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Putin calls for talks on 'statehood' of eastern Ukraine

Putin calls for talks on 'statehood' of eastern Ukraine

31 August 2014 | 14:50 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. President Vladimir Putin called on Sunday for immediate talks on the future of war-torn east Ukraine, saying for the first time that "statehood" should be considered for the region, AFP reported.
"We need to immediately begin substantive talks ... on questions of the political organisation of society and statehood in southeastern Ukraine with the goal of protecting the lawful interests of the people who live there," Putin was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on a TV show broadcast in the far east of the country.
Russia has previously only called for greater rights under a decentralised federal system to be accorded to the eastern regions of Ukraine, where predominantly Russian-speakers live.
In the programme, taped on Friday, Putin did not directly address additional Western sanctions on Russia.
But he blamed the crisis in Ukraine on the West, accusing it of supporting a "coup" against pro-Kremlin president Viktor Yanukovych in February.
"They should have known that Russia cannot stand aside when people are being shot almost at point-blank range," said Putin, adding that he did not have in mind "the Russian state but the Russian people."
Putin has denied that Moscow has sent regular troops to fight in Ukraine, but pro-Russian rebels have said that many Russian soldiers have volunteered while "on vacation".
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Putin: Impossible to say when political crisis in Ukraine will end

Putin: Impossible to say when political crisis in Ukraine will end

31 August 2014 | 14:12 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Moscow Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on Kiev to start substantial talks on deescalating the crisis in eastern Ukraine. He added that it’s an illusion to expect that the rebels would calmly watch their homes being destroyed, Russia Today reported.
“We have agreed on a plan, so its realization must be pursued,” Putin told Channel 1 TV, adding that the Ukrainian government “must immediately start substantial talks – not a technical discussion – on the political organization of society and the state in southeast Ukraine so that the interests of people who live there are protected.”
The plan, according to Russia's leader, puts negotiations at the center of the peace process. In a clear reference to the toppling of Viktor Yanukovich by the Maidan movement in February, Putin said that mistakes such as a power takeover should be avoided and called it the main cause of today's crisis.
The Russian president called on Kiev to consider the upcoming autumn and winter period and think about the heating season. The devastated infrastructure of the southeast requires full repair otherwise people might just freeze to death, he said.
“It looks as if only Russia cares about that. The first most essential condition is to stop combat operations and begin reconstruction of the infrastructure, replenish inventories, do the necessary repairs and scheduled maintenance to be ready for the cold season.”
Putin said that, while the resolution of the crisis now mostly depends on Kiev, it is impossible to say when it may end. He said it could be explained by the upcoming Ukrainian parliamentary elections.
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Captured Russian paratroopers return home in swap with Ukraine

Captured Russian paratroopers return home in swap with Ukraine

31 August 2014 | 10:15 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. Ten Russian paratroopers captured inside Ukraine nearly one week ago have returned home following a troop exchange, Russian media reported Sunday, as cited by AFP.
In the early hours of Sunday the 10 paratroopers were handed over to Russian authorities at the Nekhoteyevka border crossing.
Russia in turn returned some 63 Ukrainian soldiers that had crossed onto its territory on Wednesday to flee fighting that has intensified during the past week.
"The talks were not easy, but common sense prevailed and everything turned out well," the deputy commander of the Russian paratroop forces, said Major General Alexei Ragozin.
"The most important is that all of our boys are back with us in Russia," he said.
Ukraine announced on Monday the capture of the 10 Russian paratroopers, who Moscow said had mistakenly crossed an unmarked area of the border while on patrol.
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Lawmaker probing Russian soldier deaths in Ukraine attacked: party

