Kissinger warns of West’s ‘fatal mistake’ that may lead to new Cold War

 Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (Reuters / Gero Breloer / Pool)


Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (Reuters / Gero Breloer / Pool)

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has given a chilling assessment of a new geopolitical situation taking shape amid the Ukrainian crisis, warning of a possible new Cold War and calling the West’s approach to the crisis a “fatal mistake.”

The 91-year-old diplomat characterized the tense relations as exhibiting the danger of “another Cold War.”

“This danger does exist and we can’t ignore it,” Kissinger said. He warned that ignoring this danger any further may result in a “tragedy,” he told Germany’s Der Spiegel.

If the West wants to be “honest,” it should recognize, that it made a “mistake,” he said of the course of action the US and the EU adopted in the Ukrainian conflict. Europe and the US did not understand the “significance of events” that started with the Ukraine-EU economic negotiations that initially brought about the demonstrations in Kiev last year. Those tensions should have served as a starting point to include Russia in the discussion, he believes.

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin (Reuters / Kevin Lamarque)

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin (Reuters / Kevin Lamarque)

“At the same time, I do not want to say that the Russian response was proportionate,” the Cold War veteran added, saying that Ukraine has always had a “special significance” for Russia and failure to understand that “was a fatal mistake.”

Calling the sanctions against Moscow “counterproductive,” the diplomat said that they set a dangerous precedent. Such actions, he believes, may result in other big states trying to take “protective measures” and strictly regulate their own markets in future.

When introducing some sanctions or publishing lists of people whose accounts were frozen one should wonder “what will happen next?” the former Secretary of State said rhetorically, because when something begins you cannot lose sight of where it is going to end.

Kissinger also said he would expect more action from Berlin on matter. As the most “important” country in Europe it should be more “proactive” rather than reactive, he said.

 

 

Ten more questions Russian military pose to Ukraine, US over MH17 crash

10 more questions Russian military pose to Ukraine, US over MH17 crash

10 more questions Russian military pose to Ukraine, US over MH17 crash

 

RT news

Published time: July 21, 2014

Head of General Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov ( left) and chief of the Air Force Main Staff Lt. Gen. Igor Makushev ( right) at a media conference in Moscow, July 21 (RIA Novosti / Vadim Savitsky)

Russia has released military monitoring data, which shows Kiev military jets tracking the MH17 plane shortly before the crash – and posed yet another set of questions to Ukraine and the US over the circumstances of the tragedy.

Military officials – chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov and chief of the Air Force Main Staff Lt. Gen. Igor Makushev – posed a number of questions to Kiev and Washington concerning the possible causes of the catastrophe in Eastern Ukraine that killed almost 300 people last Thursday.

1. Why did the MH17 plane leave the international corridor?

“Please note that the plane stayed within the corridor until it reached Donetsk but then it deviated from the route to the north,” said Kartopolov.

2. Was MH17 leaving the route a navigation mistake or was the crew following instructions by Ukrainian air traffic controllers in Dnepropetrovsk?

“The maximum deviation from the left border of the corridor was 14 km. Following that, we can see the plane maneuvering to return to the corridor, yet the Malaysian crew did not get a chance to complete the maneuver. At 17.20, the plane began to lose speed, and at 17.23 it disappeared from Russian radars.”

3. Why was a large group of air defense systems deployed to the militia-held area if the self-defense forces have no planes?

“As far as we know, the Ukrainian military had three or four air defense battalions equipped with Buk-M1 SAM systems deployed in the vicinity of Donetsk on the day of the crash. This system is capable of hitting targets within the range of 35 km at the altitude of up to 22 km.”

Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 14, 2014. (RIA Novosti)

Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 14, 2014. (RIA Novosti)

4. Why did Kiev deploy BUK missile systems on the edge of militia-controlled zones directly before the tragedy?

“We have satellite photos of the places where Ukraine had its air defense units deployed in the southeastern parts of the country. The first three photos were made on July 14. The first photo shows Buk launchers 8 km northwest of Lugansk. You can clearly see a TELAR and two TELs. The second photo shows radars 5 km north of Donetsk. You can see two TARs along with other equipment and technical structures. The third photo shows air defense systems north of Donetsk. You can clearly see a TELAR launcher and about 60 military and auxiliary vehicles, tents for vehicles and other structures.

