Residents of “Lugansk People’s Republic” and the “Donetsk People’s Republic” cross into Russia at the Russian-Ukrainian border in Izvarino on June 22, 2014.The border post was seized by the separatists from Ukrainian forces on June 13, 2014.
IZVARYNE, Ukraine (AP) — Thousands of Ukrainians in cars stuffed with belongings lined up Thursday at the eastern border to cross into Russia, with some saying they felt betrayed by their government and vowing never to return.
A commander at the rebel-controlled border post south east of the city of Luhansk said 5,000 people had left by evening, joining a stream he said has continued unabated through a shaky cease-fire set to expire on Friday.
Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have sought safety in Russia since the fighting began two months ago between government troops and Moscow-backed separatist fighters.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday called on Russia to support his peace plan “with deeds, not words” as the weeklong cease-fire neared its end in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said they too were looking for more action from Moscow ahead of a summit on Friday of European Union leaders, who will be considering a new round of punitive sanctions on Russia.
The summit also will see Ukraine sign a sweeping trade agreement with the EU that will bind it more closely to the West. It was the former Ukrainian president’s sudden decision late last year to back out of the EU deal under pressure from Russia that led to his ouster and triggered the current crisis. (more…)
Pro-Russian armed militants of a so-called “Eastern battalion” taking part in military exercises rest at a camp in the forest near the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on June 1, 2014.
Kyiv – Ukrainian separatists agreed on June 26 to resume peace talks to end the conflict in the east, but President Petro Poroshenko warned he might not extend a ceasefire beyond Friday night if their gesture was aimed only at buying time.
The move by the pro-Russian rebels, who have been fighting government forces since April, came after German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the second time in two days to discuss how to end the crisis.
In Berlin, a government source said the aim of the phone call, which Moscow said took place at Merkel’s initiative, was to find a way of prolonging Kiev’s ceasefire which is due to expire at 10 p.m. (1900 GMT) on Friday.
More than 420 people, including Ukrainian servicemen, rebels and civilians, are estimated to have been killed in the fighting, the United Nations said in a statement dated June 24.
Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko delivers a speech to the Council of Europe parliamentary assembly in Strasbourg, eastern France, on June 26, 2014.
Note: Here is the full text of the speech given by Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko at the Council of Europe parliamentary assembly in Strasbourg, eastern France, on June 26, as published on the president’s official website.
Dear Secretary General!
Dear members of the Assembly!
Thank you for the invitation to speak to the Assembly.
I am grateful for the opportunity to convey to this respected forum the voice of the Ukrainian people from different parts of Ukraine – eastern and western, northern and southern, free and occupied.
Only a month has passed since the completion of the presidential campaign in the course of which I have travelled all over Ukraine.
I saw it as a peace-loving, hospitable to everyone and European state – not only by location, but also by vocation.
Ukraine has always been a hospitable home for all who came in peace.
Unfortunately, today this home is in danger.
There is a force that came to Ukraine not in peace.
Words like “annexation”, “separatism”, “mercenaries” emerged in our everyday vocabulary again.
What can we do to stop violence and prevent its transformation into a full-scale war?
Unfortunately, today, this issue concerns not only Ukraine. It concerns the whole of Europe.
Dear members of the assembly!
It all started last November when the previous government deprived Ukrainians of their dream refusing the European integration, not asking Ukrainians and not giving anything except corruption and disregard for human dignity. Ukraine got up and the Revolution of Dignity began. The people gained victory. This victory was gained with blood and numerous victims. (more…)
Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox Web Browser, intends to release a $25 Smartphone.
The handset, to be marketed in India at first, is intended to make Smartphones affordable to the mass market.
Two Indian companies, Intex and Spice, will build the $25 Firefox OS phone with a processor from the Chinese company Spreadtrum. The handset is likely to go on sale within next few months.
Mozilla are entering a market dominated by huge companies with Google’s Android OS holding almost 80% of the market.
However the Firefox OS platform doesn’t seem like it wants to take on the smartphone market directly. The market that both Mozilla want, for the moment, is that of consumers moving up from dated feature phones to low level Smartphones.
The Firefox OS handset is designed to be the next step on for users, with more functionality and capability than a feature phone, but at a far lower cost than a smartphone. Sure it won’t be jammed with millions of apps and fancy games but it will do the basics.
The initial idea is to upgrade the huge numbers of Indian mobile phone users on feature phones to Smartphones, keeping the cost down to $25 and offering the Firefox free OS means the phones are affordable for the mass market, which in India is huge.
Mozilla made its mobile OS debut last year in China with the ZTE OPEN, a Chinese-built Firefox OS phone that was released to compete with the low end Android Phones in Asia. After reasonable success with the $79 phone, ZTE announced they will be releasing the next generation of Smartphone with the ZTE- Open C. This $99 handset, Is likely to be marketed to a wider area including Latin America, Russia and Asia.
The most popular low end Smartphones on the market are currently Android devices, however the handsets tend to be around the £60-80 mark. Mozilla want to get in below this and appeal to a market where the extra $10 makes a huge difference.
Breaking into this market will be difficult. At the end of 2013, Android OS had 78% share of smartphone users and Apple’s iOS had 18%. The rest was split between an ailing BlackBerry system and a resurgent Windows Phone platform. Firefox were pretty far off.
A number of factors will determine how well the Firefox OS sells. If they can hang on to the coat tails of Android whilst releasing some comparable app, Mozilla will have a chance, especially at the $25 price mark.