Tag Archives: #UnitedForUkraine

Ukraine instates third call of duty, citing continued Russian aggression


A Ukrainian soldier flashes the A Ukrainian soldier flashes the “V for victory” sign as a convoy of Ukrainian armoured personnel carriers (APC) passes through the eastern Ukrainian city of Konstantinovka, in the Donetsk region, on July 21, 2014. © AFP

Additional reservists will be called up to reinforce servicemen fighting Kremlin-backed mercenaries and their proxies in eastern Ukraine after parliament on July 22 passed a bill on “partial military mobilization.”

Adopted by a simple majority of 232 lawmakers, the specific draft notice will take place in all 24 regions of Ukraine and the capital city of Kyiv, and last for 45 days once the law enters into force.

Introducing the bill, which was submitted to parliament by President Petro Poroshenko on July 21, National Security and Defense Council Secretary Andriy Parubiy said it would mobilize an additional 15 combat and 44 combat-support units for the government’s antiterrorist operation in Ukraine’s east, arguing that continued Russian aggression necessitates the move.

Their length of service wasn’t disclosed, but military expert Valentyn Bardrak has told Yurligazakon, a legal web portal, that they could serve until the conflict ends or indefinitely if it exacerbates.

“Russia continues its policy of escalating the armed confrontation… It is necessary to push the Russian occupants out of Ukraine,” Parubiy told parliament. He estimated that some 41,000 Russian troops, equipped with 150 tanks, 500 artillery systems and almost 1,400 armored vehicles are currently amassed along Ukraine’s border.

During a question-and-answer session prior to the vote, Parubiy stated that reserve officers and those with higher military educational or military service experience would be called up in areas where they are needed.

This is the third call-up since the armed conflict in Ukraine’s two easternmost regions began. The first took place on March 17 and the second on May 6, according to the National Security and Defense Council.  Combined, they yielded 53 military combat units and 18 other military formations.

Also, parliament on July 22 increased the military service age for reservists to 60 years. Thus, the age limit for privates and non-commissioned officers is 60 years, and 65 for senior officers.

Speaking on July 21 following the bill’s submission to parliament, Presidential Administration spokesman Hennadiy Zubko said partial mobilization does not stipulate a rotation of forces engaged in the government’s anti terrorist operation in eastern Ukraine but a reinforcement of those currently out in the field.

“There will be additional recruitments. A rotation is not on the current agenda… The situation in the East is such: we are practically mounting an offensive and it would be a lie to say that we are planning a rotation,” he told Channel 5 TV, according to Interfax Ukraine.

That same evening, Parubiy gave a different assessment of the planned bill in an interview on channel ICTV, suggesting that a rotation of servicemen “who in some cases have already spent several months on the frontline” will be carried out if necessary.

“We are carrying out partial mobilization in order to gather the maximum amount of people that the Ukrainian government is currently able to equip and provide with necessary protection before dispatching them to the frontline,” he added, according to Ukrainska Pravda.

Previous waves of mobilization have provoked mixed feelings from the population, with many expecting those dispatched to the conflict zone to return after the mandated 45-day period of service was through. A large proportion of the army contingent fighting in Ukraine’s east has not been rotated since the armed conflict began some three months ago.

Hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians have been killed since the armed conflict in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts began in mid-April, and Russia has been accused by Kyiv of supplying the pro-Russian insurgents fighting government forces there with weapons and personnel.

On July 21, spokesman for Ukraine’s Security Council Andriy Lysenko said that an extra 100 Russian military units had been added to the contingent massed at the border with Ukraine. The Defense Ministry, meanwhile, reported that Russia was continuing to fire at Ukrainian positions from its side of the border.

Kyiv Post staff writer Matthew Luxmoore can be reached at mjluxmoore@gmail.com. Kyiv Post editor Mark Rachkevych contributed reporting and can be reached at rachkevych@kyivpost.com.

Matthew Luxmoore | Kyiv Post.

BBC News: Russia – how tough a response?


Members of Vladimir Putin's inner circle have been targeted by existing sanctionsMembers of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle have been targeted by existing sanctions.

The rhetoric could scarcely sound tougher but will the reality come close to matching it?

David Cameron, writing in yesterday’s Sunday Times. said that “for too long there has been a reluctance on the part of too many European countries to face up to the implications of what is happening in eastern Ukraine.”

“It is time to make our power, influence and resources count,” he wrote.

Ed Miliband, speaking in Washington DC on Monday, agreed, saying “the international community has not done enough to show that Russian aggression cannot be allowed to stand” and “European unity must not be an excuse for European inaction”.

Whilst Nick Clegg said at his news conference this morning that the EU had so far failed to “act with the right collective resolve,” adding that “we believe the time has now come for sanctions to be tightened further and that is precisely what we will be seeking to deliver in the meetings in the EU later this week”.

So that’s clear enough then. There’s just one problem. The next round of sanctions will not be determined by Britain but by the EU’s 28 member states.

Caution

Russia has substantial financial interests in LondonRussia has substantial financial interests in London.

As my colleague Gavin Hewitt – the BBC’s Europe Editor – points out on his blog, Europe has been very tentative in what it’s willing to do to take on Russia and there’s no reason to think that caution won’t continue.