Lawmaker probing Russian soldier deaths in Ukraine attacked: party

30 August 2014 | 15:58 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. A Russian opposition lawmaker who attended the secret funeral of a soldier apparently killed in Ukraine was in hospital Saturday after what he said was a politically motivated attack, AFP reported.
Speaking from his hospital bed, Lev Shlosberg, who had been investigating Russian soldiers' presence in Ukraine, linked the assault late Friday to his probe.
He told AFP some 100 paratroopers based in his northwestern town of Pskov had been killed in combat in Ukraine.
"An entire company was killed," the 51-year-old leader of a regional branch of the opposition party Yabloko told AFP by telephone, citing figures given to him by the soldiers' families.
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Russia wants humanitarian aid 'bridge' into Ukraine: report

Russia wants humanitarian aid 'bridge' into Ukraine: report

30 August 2014 | 11:27 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. A senior military official said Saturday that Russia wants a "humanitarian bridge" to ferry multiple aid shipments into war-torn areas of eastern Ukraine, AFP reported.
Russian authorities, social organisations and businesses "are thinking of organising not one humanitarian convoy, which we have already sent, but a second, third, tenth," Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov told the state RIA-Novosti news agency in an interview.
"In general, we would like for there to be a normal humanitarian bridge between" Russia and the rebel-held cities of Lugansk and Donetsk where many civilians have been trapped by fighting.
Russia sent a convoy of more than 200 lorries carrying what it said was over 1,800 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Lugansk last weekend without the final approval of Ukrainian authorities and without Red Cross monitors.
Kiev called it an "invasion" and the West upbraided Moscow for violating Ukraine's territorial integrity.
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Ukrainian fighter jet shot down in east: Kiev

Ukrainian fighter jet shot down in east: Kiev

30 August 2014 | 10:28 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. A Ukrainian fighter jet has been shot down by a Russian anti-aircraft system in the east of the country, where Kiev is fighting pro-Moscow rebels, Ukraine's military said on Saturday, AFP reported.
"A Russian anti-aircraft system shot down an Su-25 fighter. The pilot managed to eject," the military said in a statement, which did not give the location of the incident that it said occurred on Friday morning.
The statement denied rebel claims that four planes had been taken down by the insurgents.
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Vladimir Putin, François Hollande discuss various possibilities for resolving Ukraine crisis

Vladimir Putin, François Hollande discuss various possibilities for resolving Ukraine crisis

29 August 2014 | 22:34 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart, François Hollande, have discussed in a telephone conversation the crisis situation in Ukraine. They discussed the possibilities for cooperation on the political resolving of the conflict, the Kremlin press service announced, RIA Novosti reported.
”Possibilities for cooperation in the political resolving of the Ukrainian conflict were considered... Both sides remarked the bloodshed needed to cease and the humanitarian disaster needed to be overcome through peaceful means,” the announcement says.
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EU condemns Russia's 'significant incursions' into Ukraine

EU condemns Russia's 'significant incursions' into Ukraine

29 August 2014 | 21:54 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso condemned Moscow's "significant incursions" into eastern Ukraine during a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, AFP announced.
A statement from the commission said Barosso had a "very frank exchange" with Putin, in which he expressed his concern over Russia's direct role in fighting in eastern Ukraine.
Fears of a wider confrontation have spiralled after NATO said Russia had sent troops over the border and funnelled huge amounts of heavy weaponry to pro-Kremlin rebels.
"The President of the Commission conveyed to President Putin his firm condemnation of the evidence of significant incursions into, and operations on Ukrainian soil by Russian military units," the statement said.
Barosso reportedly said Russia's actions stood in "complete contradiction with the efforts made by the European Union to bring about diplomatic and pragmatic solutions" to the crisis.
He also urged Putin to change course, stressing that "it is difficult to continue to argue for engagement when confronted with the recurrent escalation of the conflict".
The statement went on to say that "the EU has already made clear that further destabilisation of Ukraine and the region will carry high costs".
Putin has repeatedly denied Moscow is fuelling the conflict or has any troops on the ground in the former Soviet state.
On Friday, he demanded the Ukrainian government hold "substantial" talks with the separatists who took up arms against Kiev in April.
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EU could ban imports of Russian caviar, vodka, diamonds Saturday

