Russian proxies discuss framing Ukrainian military over death of Red Cross delegate in Donetsk | #Russia #Ukraine #Donetsk
Debris litter the ground outside the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Russian-held eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, following a rocket attack, on Oct. 2, 2014. © AFP
First the Malaysian airliner in which 298 perished, including nearly 100 children, now the Red Cross delegate that was killed from shelling in Russian-held Donetsk on Oct. 2, Ukrainian authorities say they have recordings implicating Kremlin-backed proxies in the tragedy.
Ukraine’s Interior Ministry published a recording on YouTube between two high-level Kremlin proxies discussing the death of 38-year-old Swiss national Laurent DuPasquier with Russian journalist Yevgeni Poddubny of RTR television.
The leader of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, specifically tells the Russian state-owned channel correspondent of plans to place the death’s blame on the Ukrainian military. He apparently tells Poddubny that they plan to show a rocket shell that contains phosphorus to journalists to further the alleged fabrication.
Both sides accuse each other of the shelling that led to the death of the Red Cross worker.
He sarcastically tells Poddubny of a condolence letter the terrorist-labeled group planned to write with passages that the Ukrainian military is “bad, (and) poor shots.”
“We’ll show the Red Cross fragments of [an internationally banned] phosphorus bomb that supposedly ripped through their (Red Cross) colleague,” Zakharchenko tells the journalist.
To further elaborate the fabrication, Poddubny apparently asks the Russian proxy to bring an artillery specialist to the bombing site in order to provide expert opinion regarding the direction from which the shell allegedly came.
“(The expert) would provide proof that the shelling comes (from Ukraine-held) Avdiyivka. Is there such a person, an artillery man of any kind with experience?” asked Poddubny.
Zakharchenko then replies in the affirmative.
Ukraine Interior Ministry video implicating Russian proxies in covering up their guilt in death of Red Cross worker in Donetsk (in Russian).
#Chinese embassy warns of ‘wider implications’ over #Foreign #Correspondent story on #Xinjiang conflict
Stephen McDonell has a run-in with Chinese minders in Xinjiang
Senior Chinese officials have warned the ABC there will be “wider implications” over its Foreign Correspondent story about unrest in western China.
ABC China correspondent Stephen McDonell and cameraman Wayne McAllister recently travelled to China’s western province of Xinjiang to investigate reports of conflict in the homeland of Turkic-speaking ethnic Uighurs.
Hundreds of people have died during the past year in the province – sometimes as a result of knife or bomb attacks on random members of the public, sometimes following what appear to have been disputes which have spun out of control.
ABC communications director Michael Millett confirmed “fairly senior” officials from the Chinese embassy had met with the ABC at its Ultimo headquarters in Sydney to ask it not to screen the show, which will go to air at 8:00pm tonight.
“The meeting was about two weeks ago and lasted about an hour,” he said.
“They were polite and forcefully aired concerns about the Foreign Correspondent program, which will air tonight.
“I think they were concerned about being unfairly portrayed in the story about the situation in the north-west region.”
Mr Millett said the officials did tell the meeting there would be “wider implications” if the program aired.
The ABC has business relationships with CCTV and Shanghai Media Group, where the broadcaster’s content is aired and published.
Team followed by minders, interviews filmed by Chinese officials
A Chinese official films the ABC’s Stephen McDonell as he interviews a local imam in Xinjiang (Wayne McAllister)
McDonell said the team in China was subjected to intense surveillance by Chinese officials, who attempted to limit access and information about the region
“For a journalist, being in Xinjiang is like being in North Korea. You get in a lift, they follow you in. You sit down for breakfast, they surround you,” he wrote.
Foreign Correspondent executive producer Steve Taylor said the level of scrutiny was higher than on previous visits to Xinjiang.
“Stephen was there in 2009 to do a story on the Uighurs. He had a clear understanding of the sorts of pressures that were potentially unfolding. It’s got a lot more intense and explosive since then,” Taylor said.
“It’s a super sensitive issue in China.”
He said the surveillence and “ever-growing” team of minders was more than the team had previously experienced or expected.
“I think it’s fair to say whenever Stephen does a contentious assignment in China the crew get attention. I don’t think they had experienced it to this extent.
“They were keen to control the message. People tried to control … and spoil Stephen and Wayne’s efforts.
“It says a lot about the story itself.
“They didn’t quite expect the number of people and the scale of surveillance they were subjected to.”
Chinese minders stake out ABC crew’s hotel
The ABC has attempted several times to contact the Chinese embassy in Canberra for comment.
Stephen McDonell and Wayne McAllister set out to cross China’s vast western province of Xinjiang knowing that journalists have been blocked from reaching many areas in the increasingly troubled region.
Survivors filmed the eruption at close quarters and described volcanic rock falling “like hailstones”, as Rupert Wingfield-Hayes reports
Rescue teams searching Japan’s Mount Ontake for missing climbers suspended operations as the volcano continued to shoot gas, rocks and ash into the air.
At least 36 people are believed to have died when Mt Ontake erupted unexpectedly on Saturday.
Hundreds of hikers were on the volcano when it erupted. Most walked down to safety but others were trapped.
Dozens of people were injured in the incident on the mountain, which is about 200km (125 miles) west of Tokyo.
Early on Monday helicopters began searching, as smoke rose from the peak.
Hundreds of firefighters, police and troops were involved in the operation, which later had to be halted because of the adverse conditions.
Twelve bodies have been recovered so far. Another 24 are reported to be on the mountain, after five more were located during the course of the day.
Monday’s search centred on a mountain lodge on Mount Ontake.Eventually toxic gases and ash forced the search teams to suspend their operation.
Some of the bodies were found in a lodge near the summit and others were buried in ash up to 50cm (20in) deep, Japanese media reported.