“Here’s a photo of the same area made on July 17. Please note that the launcher has disappeared. The fifth photo shows a battery of Buk missiles at the village of Zaroshchenskoye 50 km east of Donetsk and 8 km south of Shakhtyorsk on the morning of the same day. The sixth photo shows the same area on July 18. As you can see, the battery has left.”

No Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 17, 2014. (RIA Novosti)

No Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 17, 2014. (RIA Novosti)

5. On the day of the crash Kiev intensified Kupol-M1 9S18 radar activity, key BUK system components. Why?

“Also, July 17 saw increased activity on the part of Ukraine’s Kupol-M1 9S18 radars, which are part of the Buk system. Here on this chart you see that there were seven radars operating on July 15, eight radars operating on July 16, and nine radars operating on July 17 in the area. Then, starting with July 18, the intensity of radar activities radically decreased, and now there are no more than two or three radars operating a day. The reason behind this is yet to be found.”

6. What was a military plane doing on the route intended for civilian flights?

“There were three civilian planes in the area performing their regular flights at this time. There was a flight from Copenhagen to Singapore at 17:17, there was a flight from Paris to Taipei at 17:24, and then there was the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.”

“Also, Russian monitoring systems registered that there was a Ukrainian Air Force jet, probably Su-25, climbing and approaching the Malaysian Boeing.”

“The Su-25 was 3-5 km away from the Malaysian plane. Su-25 is capable of climbing to the altitude of 10,000 meters for a short period of time. Its standard armament includes R60 air-to-air missiles, which are capable of locking and hitting targets from 12 km and which are guaranteed to hit the target from the distance of 5 km.”

(RIA Novosti / Vadim Savitsky)

(RIA Novosti / Vadim Savitsky)

7. Why was the military jet flying at so close to a passenger plane?

“At 17:21’35, with [the Boeing’s] velocity having dropped to 200 kilometers per hour, a new mark detecting an airborne object appears at the spot of the Boeing’s destruction. This new airborne object was continuously detected for the duration of four minutes by the radar stations Ust-Donetsk and Buturinskaya. An air traffic controller requested the characteristics of the new airborne object, but was unable to get any readings on its parameters – most likely due to the fact that the new aircraft was not equipped with a secondary surveillance radar transponder, which is a distinctive feature of military aircraft,” said Makushev.

“Detecting the new aircraft became possible as it started to ascend. Further changes in the airborne object’s coordinates suggest that it was hovering above the Boeing 777’s crash site, monitoring of the situation.

“Ukrainian officials earlier claimed that there were no Ukrainian military aircraft in the area of the crash that day. As you can see, that is not true.”

8. Where did the launcher – from the video circulated by Western media and showing a Buk system being moved allegedly from Ukraine to Russia – come from? As the video was made on the territory controlled by Kiev, where was the launcher being transported?

“I’d like to say that the information we have presented here is based on objective and reliable data from various technical systems – unlike the groundless accusations made against Russia,” said Kartopolov.

 

9. Where is it right now? Why are some of the missiles missing on the launcher? When was the last time a missile was launched from it?

Screenshot from video posted on Ukraine’s Ministry of Interior account, showing a Buk system supposedly being moved from Ukraine to Russia with two out of three missiles.

Screenshot from video posted on Ukraine’s Ministry of Interior account, showing a Buk system supposedly being moved from Ukraine to Russia with two out of three missiles.

10. Why haven’t US officials revealed the evidence supporting claims that the MH17 was shot down by a missile launched by the militia?

“US officials claim they have satellite photographs proving the Malaysian airliner was shot down by a missile launched by the militia. But no one has seen these photographs so far. As far as we know, there was indeed a US satellite flying over southeastern Ukraine on July 17 from 17:06 to 17:21 Moscow time.

“This satellite is part of an experimental system designed to track and monitor the launches of missiles of various ranges. If our US colleagues have imagery from this satellite, they should release it for the international community to examine it in detail. This may be a coincidence, but the US satellite flew over Ukraine at exactly the same time when the Malaysian airliner crashed.”

Buk missile defense units in Zaroschinskoe, 50km south of Donetsk city and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk, on July 17, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

Buk missile defense units in Zaroschinskoe, 50km south of Donetsk city and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk, on July 17, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

This is not the first time Russia brings up questions on the plane crash. No explanations have followed with Kiev insisting they have full evidence of Russia being behind the attack, but so far only releasing tapes.

