any possibility of negotiations with representatives of anti-Kiev forces.

 

US, NATO to blame for Libyan unrest – Moscow

The current turmoil in Libya is a direct consequence of the interference of the US and its NATO allies, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “We can say that the political process of creating a modern state in Libya on the ruins of the Muammar Gaddafi regime ousted in 2011 has finally come to a standstill,” the ministry said. The Libyans are now paying for Western involvement with “lives of thousands of civilians and social economic infrastructure of the state lost during bloody civil strife,” it added. Over the weekend, the Islamists seized the airport in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and proclaimed their own government.

15:03

Pentagon’s second test of hypersonic missile fails after takeoff

The Pentagon’s second test of an advanced hypersonic weapon failed shortly after takeoff early on Monday, the Washington Free Beacon said. “Due to an anomaly, the test was terminated near the launch pad shortly after liftoff to ensure public safety,” the Pentagon said in a statement. No injuries to any personnel were reported after the test was carried out from the Kodiak Launch Complex on Kodiak Island off the southern Alaskan coast. The weapon is a key part of the Pentagon’s strategic program of building arms that can attack any point on earth in 30 minutes.

14:22

2 killed, several injured in explosion at Illinois recycling plant

Two people were killed and more were injured after an explosion at a recycling plant in southern Illinois, Granite City police said. The bomb squad has been sent to the Totall Metal Recycling plant, AP said, citing local television. More explosions, perhaps from live ammunition rounds, are feared. More than 160 people work at the plant, which recycles everything from computers to automobiles. The company also indicated that it deals with the ammunition industry.

13:56

Omar al-Hasi appointed as PM after Libya’s ex-parliament reconvenes

Libya’s previous parliament reconvened on Monday to elect Islamist-backed Omar al-Hasi as prime minister, Reuters quoted a parliamentary spokesman as saying. Islamists had a strong representation in the former legislature, whose term ended with national elections in June. It has refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of its successor parliament, where liberals and federalists dominate.

11:07

At least 16 people killed by Israel air strikes on Gaza

Israeli air strikes pounded Gaza on Sunday, killing at least 16 people, AFP said. One of the strikes killed Hamas financial official Mohammed al-Ghul as he was traveling by car in Gaza City, Israel’s army and Gaza medics said. A later strike on northern Gaza reportedly killed a mother and four children from the same family, and the day’s death toll reached at least 16, including six children.

10:36

Syria govt ready to cooperate in anti-terror fight – FM

The Syrian government is ready to cooperate with international and regional efforts to fight terror, Reuters quoted the Syrian foreign minister, Walid al-Moualem, as saying on Monday. Asked if Syria was ready to cooperate with the US and Britain, he said: “They are welcome.” However, the minister warned in that case the efforts must be coordinated with Damascus. Moualem, speaking on Syrian state TV, also condemned the killing of US journalist James Foley, who was executed by the Islamic State.

07:45

French PM Valls presents govt resignation to president

France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls presented the resignation of his government to the president on Monday, Reuters reported. Francois Hollande’s office said a new government would be formed on Tuesday in line with the direction the president “has defined for our country.” The resignation comes a day after leftist Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg called for new economic policies and questioned Germany’s “obsession” with budgetary rigor.

06:47

Japan to name criteria before offering unapproved Ebola drug

Japan could offer an unapproved drug under certain circumstances to help treat the deadly Ebola virus, Reuters said. “Medical professionals could make a request for T-705 in an emergency even before a decision by the World Health Organization (WHO),” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said. “In that case, we would like to respond under certain criteria.” Tokyo will cooperate with the WHO and is ready to make an international contribution. Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp and US’s MediVector are in talks with the US Food and Drug Administration to submit an application to expand the use of the influenza drug T-705, or favipiravir, as a treatment for Ebola.

