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August 14, 2016

Ukrainian troops on Crimean border on high alert after rising tension with Russia

Ukrainian troops on Crimean border on high alert after rising tension with Russia

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

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Ukrainian troops on the Crimean border were put on full combat alert on Thursday, said Ukrainian officials, after tensions rose between Russia and Ukraine over the preceding several days.

Location of Crimea and Ukraine in Europe.

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed on Wednesday to have captured over the preceding weekend a group of Ukrainian saboteurs with 20 explosive devices; amid Russian accusations of Ukrainian military actions in Crimea, an area Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. A video on Russian state television allegedly showed one Yevyen Panov confessing to be part of the Ukrainian military, in Crimea to commit “acts of sabotage”. The FSB claimed in foiling the plot a Russian soldier and a secret service agent died. Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine, put his own troops on high alert, suggesting the accusations were just preparing an excuse for further military actions against Ukraine.

Sergey Aksyonov, appointed head of Crimea by Russia, stated to Russian state media: “With saboteurs I think we should act as farmers do with crows who spoil the crops. Kill them and hang their bodies at the border to put off others, and make them understand that Russia will not allow anyone to risk the lives of peaceful citizens or servicemen in Crimea”, while Poroshenko compared Russia’s actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine to the Great Terror in which Stalin sent perhaps a million political dissidents to their deaths.



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August 12, 2016

Tenions rise between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea

Tenions rise between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea

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Friday, August 12, 2016}

Tensions have risen between Russia and Ukraine over the past few days with accusations from Russia that Ukrainian forces has been carrying out armed incursions into Crimea, that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

map of Ukrainian conflict

Last weekend the Russian security services(FSB) claimed to have captured a group of Ukrainian saboteurs with 20 explosive devices. Russian state television showed a video of a man called Yevyen Panov confessing to be part of the Ukrainian army in Crimea to commit “acts of sabotage”. In the process of foiling this plot it has been reported that a Russian soldier and secret services agent have died. Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine has claimed that there are 30,000 Russian troops on the Russia Ukraine boarder, and has put his own troops into high alert.

The hostilities were also exchanged with words . The undemocratic head of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov told Russian state media “With saboteurs I think we should act as farmers do with crows who spoil the crops. Kill them and hang their bodies at the border to put off others, and make them understand that Russia will not allow anyone to risk the lives of peaceful citizens or servicemen in Crimea” while Poroshenko compared Russia`s actions in Crimea to the great terror in which Stalin sent up to 1 million political dissidents and others to their deaths.



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Tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea

Tensions rise between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Tensions have risen between Russia and Ukraine over the past few days, with Ukrainian troops on the boarder with Crimea being put on alert yesterday.

map of Ukrainian conflict

Last weekend the Russian security services(FSB) claimed to have captured a group of Ukrainian saboteurs with 20 explosive devices among Russian accusations of armed incursions into Crimea, an area that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Russian state television showed a video of a man called Yevyen Panov confessing to be part of the Ukrainian army in Crimea to commit “acts of sabotage”. In the process of foiling this plot it has been reported that a Russian soldier and secret services agent have died. Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine has claimed that there are 30,000 Russian troops on the Russia Ukraine boarder, and has put his own troops into high alert, suggesting that the accusations were just preparing an excuse for further military actions against Ukraine.

The hostilities were also exchanged with words . The undemocratic head of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov told Russian state media “With saboteurs I think we should act as farmers do with crows who spoil the crops. Kill them and hang their bodies at the border to put off others, and make them understand that Russia will not allow anyone to risk the lives of peaceful citizens or servicemen in Crimea” while Poroshenko compared Russia`s actions in Crimea to the great terror in which Stalin sent up to 1 million political dissidents and others to their deaths.



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December 14, 2015

UEFA Euro 16 draw takes place in Paris

UEFA Euro 16 draw takes place in Paris – Wikinews, the free news source

UEFA Euro 16 draw takes place in Paris

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Monday, December 14, 2015

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On Saturday evening, UEFA Euro 2016 draw took place at the Palais des Congrès in Paris; UEFA Euro 2016 is scheduled to be hosted in France. 24 nations were grouped in six groups, with the host nation getting Group A. The quadrennial football tournament of Europe is scheduled to start in June 2016, the matches to be played in ten French cities.

England had the first draw, and went to Group B. Interestingly, Wales also drew into Group B. World Cup winners Germany got Group C. Polish national captain Robert Lewandowski, who recently scored a brace against Croatian Dinamo Zagreb for Bayern Munich, would be facing his Bayern Munich teammate Thomas Müller in a Group C match.

