Western Defeat in Ukraine

 Western Defeat in Ukraine

 

By Roger Cohen  – Published by The New York Times

LONDON — It was not a surprise that President Vladimir Putin of Russia came out in strong support of FIFA against the “blatant attempt” of the United States “to extend its jurisdiction to other states.” Institutionalized corruption is Putin’s thing. The governing body of world soccer has become a near-perfect illustration of how such a system works, almost as good as the once-pliant Ukraine of Putin’s ousted puppet, former President Viktor Yanukovych.

American power is Putin’s obsession. He professes to see its long arm everywhere, subverting Russia and countries of its former empire. So the Justice Department’s move against FIFA fit every Russian geostrategic theory. (In addition, of course, Putin is worried about the 2018 World Cup in Russia, as he should be. To say the event will carry echoes of the Berlin Olympics of 1936 would be an exaggeration, but not a wild one.)

It is not a surprise that various Russian generals and officials have been blustering about nukes, even threatening to wipe out poor little Denmark’s navy; nor that they have made clear that they will defend the annexation of Crimea (where the extension of Russian jurisdiction was on the “blatant” side) with every weapon in their arsenal. Force is the language Putin understands better than any other. He knows how uncomfortable much of Europe has become with this lexicon.

There are in fact no more surprises. Putin has turned on the West, seeing opposition to it as the glue of his regime, rather than integration with it as the path to Russian progress. He has opted for his life’s work: buying people, compromising them, threatening them.

Perhaps it was the street protests in Moscow of late 2011. Perhaps it was a perception of Western perfidy in Libya earlier that year. Perhaps it was some inkling about a moment of American weakness. Perhaps it really was the ouster through a popular uprising of the grossly corrupt Yanukovych in Ukraine. Perhaps it was simply his inner K.G.B. officer rising to the surface, a yearning for the empire lost. In the end the reasons are secondary to the reality, which is that Putin has opted to ignite Russian nationalism by cultivating the myth of Western encirclement of the largest nation on earth by far. The G-7 will convene in a few days without him. Of course it will. The Russian president is no longer interested in the rules of that club. Controlled antagonism to it suits him better.

Some 15 months have gone by since the annexation of Crimea. A few things have become clear. On the whole, they are troubling. The first is how muted, really, the American reaction has been to Moscow’s seizure of a chunk of Ukrainian territory and Russia’s stirring-up of a little war in eastern Ukraine with its more than 6,000 dead. The United States is not even a party to the Minsk accords, the deeply flawed agreement to unwind the conflict that looks more like a means to freeze it in place.

By Ainhoa Aristizabal – Unruly Hearts

Roger, you sound like a broken record in bringing Washington’s rhetoric.  But let me remind you that the US has invaded 70 nations since 1776. Any wonder why americans are not welcome in many countries? Of course, americans reaction to Crimeans asking Russia to make them part of the Russian Federation hasn’t impressed them a bit being that their country has invaded 70 nations, and even occupied some of those countries.

The 4th of July is Independence Day for the United States and commemorates the 4 July 1776 Declaration of Independence for the US, the key passage of which is “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Unfortunately american racism has grossly violated the proposition that “all men are created equal” and the worst form of racism involves invasion of other countries, as well as the growing racism in your country. The US has invaded about 70 countries since its inception and has invaded a total of about 50 countries since 1945 [1]. The World needs to declare a transition from the 4th of July as Independence for America Day to the 4th of July as Independence from America Day.

The following is a list of countries invaded by the US forces  (naval, military and ultimately air forces) since its inception in order of major incidents. This catalogue derives heavily form the work of US academic Dr Zoltan Grossman’s article “From Wounded Knee to Libya: a century of U.S. military interventions” [1], Gideon Polya’s book ‘Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (that includes a brief history of all countries since Neolithic times) [2] and William Blum’s book “ Rogue State ” [3]. This list includes instances of violent deployment of US forces within America (e.g. against demonstrators, miners etc), and includes small-scale bombing and military intervention operations, military evacuations of Americans and specific instances of explicit threats of use of nuclear weapons. The list does not include the 1801-1805 US Marine Barbary War operations against Barbary pirates based in Morocco , Algeria , Tunisia and Libya , and also ignores massive US subversion of virtually all countries in the world.