The USA, putting the blame on the self-defense forces, has yet refused to release any intelligence material. On Monday State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf described Russia’s statements as “propaganda and misinformation” – but when reporters asked her whether Washington would be releasing their intelligence and satellite data, Harf only replied “may be.” So far the US has been backing its statements by social media and “common sense.”

Buk missile defense units in Zaroschinskoe, 50km south of Donetsk city and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk, on July 17, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

Buk missile defense units in Zaroschinskoe, 50km south of Donetsk city and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk, on July 17, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

 

This is not the first time Russia brings up questions on the plane crash. No explanations have followed with Kiev insisting they have full evidence of Russia being behind the attack, but so far only releasing tapes.

The USA, putting the blame on the self-defense forces, has yet refused to release any intelligence material. On Monday State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf described Russia’s statements as “propaganda and misinformation” – but when reporters asked her whether Washington would be releasing their intelligence and satellite data, Harf only replied “may be.” So far the US has been backing its statements by social media and “common sense.”

Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Lavrov: No haste in MH17 tragedy probe, despite media hype

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk.(AFP Photo / Alexander Khudoteply)

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk.(AFP Photo / Alexander Khudoteply)

 

RT news

The report on the Malaysian jet crash is very “calm” and doesn’t provide much information about the tragedy, said Russian FM Sergey Lavrov. He added that despite all the hype around the crash, the investigators do not seem to be in a hurry.

In a Saturday interview to Russian channel TV-Center, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov revealed he was disappointed by the latest report from Dutch experts on the reasons of Malaysia airplane crash. Malaysian airplane with 298 people on board crashed in Donetsk region July 17. Many western media outlets started accusing Russia without providing any evidence.

MH17 broke up in mid-air due to external damage – Dutch preliminary report

However, despite the political tensions, the report provided by the Dutch Safety Board from September 9 is “calm” while the investigators are taking their time with the probe.

“There are no demands that experts resume their work at the crash site,” Lavrov said. “There were also no attempts to go there to collect, as they say, the wreckage and to see how the whole plane looked like. Nobody spoke about it out loud.”

At the same time, the only side who is the moment seems actively interested in going to the site of the crash is Malaysia, whose Defense Minister is planning a soon visit.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk.(AFP Photo / Alexander Khudoteply )

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk.(AFP Photo / Alexander Khudoteply )

The Dutch report said that the MH17 crash was the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that struck the Boeing from the outside.

“Flight MH17 with a Boeing 777-200 operated by Malaysia Airlines broke up in the air probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside,” the Dutch Safety Board said in its preliminary report.

“I hope that we will learn the truth, but it doesn’t depend on me,” Lavrov said, dismissing the accusations that traces of a Russian BUK missile system were detected at the crash site.

“There were many ‘fiction stories’ about BUK missiles,” said Lavrov. “But that very myth was debunked. This BUK was shown on the territory controlled by Kiev troops. There were many other far-fetched theories, some of them outright lies.”

The international experts have spent at least three weeks in Kiev and talked to Ukrainian authorities, but nobody cared to answer the questions posed by the Russian side, Russian FM added.

Lavrov said Moscow is readying one more set of questions, this time coming from Russian Air agencies, on the crash. A number of important steps required in such a probe have not been taken, he added.

“I don’t know why those things have not been done. Maybe someone is comfortable with the situation when right after the tragedy there were hysteric accusations towards the irregular forces in eastern Ukraine and Russia,” he concluded. “And now when the ‘propagandist cream’ has got removed, maybe those people do not really want to investigate the plane crash.”

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.(Reuters / Sergei Karpukhin)

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.(Reuters / Sergei Karpukhin)

US seeking maximal escalation in E. Ukraine

Russia is concerned with calls coming from the new Ukrainian leadership to abandon its neutral status and join NATO. Such a course in particular was proclaimed by the country’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk on August 29.

“I think he is acting not in the interest of his own people but of those who wanted to put an argument Russian and Ukrainian nations and drive a wedge between Russian and Europe,” Lavrov said.

