Tag Archives: BBC

#BBC: ‘Heavy Ukrainian losses’ as rebels fire rockets in east


Grad rockets are standard army equipment in Russia and UkrainePro-Russian separatists have fired a big barrage of Grad rockets at Ukrainian troops in the eastern region of Luhansk, killing as many as 30. Russian BM-21 Grad multiple launch rocket system launches rockets during military exercises in the southern Russia’s Volgograd region, on April 2, 2014. © AFP

A rocket strike in the east Ukrainian region of Luhansk has killed up to 30 soldiers, Ukrainian officials say, blaming it on separatist rebels.

They said a barrage of Grad rockets had been fired by the rebels. Such weapons are classed as heavy artillery weapons, fired in batches from trucks.

Unconfirmed reports put the Ukrainian death toll as high as 30, with dozens more wounded, near Zelenopillya.

Elsewhere, the rebels shelled Ukrainian troops at Donetsk airport.

Zoryan Shkyryak, an adviser to Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, gave details of the Zelenopillya rocket attack: “So far, the information available speaks of up to 30 dead. The number of casualties may increase.”

The rebels, he said, had used a Grad system and the destruction was “really heavy”.

A motorised brigade from Lviv, western Ukraine, was targeted in the rocket attack, the Ukrainian news website Unian reports.

The rebels have regrouped in Donetsk as the Ukrainian military has retaken territory in the country’s east. The rebels have not yet broken through to the airport.  Continue reading

Ukraine Crisis: What Russian TV won’t show about the events in Odessa


Relatives mourn during the funeral of pro-Ukrainian supporter Andrei Biryukov, 36, who was shot four days ago during violent clashes between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian militants on May 6, 2014 in OdessaRelatives mourn during the funeral of pro-Ukrainian supporter Andrei Biryukov, 36, who was shot four days ago during violent clashes between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian militants on May 6, 2014 in Odessa, on May 2. Unrest in Ukraine spread to the south as thousands of pro-Russian protesters attacked Odessa’s police headquarters after a fire killed dozens of their comrades, in violence Kiev charged was a Russian plot to “destroy” the country. AFP PHOTO/ DMITRY SEREBRYAKOV

A lot has been reported about the events in Odessa on May 2, and the following is no attempt to repeat reliable chronicles of witnesses, just to add certain points – and certain images – that either get forgotten or which Russian TV channels are assiduously muffling or distorting.

Viewers of Russia Today can easily switch channels – to BBC, CNN, others – and find a markedly different version of events.  This is not the case for the majority of television viewers in Russia and, at present, in some parts of Ukraine, including the Crimea.

What Russian TV won’t show about the events in OdessaThe desperate efforts to save those trapped in Trade Union House which Russian TV channels prefer not to show

They hear only about the fire in the Trade Union House which they are told was set alight by “radicals”, that those who died had tried to escape into the building, and those who survived the fire were then arrested.

They hear next to nothing or a distorted version of the run-up to the fire: the fact that a group of well-armed pro-Russian militants attacked a peaceful pro-unity procession. Although the procession preceded a scheduled soccer match, there were very many people present of different ages, and levels of interest – or none – in soccer (see the photo).

pro-Russian militants attacked a peaceful pro-unity procession

The first person to die of a gunshot wound was one of the pro-Ukrainian soccer fans. That, according to Serhiy Dibrov, a civic activist from Odessa was when the violence exploded, with people on both sides fighting. Most of the deaths however were due to the fire in the Trade Union House and that is where a worrying number of questions remain unanswered.  Continue reading

Flight MH370: Month long search for the Malaysian jetliner received a tremendous boost


Search continuesIn this April 9, 2014 photo provided by the Australian Defense Force, a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion flies past Australian Defense vessel Ocean Shield on a mission to drop sonar buoys to assist in the acoustic search of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the southern Indian Ocean. The ship searching for the missing Malaysian jet has detected two more underwater signals that may be emanating from the aircraft’s black boxes, and the Australian official in charge of the search expressed hope Wednesday that the plane’s wreckage will soon be found. (AP Photo/Australian Defense Force, LSIS Bradley Darvill)

PERTH, Australia (AP) — The frustrating month long search for the Malaysian jetliner received a tremendous boost when a navy ship detected two more signals that most likely emanated from the aircraft’s black boxes. The Australian official coordinating the search expressed hope Wednesday that the wreckage will soon be found.

Angus Houston, head of a joint agency coordinating the search for the missing plane in the southern Indian Ocean, said that the Australian naval vessel Ocean Shield picked up the two signals on Tuesday, and that an analysis of two sounds detected on Saturday showed they were consistent with a plane’s black boxes.

“I’m now optimistic that we will find the aircraft, or what is left of the aircraft, in the not-too-distant future. But we haven’t found it yet, because this is a very challenging business,” Houston said at a news conference in Perth, the hub for the search operation.

The signals detected 1,645 kilometers (1,020 miles) northwest of Perth are the strongest indication yet that the plane crashed and is now lying at the bottom of the ocean in the area where the search is now focused. Still, Houston warned he could not yet conclude that searchers had pinpointed Flight 370’s crash site.

“I think that we’re looking in the right area, but I’m not prepared to say, to confirm, anything until such time as somebody lays eyes on the wreckage,” he said.  Continue reading

Update: Missing Flight MH370, Search ‘regains recorder signal’


Black box signal re-aquiredAir Chief Marshal Angus Houston: “I believe we’re searching in the right area”

Teams searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane have reacquired signals that could be consistent with “black box” flight recorders.

An Australian vessel heard the signals again on Tuesday afternoon and evening, the search chief said.

Signals heard earlier had also been further analysed by experts who concluded they were from “specific electronic equipment”, he said.

Flight MH370 disappeared on 8 March, carrying 239 people.

It was travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it lost contact with air traffic controllers.

Malaysian officials say that based on satellite data, they believe it ended its flight in the southern Indian Ocean, thousands of kilometres from its intended flight path.  Continue reading

Technology: Twitter redesign looks like Facebook to many tweeters


Twitter RedesignedThe new-look Twitter bears more than a passing resemblance to Facebook’s profile pages

A new-look Twitter is being rolled out, with many commenting that it looks very similar to Facebook’s profile pages.

The redesign will be available to a small group of users initially and will be made available across the whole site “in coming weeks”.

Cover photos appear full-width along the top of the screen, with the main picture on the left-hand side.

Tweets that have received the most engagement will appear slightly larger and photos are given more prominence.

The changes were first tested in February.

The new design was outlined in a blog post that listed some of the other big changes, including:  Continue reading