#UNSC: Russia in ‘blatant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity’

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen answers the questions of journalists after the extraordinary meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, 29 August 2014. © NATONATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen answers the questions of journalists after the extraordinary meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, 29 August 2014. © NATO

Editor’s Note: The NATO military alliance issued on Aug. 29 NATO Secretary General statement and video after the extraordinary meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission.

“We have just held an extraordinary meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, following the serious escalation of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. The meeting was held at Ukraine’s request.

Despite Moscow’s hollow denials, it is now clear that Russian troops and equipment have illegally crossed the border into eastern and south-eastern Ukraine. This is not an isolated action, but part of a dangerous pattern over many months to destabilise Ukraine as a sovereign nation.

Russian forces are engaged in direct military operations inside Ukraine. Russia continues to supply the separatists with tanks, armoured vehicles, artillery and rocket launchers. Russia has fired on Ukraine from both Russian territory and within Ukraine itself. Moreover, Russia continues to maintain thousands of combat-ready troops close to Ukraine’s borders. This is a blatant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It defies all diplomatic efforts for a peaceful solution.

Today, we expressed strong solidarity with Ukraine. At the Wales Summit next week, we will meet President Poroshenko to make clear NATO’s unwavering support for Ukraine.

We condemn in the strongest terms Russia’s continued disregard of its international obligations. We urge Russia to cease its illegal military actions, stop its support to armed separatists, and take immediate and verifiable steps towards de-escalation of this grave crisis.”

NATO Secretary General statement after the extraordinary meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, 29 August 2014.

Kyiv Post.

Kremlin Invasion Exposed: Russian human rights advocate criticizes Putin for illegal incursion #RussiainvadedUkraine

Russia has invaded Ukraine. That is the message from Ella Polyakova, a member of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advisory council on human rights.

Polyakova has broken ranks with the Russia’s increasingly untenable policy of denying it has invaded Ukraine and suggested it was not ethical of the Kremlin to continue hiding the truth.

Ukraine Today.

Russian military source says captured soldiers entered Ukraine by mistake #RussiaUkraine

By Ian Bateson.Russian Army in Ukraine: Video evidence released of Russian soldiers captured in east Ukraine. ©

Russian soldiers captured by Ukrainian forces entered Ukraine by mistake, a Defense Ministry source has told Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

“The soldiers were patrolling the Russian-Ukrainian border when they most likely crossed accidentally at an unequipped and unmarked checkpoint,” said the unnamed source.

On the evening on Aug. 25, the Security Service of Ukraine, or SBU, said it had captured 10 Russian soldiers in the village of Dzerkalny, Donetsk Oblast, roughly 14 kilometers from the Russian border in a statement on its website.

The capture of the Russian soldiers comes at a time when border tensions between Ukraine and Russia are already high after Russia sent a humanitarian convoy into eastern Ukraine without Ukrainian authorities’ approval.  Ukraine said it considered such convoys to be a violation of its sovereignty and international law while Russia announced it will send another convoy as early as this week.

In the statement released by the SBU Ukrainian authorities also provided links to videos said to be interviews with the captured Russian soldiers.

In one of the videos, a man who identifies himself as Ivan Romantsev, deputy commander of a Russian military vehicle, said he had been training near the southern Russian city of Rostov before beginning what he was told were military exercises.

“My vehicle was hit at and blown up,” he said. “Then I understood it was not just a military exercise and I got scared.  Now I understand we were sent to fight people we shouldn’t have been fighting.”

“They sent us here without informing us or explaining why just as if we were cannon fodder,” he said, adding he couldn’t understand why they hadn’t been told.

Alexei Generalov, one of the 10 Russian soldiers Ukraine says it captured on its territory. © Generalov, one of the 10 Russian soldiers Ukraine says it captured on its territory. ©

Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied allegations of illegal border crossing and said Russia views all stories about Russian forces illegally entering Ukraine “as part of an information war” in an interview with Russia Beyond the Headlines published on Aug. 26.

Many former Russian intelligence and soldiers, however, have served in separatist ranks in the Ukrainian east, but no active regulars have been confirmed to be fighting there.

If Russia is shown to be sending its military forces to fight in Ukraine it would be a clear escalation of the conflict with greater implications under international law.

The SBU says it has opened criminal proceedings involving the crossing of the border and will be investigating.

(Ian Bateson is a Kyiv Post staff writer.  Follow him on Twitter at @ianbateson).Kyiv Post+ logoKyiv Post+ is a special project covering Russia’s war against Ukraine and the aftermath of the EuroMaidan Revolution.

Kyiv Post.

Angry Russian tourists forced to wait days for Russia-Crimea ferry #Crimea

By Ukraine Today
Russian tourists forced to wait days for Russia-Crimea ferry. The occupation of Crimea closed air and rail roads usually used by Russian tourists. Moscow has pledged to build the bridge linking Russia and Crimea – a project which will take at least four years to built and will cost about $10 billion.

Russia may have seized Crimea but for Russian tourists, the occupied Ukrainian peninsula has never been more inaccessible. Thousands of Russian travellers have been forced to wait up to several days for the Kerch ferry connecting Russia to Crimea.

Kyiv Post.

#Kremlin-backed #separatists #humiliate Ukrainian army in #Donetsk parade

By Helen Mukhina.Hundreds of people gather in the rebel-held Ukrainian city of Donetsk to watch captured Ukrainian soldiers march on the main street on Aug. 24. © dnr.todayHundreds of people gather in the rebel-held Ukrainian city of Donetsk to watch captured Ukrainian soldiers march on the main street on Aug. 24. ©

On Aug. 24, when most of Ukraine was celebrating its independence from the Soviet Union, pro-Russian separatists of Donetsk People’s Republic forced imprisoned Ukrainian servicemen to parade on the main street of Donetsk in front of hundreds of local supporters.

The separatists — who are considered terrorists by Ukraine’s leaders and who claim to hold more than 1,000 hostages — publicly announced the action would take place simultaneously with the military parade held in Kyiv by the Ukrainian government. They called it an “anti-fascist rally.”

Videos and photos from the site, Lenin Street in central Donetsk, show several dozen people in military uniform, allegedly Ukrainian soldiers taken captive by the separatists, walk the street with a convoy of armed men, while the people on roadsides shout and swear.

Ukrainian soldiers taken prisoner by Russian-backed separatists are paraded on Donetsk’s main street.

There was no official response from Ukraine’s authorities as of 6:30 p.m. Aug. 24.

The mockery in Donetsk occurred as a war between Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine’s eastern region is in its fifth month.

Photos and videos show hundreds of civilians who gathered to witness the humiliation of Ukrainian soldiers. The people are heard chanting “Fascists!”, calling the soldiers “Fcking demons!” and “Fggots!” and demanding that the servicemen get on their knees. Some were throwing flour, eggs and bottles at the prisoners.

To add to the humiliation, a street cleaning machine followed the prisoners – a clear reference to the march of captive German soldiers in Moscow in 1944, where a street cleaner symbolically washed the road after them.

Kyiv Post.