Two-time defending Champions Spain got the D. Netherlands did not qualify for the first time since 1984 after a shocking exit in the qualifying match.

In full, groups drew as follows:

Group A, France, Romania, Albania, Switzerland.
Group B, England, Russia, Wales, Slovakia.
Group C, Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Northern Ireland.
Group D, Spain, Czech Republic, Turkey, Croatia.
Group E, Belgium, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Sweden.
Group F, Portugal, Iceland, Austria, Hungary.

The opening match of the tournament is scheduled to be France versus Romania.



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March 5, 2015

Spanish authorities arrest Yuriy Kolobov, former Ukrainian finance minister

Filed under: Archived,Ukraine — admin @ 5:00 am

Spanish authorities arrest Yuriy Kolobov, former Ukrainian finance minister

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

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Kolobov (pictured) served under President Viktor Yanukovich.
Image: “Справедливість. Анна Безулик“.

Yuriy Kolobov, the former finance minister of Ukraine has been arrested in Spain on charges of fraud and embezzlement. Kolobov was wanted, along with former President Viktor Yanukovych, accused of fraud which cost Ukraine billions of dollars in assets. The Spanish civil guard arrested him on Wednesday, at a flat in Altea, in the Province of Alicante.

A brief statement from the Ukrainian interior ministry said: “We confirm the information that [Mr Kolobov] has been detained.” No comment was made by Spain’s interior ministry. A judge at Spain’s High Court will question Kolobov, before dealing with the extradition process. Kolobov, 41, is the first member of Yanukovich’s administration to be arrested on charges relating to fraud. The current Ukrainian government continue efforts to recover lost assets. The Interim Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, told parliament that Yanukovich has left Ukraine with $75 billion of debt.

Interpol issued warrants for Yanukovich, Kolobov, and former Prime Minister Mykola Azarov. It is doubtful Yanukovich, who is now in Russia, could be extradited back to Ukraine. Kolobov previously held the position of deputy head of Ukraine’s central bank, before being selected as Finance minister in 2012.



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January 21, 2015

Ukrainians rally in memory of Donbass dead

Filed under: Archived,Russia,Ukraine — admin @ 5:00 am

Ukrainians rally in memory of Donbass dead

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

“I am – Volnovakha”. Peace march in memory of victims of People’s Republic of Donetsk in Kyiv

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Thousands of Ukrainians in Kyiv took part on Sunday in marches in memory of reported victims of Donetsk People’s Republic militants in a tragedy on January 13 near Volnovakha in Donetsk Oblast. On that day reportedly thirteen people on a bus were killed and sixteen wounded when separatists struck the bus with a Grad missile launcher near a Ukrainian checkpoint.

The same marches also took place in other major Ukrainian cities, including Odessa, Kharkiv, Dniepropetrovsk and Zaporizhia as well as some towns in Donetsk and Luhansk regions under Ukrainian control.

During the march in Kyiv President Poroshenko promised to return Donbass to Ukraine, while participants in Lutsk and Khmelnytsky requested the Goverment to recognise Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic as terrorist organisations officially. Mayor of Kiev Vitali Klitschko said, “Here are those, who are disturbed with a problem of terrorism. Those who want to stop this evil.”((uk))

The march ended with a public prayer for victims of terror. The Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Sviatoslav Shevchuk and the Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus’ – Ukraine Filaret, as well as representatives of Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, Clerical Board of Ukraine’s Muslims, Armenian Apostolic Church took part in this prayer.



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September 6, 2014

NATO leaders meet for two day summit in Wales

NATO leaders meet for two day summit in Wales

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

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Leaders from NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) member states met in Wales over Thursday to Friday in a summit addressing the organisation’s role in Afghanistan and new threats from Russia and the Islamic State.

NATO member countries
Image: Ssolbergj.

Role in Afghanistan

Since the 2010 NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal countries involved in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), NATO’s military operation in Afghanistan, have been committed to full transition of security responsibilities to Afghan forces by the end of 2014. This would mark the end of ISAF’s 13 year mission in Afghanistan, with troops changing to a training and assistance role.

Plans had originally intended for Afghanistan’s new President, or President-elect, to attend this year’s summit, but due to the political situation and ongoing election process it is still unknown who will replace outgoing President Hamid Karzai. Bismullah Khan Muhammadi, the country’s defence minister, instead attended the summit in the absence of a President.

This political stalemate has put at risk NATO plans for a continuing military presence in the country, with troops expected to pull out at the end of the year without new security agreements being signed, signature not possible without a new President in place. NATO members have urged Afghanistan’s presidential candidates to reach an agreement, with officials indicating that if no agreement can be reached by the end of the month, then troops would begin to leave.