The Fall of Poroshenko’s Kingdom is near…

Poroshenko Red Eye Faces of Evil

Poroshenko Red Eye Faces of Evil

When the Evil Shredder Attacks, the Rebel spits and fight

Ukraine’s president-elect billionaire Petro Poroshenko, has promised to use full force until all separatists have been destroyed. He has now vowed to strengthen the military crackdown, making it faster and more efficient. Political scientist Mateusz Piskorski from the European Center of Geopolitical Analysis joins RT to discuss this issue.

The Ukrainian army attempted to take over Donetsk suburb with tanks a day after two children were killed in the shelling of a local school, rebels allege. This comes as Dutch inspectors, probing the Flight MH17 crash, arrived in the area.

The self-defense forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said that have repelled a tank attack on the outskirts of Donetsk, with Kiev forces losing at least five armored vehicles during the battle in the town of Yasinovataya.

“The tanks opened sporadic fire at our positions and residential areas,” the staff of the DPR militias told RIA-Novosti news agency.

According to the self-defense forces, at least two civilians were killed and seven others wounded in the fighting. The attack has been repelled, with the militias now trying to figure out “if it was an offensive reconnaissance and should we wait for a continuation of the operation.”

Meanwhile, Kiev has denied allegations that they had launched a new offensive in the suburb of Donetsk.

A man walks past a residential block and a car damaged by recent shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine.(Reuters / Maxim Zmeyev)

A man walks past a residential block and a car damaged by recent shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine.(Reuters / Maxim Zmeyev)

“We refute these allegations… We’re strictly fulfilling the Minsk [ceasefire] memorandum. We remain within the previously defined boundaries, in our positions. We’re not advancing,” spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov told Reuters by telephone.

DPR’s Interior Ministry said that Kiev’s forces were continuing the shelling of residential areas in Donetsk on Thursday.

“Three homes were hit, according to our records. We also have information on two civilians being wounded. It’s all happening in the Kievsky district of Donetsk, in the territory adjacent to the Donetsk airport,” a ministry representative told Interfax news agency.

Several shells hit the Donetsk Railway Transport Institute, with an RT stringer on the scene reporting of four injured civilians.

A large blast was also heard near another school, this time inside Donetsk, again not far from the airport. The projectile exploded in an apartment block next door to School No. 59, cleared by residents beforehand, which avoided casualties.

The incident comes less than 24 hours after two schoolchildren were killed and four injured by an artillery shell that hit a stadium in front of a school near Donetsk.

The children’s rights ombudsman of Ukraine, Valeria Lutkovskaya, on Wednesday appealed to the leaders of Kiev’s so-called “anti-terrorist operation” in the southeast of the country, urging them to “perform an immediate and impartial investigation into the deaths and injuries of children.”

The reports of fighting in the area go on, despite Kiev and the militias of Donetsk and Lugansk agreeing a ceasefire during talks in Minsk, Belarus, on September 5.

Ukraine has been engulfed in internal conflict since April, when Kiev’s forces began their crackdown on southeastern regions after they refused to recognize the country’s new coup-imposed authorities.

 2 teens killed, 4 injured in shelling near Donetsk school, E. Ukraine

Screenshot from RT video

Screenshot from RT video

RT news – November 05, 2014

Two schoolchildren were killed and four injured as an artillery shell hit a stadium in front of a school in the Eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, local self-defense forces said.

“All the wounded were taken to the Donetsk regional trauma unit,” Natalya Yemchenko, a militia official with the Donetsk People’s Republic, was cited as saying by Interfax-Ukraine news agency. “They are now in intensive care. One of them is in critical condition and three other are in a state of moderate severity.”

“There were children – a lot of them – at the stadium” when the shell hit, Yemchenko wrote on her Facebook page.

“When attempts were made to evacuate them from the pitch, the massive shelling continued in the area. It was hard for the medics to get to them,” she said.

 

Shocking attack: Teens killed & injured in Donetsk school shelling

Yemchenko said the school building was also seriously damaged in the explosion.

Local journalist Andrey Krasnoshchekov, who visited the scene of the shelling, said that the boys were playing football when the tragedy happened.

Neither the ambulance, nor the Donetsk militias have reached the two dead bodies yet. It’s only us [journalists] and crying parents and relatives here,” Krasnoshchekov wrote on his Twitter account, almost an hour after the mortar hit as the medics tried to make their way through the shelling.