According to Lavrov, Washington also wants to “get engaged” in the crisis.

ukraineArmy2

Ukrainian soldiers stand at a checkpoint near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk September 12, 2014.(Reuters / Gleb Garanich)

“The actions of almost all Ukrainian radicals and extremists, including the radicals in the leading positions, get carte blanche from the USA,” the minister said. “Washington has repeatedly showed that its goal is to aggravate the crisis at a maximal level and use Ukraine as a bargaining chip to isolate and weaken Russia.”

The calls urging to look at what’s happening objectively and step for national dialogue, reconciliation and respect of the minorities’ rights – the values West promotes in any other conflict – don’t work, Lavrov added.

According to Lavrov, “there are many ‘provocateurs’ in Ukraine’s leadership, but western authorities do nothing to “curb the radicals.”

Thus, Russia prefers to work with those who represent the Ukrainian president.

“The Russian president repeatedly said that he is satisfied how his direct contact with [Petro] Poroshenko started,” he said.

 

 

 

Obama & State Dept. contradict each other on ‘Russian troops in Ukraine’ – Putin’s spokesman

 

RT – Published time: September 03, 2014 20:23

Published time: September 03, 2014 20:23 Edited time: September 04, 2014 01:35

An east-Ukrainian rebel inspects a gun at a destroyed war memorial at Savur-Mohyla, a hill east of the city of Donetsk, August 28, 2014. (Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)

 

The US President says it is now “provable” that “Russian combat forces and tanks” moved into Ukraine. But Kremlin says Obama’s words are in conflict with the State Department that said it has no proof of Russian troops in the area.

A statement from the Russian president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov came in response to Barack Obama’s address to the Baltic States’ leader. Speaking ahead of NATO summit, President Obama said that the US has no doubt that Russian troops are involved in the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

“The Russian forces that have now moved into Ukraine aren’t on a ‘humanitarian’ or ‘peacekeeping mission.’ They are Russian combat forces with Russian weapons in Russian tanks. There are Russian warheads with Russian weapons and Russian tanks. Now, these are the facts. They are provable. They’re not subject to dispute,” Obama said at a press-conference in Tallinn.

However, this information comes into conflict with the recent statement of the US State Department, Peskov said.

“We have repeatedly said there are no Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine. While Obama says there can be no doubts about that, US Department of State officials say simultaneously with their president that the United States has no proof of Russian military presence in Ukraine. This situation underscores their reluctance to use facts,” the Russian president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Russian News Service radio station.

“It’s an obsession with attributing a negative role in the development of the Ukrainian crisis to Russia, and we strongly object to this,” Kremlin’s spokesman added.

 

Press conference by Vladimir Putin

On Tuesday the US State Department spokeswoman told reporters that the US does not have “anything new to confirm” that Russian military moved into Ukraine.

The only information the US has on the movement of Russian troops across the Ukrainian border was “confirmed” last week, Jen Psaki said, referring to NATO’s satellite images released as a “proof” of Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine.

Remember Iraq? Former US intel officers warn Merkel against NATO images of Ukraine

The images were ridiculed by Russia’s Defense Ministry, while an alliance of seven former US intelligence officers – the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) – said the evidence produced by NATO from the Ukrainian-Russian border was on a par with the “same dubious, politically ‘fixed’ kind used 12 years ago to ‘justify’ the US-led attack on Iraq.”

‘Many of our comrades can’t look quietly’

On Wednesday, Russian veterans have called to end speculations around those Russian men who voluntarily joined east-Ukrainian rebels in the fight against Kiev.

“These are not adventurers, not criminals, not mercenaries, these are Russian people, who have it already laid down in their genes: to help our friendly nations in a difficult situation. We understand that this internal conflict or civil war in Ukraine is not Russia’s business. But this way Russia [through volunteers] has a right to help,” said Colonel-General Valery Vostrotin, the chairman of the Council of the Moscow Department “Battle Brotherhood”.

Several veterans’ organizations have issued a statement in which they explained what makes them, retired military servicemen, take arms again.

“Many of our comrades can’t look quietly [at what is happening in Ukraine] and take part in this conflict,” Igor Shevchuk, a veteran of Alpha special forces, said.

alpha

A retired Russian officer Vladimir Melnik is one of those men. He is now undergoing treatment in Moscow after being injured in leg in Ukraine.

He does not call himself a hero. For him, born and raised in the Donetsk region, when it still was part of the USSR, supporting rebels in his native land is a duty. His relatives and friends still leave there. Melnik says he could not leave them in trouble.