Hikers who made it down the mountain told how a rolling cloud of volcanic debris had swept down its flanks, smothering everything in its path.
“Some people were buried in ash up to their knees and the two in front of me seemed to be dead,” a woman hiker told the broadcaster Asahi.
The bodies of some of the victims were brought down from the volcano on Sunday.The volcano erupted unexpectedly on Saturday leaving many hikers trapped.
Another told how she had heard the last moments of a victim hit by a cascade of rocks.
“There was someone lying outside the hut after being hit in the back,” she said.
“He was saying ‘It hurts, it hurts’, but after about half an hour he went quiet.”
Another survivor told the Yomiuri newspaper he had seen a boy shouting “It’s hot” and “I can’t breathe” near the peak, before ash clouds turned everything black and silent.
Relatives of those still missing are facing an anxious wait for news at a nearby elementary school.
One tearful father clutched a photograph of his son and the young man’s girlfriend, neither of whom have been heard of since the eruption.
An elderly woman told the Asahi network that her son had called her just after the eruption.
“He told me it erupted. He said ‘It’s over. I’m dying now’ and then the line was cut off,” she said.
Japan’s meteorological agency has forecast further eruptions and warned that volcanic debris may settle within 4km (2.5 miles) of the peak.
Vladimir Lenin monument was toppled in Kharkiv on the night of Sept. 28. © facebook
Anastasia Forina reporting
A rally of Ukrainian activists in Kharkiv ended with toppling a Soviet-era monument of Vladimir Lenin on the night of Sept. 28.
The monument was standing on the city’s central Svoboda Square (Freedom Square). It took protesters, some of them reportedly being football hooligans, several hours to topple the statue. They sawed the legs of the metal statue with an angle grinder before putting cables on its body and pulling the monument down.
Over 160 Lenin monuments were toppled in Ukraine in less than a year. The first Lenin went down in Kyiv on Dec. 8, 2013, toppled by the EuroMaidan protesters.
At least 5,000 people reportedly showed up at the rally in support of Ukraine’s unity earlier on Sept. 28 in Kharkiv. Many were holding Ukrainian flags and singing national anthem at the rally.
Some of the participants then moved to Svoboda Square where they attempted to saw off parts of the Lenin’s monument and used a hammer to make a “Glory to Ukraine” inscription on it.
“A monument to the heroes who fought and died for Ukraine’s independence and unity should be put on this place instead,” Anton Herashchenko, adviser for Interior Minister, said in a Facebook post.
His boss Arsen Avakov, once a governor in Kharkiv, wrote his own post, saying “let him fall,” and adding that he ordered police to not guard the monument.
In response to activists’ attempts to topple Lenin’s monument Kharkiv region governor Ihor Baluta has signed a decree on official demolition of the monument.
“For the purpose of settling the situation that occurred in the region over the monuments of totalitarian era, the monument of Lenin in particular, regional department of culture and tourism should immediately take measures regarding demolition of Lenin monument on Svoboda square,” the decree reads.
However, the monument was toppled before the authorities could begin to demolish it.
by KEN MORITSUGU.
Buildings of a mountain lodge near the summit crater are totally covered by ash spewed out by Mt. Ontake as the volcano erupts in central Japan Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. Mt. Ontake erupted Saturday, sending a large plume of ash high into the sky and prompting a warning to climbers and others to avoid the area. Japanese broadcaster NHK, citing local authorities, said there were reports of injuries, but no word on their severity. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT
TOKYO (AP) — A volcano in central Japan erupted in spectacular fashion on Saturday, catching mountain climbers by surprise and injuring at least 40 people who were stranded in areas that rescue workers have been unable to reach. Another seven people were missing.
The injured were in mountain lodges, because they were unable to descend 3,067-meter (10,062-foot) Mount Ontake on their own, said Sohei Hanamura, a crisis management official in Nagano prefecture. Thirty-two people had serious injuries, including at least seven who lost consciousness.
Police, fire and military rescue workers were trying to approach the area on foot, after deciding that the ash in the air made it too dangerous to use helicopters. The ash was also hampering their ascent.
Hanamura said seven people were reported missing on the mountain.
Lodge managers were familiar with first aid procedures and were communicating with rescue officials in town, he said.
With a sound likened to thunder, the volcano erupted shortly before noon on a clear autumn day, spewing large white plumes of ash high into the sky and sending people on the mountainside fleeing.
The eruption continued into the night, blanketing the surrounding area in ash. About 250 people were initially trapped on the slopes, but most had made their way down by Saturday night, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported. Some were in shelters set up in four nearby towns.
One witness told NHK that the eruption started with large booms that sounded like thunder.
In a YouTube video, shocked climbers can be seen moving quickly away from the peak as an expanding plume of ash emerges above and then engulfs them.
Many of those who made it down emerged with clothes and backpacks covered in ash. They reported being engulfed in total darkness for several minutes.
Mikio Oguro, an NHK journalist who was on the slope on an unrelated assignment, told the station that he saw massive smoke coming out of the crater, blocking sunlight and reducing visibility to zero.
“Massive ash suddenly fell and the entire area was totally covered with ash,” he said by phone. He and his crew had to use headlamps to find a lodge.
“My colleagues later told me that they thought they might die,” Oguro said.
Two Jetstar flights headed to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport diverted to Kansai International Airport in western Japan as a precaution.
Japan’s meteorological agency raised the alert level for Mount Ontake to 3 on a scale of 1 to 5. It warned people to stay away from the mountain, saying ash and other debris could fall up to 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) away.
Mount Ontake, about 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of Tokyo, sits on the border of Nagano and Gifu prefectures, on the main Japanese island of Honshu. The volcano’s last major eruption was in 1979.
Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi contributed to this report.