“There should be a thorough investigation into the shocking attack in Donetsk,” Denis Krivosheev, the deputy head of Amnesty International’s Central European and Central Asian program, was cited by RIA-Novosti news agency as saying. “If the components of war crime are detected, those responsible should be brought to justice.”

Ukraine has been engulfed in internal conflict since April, when Kiev’s army began its crackdown on the southeastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk after they refused to recognize the country’s new coup-imposed authorities.

The United Nations estimates that the death toll in the Ukrainian conflict has exceeded 4,000 people, with over 9,300 others wounded.

Screenshot from RT video

Screenshot from RT video

The warring sides agreed to a ceasefire during talks in Minsk, Belarus, on September 5, but there is still a long way to go for the conflict to be settled as the truce is being violated on a daily basis.

Shard shower: Girl dodges death as glass rains down at E. Ukraine stadium (VIDEO)

Still from youtube video (user Gumanitarniy shtab "Pomozhem")

Still from youtube video (user Gumanitarniy shtab “Pomozhem”)

A Ukrainian girl narrowly escaped death as a huge piece of glass façade broke off Shakhtar Donetsk’s Donbass Arena and crashed right in front of her. The incredible moment was caught on CCTV.

The video shows a small-statured girl walking towards the stadium. When a loud blast is heard she falls to the ground. In a second an enormous mass of glass plummets earthward and shatters, barely missing the prone child.

 

While the figure in the video is vague, Reuters said it looks like the passerby was little a girl.

A man is seen rushing to the girl, picking her up and walking her safety.

Luckily, the girl seems to have no serious injuries. As she was helped on her feet, she and the man rushed inside the stadium.

The accident coincides with an explosion a chemical factory in Donetsk that happened on Monday. Local militia claim the plant was targeted by a tactical Tochka-U missile (SS-21 Scarab).

Blast rocks chemical plant in Donetsk, claims of tactical missile

A huge blast has rocked a chemical factory in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, the city council says on its website. The blast wave reportedly shattered windows in houses in a radius of several kilometers.

The explosion reportedly took place at 12:10pm local time.

2014.10.20 “Донбасс-Арена” пострадала от обстрела/ 2014.10.20 “Donbass-Arena” was hit by gunfire.

 

 

War over? Both sides in Ukraine conflict sign treaty banning military action

Fighters of the Donetsk People's Republic militia in the village of Yasenevka. (RIA Novosti/Gennady Dubovoy)

Fighters of the Donetsk People’s Republic militia in the village of Yasenevka. (RIA Novosti/Gennady Dubovoy)

Kiev and self-defense forces signed a memorandum aimed at effectively halting all fighting in eastern Ukraine after talks in Minsk. It creates a buffer zone, demands a pullback of troops and mercenaries, and bans military aviation flybys over the area.

READ MORE: Obama declines to give Ukraine ‘lethal aid’ despite Poroshenko’s plea

The signed memorandum consists of nine points, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told journalists following peace talks in Minsk, Belarus.

“The first [point] is to stop the use of weapons by both sides; the second is to stop all military and militia units in their positions as of September 19. The third is to ban the use of all types of weapons and offensive action,” former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, who represents Ukraine at the talks, told journalists.

The agreement outlines a buffer zone of 30km free from heavy weapons and bans all military aircraft from flying over the rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukrainian territory. An exception is being made for the surveillance drones used by the OSCE to monitor the situation, Kuchma said.

Kiev said it would start the pull-back of heavy weapons under the agreement starting on Saturday.

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk, September 17, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk, September 17, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

War over? Both sides in Ukraine conflict sign treaty banning military action

Fighters of the Donetsk People’s Republic militia in the village of Yasenevka. (RIA Novosti/Gennady Dubovoy)
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Kiev and self-defense forces signed a memorandum aimed at effectively halting all fighting in eastern Ukraine after talks in Minsk. It creates a buffer zone, demands a pullback of troops and mercenaries, and bans military aviation flybys over the area.

However, Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania have agreed to launch a joint military force which is expected to hold its first drill next year.

The defense ministers of the three states signed the agreement in Warsaw on Friday, in the presence of Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.

Polish defense officials told Reuters that LITPOLUKRBRIG (Lithuanian–Polish–Ukrainian Brigade) could take part in peacekeeping operations or, if necessary, form the basis of a NATO battle group in the region.