He writes that “Italy with its fragile economy, which continues to hover close to recession, is very dependent on Russian energy. Germany has 6,000 firms which do business in Russia. Some of its leading industrialists have been vocal in opposing sanctions. France has resisted pressure to halt delivery of two Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia.”

You might think that The Netherlands would be leading the way in taking on Russia. Their attitude will, of course, have been changed by last week’s national tragedy but remember that the EU country with the largest trade deficit is, you guessed it, the Netherlands.

The last figures showed that figure to be over 16 billion euros (£12.6bn), according to data from Eurostat.

Some EU countries argue that the most effective sanctions would be financial, stopping Russia accessing the City of London. That, of course, would hit the UK and not the rest of the EU.

City of London
You may recall that in March I revealed the existence of a photograph of a document which a senior official was carrying into a meeting in Downing Street which said that “the UK should not support, for now, trade sanctions or close London’s financial centre to Russians”.

Nothing has changed since then, I’m told.

So, sources tell me that we should expect some gradual movement in Brussels tomorrow rather than a dramatic tightening of the screw.

This is not just for selfish economic reasons but also because many EU countries argue that their best – or maybe their only – hope of getting access to the crash site and getting co-operation with the investigation is to maintain a dialogue with President Putin

In a news conference on Monday, Angela Merkel’s spokeswoman, Christiane Wirtz, said industry-wide sanctions were not being considered but Berlin was prepared to target individual companies.

After speaking to Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande, Mr Cameron said he was “very clear that the EU will be ready to take further steps in terms of other areas, other areas of … some forms of advanced industrial goods that might have dual uses for defence purposes as well”.

In other words, even the deaths of almost 300 people in a crash which most EU countries blame Russian-backed separatists for will not lead directly to what many people will see as a tough response.

BBC News.

Ukraine blames Russia for ‘continuous inflow of weapons and heavy weaponry’


Originally posted on Amanpour:

Click here to watch Amanpour’s full interview with Klimkin.

By Mick Krever, CNN

As conflict intensifies in Eastern Ukraine, that country’s foreign minister on Wednesday accused Russia of massive interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs.

“We have continuous and intentional destabilization of Donetsk and Luhansk,” Pavlo Klimkin told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday.

“They keep saying their influence is limited, but it’s also about continuous inflow of weapons and heavy weaponry from Russia.”

“We have inflow of weapons, of mercenaries, of heavy weaponry – tanks, everything.”

“And as you know, you can probably buy Kalashnikov in a kind of shop on the black market, but you can’t buy tanks or you can’t buy anti-air missiles there.”

Just three weeks ago, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared a unilateral cease-fire and he told Amanpour that he believed peace was possible in a matter of weeks or months.

View original 265 more words

#Ukraine #rebels reclaim village on #Russian #border


A girl says goodbye to her friend, a volunteer, before they were sent to the eastern part of Ukraine to join the ranks of special battalion “Azov”, during a ceremony to take the oath of allegiance to Ukraine, in Kiev, Ukraine Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Separatist rebels said they retook a village near the Russian border from government forces Wednesday as both sides pressed to claim territory in eastern Ukraine.

Sergei Kavtaradze, a spokesman for separatists in Donetsk, said one rebel militiaman was killed and 15 others injured in fighting in the village of Marinivka. The insurgents military leader, Igor Girkin, told the Russian television station LifeNews that his men destroyed two Ukrainian armored vehicles and captured another.

Since the start of the month, Ukrainian forces have halved the territory held by the insurgency, which is seeking to wrest two eastern regions from Kiev. Government efforts have focused efforts on sealing the border with Russia, where insurgents are believed to draw much of their hardware and manpower. The rebels have captured several Ukrainian border points.

The Interfax news agency cited a Russian border service official as saying that two heavily wounded Ukrainian border guards appealed to their Russian colleagues for medical assistance at the crossing near Marinivka. Continue reading

BBC News: CNET News Site attacked by Russian hacker group


CNET twitter feedCNET was informed about the hack attack via a Twitter conversation

A Russian hacker group has attacked the news site CNET. It later said it stole usernames, encrypted passwords and emails for more than one million users.

CNET said a representative from the group – which calls itself ‘w0rm’ – informed it about the hack via a Twitter conversation.

A spokeswoman for CBS Interactive – the owner of CNET – said the firm had “identified the issue and resolved it”.

According to CNET, w0rm offered to sell the database for 1 Bitcoin, or $622.

But it added that the hacking group said the plan to sell the database was to gain attention and “nothing more”.

Improve security?

The representative of the group claimed that it hacked CNET servers to improve the overall security on the internet.

The group has claimed to have successfully hacked the BBC last year, as well as websites of Adobe and Bank of America.

It says that by targeting high-profile websites it can raise awareness of security issues.

“We are driven to make the Internet a better and safer [place] rather than a desire to protect copyright,” the representative said in a Twitter exchange with CNET.

On Monday, the representative offered a security solution to CNET by tweeting: “#CNET I have good protection system for u, ping me”.

According to CNET, 27.1 million unique users visited its desktop and mobile sites in the US in June this year.

BBC News