Thursday, April 17, 2014
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2014.04.15 01:32:12

At least 100 pro-Russian separatists attacked the police headquarters in the east Ukraine city of Horlivka on Monday, a witness told Reuters news agency.

Video footage streamed on the internet showed crowds gathered outside the police headquarters (HQ) building. Men are seen throwing objects at the building and the audio of loud bangs are heard, followed by white smoke filling the air.

Footage also showed crowds entering the building, the building's broken windows and the raising of a flag on the roof which was greeted by loud cheers from those gathered outside.

A man in military-style clothing spoke to the crowds, announcing a new head of the regional department of internal affairs. His announcement was received with cheers and applause. [Reuters]

  Ukraine | Russia
Comments 0 Hits: 67  

2014.04.15 01:31:18

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that it is in Russia's interests that Ukraine be united, and all its citizens should be equal.


  Ukraine | Russia
Comments 0 Hits: 58  

2014.04.15 01:30:24

Ukraine's president Oleksandr Turchinov has said Kiev leadership is "not against" a referendum being held in eastern Ukraine at the same time as presidential elections.

Turchinov said he was sure a majority of Ukrainians in the referendum would support a "independent, democratic, and unitary Ukraine".

He added that the "anti-terrorist" operation with the Ukrainian army will begin, and the Donbass region "will soon be stabilized".


Comments 0 Hits: 54  

2014.04.15 01:29:08

China and Germany both have an interest in the Crimea issue not setting a precedent, Germany' foreign minister has said after a meeting with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing.

"The developments in Ukraine are of great concern, and both China and Germany have an interest in ensuring that what we have seen in Crimea doesn't set a precedent," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Monday.


  Ukraine | Russia | Crimea | Germany | China
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2014.04.15 01:27:40

Hezbollah-owned Al-Manar TV says three of its journalists have been killed after they came under attack in the Syrian town of Maaloula.

The station says the three were filming in the historic Christian town Monday after it was seized by the Syrian army.

The TV said "armed gunmen" opened fire on the crew, using a term often employed by Syrian authorities to refer to rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad.

It identified the three as reporter Hamza al-Haj Hassan, technician, Halim Allaw, and cameraman Mohammed Mantash. A number of their colleagues were wounded, it said.


  Syria | Hezbollah
Comments 0 Hits: 60  

2014.04.15 01:25:42

The deadline from the Ukrainian government for protesters in the eastern town of Slovyansk has passed without a reply.


Comments 0 Hits: 51  

2014.04.15 01:14:38

Regime forces take rebel-held towns of Sarkha and Maaloula as they seek to cut their supply lines across the border.

Click here to read more.

  Syria | Lebanon
Comments 0 Hits: 73  

2014.04.15 01:13:03

The US has accused Russia of orchestrating ongoing separatist violence in Ukraine, as Kiev said it was preparing a "full-scale" operation against pro-Russian forces which have overrun municipalities in several eastern cities.

To read the full story click here.

  Ukraine | Russia | United States
Comments 0 Hits: 53  

2014.04.15 01:11:04

The UN's top human rights official has condemned the "rampant use of torture" in detention facilities in Syria.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said on Monday that her office has documented a "broad pattern of torture and ill-treatment" in government facilities as well as some run by rebel groups.

The report draws on detailed testimony from victims and witnesses, Pillay added. The abuses include rape, beatings and burnings, sometimes leading to death. [AP]

Comments 0 Hits: 64  

2014.04.15 01:10:13

A student was shot dead Monday during clashes between supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi and police in Cairo University, security officials said.

Clashes erupted when student supporters of Morsi staged protests on university grounds, the officials said, adding that police fired tear gas at from outside the campus and arrested 13 demonstrators.

Clashes were also reported in the University of Zagazig, north of Cairo, where three students were wounded and three were arrested.

Student backers of Morsi have regularly protested on university campuses as a police crackdown on the ousted leader's supporters has weakened their ability to stage large street protests.

A journalist was wounded while covering the clashes in Cairo University, his employer and witnesses said.

Youm 7, an independent newspaper, said Khaled Hussein was shot in the chest.


  Egypt | Muslim Brotherhood | Mohamed Morsi
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2014.04.15 01:09:07

Syrian regime forces retook the ancient Christian hamlet of Maalula in Damascus province on Monday, four months after mainly Islamist rebels overran it, a security official told AFP news agency.

"The army has taken full control of Maalula and restored security and stability. Terrorism has been defeated in Qalamun," the official said, referring to the region in which Maalula is located.

The recapture comes after a string of successes of the regime in the strategic Qalamun region, including the seizure of the former rebel bastion of Yabrud last month. [AFP]

Comments 0 Hits: 57  

2014.04.15 01:08:10

The Egyptian Al Ahram newspaper is reporting that two Egyptian journalists were shot and injured while covering clashes at Cairo University between security forces and students.

One student was killed during the Monday clashes, local media said.

Comments 0 Hits: 54  

2014.04.15 00:51:01

Egypt's ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday officially submitted his bid to run for president, with his lawyer handing over the required documents to the authorities, a spokesman said.

The 59-year-old had declared his intention to run for president in late March.

"Lawyer Abu Shoqa submitted the required documents on behalf of Sisi that include endorsements by citizens, medical reports, and an application for his candidacy," Ahmed Kamel told AFP news agency.

Under Egyptian law, candidates hoping to run for president need to collect at least 25,000 signatures.

"Sisi has already received more than 460,000 signatures from citizens across the country endorsing his candidacy," said Kamel.