“If somebody intrudes into you house, starts killing your brothers, your sisters, raping your women, killing your children and rob elders how would you react to this? I understand that this is, primarily, a spiritual struggle; looking at what is happening in the world today, I would not like to stand and watch as our Orthodox people are being killed in their own home,” he says.

melnikov

Melkin says there are many volunteers – former military personnel like him – fighting along with self-defense forces in the south-east of Ukraine.

“There are many of us and more people were ready to come. For now, Thank God, we are coping [with the situation] with the tools we have,” Melnik says.

When asked if he was paid or offered anything for coming to Ukraine, he says: “If I came to my father and said: Dad, I’m here to protect you from fascists for money, he would not understand me, neither would others. I wouldn’t have any respect to myself as well.”

Melnik says it was tough for eastern Ukrainian men “to leave their mines” and take arms, but now, thanks to the experience which people with military background shared, they “understand more.”

Asked about military equipment, Melnik confesses that everything rebels have is old, “from the Soviet time”, but this is enough to hold the fort.

“It is not difficult to find arms in Ukraine,” he says. “There are many ammunition depots left after the Soviet Union. It is old, from Soviet times. Yes, guys had to repair some of it or replace some of the details, but it works.”

 

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OSCE: No armed men crossing Ukraine border

OSCE’s observer mission has indicated in its latest report that it has not witnessed any Russian troops or tanks crossing the border into Ukraine.

What it did record, however, was an increased presence of unmanned aerial vehicles and young men and women crossing from Russia into Ukraine unarmed.

There has been “increased military activity principally of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the vicinity of the Border Crossing Points,” OSCE said in the weekly update from August 28 to September 3.

“Throughout the week, the OTs [Observer Teams] noticed a net increase of young people (both men and women) wearing military-style dress crossing the border in both directions but did not observe any weapons among these groups.”

OSCE noted that supporters of self-defense forces said they are not allowed to cross the border with weapons. But once they cross into Ukraine, weapons can be obtained from self-defense forces.

The observer mission added that situation in Lugansk remains “dire.” OSCE cites accounts of “severe destruction caused by artillery fire which resulted in the interruption of water, gas and electricity supplies, the latter apparently unavailable for more than five weeks in some areas including Lugansk city itself.”

NATO/US: Don’t F-UP with Russia, Learn from a ‘United Continent’ with European volunteers fighting Kiev troops in Eastern Ukraine

French fighter Guillaume. Screenshot from RT video

French fighter Guillaume. Screenshot from RT video

European volunteers are streaming into Ukraine to join the fighting on both sides. While Kiev’s forces are beefed up with mercenaries from private military companies, Europeans have also come to defend the rebel Donbass region of their own free will.

One of the latest reinforcements of anti-Kiev troops in Eastern Ukraine are four French ex-serviceman who have come to fight this war, thousands of kilometers from home.

“It’s our war. It’s everybody’s war, it’s every European’s war,” Guillaume, a French fighter in Ukraine defending the Donbass region, told RT’s Paula Slier.

Another volunteer, 25-year-old Nikola, used to be a professional soldier with the elite French mountain troops for five years. Now he’s putting his skills to good use in Ukraine. Alongside a contingent of other foreign volunteers, he’s training anti-Kiev forces in urban guerilla warfare.

“These are people’s militias, these are not mercenaries or professional soldiers, so they need instruction,” Nikola told RT.

“They really have the motivation, whereas the Kiev army, which is a kind of puppet of NATO, they don’t have any motivation whatsoever,” Nikola said. “We have seen them before. They are very much unmotivated and they do not really know why they are fighting, and against whom they are fighting, so that is our main strength.”

French fighter Nikola

French fighter Nikola. Screenshot from RT video

The French volunteer explained that the presence of European volunteers among Ukraine’s rebels carrying out what they call “a military operation for protecting civilians” in the country’s east is symbolic.

“For many of these people from the west, it’s their first time to come and defend what is considered by western governments a bad cause, or the bad guys’ cause. So it’s very important to show that people from the west are distinct from their governments and they are ready to come and fight and risk their lives to defend another world,” Nikola said.

And more and more overseas fighters are signing up and joining the anti-Kiev troops.