06:19

At least 10 killed in India temple stampede

At least 10 people were killed and scores injured in a stampede at a Hindu temple in central India, AFP reported. As hundreds of pilgrims were gathering early at a holy hill in the Chitrakoot area of Madhya Pradesh state, some fell down, sparking panic. A stampede broke out around 5:30 local time, “where five women and five men have died,” police said. The incident took place at Kamtanath Pahad temple on Kamadgiri hill in Chitrakoot, about 520km from state capital Bhopal, when some Hindu devotees were reportedly rolling on the ground as part of rituals for the full moon day of Somvati Amavasya to honor Lord Shiva.

Poroshenko blasts MPs as ‘fifth column’ after E. Ukraine ‘terrorist’ bill fails

Local residents near a residential building hit by a shell during the combat operations in the town of Shakhtyorsk near Donetsk.(RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin)

Local residents near a residential building hit by a shell during the combat operations in the town of Shakhtyorsk near Donetsk.(RIA Novosti / Andrey Stenin)

 

Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, has blasted the country’s parliament as a “fifth column which cannot recognize the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics as terrorist groups.” The country is in need of snap parliamentary elections, he added.

“I don’t know how to work with the parliament where half of the Verkhovna Rada [parliament] does not vote to recognize the Lugansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic as terrorist organizations,” said Poroshenko, Ukraine’s local media reported.

“I don’t know how to work with the parliament where the majority of people represent a ‘fifth column’ which is controlled from abroad, whole factions. And the danger of this is only rising,” he added.

Poroshenko’s reference to a “fifth column” is a strong term in the current situation, as it originates from the Spanish Civil War, where Franco’s fascists literally sent a “fifth column” of spies and provocateurs to try to capture Madrid from inside the city. Nowadays, the term has come to be used more widely, to refer to any group of people who undermine a larger group —such as a nation or a besieged city — from within.

On July 22, the Ukrainian parliament voted to recognize the crash of Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane near the eastern city of Donetsk as a terrorist attack, and called on the world to include the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, which controls the area, and the Lugansk People’s Republic, on their list of terrorist organizations. However, such a definition apparently failed to materialize in Ukraine.

On top of the humanitarian crisis in the east, Ukraine has suddenly been plunged into political turmoil. The country is facing snap elections after the ruling coalition was dissolved July 24.

Poroshenko told the media he would work to hold the elections earlier, “whatever the law” and “whatever the circumstances.” One of his main targets is the Communist Party, which was outlawed at the same time as the coalition collapsed.

The Communists had been vocal critics of many of Kiev’s current policies, including the military crackdown on dissenting eastern regions, the failure to investigate mass killings in Odessa and Kiev, and painful austerity measures required for Ukraine to receive Western loans.

“I am proud that during my presidency the Communist faction ceased to exist,” Poroshenko declared Friday night, adding that after the elections the party will be democratically erased from “Ukraine’s political map.”

Experts see the shrinking political field in Kiev as an attempt to purge elites and basically shape a convenient parliament.
“When President Viktor Yanukovich was overthrown on February 21, the parliament voted back new powers in terms of going back to the 2004 constitution,” John Laughland from the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation in Paris, told RT. “Now the new president, Poroshenko, discovers that this new constitution doesn’t suit him, he needs to purge the parliament, he needs to stigmatize people who don’t agree with his policies as fifth columnists.”

A burning residential house after an artillery bombardment of the city.(RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)

A burning residential house after an artillery bombardment of the city.(RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published time: August 02, 2014 15:58

Ukraine President dissolves parliament, paves way for early election

Ukrainian parliament members attend a session in Kiev (Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)

Ukrainian parliament members attend a session in Kiev (Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)

RT

Published time: August 25, 2014 18:49
Edited time: August 25, 2014 19:36

Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, has made the decision to dismiss the country’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, a message on his official Twitter account says.

The decision comes because “the majority of the MPs voted for dictator-style laws,” which cost the lives of Maidan activists, RIA Novosti news agency reports citing Poroshenko’s spokesman.

The election of the new parliament will be held on October 26, the spokesman Svyatoslav Tsegolko wrote on his Facebook page.