Lithuania and Poland are NATO members, while Ukraine’s recent appeal for a special status outside the bloc was turned down by US president Barack Obama.

Polish servicemen take part in military exercises outside the town of Yavoriv near Lviv, September 19, 2014. (Reuters/Roman Baluk)

Polish servicemen take part in military exercises outside the town of Yavoriv near Lviv, September 19, 2014. (Reuters/Roman Baluk)

The signed memorandum consists of nine points, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told journalists following peace talks in Minsk, Belarus.

“The first [point] is to stop the use of weapons by both sides; the second is to stop all military and militia units in their positions as of September 19. The third is to ban the use of all types of weapons and offensive action,” former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, who represents Ukraine at the talks, told journalists.

The agreement outlines a buffer zone of 30km free from heavy weapons and bans all military aircraft from flying over the rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukrainian territory. An exception is being made for the surveillance drones used by the OSCE to monitor the situation, Kuchma said.

Kiev said it would start the pull-back of heavy weapons under the agreement starting on Saturday.

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk, September 17, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk, September 17, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

All foreign mercenaries must be withdrawn from eastern Ukraine by both sides of the conflict, the signed Minsk memorandum states, according to Kuchma.

“We have agreed on the withdrawal of all foreign mercenaries from both sides,” Kuchma said.

Both sides also vowed to continue the exchange of prisoners.

The OSCE has been tasked to monitor that both sides adhere to the memorandum’s conditions. The organization’s observers will be sent to observe the situation along the entire zone of the ceasefire, Itar-Tass reported.

Five hundred OSCE observers will be sent to monitor the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, Lugansk People’s Republic representative Aleksey Karyakin said, adding that the meeting was quite difficult.

“We were able to substantially increase the number of OSCE observers in the conflict zone from 300 to 500,” he said.

The negotiations were also attended by Russia’s OSCE representatives.
Kiev, rebels exchange prisoners

On Saturday, the self-defense forces of the People’s Republic of Donetsk and Ukrainian security services exchanged prisoners in accordance with the “40 for 40” formula on Saturday.

The exchange took place near the village of Konstantinovka, situated 60 kilometers south of the city of Donetsk.

 

Fighters of the Donetsk People’s Republic militia in the village of Yasenevka. (RIA Novosti/Gennady Dubovoy)

Kiev and self-defense forces signed a memorandum aimed at effectively halting all fighting in eastern Ukraine after talks in Minsk. It creates a buffer zone, demands a pullback of troops and mercenaries, and bans military aviation flybys over the area.

The signed memorandum consists of nine points, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told journalists following peace talks in Minsk, Belarus.

“The first [point] is to stop the use of weapons by both sides; the second is to stop all military and militia units in their positions as of September 19. The third is to ban the use of all types of weapons and offensive action,” former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, who represents Ukraine at the talks, told journalists.

The agreement outlines a buffer zone of 30km free from heavy weapons and bans all military aircraft from flying over the rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukrainian territory. An exception is being made for the surveillance drones used by the OSCE to monitor the situation, Kuchma said.

Kiev said it would start the pull-back of heavy weapons under the agreement starting on Saturday.

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk, September 17, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk, September 17, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

All foreign mercenaries must be withdrawn from eastern Ukraine by both sides of the conflict, the signed Minsk memorandum states, according to Kuchma.

“We have agreed on the withdrawal of all foreign mercenaries from both sides,” Kuchma said.

Both sides also vowed to continue the exchange of prisoners.

The OSCE has been tasked to monitor that both sides adhere to the memorandum’s conditions. The organization’s observers will be sent to observe the situation along the entire zone of the ceasefire, Itar-Tass reported.

Five hundred OSCE observers will be sent to monitor the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, Lugansk People’s Republic representative Aleksey Karyakin said, adding that the meeting was quite difficult.

“We were able to substantially increase the number of OSCE observers in the conflict zone from 300 to 500,” he said.

The negotiations were also attended by Russia’s OSCE representatives.
Kiev, rebels exchange prisoners

On Saturday, the self-defense forces of the People’s Republic of Donetsk and Ukrainian security services exchanged prisoners in accordance with the “40 for 40” formula on Saturday.

The exchange took place near the village of Konstantinovka, situated 60 kilometers south of the city of Donetsk.