EU could ban imports of Russian caviar, vodka, diamonds Saturday

29 August 2014 | 20:55 | FOCUS News Agency
Berlin. EU could ban the imports of Russian caviar, vodka and diamonds at a summit on Saturday, August 30, RIA Novosti reported, citing a German newspaper which quoted diplomatic sources.
The embargo on the three products will be considered the third and final degree of the EU sanctions on Russia.
The news edition reported the approval of sanctions on the Russian energy sector is not likely and could be seen only in the case of extreme escalation of the Ukrainian conflict.
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Interfax-Russia: Donetsk People’s Republic forces surround Mariupol

Interfax-Russia: Donetsk People’s Republic forces surround Mariupol

29 August 2014 | 19:56 | FOCUS News Agency
Donetsk. Forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic announced they had managed to surround the city of Mariupol and gain control over part of the motorway connecting it with Zaporizhia Oblast, Interfax-Russia reported.
The Donetsk People’s Republic said it already controlled 9 settlements and had blocked Mariupol, its forces being some 12 km far from the city at certain places.
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Romania calls on EU, NATO to arm Ukraine

Romania calls on EU, NATO to arm Ukraine

29 August 2014 | 14:42 | FOCUS News Agency
Bucharest. Romania's president Traian Basescu on Friday said the European Union and NATO must supply weapons to Ukraine to help it fight Russian-backed insurgents, AFP reported.
"At tomorrow's EU summit I will plead in favour of backing Ukraine with weapons to help it oppose the Russian aggression," Basescu told Romanian diplomats gathered in Bucharest for their annual meeting.
EU and NATO states must "go beyond declarations of good intent", he stressed.
"If we want to give the Ukrainian people a chance, we must act on a par with the Russian Federation, that is supply the Ukrainian army with any means we can supply."
Ukraine's ambassador to the EU on Thursday called for "large-scale" military assistance from Brussels as Kiev claimed Russian troops were fighting in the east of the country.
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Putin says Ukraine must enter 'substantial' talks with rebels

Putin says Ukraine must enter 'substantial' talks with rebels

29 August 2014 | 14:38 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. President Vladimir Putin insisted Friday that Kiev must enter substantial talks with pro-Russian rebels amid a dramatic escalation of the fighting in Ukraine, AFP reported.
"It is necessary to make the Ukrainian authorities start substantial talks," he told youths at a pro-Kremlin summer camp in central Russia.
"It is necessary to hold substantial, meaningful talks, to understand what rights the people of Donbass, Lugansk, the entire southeast of the country will have," Putin said in televised remarks.
"It is important to agree on substance. They don't want to speak on substance, that is the problem."
Putin spoke after Kiev and the West said that Russian regular troops were on the ground in Ukraine, fighting alongside ragtag formations of pro-Russian separatists.
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Ukraine wants to seek NATO membership: PM

Ukraine wants to seek NATO membership: PM

29 August 2014 | 13:14 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Friday that the government is seeking to join NATO and is submitting a relevant bill to parliament to end it's official 'non-bloc' policy, AFP reported.
"The government is entering a bill to Verkhovna Rada (parliament) about the cancellation of Ukraine's non-bloc status and resumption of Ukraine's course for NATO membership.
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UNIAN: IMF to decide on 3rd tranche to Ukraine

UNIAN: IMF to decide on 3rd tranche to Ukraine

29 August 2014 | 11:25 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to officially decide on the third tranche of its credit for Ukraine on Friday, Ukrainian news agency UNIAN reported.
It is the latest credit tranche in the frames of the two-year stand-by programme, while the credit itself is worth USD 17 billion.