Poroshenko has called on “democratic forces” in Ukraine to enter the elections as a united “pro-Ukrainian, pro-European team,” Tsegolko’s Facebook post states adding that the Rada was dismissed “because it is the only right and responsible decision.”

The Fifth Column in the parliament consists of dozens of so-called people’s deputies. But they don’t represent the interests of the people, who elected them, but the interests of some other people,” the statement said.

Neither Poroshenko’s nor the Verkhovna Rada’s official websites contain any messages giving details. However, the official Twitter account of the President’s Administration also states the one-chamber parliament is dismissed.

Poroshenko, who came to power in Ukraine on June 7, declared his intention to hold early parliamentary elections in his inauguration speech before the Rada.

In late July, following the resignation of the government, Ukraine’s ruling coalition of nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party and the Udar (Strike) party dissolved itself enhancing the prospects for an early vote.

On August 2, Poroshenko again spoke of a snap parliamentary election after the Rada refused to recognize the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics as terrorist groups.

Back then he also labeled the deputies as a “Fifth Column,” saying that he doesn’t know how to work with such a parliament.

The term “Fifth Column” originates from the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39 where Franco’s fascists literally sent a “fifth column” of spies and provocateurs to try to capture capital Madrid from inside the city.

 

MIT study of Ghouta chemical attack challenges US intelligence

A United Nations (UN) arms expert collects samples on August 29, 2013, as they inspect the site where rockets had fallen in Damascus' eastern Ghouta suburb during an investigation into a suspected chemical weapons strike near the capital. (AFP Photo / Ammar Al-Arbini)

A United Nations (UN) arms expert collects samples on August 29, 2013, as they inspect the site where rockets had fallen in Damascus’ eastern Ghouta suburb during an investigation into a suspected chemical weapons strike near the capital. (AFP Photo / Ammar Al-Arbini)

 

Trend: Syria unrest

RT

Published time: January 16, 2014 04:39
Edited time: January 19, 2014 13:49

A new MIT report is challenging the US claim that Assad forces used chemical weapons in an attack last August, highlighting that the range of the improvised rocket was way too short to have been launched from govt controlled areas.

In the report titled “Possible Implications of Faulty US Technical Intelligence,” Richard Lloyd, a former UN weapons inspector, and Theodore Postol, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), examined the delivery rocket’s design and calculated possible trajectories based on the payload of the cargo.

The authors concluded that sarin gas “could not possibly have been fired at East Ghouta from the ‘heart’, or from the Eastern edge, of the Syrian government controlled area shown in the intelligence map published by the White House on August 30, 2013.”

Based on mathematical calculations, Lloyd and Postol estimate the rocket with such aerodynamics could not travel more than 2 kilometers. To illustrate their conclusion, the authors included the original White House map that depicted areas under Assad control and those held by the opposition. Based on the firing range and troop locations on August 21, the authors conclude that all possible launching points within the 2 km radius were in rebel-held areas.

map

“This mistaken intelligence could have led to an unjustified US military action based on false intelligence. A proper vetting of the fact that the munition was of such short range would have led to a completely different assessment of the situation from the gathered data,” the report states.

The authors emphasize that the UN independent assessment of the range of the chemical munition is in “exact agreement” with their findings.

The report goes on to challenge the US Secretary of State’s key assessments of the chemical attack that he presented to the American people on August 30th and to the Foreign Relations Committee on September 3rd in an effort to muster a military attack on Syria.

“My view when I started this process was that it couldn’t be anything but the Syrian government behind the attack. But now I’m not sure of anything. The administration narrative was not even close to reality. Our intelligence cannot possibly be correct,” Postol told McClatchy publication.

3

“The Syrian rebels most definitely have the ability to make these weapons,” he said. “I think they might have more ability than the Syrian government.”

It also remains a mystery why the particular type of rocket that was used in the attack was not declared by the Syrian government as part of its chemical weapons arsenal when it agreed to destroy its chemical weapons and their delivery methods. OPCW inspectors charged with implementing the agreement also did not discover such a rocket in possession of government forces.