The third convoy of Russian humanitarian aid has also crossed the border into Ukraine, Itar-Tass reported. The convoy consists of around 200 vehicles carrying some 2,000 tons of aid to the residents of southeastern Ukraine – including cereals, canned food, generators, medicine, warm clothes, and bottled water.

Before the convoy’s departure, Ukrainian border guards had been repeatedly invited to inspect the cargo by the Russian side. However, the border patrol declined all offers without citing any particular reason.

Подготовка к отправке третьего гуманитарного конвоя в Ростовской области

DRAMATIC: Ukraine army and self-defense militia exchange bodies (VIDEO)

ukr2.si

Lugansk militiamen on a road waiting for Ukrainian troops. Still from AP video

 

Published time: June 19, 2014 11:14
Edited time: June 19, 2014 14:20

 

In an unprecedented move, Ukrainian self-defense forces and Kiev’s troops have carried out an exchange of dead bodies near Donetsk. However, a fragile ceasefire reached for the exchange was interrupted by shooting.

Waving a white cloth, self-defense forces of the Lugansk People’s Republic, wearing camouflage and masks, met Ukrainian troops on a road. The latter were also hold a white flag with a black ribbon over it.

The dramatic exchange took place at dawn in the eastern town of Karlivka, just outside Donetsk.

The Lugansk militiamen took the bodies of nine of their killed comrades and also 12 injured troops and handed the remains of over 100 of Kiev’s army fighters to the Ukrainian forces, “not counting those in the airport.”

Truck containing bodies passing by on road to Ukrainian side. Still from AP video

Truck containing bodies passing by on road to Ukrainian side. Still from AP video

 

The two sides managed to arrange a brief truce to hand over the bodies of Ukrainian troops, including those who died when the anti-Kiev troops shot down a transport plane over last weekend.

As a member of the anti-Kiev troops, who identified himself as Sova, says in the video, one of the trucks “holds 49 bodies of Ukrainian paratroopers who died near Lugansk airport. We didn’t receive anything in return in this handover,” he told AP. The bodies have been transported to the city of Dnepropetrovsk for post-mortem examination.

 

A Lugansk militiaman on road holding white flag, Ukrainian soldiers seen approaching from further down the road. Still from AP video

A Lugansk militiaman on road holding white flag, Ukrainian soldiers seen approaching from further down the road. Still from AP video

“We have fully complied with the terms of the agreement, letting them pick up their dead,” Lugansk People’s Republic representative Valery Bolotov said, adding that “it happened in Donetsk region and at our southern borders.”

ukr1

After the handover, Bolotov claimed that Ukrainian armed forces “demanded $5,000 for each body.”

The Ukrainian self-defense forces want to collect bodies from another region – near the town of Shchastye – but that is impossible so far, said Oleg Tarasyuk, a representative of the Lugansk People’s Republic.

The two sides are also holding negotiations to exchange prisoners, Bolotov said.

“Ukrainian army officials and prisoners’ relatives are constantly asking us for exchanges. We are considering their offers,” he said.

Death Toll: 100 civilians, fighters, killed in brutal battle, Donetsk E. Ukraine – anti-govt forces

EXTREMELY GRAPHIC VIDEO: Bodies of anti-Kiev fighters piled in Donetsk morgue

Up to 100 killed in Kiev military op, Donetsk E. Ukraine – anti-govt forces

More than 50 self-defense fighters and as many civilians have been killed since Ukrainian troops stepped up their offensive in the region on Monday, according to the PM of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Boroday.

“We’ve lost more than 50 self-defense fighters,” Boroday said, as cited by RIA Novosti. “Many of the casualties are a result of two Kamaz trucks having been shelled by the Ukrainian army. The trucks were driving the wounded from the battlefield near the airport. Around 15 people died there.”

Boroday spoke to journalists next to a morgue in Donestk where identification of the bodies is under way.

“Two of our Kamaz trucks were fired at from the air and from an ambush on the ground. Shooting the wounded runs contrary to all international conventions,” Boroday added.

He said the significant number of casualties could be explained by extensive use of air force by the Ukrainian military on Monday.

Chairman of the Donetsk People’s Republic Supreme council, Denis Pushilin, also estimated that around 100 people might have been killed by Ukrainian troops.

It’s still “impossible to pick up all of the dead bodies as snipers are shooting at anyone who tries to come near them,” Pushilin said.