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Poroshenko, Merkel discuss situation in Donbass

Poroshenko, Merkel discuss situation in Donbass

29 August 2014 | 09:29 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a telephone call discussed the situation in Donbass and steps to establish a dialogue for a peaceful settlement of the situation, the Ukrainian presidential press service said on Friday, ITAR-TASS reported.
Poroshenko asked Merkel to do everything in the European Union and in the international arena to support Ukraine.
The chancellor assured Germany was ready to support resolute steps of the EU at the next meeting of the European Council on August 30. The European Union must show solidarity with Ukraine, she said.
The two leaders discussed a possible address of Poroshenko to heads of states and governments at the European Council meeting and agreed to continue the intensive dialogue to promptly respond to developments in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
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Putin urges 'humanitarian corridor' for trapped Ukraine troops

Putin urges 'humanitarian corridor' for trapped Ukraine troops

29 August 2014 | 08:12 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine to open a "humanitarian corridor" to allow Ukrainian troops to escape from the rebel-held eastern town of Novoazovsk, AFPreported.
"I call on the rebel forces to open a humanitarian corridor for the Ukrainian troops who are surrounded, so as to avoid unnecessary casualties and to give them the opportunity to withdraw from the zone of operations," Putin said in a statement issued overnight Thursday.
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Russia will provide humanitarian aid to people of Eastern Ukraine – Putin

Russia will provide humanitarian aid to people of Eastern Ukraine – Putin

29 August 2014 | 04:11 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. Russia can and will provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Donbass, suffering from a humanitarian crisis, the Kremlin quoted Russia’s President Vladimir Putin as saying in a statement Friday, as quoted by RIA Novosti.
"The Russian side, in its turn, is ready to and will provide humanitarian aid to the population of Donbass, suffering from a humanitarian disaster," Putin said.
The statement came after Russia's first humanitarian convoy of 280 trucks had taken 2,000 tons of aid to the troubled Luhansk last weekend.
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Merkel, Obama warn Russia of 'consequences' over Ukraine

Merkel, Obama warn Russia of 'consequences' over Ukraine

29 August 2014 | 01:30 | FOCUS News Agency
Berlin. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Barack Obama agreed in a telephone call Thursday that Russia's actions in easter Ukraine "cannot remain without consequences," after claims that Russian troops are actively involved in fighting in the restive region, AFP reports.
The two leaders said they were concerned over "information about the arrival of new Russian soldiers and Russian military equipment" in the east of Ukraine, government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement from Berlin.
"The chancellor and the president agreed... that such behaviour cannot remain without consequences," added the spokesman.
In Washington, Obama said of his Merkel talks: "We agree if there was ever any doubt that Russia is responsible for the violence in eastern Ukraine: the violence is encouraged by Russia; the separatists are trained by Russia; they are armed by Russia. They are funded by Russia."
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Obama accuses Russia, to host Poroshenko

Obama accuses Russia, to host Poroshenko

29 August 2014 | 00:03 | FOCUS News Agency
Washington. US President Barack Obama said Thursday it was plain for the world to see that Russian forces were fighting in Ukraine, AFP reports.
Obama said in a press briefing he planned to host Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the White House in September to discuss the escalating crisis.
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Russia must 'stop lying,' fueling Ukraine conflict: US envoy

Russia must 'stop lying,' fueling Ukraine conflict: US envoy

28 August 2014 | 23:28 | FOCUS News Agency
New York. The US ambassador to the United Nations told the Security Council on Thursday that Russia "must stop lying," accusing Moscow of fomenting growing instability in eastern Ukraine, AFP reports.
"Russia has to stop lying and has to stop fueling this conflict," Samantha Power told an emergency session of the 15-member council.
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Protest rally held in front of Russia consulate in Ukraine’s Kharkov

Protest rally held in front of Russia consulate in Ukraine’s Kharkov

28 August 2014 | 22:30 | FOCUS News Agency
Kharkov. A protest rally was held on Thursday in front of the consulate of Russia in the Ukrainian city Kharkov, UNN reported.
Some two hundred people took part in it.
The demonstrators carried posters saying things against Russian President Vladimir Putin and chanted pro-Ukraine and anti-Russia slogans.
Several individuals wearing masked threw squibs and smoke bombs at the consulate. One person was arrested.
After the demonstration came to an end, there was a procession along the main streets in the city.
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US warns of possible new sanctions against Russia over Ukraine

