Tag Archives: Kyiv

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation #Russia #RussiainvadedUkraine


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian FederationComment by the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the conclusions of the European Council regarding Ukraine.

1 September 2014

The analysis of a new series of “conclusions” adopted by the European Council on 30 August has shown yet again that EU member-states are still persistently and unconditionally backing the Kiev authorities.

The hysteria whipped up in the run-up to European Council’s meeting around the mythical “Russian aggression in Ukraine” has yielded fruit. Building on absolutely groundless allegations regarding the presence of Russian military forces on the Ukrainian territory and unreasonably laying the blame on Moscow for the developments on the ground, Brussels refuses to acknowledge the true causes behind the dramatic developments in southeastern Ukraine instead of promoting an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and comprehensive national dialogue between the conflicting parties.

At the same time, it is striking that the assessment of the humanitarian situation in this Ukrainian region, where the actions of the Kiev authorities resulted in a full-fledged humanitarian disaster, the number of civilian casualties is growing and the number of refugees arriving in Russia is approaching one million, is practically absent from the European Council’s conclusions.

It is regrettable that the European Council, in spite of the interests of its member-states, takes its lead from the countries seeking to implement geopolitical schemes aimed at making confrontation with Russia increasingly acute. Russia still hopes that the EU will be able to gain an independent perspective on the situation free from 20th century stereotypes and engage in constructive efforts to facilitate a settlement of Ukraine’s internal conflict.

If new anti-Russian sanctions are adopted, Russia reserves the right to take retaliatory measures in order to protect its legitimate interests.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Official site.

Ukraine: Energy hackers share energy-saving ideas at TeslaCamp #Solar #GreenTechnologies #RenewableEnergy


 Anastasia VlasovaIryna Matviyishyn.Volunteers of Greencubator register guests at the outdoor TeslaCamp near Kyiv on Aug. 30, 2014. © Anastasia VlasovaVolunteers of Greencubator register guests at the outdoor TeslaCamp near Kyiv on Aug. 30, 2014. © Anastasia Vlasova.

On Aug. 29-30 Ukrainian energy hackers came up with new ideas of improving energy efficiency in Ukraine.  The outdoor, solar-powered hackathon, a collaborative  event attended by software developers and other specialists, called TeslaCamp, took place in Oseshchyna village, in Kyiv Oblast. It was organized by the Greencubator community, a group that promotes energy saving projects, ideas and efforts.

Progressive specialists and young innovators from the energy sector shared their diverse vision of saving and reproducing energy, simultaneously introducing new inventions that could be used in everyday life.

KhackerSpace inventors from Kharkiv fix their new device, a three-dimensional printer aggregated at $500-600.</em> © Anastasia Vlasova.KhackerSpace inventors from Kharkiv fix their new device, a three-dimensional printer aggregated at $500-600. © Anastasia Vlasova.

Roman Zinchenko, 37, a co-founder of Greencubator, is sure that any transformation is possible with human potential: “The energy corps is a very important task for our organization (Greencubator), and now we consider the aspect of energy leadership as well. In these terms our entire state policy is an idea of exposure. In order to cope with all the jumble of problems Ukraine’s got, we need new perspective leaders who can offer fresh and effective ideas.”

Besides talks about the cross-section of information technology and energy sectors, TeslaCamp attracted green innovators like Dmytro Briukov, 25.  A member of HackerSpace (Kharkiv), he demonstrated a modern self-constructed 3-D printer. “This device works due to the MDM (Mobile device management) technology but is original in the process of printing as it augments the form layer by layer instead of clipping it,” Briukov comments.

Solar panels in the technical zone of TeslaCamp, a solar-powered hackathon. © Anastasia VlasovaSolar panels in the technical zone of TeslaCamp, a solar-powered hackathon. © Anastasia Vlasova

It took him a half year to implement his idea into reality and he believes his technology is less costly and faster than other 3-D samples. Although it needs more time to become practically popular, it could be very beneficial in medicine, defense and the space industry.

Greencubator invited not only start-ups but people whose conceptions of energy efficiency have received recognition. Olesya Arhypchuk, 28, from Radekhiv (Lviv Oblast) promotes her father’s development that helps to save gas with burning off natural resources and, moreover, in such way to produce coal. “In fact, my father, Anatoliy Arhypchuk, an entrepreneur, made out the way how to profitably heat hospitals, schools, et cetera with biogas getting bio-raw staff which further can be sold. The system can be easily connected to city boilers and is definitely lucrative,” the woman says.

During the Hackathon, an event when software developers and other specialists collaborate, developers introduced a new 3-D printer.</em> © Anastasia VlasovaDuring the Hackathon, an event when software developers and other specialists collaborate, developers introduced a new 3-D printer. © Anastasia Vlasova

Another practical device being already ordered is a satellite with an interceptor that diverts mobile phone signals and distributes Wi-Fi in distant areas like mountains. Diana Dobronogova, a deputy head of IMC in commercial issues, says their development can work autonomously and has no analogues working in any conditions: “The advantage of our device is offline work which is possible even underwater, without recharging for a week,” Dobronogova says.

