NORAD: Jets scrambled as Russian bombers flew near U.S. coast


Two F-22s from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson were called Monday to check out four Russian bombers and a tanker that flew near Alaska during an apparent training mission.Two F-22s from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson were called Monday to check out four Russian bombers and a tanker that flew near Alaska during an apparent training mission. (David Bedard/Air Force)

Two long-range Russian bombers flew within 50 miles of the California coast during an apparent training mission Monday, prompting NORAD to scramble two F-22s and two F-15s.

The incident began when four Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers and a tanker entered international airspace outside Alaska. The aircraft entered the Air Defense Identification Zone, or ADIZ, extending 200 miles off the coast.

“If anyone is in the international airspace that is a part of our ADIZ and we don’t know who they are — they haven’t filed a flight plan — then we’ll go up and see who they are and what their intent is,” NORAD spokeswoman Capt. Jennifer Stadnyk told Air Force Times.

The F-22s from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, shadowed the aircraft to get a visual identification. The Russian bombers then left the ADIZ, but two broke off and headed south toward the northern California coast.

“Later they entered the ADIZ near the California coast, and at that time two F-15 fighters from Oregon launched and visually identified the aircraft,” Stadnyk said.

The bombers stayed in international airspace during the incident, Stadnyk said.

The U.S. aircraft returned to their bases when the Russian aircraft left the ADIZ.

“This is our process. We go up there and see what’s going on but that’s it — they were allowed to be there,” Stadnyk said. “Our assessment was that they were conducting long-range training flights,” she said.

Air Force Times

Journalists gather for Mezhyhirya Fest investigative conference


The US Ambassador in Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, Kyiv Post editor Katya Gorchinskaya, DR Orientering editor Brita Kvist Hansen, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project coordinator and Kyiv Post staff writer Vlad Lavrov give the Ukraine’s first ever investigative journalism award to Lyubomyr Ferens of TVi.The US Ambassador in Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, Kyiv Post editor Katya Gorchinskaya, DR Orientering editor Brita Kvist Hansen, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project coordinator and Kyiv Post staff writer Vlad Lavrov give the Ukraine’s first ever investigative journalism award to Lyubomyr Ferens of TVi. © Anastasia Vlasova

Documents exposing the enormous web of corruption involving Viktor Yanukovych were in the spotlight at Mezhyhirya Fest, an international conference on investigative journalism held at the fugitive ex-president’s opulent country estate outside Kyiv.

The three-day festival at the sprawling 140-hectare estate, some 10 kilometers north of the capital, featured more than 30 events and brought together more than 300 leading Ukrainian and international experts and activists.

Debates and workshops on subjects ranging from social media use in an age of digital activism and legal aspects of investigative journalism were held at “Putin’s House,” the guest house in which Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly stayed on his visits to Mezhyhirya. Putin is now harboring Yanukovych, who is wanted for mass murder and corruption charges, in Russia.

The venue represented a symbolic victory, said Anna Babinets of YanukovychLeaks, the team of Ukrainian journalists who first gained access to the compound following Yanukovych’s hasty flight from Ukraine on Feb. 22 as the EuroMaidan Revolution succeeded in ousting him from power.

“This festival is a step towards strengthening the victory of democracy in Ukraine, and the venue is a reminder of the fact that things have changed. It’s great to be able to hold the event here,” Babinets said.

The band Dakh Daughters provided the entertainment on June 6.The band Dakh Daughters provided the entertainment on June 6.

Attracting international media attention, the team discovered some 200 folders containing more than 25,000 records documenting the politician’s activities. The majority were retrieved from the estate’s swimming pool and the Dnipro River which skirts its perimeter, into which Yanukovych and his team presumably threw the stash in the hopes of preventing details of his illicit finances from ever emerging.

They were not so lucky. With the help of 17 scanners and more than 60 volunteers, including experts in the preservation of documents, the team dried out and scanned each sheet of paper before uploading the incriminating evidence onto “yanukovychleaks.org,” a website created for this purpose. On the first day the site attracted almost two million visitors, and now hosts 23,456 records in Ukrainian, Russian and English. A half-hour documentary about the team’s efforts premiered at the event.  Continue reading

Eurobasket 2015 Relocated

Ukraine will not host 2015 Euro basketball championship


FIBA Europe, the continental governing body, says on June 13 on Twitter it has FIBA Europe, the continental governing body, says on June 13 on Twitter it has “decided to relocate EuroBasket 2015 from Ukraine to a new destination(s),” without giving further details. © AFP

Europe’s basketball federation says Ukraine has been stripped of the right to host next year’s European men’s championship. The tournament had been in doubt because of the political instability in Ukraine.

Ukraine was stripped of the right to host next year’s European men’s basketball championship on Friday because of the continuing instability in the country.

Three of the planned host cities for the 24-team tournament were located in volatile eastern Ukraine, where government troops are fighting pro-Russian separatists.

Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March, tournament director Markiyan Lubkivsky said that hosting the event was no longer possible, but Ukrainian and European basketball authorities had tried to keep the project alive.

FIBA Europe, the continental governing body, said Friday that its board had now decided the risks were too great.

“The decision was taken after a careful consideration of the continuous political situation and security issues in Ukraine, which deemed as less than favorable for the staging of such an important and demanding event,” the organization said in a statement.