The electoral commission is to announce the final field of candidates on May 2, and official campaigning starts a day later

  Egypt | Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
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2014.04.15 00:49:09

Syrian opposition activists have posted photographs and video that they say shows an improvised chlorine bomb to back up claims that President Bashar al-Assad's forces used chemical weapons in two attacks last week.

Rebels and the government have blamed each other for the alleged poison gas attacks on Friday and Saturday on rebel-held Kfar Zeita village in the central province of Hama, 201 km north of Damascus.

Both sides said chlorine gas - a deadly agent widely used in World War I - had been used. The gas, which has industrial uses, is not on a list of chemical weapons that Assad declared to the global chemical weapons watchdog last year for destruction.

It is a so-called dual-use chemical, which would have to be declared to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), a spokesman said. [Reuters]

Comments 0 Hits: 49  

2014.04.15 00:40:46

It appears Power was echoing a State Department statement issued earlier, entitled "Evidence of Russian Support for Destabilization of Ukraine".

"Many of the militants were outfitted in bullet-proof vests and camouflage uniforms with insignia removed and carrying Russian-origin weapons.

"These operations bear many similarities to those that were carried out in Crimea in late February and culminated in Russia's illegal military intervention and purported annexation of Crimea.

"The events of April 12 strongly suggest that in eastern Ukraine, Russia is now using the
same tactics that it used in Crimea in order to foment separatism, undermine Ukrainian sovereignty, and exercise control over its neighbor in contravention of Russia's obligations under international law.

  Ukraine | Russia | United States
Comments 0 Hits: 46  

2014.04.15 00:36:56

Oleksandr Turchynov, Ukraine's interim president, blames Russia for violence in the east of his country and says a "large-scale anti-terrorist operation" will be launched against pro-Russian armed groups.

Gunmen remain in control of government buildings in a number of eastern towns and cities.

Turchynov said pro Russian groups have until Monday to lay down their weapons.

  Ukraine | Russia
Comments 0 Hits: 43  

2014.04.15 00:35:43

In the eastern regions of Ukraine, the Russian special service and saboteurs embarked on the large-scale separatist operations to seize power, destabilize the situation threatening the lives of citizens of Ukraine, as well as the separation of the regions of our country.

In order to protect the lives of people, territorial integrity and security of the State, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine has decided to launch an anti-terrorist operation against those who attempt to destroy our country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has all the necessary concrete evidence of the involvement of the Russian special service into the separatist revolt and capture of state institutions in the eastern regions of Ukraine. The relevant information and evidence will be presented to the international community at the meeting on April 17 in Geneva.

Comments 0 Hits: 36  

2014.04.15 00:24:02

The UN Security Council has called an emergency meeting at Russia's request to discuss the growing crisis in Ukraine.

Russia's UN mission sent a text message to reporters saying a closed meeting of the Security Council would begin at 8 pm on Sunday (0000 GMT). The Russian mission said it had requested the meeting.

The President of the Security Council confirmed in an email that members have been invited to attend "informal consultations" on Ukraine on Sunday evening.

The meeting comes as the new Ukrainian government declared it would deploy armed forces to quash an increasingly bold pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

Ukrainian special forces exchanged gunfire with a pro-Russia militia in an eastern city on Sunday morning, with at least one security officer killed and five others wounded. [AP]

Comments 0 Hits: 37  

2014.04.15 00:22:39

Ukraine's ousted president has accused the CIA of being behind the new Ukrainian government's decision to deploy armed forces to quash an increasingly brazen pro-Russian insurgency.

Speaking late on Sunday on Russian state television, Viktor Yanukovich claimed that CIA director John Brennan had met with Ukraine's new leadership and "in fact sanctioned the use of weapons and provoked bloodshed."

There was no independent confirmation that Brennan was in Ukraine or in any way involved in the decision to send troops to eastern Ukraine, where armed pro-Russia men have seized a number of government buildings. [AP]

Yanukovich also told journalists referring to the events in the eastern city of Slovyansk:

Blood was spilt today. Now our country finds itself in a totally new situation - with one foot in the door of a civil war. The Kiev junta has issued a criminal order to use armed forces and the army against the protesters. During my time in Kiev, we never used such methods against radicals or extremists.

[Russia Today]

Yanukovich is blamed for authorizing Berkut riot police to shoot at anti-government protesters in the Independence Square of Kiev during anti-government demonstrations that ousted him in February.

Comments 0 Hits: 42  

2014.04.14 03:14:21

Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that an announcement by the authorities in Kiev that they will mobilize the army to put down a rebellion by pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine was a "criminal order".

The ministry said the West should bring its allies in Ukraine's government under control. "It is now the West's responsibility to prevent civil war in Ukraine," it said in a statement posted on Facebook.

It also said that Russia would put an urgent discussion of the situation in eastern Ukraine on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council.

The statement said:

The situation in southeastern Ukraine is taking on an extremely dangerous character. The authorities in Kiev, who put themselves in power as a result of a coup d'etat, have set a course to use force to put down popular protests.

"We decisively condemn attempts to use brute force against protesters and activists ... We are particularly indignant about the criminal order of (Ukrainian Acting President Oleksander Turchinov) to use the army to put down protest."

The statement said the West had sponsored the rulers in Kiev and should now "rein in its out-of-control proteges, force them to distance themselves from neo-Nazis and other extremists, stop using armed force against the Ukrainian people, and immediately start a genuine dialogue". [Reuters]

  Ukraine | Russia
Comments 0 Hits: 117  

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