The inventions of the Greencubator participants may influence Ukraine’s energy system in the future. “This year is crucial for the energy system too. We have to deal with our dated methods and shift to sustainable energy solutions,” Zinchenko states.

A volunteer of Greencubator, a group that promotes energy efficiency and members of KhackerSpace examine an energy saving development.A volunteer of Greencubator, a group that promotes energy efficiency and members of KhackerSpace examine an energy saving development. © Anastasia Vlasova

(Kyiv Post staff writer Iryna Matviyishyn can be reached at ira.matviishyn@gmail.com).


Kyiv Post.

Russian tanks flatten east Ukrainian town, Ukraine military says #RussiainvadedUkraine


ReutersA woman cooks over a campfire due to natural gas cuts in her building on Aug. 3 in the eastern Ukrainian city of Popasna, Luhansk Oblast, freed by Ukrainian forces from Russian-backed militants. © AFP

(Reuters) – Ukraine’s military said on Saturday its forces had pulled out of areas to the east of the border-area city of Luhansk under pressure from Russian-backed rebels and that Russian tanks had been used to “destroy virtually every house” in one small town.

“Direct military aggression against eastern Ukraine is continuing,” Kyiv’s defense and security council said in a separate Twitter post.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Reuters.

Don’t mess with nuclear Russia, Putin says #RussiainvadedUkraine #NuclearRussia


BY ALEXEI ANISHCHUKPutin's Nuclear Threat

LAKE SELIGER, Russia – President Vladimir Putin said on Aug. 29 Russia’s armed forces, backed by its nuclear arsenal, were ready to meet any aggression, declaring at a pro-Kremlin youth camp that foreign states should understand: “It’s best not to mess with us.”

Putin told the assembly, on the banks of a lake near Moscow, the Russian takeover of Crimea in March was essential to save a largely Russian-speaking population from Ukrainian government violence. He said continued fighting in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists launched an uprising in April, was the result of a refusal by Kiev to negotiate.

Ukraine, and Western governments, accuse Russia of sending troops and armour to back the separatists in a conflict that has already killed over 2,000 people. Russia denies the charge.

“Russia is far from being involved in any large-scale conflicts,” he said at the camp on the banks of Lake Seliger. “We don’t want that and don’t plan on it. But naturally, we should always be ready to repel any aggression towards Russia.

“Russia’s partners…should understand it’s best not to mess with us,” said Putin, dressed casually in a grey sweater and light blue jeans.

“Thank God, I think no one is thinking of unleashing a large-scale conflict with Russia. I want to remind you that Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers.”

Putin spoke easily with the students, many of whom looked to be asking scripted questions about demography and history. Other times he accepted gifts or, smilingly, played down their praise.

When a student said that she had not heard a single negative comment about Putin’s presidency from camp speakers, he responded with a grin that “objectivity” was important.

His tone darkened when speaking on Ukraine, blaming the United States and the European Union for the “unconstitutional” removal of Kiev’s former Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovich and replacement with a pro-European government.

He said eastern Ukraine did not agree with Yanukovich’s removal and was now subjected to “crude military force” from government planes, tanks and artillery.

“If those are contemporary European values, then I’m simply disappointed in the highest degree,” he said, comparing Ukraine’s military operations in the east of the country with the Nazi siege of Leningrad in World War Two.

“Small villages and large cities surrounded by the Ukrainian army which is directly hitting residential areas with the aim of destroying the infrastructure… It sadly reminds me of the events of the Second World War, when German fascist… occupiers surrounded our cities.”

(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk, Writing by Thomas Grove; editing by Ralph Boulton).


Reuters.

Russia’s slow motion invasion of mainland Ukraine ‪#‎RussiainvadedUkraine


 Mark Rachkevych.A soldier in unmarked military fatigues mans a checkpoint on a bridge leading into the town of Slovyansk in Donetsk Oblast on April 12, the day Russian proxies took over the city. © Konstantyn ChernichkinA soldier in unmarked military fatigues mans a checkpoint on a bridge leading into the town of Slovyansk in Donetsk Oblast on April 12, the day Russian proxies took over the city. © Konstantyn Chernichkin.

The main picture accompanying this op-ed of the “little green man” wasn’t taken in Crimea during Russia’s annexation of the peninsula and wasn’t shot this week when they again invaded Ukraine with columns of tanks and other hardware. 

It was shot when I and a photographer on April 12 were in Slovyansk on a bridge leading into town at a checkpoint manned by armed, masked soldiers wearing matching military fatigues – the same day that Russian proxies took over the town, including its main municipal building, police station and State Security headquarters. The same kind of troops stood guard that day at the SBU, while a video surfaced of a well-organized unit of fighters taking over the local police station that morning. And this was before the government’s military operation had officially launched against the Russian invaders.

These weren’t locals who spontaneously decided to rise up against Kyiv. They came from Russia-occupied Crimea, the SBU had alleged, where they received training and arms for the purpose of militarily expressing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s contempt for Ukraine as a unified people and sovereign nation.