RT’s Paula Slier found out that volunteers are coming to the Donetsk frontline not just from France, but also from Spain, Poland, Israel and the United Kingdom.

Aleksey Mozgovoy, the commander of ‘Prizrak’ (Ghost) brigade from the Lugansk Region said in an interview to the MK.ru news outlet that in his 1,000-strong battalion there are fighters from Bulgaria, Slovakia and Germany.

One of the largest international forces fighting against Kiev’s troops is a unit of volunteers from Serbia, according to the interview. The ‘Jovan Shevich’ squadron allegedly consists of 250 fighters and is actively operating in the Lugansk Region.

Milutin Malisic, a member of a Serbian Chetnik paramilitary group. (Reuters / Thomas Peter)

Milutin Malisic, a member of a Serbian Chetnik paramilitary group. (Reuters / Thomas Peter)

Earlier this week, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, revealed in an interview to Russian media that up to 4,000 Russian citizens, many of them ex-servicemen, have joined anti-government fighters during Kiev’s crackdown in Ukraine’s east.

“Without them, it would hard for us to go on with our fighting,” Zakharchenko said, stressing that at the moment many of Russian citizens have already returned back home.

The latest developments in the warfare in Eastern Ukraine, where up to 7,000 Ukrainian troops and National Guards units have been entrapped in three separate encirclements, give hope to the rebel forces.

“We believe that the Ukrainian army will not be able to last until winter or even fall, because each day that goes by they lose money, they lose motivation, they lose manpower, they lose ammo. So each day that goes by, they grow weaker, while we grow stronger,” French fighter Guillaume told RT.

Europe now finds itself between a rock and a hard place: What to do as more of its young men sign up to fight against its ally?

“Legally, we do not see what the French government can do to us because first of all, we are not paid, so we’re not mercenaries, we’re not terrorists, we’re not jihadists, and of course it’s a mission of information, it’s a political mission, it’s a mission of soft power,” Victor Lenfa, Commander of the French team in Ukraine, told RT.

Commander of the French team in Ukraine Victor Lenfa. Screenshot from RT video

Commander of the French team in Ukraine Victor Lenfa. Screenshot from RT video

And this mission is growing stronger as a brigade of Western volunteers is now being put together under the name “United Continent.”

Foreign mercenaries in Kiev’s service

After the UN Security Council on Thursday blocked Russia’s statement calling for a ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine under a completely frivolous pretext, Russia’s envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin had a heated debate with colleagues from the US and Ukraine, who again accused Russia of a full-scale invasion as a large number of Russian volunteers are fighting in Ukraine.

Vitaly Churkin fired back, saying that nobody ever tried to hide the presence of Russian volunteers, urging Washington to acknowledge the presence of US advisers in Kiev and why mercenaries from private military companies are waging war in Ukraine.

“Maybe our American colleagues can tell us what tens of American advisers are busy with in the headquarters of National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine [in Kiev]? Let them tell us how many American mercenaries from the so-called “security provider” companies are fighting [in Ukraine], thousands of kilometers from their home ground?” demanded Churkin, not forgetting to mention first-rate US-made armaments observed in Ukrainian units.

Exactly one month ago, Russia’s Rossyiskaya Gazeta daily quoted Igor Strelkov, the former Defense Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, who claimed that as of the end of July, self-defense militia had eliminated up to 330 mercenaries representing a number of foreign private military companies.

Strelkov specified the casualties from each of them, saying that Polish private military company ASBS (Analizy Systemowe Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz) Othago lost 139 mercenaries, American Greystone Ltd, a subsidiary of Vehicle Services Company LLC belonging to Blackwater/XE/Academi, lost 40 fighters, while Academi itself lost 125 personnel.

 

Американские наёмники уже в Донецке!! [American mercenaries already in Donetsk !!

 

 

 Удачи в борцами за свободу!

 

‘No Russian troops in Ukraine’: Moscow’s OSCE rep responds to Kiev’s claim

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.(RIA Novosti / Alexei Druzhinin)

Published time: August 28, 2014 10:27
Edited time: August 28, 2014 14:36

“I think that only among Russians is there a heightened feeling of sorrow and human misfortune, only they are able to travel to any part of the world, die, fight for the independence and freedom of people.”  ~ Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko

The OSCE was told there was no Russian presence spotted across the Ukraine border, refuting Thursday’s claims that a full-scale invasion was underway. Both the Ukrainian monitoring team head and Russia’s representative have given a firm ‘no.’