Threat from Russia

On Thursday, NATO leaders pledged support for Ukraine at a meeting with the country’s President, Petro Poroshenko, in the face of recent moves from Russia. On their website, NATO outlined four areas where the alliance would provide support for Ukraine, “rehabilitation for injured troops, cyber defence, logistics, and command and control and communications”, with assistance expected to have a monetary value of about 15 million euros (about US$19 million).

On Friday, peace talks in Minsk, Belarus resulted in a ceasefire agreement between Ukraine and rebel forces, whom NATO has accused Russia of supporting in their bid for separation of eastern regions of Ukraine. The UK said sanctions being prepared are likely to go ahead, regardless of the outcome of these talks, until it is seen that Russia is acting upon them.

Threat from Islamic State

On Friday morning, a meeting of ten countries chaired by the UK and US agreed to jointly working to combat the threat posed by the Islamic State in the Middle East. John Kerry, US Secretary of State, stated after the meeting that the group should aim to make firm plans and raise support from within the region affected before the UN General Assembly annual meeting later this month. Philip Hammond, UK Foreign Secretary, also said it was clear that regional support was needed, adding “with a new and inclusive Government of Iraq leading the efforts”.

It was also announced NATO would help a non-sectarian Iraqi government, on request, to build defence capabilities in Iraq to help fight the Islamic State, as well as coordinating the humanitarian airlift of supplies.

Increased readiness

Plans for a Readiness Action Plan were agreed at the summit. Speaking on Monday before the summit, NATO’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, described this as a response to “Russia’s aggressive behaviour”, but outlined how he hoped it would increase the responsiveness of the alliance to face any security challenge.

These plans aim to allow reinforcements to reach any NATO member state within 48 hours, in what Rasmussen described as a “spearhead” of the preexisting Response Force. This requires logistical, and headquarters facilities to be set up in Eastern European countries, the ones most under threat from an attack by Russia, or the Islamic State. These plans are also to be rehearsed through joint military exercises.


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September 2, 2014

Russia accused of supporting Ukrainian rebels\’ advance

Russia accused of supporting Ukrainian rebels’ advance

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

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Yesterday Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia of “direct and open aggression” as his country’s military were said to be battling a column of Russian tanks.

Coastline of the Azov sea
Image: Materialscientist.

Ukraine’s military has suffered recent setbacks in their ongoing conflict with pro-Russian rebels in the East of the country which started in April, following the annexation of Crimea by Russian forces.

Officials in Kiev said armored Russian units aided rebels who took the Ukrainian border town of Novoazovsk last week, and were reportedly yesterday threatening the strategic port of Mariupol, where residents were digging trenches against the possibility of an attack. The area of Novoazovsk and Mariupol lies between the Russian border and Crimea.

Ukrainian coastguards reportedly searched for two missing sailors after artillery hit their patrol boat in the Sea of Azov on Sunday, in what rebels reportedly called their first victory at sea. Eight other sailors were rescued, and were being treated for burns and other wounds. Officials said it was as yet unclear where the shell was fired from.

Russia denied any of their troops were involved in the conflict. NATO said last week at least 1,000 Russian troops have been sent into the country and have been fighting alongside the rebels there. They also accused Russia of supplying the rebels with military hardware, including air defense systems and tanks.

In response to the alleged increase of Russian involvement, European Union (EU) leaders threatened Russia with further sanctions, extending those first imposed in July, if they did not back down from their involvement in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladmir Putin has dismissed the threat, claiming the EU is backing an armed coup in Ukraine against the former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.



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August 22, 2014

Four arrested after building spire in Moscow painted in Ukrainian colors

Four arrested after building spire in Moscow painted in Ukrainian colors

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Friday, August 22, 2014

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Russian authorities have detained four people on Wednesday on suspicion of vandalism, following an incident where the spire of the iconic Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building in Moscow was painted in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. The suspects, reportedly consisting of two men and two women, allegedly ascended the building by stairs to reach its top floor, before using climbing equipment to complete the ascent, according to Moscow police.

File photo of the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building in 2009.
Image: SphinxTheGeek.

Over the course of the previous night, the suspects proceeded to paint the top half of the building’s star-shaped spire blue and erected a Ukrainian flag atop at about 7:15 am local time, reports the Interfax news agency, with information corroborated by Moscow’s municipal emergency services. The alterations to the building made by the suspects remained for several hours, before workers removed the flag and repainted the spire to its normal color. Containing 32 floors and standing at a height of 176 m (577 ft), the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building is one of the Seven Sisters, skyscrapers constructed between 1947 and 1953 in Moscow under the direction of Joseph Stalin.