Then led by Russian military intelligence officer Igor Girkin (a.k.a. Strelkov), a group of Russians (see picture below) the following day on April 13 ambushed an SBU counterterrorism team near Sloviansk while it was “conducting redeployment” in preparation for the government’s anti-terrorist operation, according to SBU counterintelligence chief Vitaliy Naida. SBU Capt. Hennadiy Bilichenko was killed, and two SBU colonels and an interior ministry officer were wounded.

Armed Kremlin-backed guerillas prepare for battle with a Ukrainian Security Service team on the outskirts the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk on April 13, 2014. (AFP/Anatoliy Stepanov)Armed Kremlin-backed guerrillas prepare for battle with a Ukrainian Security Service team on the outskirts the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk on April 13, 2014. (AFP/Anatoliy Stepanov).

They were one of the first casualties in Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine.

Also on the same day in Kramatorsk, about 15 kilometers south of Slovyansk, another well-organized unit of over 20 men in matching military fatigues seized the police headquarters after a shootout, Reuters reported.

By April 16 when Oleksandr Turchynov, then acting president of Ukraine, officially launched the counterterrorism campaign against the invading Russian irregulars, Kyiv lost control of nine cities in Donetsk Oblast: Mariupol, Donetsk, Makyivka, Yeanikiyeve, Druzhkivka, Kramatorsk, Sloviansk and Horlivka.

Then the disciplined Russian green men disappeared, leaving behind a mixture of Russian mercenaries and locals fighting beside them.

SBU Capt. Hennadiy Bilichenko of Poltava was one of the first casualties of Russia's war against Ukraine. He was killed in an ambush on April 13 outside Slovyansk in Donetsk Oblast. (Courtesy)SBU Capt. Hennadiy Bilichenko of Poltava was one of the first casualties of Russia’s war against Ukraine. He was killed in an ambush on April 13 outside Slovyansk in Donetsk Oblast. (Courtesy)

In April, most of the Russian fighters didn’t have anti-armor weapons. In an SBU video recording (1:32) of Russian military intelligence officer Girkin speaking to his handler in Moscow after the successful ambush, he says: “We repelled the first attack, they ran into our rearguard. They took heavy casualties. We don’t know who we killed, but it was somebody very serious. We can hold on (only) for a few days of fighting, let them (fighters coming via Luhansk) bring more anti-tank weapons. If we had them (anti-armor weapons), we would have driven them all beyond Mozhaisk (a town in Moscow Oblast located on the historic road leading to Smolensk and then to Poland.)”

In the same conversation, the handler tells Girkin he wants his “deputy commander” with a Ukrainian accent to speak to Russia’s Life News to demand the federalization of Ukraine, the election of oblast governors by April 25, and for Ukraine to need at least two-thirds approval from the regions to borrow externally.

Over time, Kyiv’s control of the border area in Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts with Russia deteriorated. To secure the regular supply of weapons, armor and troops, Russian elements attacked key crossing areas from both sides of the border. Escalation ensued on July 11, according to National Security and Defense Council spokesperson Col. Andriy Lysenko, when Russia started daily cross-border artillery barrages on Ukrainian positions. They persist to this day.

Kyiv has been reluctant to fire back on Russia for fear of provoking a full-scale invasion where an estimated 20,000 combat-ready soldiers presumably await orders for such an incident.

And when Ukraine started to exercise air superiority, Russia gave its boys on the ground sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons, including radar-guided surface-to-air missile systems known as Buk. Special training is needed to operate these deadly weaponry, one of which was most likely used by Russians to shoot down the Malaysian airliner on July 17, killing all 298 people on board, including 80 children.

According to the latest count, 18 Ukrainian military aircraft have been lost costing the Defense Ministry at least $250 million in losses, according to a calculation by UNIAN.

The arrival of mercenary groups in late May, like the predominantly Chechen Vostok Battalion that replaced the ragtag group of Kremlin-backed separatists in Donetsk, marked another escalation in Russia’s invasion. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry called their presence, including kozak groups – also Russian – “undisguised aggression.”

This summer, Kyiv recovered much lost territory and it looked like all that was left was to take over the provincial capitals of Donetsk and Luhansk, the sizable city of Horlivka, and secure the border area and smaller settlements along the way.

Not wishing to relinquish control and seeing its pipedream of forming breakaway republics in the region crumble, Russia struck back. The Russian green men resurfaced, this time, brazenly en masse accompanied by columns of heavy armor, artillery, and howitzers, among other serious weaponry. Authorities now estimate over 20,000 fighting on the side of Russia in the region.

Fighting has been intense. After all, Ukraine’s forces are dealing with Europe’s largest army that has spent billions over the last decade to modernize its military, with Germany partially assisting. Ukraine since April has lost at least 722 servicemen and 2,625 were wounded, according to the National Security and Defense Council.

I hope that number stops growing soon, but honestly, Ukraine can’t stop Putin on its own without making huge sacrifices and seeing scores more killed in the field of battle. It needs help in all forms. Putin won’t stop until somebody stops him. The time to act is now, and decisively.

(Kyiv Post editor Mark Rachkevych can be reached at rachkevych@kyivpost.com).


Kyiv Post.