The chorus of allegations about Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine had President Poroshenko calling for an emergency meeting of the country’s security and defense council, while Prime Minister Yatsenyuk on Thursday called for a Russian asset freeze.

No actual evidence has been given either by either foreign governments or the media, apart from claims that photographs exist that someone had “seen.”

“I have made a decision to cancel my working visit to the Republic of Turkey due to sharp aggravation of the situation in Donetsk region, particularly in Amvrosiivka and Starobeshevo, as Russian troops were brought into Ukraine,”Petro Poroshenko said in a statement on his website.

The Russian representative to the OSCE Andrey Kelin, meanwhile, has given a firm response to the allegations, saying that “we have said that no Russian involvement has been spotted, there are no soldiers or equipment present.”

“Accusations relating to convoys of armored personnel carriers have been heard during the past week and the week before that,” he said. “All of them were proven false back then, and are being proven false again now.”

Poroshenko, in the meantime, is going to call for a meeting of the UN Security Council. “The world must provide assessment of sharp aggravation of the situation in Ukraine,” he added.

The Ukrainian president added that on Thursday there will be a meeting of the Security and Defense Council of Ukraine to elaborate the plan for further action.

“The President must stay in Kyiv today,” he said.

Given the confusion arising out of the recent capture of Russian paratroopers and the subsequent videos with interviews released by the Ukrainian security services, tensions were easily stoked over Thursday’s supposed invasion. Now, the government is going to the US, EU and the G7 to ask for a freeze on Russian assets until their troops withdraw.

Russian soldiers captured in Ukraine say they ‘were lost’ in Kiev-released video

Members of Ukrainian volunteer battalion Dnipro stand as they patrol near the small southern Ukrainian city of Novoazovsk, Donetsk region, on August 27, 2014.(AFP Photo / Alexander Khudoteply)

Members of Ukrainian volunteer battalion Dnipro stand as they patrol near the small southern Ukrainian city of Novoazovsk, Donetsk region, on August 27, 2014.(AFP Photo / Alexander Khudoteply)

Meanwhile, the OSCE has announced that it’s calling an emergency meeting in Vienna – for the second time in August.

When the head of its Ukraine mission, Paul Picard, was asked if the monitoring team saw any evidence of Russia crossing the border with troops and tanks, the answer was “no.” He told journalists of round-the-clock surveillance by a team of 16 people. The team said “we are hearing shooting, but it’s difficult to tell just how far.”

This didn’t stop the Ukrainian government from alleging that the border town of Novoazovsk in the south-east has fallen under Russian control – a mix of troops and members of the eastern-Ukrainian uprising.

Ukraine’s own representative to the OSCE, Ihor Prokopchuk also said that “what we registered was a direct invasion of the Russian military into the eastern regions of Ukraine… an act of aggression.”

For his part, Russian envoy Kelin said“We only know that the mayor of Novoazovsk said that after 10 rounds of artillery were heard, the Ukrainian soldiers retreated from the city, and the self-defense forces entered,”.

He added that “the Ukrainian ambassador has offered no claims to counter this information.”

The Western media has been exploding with allegations, with everyone from the CNN to the New York Times going about the task in a very similar manner: quoting Ukrainian politicians’ views on Russia, as well as US figures, the ambassador to Ukraine and the State Department. One similarity could be spotted: they all centered on passionate statements – no evidence – and were followed by a big background into things that took place over the past week.

Whenever there was any mention of someone actually seeing Russian tanks, it seemed a mobile phone was never on hand to take a photograph.

Only Russian volunteers fighting with anti-Kiev forces – Donetsk Republic leader

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Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko.(RIA Novosti / Mikhail Voskresenskiy)

 

About 3-4,000 Russian citizens joined anti-government fighters during Kiev crackdown in Ukraine’s east, says the leader of Donetsk independent republic, noting that self-defense fighters have never concealed this fact.

“They [Russian volunteers] are among us, people of Donbass [Region, eastern Ukraine] because we are blood brothers,” said the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, in an interview to Russian media.

“There is no secret that among the volunteers from Russia there are many military men. They are fighting together with us because they understand that it’s their duty,” he added.

According to the Donetsk PM, some of the volunteers returned home to Russia, others stayed in eastern Ukraine.