Following the act, at least one of the suspects then reportedly descended from the building by parachute, reported state news channel Rossiya 24, and captured on a video published by Lifenews, reportedly filmed by a local resident. Additional video broadcast by Rossiya 24, taken from a window, captured a parachuting suspect landing in a nearby playground. Among the suspects was Alexander Pogrebov, who has denied the charges brought forth by authorities. “I was detained for parachuting off the skyscraper. I chose that place because it’s beautiful. […] It just so happened that at the time of the jump, someone else committed an act of vandalism — they destroyed the spire with paint, and raised the Ukrainian flag.” said Pogrebov in an interview to LifeNews.

Pogrebov’s comments were supported by a police official, who stated to the Itar-Tass agency: “The two young men and two girls say they jumped from a high building with parachutes. They say they didn’t hoist any flag and didn’t paint the flag.” If convicted of vandalism, Pogrebov and the other suspects may be sentenced to a maximum of three years imprisonment. Over the phone to Bloomberg, an unidentified duty press official stated the suspects were previously arrested over other charges. According to reports from Russian state television, all four suspects were Russian citizens.

Other acts by Russian protestors to show support and solidarity with Ukraine, contrasting the approval which came following the Russian annexation of Crimea, included the singing of the Ukrainian national anthem by protestors while being arrested. Russian musician Andrey Makarevich, who fronts the band Mashina Vremeni, which translates to “Time Machine”, was labelled as a “traitor” by Russian lawmakers and musicians who supported Russian interests, after he traveled to eastern Ukraine last week to perform for displaced children in regions held by the Ukrainian army.

On a post on Twitter, Russian opposition leader Gennady Gudkov stated “I don’t justify youngsters who painted a star on the skyscraper, but this is an administrative offense, not criminal”. In 2011 and 2012, following accusations of electoral fraud during the parliamentary elections at the time, Gudkov supported protestors who took to the streets of Moscow in opposition to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The act comes just days prior to Ukraine’s Day of the National Flag on August 23 and Independence Day on August 24. The country’s president, Petro Poroshenko, expressed his approval from Kiev of the act and praise for the suspects in a written post on Facebook. “On the eve of Independence Day we are starting an initiative called ‘Our Colours,’ which is devoted to the Ukrainian flag”((uk)), wrote Poroshenko. “And it is symbolic that, on this day, our colours have been painted on what is perhaps the greatest skyscraper in Moscow. I urge Ukrainians throughout the world, wherever they are, on the eve of the anniversary of our independence, to decorate their homes, offices, and cars in our national colours.”((uk))

“I like very much the fact that, on the eve of celebrating the Ukrainian flag, one of Moscow’s highest buildings was painted in our colors,” Poroshenko said in a video posted on Facebook. “I congratulate these Ukrainians.” Following the deaths of more than 2,000 people and the displacement of 300,000 from their homes amid fighting in eastern Ukraine between the Ukrainian armed forced and pro-Russian separatists, Poroshenko is scheduled to discuss the crisis with Putin next week, the first such meeting in two months.



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August 6, 2014

Russia stages military exercises as Ukrainian forces advance

Filed under: Archived,Europe,Politics and conflicts,Russia,Ukraine — admin @ 5:00 am

Russia stages military exercises as Ukrainian forces advance

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

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On Monday, as Ukrainian forces continue to advance into rebel held territory, Russia announced it is to hold military exercises near its border with Ukraine.

Sukhoi Su-27 aircraft are reported to be among those participating in exercises
Image: Dmitriy Pichugin.

Russia said the exercises would involve over 100 aircraft. Western leaders have accused Russia of a military build-up adjacent to Ukraine. Russia held military exercises in the area in March; last week NATO General Philip Breedlove said Russia still has 12,000 troops adjacent to Ukraine, although Russia has claimed its forces have withdrawn from the area. Russia has also been accused of arming rebels in the continuing fighting in Eastern Ukraine.

Russia also said the exercises were to include an array of fighters, bombers and helicopters, and told Interfax the purpose of the exercises is to improve air force cohesion. This week’s exercises are to be followed by others with the same goal.

Meanwhile, fighting continued in Eastern Ukraine as government forces advance on the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, the principal cities left in rebel hands. These cities have both been reported to be surrounded, with civilians stockpiling resources in preparation for a siege amid worsening conditions. The Telegraph reported groups of rebels arming themselves with a mixture of new and old weapons, while telling accounts of setbacks inflicted upon the Ukrainian army.

The fighting, ongoing since April, is reported to have increased in intensity since Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down last month. The cause of the crash is still being investigated with experts from the Netherlands and Australia continuing to search the crash site.



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