Donetsk City Council, however, puts the number of casualties at 40, with the official statement released by its press office saying that “two civilians and 38 fighters died.”

Footage by LifeNews shows a truck full of dead bodies. Representatives of the self-defense squads say they cannot yet give the names of those killed; the process of identification has only just began.

“They were wounded. The car was driving them from a battlefield,” a masked representative of the self-defense forces in Donetsk told LifeNews. “First snipers shot the driver, then they fired point-blank at the rest from a shoulder-launcher. The survivors were then gunned down by Right Sector militants – no one in the truck survived.”

Also overnight, self-defense forces reported that Ukrainian military opened fire at an ambulance transporting two injured from the Donetsk airport. The doctors inside the ambulance were unharmed, deputy of Donbass’ self-defense forces, Sergey Tsypakov, told RIA Novosti. The two wounded remain in the ambulance and it is not possible to evacuate them at this point, he added.

This comes as the Ukrainian military is broadening its offensive against anti-Kiev forces in the southeast of the country.

donetsk-8

A Ukrainian helicopter Mi-24 gunship fires decoy flares over a residential area moments after attacking Donetsk international airport May 26, 2014. (Reuters / Yannis Behrakis)

The fighting in Donetsk continued throughout the night around the airport, which was on Monday taken under control by Ukrainian troops, after they unleashed fighter jets and helicopters at the armed self-defense forces, who occupied the airport earlier in the day.

Boroday claims the troops also suffered losses.

“They were on the offensive, that’s why their losses have not been that big. We intercept their conversations, they are demoralized and are counting on breaking through from the airport.”

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, however, denies any casualties on the army side.

“The airport is fully under control. The enemy sustained serious losses, we have none,” Avakov said on Tuesday, as cited by the ministry’s press service.

A self-defense fighter called Evgeny, wounded in the fighting at the airport, told RT the National Guard wasn’t just shooting at military targets.

“They occasionally turned their weapons away from us and started firing at two-storeyed buildings, private houses – they were demolishing first floors, and also shooting at a school.”

A video posted on YouTube reportedly shows Ukrainian jets attacking the area around the airport on Monday.

Airstrikes started after the self-defense forces failed to comply with the ultimatum put forward by Kiev’s troops, that is to surrender by 1pm local time, Vladislav Seleznyov, the head of the counter-terror operation said on his Facebook page.

The State Aviation Service halted air traffic through the airport till 9.00am local time Tuesday.

Loud explosions and gunfire were reported from Donetsk throughout the day, with Ukrainian army aircraft occasionally circling around the airport.

Reports of fighting outside the city airport also emerged. RT’s sources in Donetsk said a private housing area was being shelled by mortar fire “for over an hour.”

The body of a civilian lies on the ground outside a train station in Donetsk on May 26, 2014. (AFP Photo / Fabio Bucciarelli)

The body of a civilian lies on the ground outside a train station in Donetsk on May 26, 2014. (AFP Photo / Fabio Bucciarelli)

Also on Monday, at least three civilians were reportedly killed and several wounded when the Ukrainian military launched a mortar attack on the town of Slavyansk in eastern Ukraine.

 

The clashes in Donetsk began just a few hours after the early results of the elections were announced.

Ukrainian confectionary tycoon Pyotr Poroshenko is winning the presidential election in the first round of voting, having secured more than 50 percent of votes.

Government troops will go on with the military operation until not a single self-defense fighter “is left on the territory of Ukraine,” said Vice Premier Vitaly Yarema, as cited by RIA Novosti.

Yarema said the military operation was suspended on May 25, the day the presidential election was held in Ukraine.

“It has now been resumed, we saw the results yesterday,” Yarema said on Tuesday. He did not specify how long the operation might take.

President Putin once again urged “immediate termination of the military punitive operation in the southeastern regions [of Ukraine] and a launch of peaceful dialogue between Kiev and the regions,” says a statement issued on Tuesday by his press-service.

An anti-government fighter takes position behind a car as a truck full of self-defense forces heads towards the battle during clashes against Ukrainian forces near the airport in Donetsk on May 26, 2014. (AFP Photo / Fabio Bucciarelli)

An anti-government fighter takes position behind a car as a truck full of self-defense forces heads towards the battle during clashes against Ukrainian forces near the airport in Donetsk on May 26, 2014. (AFP Photo / Fabio Bucciarelli)