“Unfortunately, some of [the Russian volunteers] were killed,” said Zakharchenko.

He explained why he thinks Russian volunteers are joining self-defense forces in eastern Ukraine.

“I think that only among Russians is there a heightened feeling of sorrow and human misfortune, only they are able to travel to any part of the world, die, fight for the independence and freedom of people.”

Men near the destroyed checkpoint "Dolzhansky" in Lugansk region.(RIA Novosti / Mikhail Voskresenskiy)

Men near the destroyed checkpoint “Dolzhansky” in Lugansk region.(RIA Novosti / Mikhail Voskresenskiy)

He added that Russian volunteers prefer “to spend their summer holidays not at the seaside, but among their brothers who are fighting for the freedom of Donbass [Region, eastern Ukraine].”

Zakharchenko said that Kiev authorities and Western countries are repeatedly talking about a Russian ‘military invasion’ to justify the mass defeats of the Ukrainian army in the country’s east.

Since Kiev launched its ‘anti-terrorist’ operation against eastern Ukrainian regions in April, Ukraine has faced a violent internal conflict and humanitarian catastrophe.

United Nations data released Tuesday, over 2,249 people have so far been killed and over 6,033 wounded in the fighting in eastern Ukraine. The number of internally-displaced Ukrainians has reached 190,000, with another 207,000 finding refuge in Russia, the UN said.

 Over 60 Ukrainian troops cross into Russia seeking refuge

A group of 62 Ukrainian troops have crossed into Russia’s Rostov Region seeking shelter to save their lives amid an intensified counteroffensive recently launched by anti-Kiev militia in southeastern Ukraine.

“Today, 62 servicemen of the Ukrainian Armed Forces turned to Russian border guards asking to let them into the Russian territory near Russia’s settlement of Shramko, Matveyevo-Kurgansky district, with the aim to save their lives,” the spokesman for the FSB’s border guard office in the Rostov Region, Nikolay Sinitsyn, told Itar-Tass news agency on Wednesday.

They were allowed to cross and provided with a transit corridor on the principles of humanism, but only after they left their weapons on the Ukrainian side of the border, Sinitsyn added.

This case became the latest in a series of similar incidents where a total of over 500 Ukrainian troops crossed into Russia since July seeking refuge and medical help.

Earlier this week, Ukraine released videos showing alleged Russian paratroopers captured on Ukrainian territory. Russian Defense Ministry sources were saying that they probably crossed the border by mistake during a routine patrol of an area which wasn’t manned. President Putin, when asked about the issue said he hoped it won’t be blown out of proportion, since Ukrainian troops regularly cross into Russian territory, sometimes in armored vehicles and were never charged with anything and always allowed to return to Ukraine freely.

Kiev’s renewed accusations of Russian military’s alleged operations on Ukrainian territory are “nothing new,” says Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, adding that Russia regularly refutes such reports. Meanwhile Kiev says it has launched a preliminary investigation into the detained men on suspicion of “aiding terrorist groups.”

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This combination of handout pictures released by Ukrainian security service (SBU) press service on August 26, 2014 purportedly shows Russian paratroopers captured by Ukrainian forces near the village of Dzerkalne, Donetsk region (AFP Photo / SBU Press-Service / Str)

Ukraine’s own troops in the meantime are also facing prosecution, with General Prosecutor’s office announcing on Wednesday that 1,083 criminal proceeding had been launched since the beginning of the so-called anti-terrorist operation, with people being charged for “disobedience, unauthorized abandonment of a military unit or place of service, desertion, evasion of military service in another way, and so on.”

Anti-Kiev militia in the meantime announced that almost 90 Ukrainian troops laid down their arms and surrendered on Wednesday alone, following at least 129 the day before, Ria reports.

On Sunday, the main headquarters of the Donetsk People’s Republic announced that it had launched a counteroffensive against Kiev’s “punitive forces” in the region, blocking and surrounding many of the military and paramilitary units.

The military equipment captured from local army depots and those forces surrendering en masse has allowed militia to form 2 tank battalions, 3 multiple launcher rocket system batteries, 2 self-propelled howitzer batteries, 3 cannon battalions of various calibers and 8 mortar batteries, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Donetsk People’s Republic Aleksander Zakharchenko told the press at the time.