Syria agreed to the destruction of its chemical weapons through a deal brokered by Russia and the US after a sarin gas attack on August 21. Western nations blamed the deadly attack on President Bashar Assad’s forces, while Damascus accused the rebels for the incident. The UN fact-finding mission had no mandate to find out who carried out the attack.

Under the UN-backed plan, all of the country’s declared 1,290 tons of toxic agents should be destroyed by June 30. Initially, the first batch of the most dangerous materials was to be moved out of Syria on December 31.

However, the deadline was missed because of the ongoing war in Syria and technical issues. It was only on January 7 that “priority chemical materials” left the Syrian port of Latakia on a Danish ship for international waters.

Shelling Kills Hundreds in Besieged Luhansk in East Ukraine

Ukrainian military in the city of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian military in the city of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine

© AP Photo/ Petro Zadorozhnyy

LUHANSK, August 23 (RIA Novosti) – Hundreds have died in artillery attacks on eastern Ukraine’s key city of Luhansk as government troops continue to lay siege to the militia stronghold, according to a senior official of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic.

“As of today, the death toll has climbed into the hundreds. Hundreds of homes have been torn down, including more than a dozen of apartment blocks and hundreds of private houses,” LPR Deputy Prime Minister Vasily Nikitin told RIA Novosti Saturday.

Luhansk has been left without running water, electricity and phone communications for 20 days as government troops continue to besiege it, pounding indiscriminately militia positions and residential quarters in and around the city. All deliveries of food, medication and fuel had long been stopped due to heavy shelling.

In a recent incident, a mortar round launched by government forces hit a water distribution facility in the inner city instantly killing fifteen people who had come to replenish their supplies, local authorities told RIA Novosti.

City morgues are filled with shelling victims, and the staff find it hard to remove all bodies from the streets leaving some of them exposed to elements for days.

Four months of fighting in Ukraine’s easternmost Luhansk region has left more than 2,000 people dead and 5,000 wounded, with hundreds of thousands fleeing their homes, according to UN reports. More than a half of the refugees have been crossing over into Russia.

On Friday, a humanitarian aid convoy from Russia rolled into eastern Ukraine after being checked by Ukrainian customs officials. A total of 280 trucks delivered grain, baby food, water, medicine and generators to the war-torn region, including Luhansk.

Leaders of foreign states congratulated the President of Ukraine on the Independence Day + Club Med for Terrorists

Ukraine's President "elected" Petro Poroshenko

Ukraine’s President “elected” Petro Poroshenko

Press office of President

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko received congratulations on the Independence Day from leaders of foreign states.

The Head of State was congratulated by:
King of Spain Felipe VI,
King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf,
Emperor of Japan Akihito,
Federal President of Austria Heinz Fischer,
President of Slovakia Andrej Kiska,
President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow,
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev,
President of Tajikistan Emomalii Rahmon,
President of Croatia Ivo Josipović,
President of Portugal Aníbal Cavaco Silva,
President of Benin Yayi Boni,
President of Singapore Tony Tan Keng Yam,
President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto.

End of press release <———–

It hasn't been confirmed yet but rumors are that these leaders of foreign nations sent Mr. Poroshensio a gift: a membership to the new and hot Club Med for Terrorists, given Mr. Poroshenko's having killed in Eastern Ukraine as many civilians (including children) as his peer Bibi Netanyahu.

Congratulations Mr. Poroshenko! Wishing you have some time off (another ceasefire?) to watch the video below. You're the King of Genocide, you will enjoy!

See you and Bibi at The Hague!

Ukraine Crisis: Donbass. Chronicle of Genocide. Banned on TV / Донбасс. Хроника геноцида. [ENG SUB]

Published on Aug 18, 2014
Extensive war crimes in Donbass committed by Poroshenko and his army of murderers from July 27 to August 14, 2014. Kiev’s warmongers/Zionists continue genocide of civilian population of Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. Most of the footage and interviews you will see in this documentary film have never been shown on mainstream media of any country including Russia and Ukraine.

Ukraine: This Time, the West Sides With Nazis: http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraine-&#8230;