However, FIBA Europe said it will “start negotiations immediately” with Ukraine on hosting the 2017 championship.

A decision on next year’s host will be made by September 30, with “single or multi-country bids” to be submitted by the end of July.

Even before Ukraine lost the hosting rights, France had positioned itself as a leading candidate to stage next year’s championship, submitting a formal bid to FIBA Europe last month.

The decision to move the tournament out of Ukraine was announced three days after Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk hosted FIBA Europe president Turgay Demirel to discuss hosting plans.

Among the planned Ukrainian host cities for the September 2015 tournament were Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk and Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine, where militant groups are pushing for closer links with Russia.

Next year’s championship will include two dozen teams from across Europe. France is the reigning champion after beating Lithuania 80-66 in last year’s final in Slovenia.

FIBA Europe also said the 2015 tournament will use an extended knockout system rather than a second group stage, a change that had been due to come into force in 2017.

The Associated Press

The ATO Centre Discovered a lie on the Russian Defense Ministry “Star” channel


Russian LiesRussian Lies

The ATO Centre once again has to conclude that the Russian media have resorted to a distortion of facts and use of videos dated many years ago, which have no relation to the on-going anti-terrorist operation in Ukraine. All this is done to manipulate the public opinion in their own interests. At the same time the authors of fakes are not bothered about concerns of peaceful people affected by such propaganda. The spokesman of the ATO Vladislav Seleznev wrote about this on his Facebook page.

Film footage is 10 years oldFilm footage is 10 years old – Actual Video

Thus, today, June 12, 2014 the Russian media reported that the Ukrainian Security Forces allegedly used phosphorus bombs against civilians. To confirm this, the Russian Armed Forces Broadcasting Company “STAR” used footage shot in 2004 in the city of Fallujah, Iraq. In addition to that, the Russian media has recently reported on alleged facts of use of multiple launch rocket systems “Grad” by the Ukrainian troops against civilians.

This information is also untrue. There are no documented facts of the ATO Forces using systems “Grad”. All these speculations are more surprising given the fact that the Russian troops used positions “Grad” for attacks on cities of the Chechen Republic. As a result, tens of thousands of civilians were killed. These facts are well known to the world community, they are fixed at numerous photo and video materials.

It is worth recalling another case of falsification. On May 16 the channel Russia 1 used in a news release a video of two years ago on Kabardino-Balkaria counterterrorist operations, but these pictures were presented as an operation of the Ukrainian ATO Forces. This fraud is documented. (InfoResist reported on this earlier)

The ATO Centre considers the emergence of such materials as one of the links of the information war being waged against the Ukrainian mass media by the media of the Russian Federation.

The ATO Centre contends that the warfare that Russia applies in their own counter-terrorist operations, particularly against the civilian population of Chechnya, will never be applied on the territory of Ukraine.

We demand that the Russian media stops all the speculation on these topics and move to a civilized method of coverage of the events in the area of ​​the ATO.

News from the website of the TV company “Star”:

“The National Guard  fired phosphorous bombs in Semenivka.

Ukrainian Army fired at village Semenivka, which is near Slovyansk. It was incendiary shelling. Charges exploded at a low altitude, and then divided into several burning parts. As a result,there were several fires in the village.”

This is also available in: Russian, Ukrainian

Info Resist

Abducted from Snejnoye, children are in the Rostov region, Russia


Abducted from Snejnoye children are in the Rostov region, Russia

According to information verified by the Ukrainian Consul in Rostov-on-Don and confirmed by the Ukrainian authorities, on the 12th of June Russian side has illegally allowed to carry into the territory of the Russian Federation, without proper permits, but only with copies of birth certificates, 16 children-orphans from the group of Ukrainian citizens, which were abducted in town Snejnoye by armed representatives of the so-called DPR (“Donetsk People’s Republic”). The press service of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Information Policy informed UNN about this.

At the moment the abducted children are in town Donetsk in Rostov region of the Russian Federation.

Thus, the Russian side has grossly violated the provisions of the Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the Russian Federation dated 16 January 1997, as well as its international obligations in the field of children’s rights, in particular Art. 11 and 35 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Taking children abroad in the absence of authorization documents qualifies such actions of malefactors as an international child abduction under the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, with appropriate legal consequences for them and the other parties, with whose assistance or connivance they committed the crime.

Based on the established fact of illegal transportation of Ukrainian children to Russia the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry immediately sent a verbal note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation with the imperative to take urgent exhaustive measures to ensure the prompt return of the children to Ukraine and to prosecute those involved in their illegal entry on the territory of the Russian Federation.

MFA keeps the case under a special control, involving appropriate diplomatic mechanisms. Consul General of Ukraine in Rostov-on-Don continues to work on-site to provide necessary consular and legal assistance for the return of the Ukrainian children home.

The Donetsk regional government administration stated that armed people intercepted a bus with children from Snejnoye. At first they noted that the fate of 25 orphans and children from children’s homes of family type was unknown. Subsequently the administration reported that children from Snejnoye were found on the border with Russia.

The President’s of Ukraine Commissioner on children’s rights Office regarded taking children in Snejnoye as an international abduction.

This record is also available in: Russian, Ukrainian

Info Resist