US warns of possible new sanctions against Russia over Ukraine

28 August 2014 | 21:39 | FOCUS News Agency
Washington. The United States warned Thursday it was considering new sanctions against Russia over its role in the latest fighting in Ukraine, AFP reported.
"We have additional tools and sanctions that we can certainly choose to put in place," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, who said the options would be discussed with NATO allies.
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State Duma speaker dismisses Poroshenko's claims about Russian troops in Ukraine

State Duma speaker dismisses Poroshenko's claims about Russian troops in Ukraine

28 August 2014 | 21:08 | FOCUS News Agency
Ankara. Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin has dismissed Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s allegations Russia had moved its troops into Ukraine, ITAR-TASS reported.
“I would advise Western politicians and the public at large to avoid yielding to such media provocations. Many seem to be quite accustomed to hearing lies, if you don’t mind my saying so, from officials in Kiev. Just don’t believe them,” Naryshkin told the media on Thursday.
He quoted a number of examples to explain what made him so certain. “Firstly, they are talking about a high concentration of Russian troops on the border. I would ask this counter question: what would the defense ministry of any other country be doing at a time when full-scale combat operations involving heavy armaments, multiple rocket launchers and aircraft were on in the territory of a neighboring state? In the meantime, this is precisely what is happening to our regret in the territory of a fraternal country, Ukraine,” Naryshkin said.
He believes that in such situations "any country is in a position to take proportionate steps to ensure its own security".
Another example Naryshkin mentioned concerned the presence of troops in the territory of neighboring states. “Just take a look at how many cases there were of Ukrainian military in large numbers crossing the border into our territory,” Naryshkin said.
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Merkel says EU to discuss further Russia sanctions

Merkel says EU to discuss further Russia sanctions

28 August 2014 | 20:58 | FOCUS News Agency
Berlin. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that European leaders at a weekend summit will discuss the worsening Ukraine crisis and possible further sanctions against Russia, AFP reports.
"We have received reports of an increased presence of Russian soldiers and new unrest and advances by separatists in previously very quiet areas" of Ukraine, Merkel said.
The unrest would be the subject of an EU summit in Brussels on Saturday, she said, adding that since March this year, "we have repeatedly made clear ... that in case of further escalations, naturally new sanctions will have to be discussed".
Speaking to the media after a Berlin meeting with Balkan leaders, she said the Ukraine crisis "will be on the agenda of the council, and we will just have to ask 'how will we react?'"
"I want to say again... we want a diplomatic solution, and we will not let up on this, but we have to acknowledge that things have become more difficult and worsened again in recent days."
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Italy's Renzi calls Putin to denounce 'intolerable escalation' in Ukraine

Italy's Renzi calls Putin to denounce 'intolerable escalation' in Ukraine

28 August 2014 | 19:10 | FOCUS News Agency
Rome. Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, on Thursday called Russian President Vladimir Putin to warn of "very serious consequences" after reports that Moscow has sent troops into Ukraine, AFP reported.
The premier said the "entry of Russian troops into Ukraine" is "an intolerable escalation which will lead to very serious consequences".
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UK warns Russia of 'further consequences' over Ukraine

UK warns Russia of 'further consequences' over Ukraine

28 August 2014 | 18:35 | FOCUS News Agency
London. British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday warned Russia that it faces "further consequences" following reports that Moscow had sent troops into eastern Ukraine, which he said would be "completely unacceptable and illegal", AFP reports.
"We urge Russia to pursue a different path and to find a political solution to this crisis. If Russia does not, then she should be in no doubt that there will be further consequences," Cameron said in a statement.
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Kiev banning 11 more Russian journalists from entering Ukraine

Kiev banning 11 more Russian journalists from entering Ukraine

28 August 2014 | 17:50 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. The National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine has expanded the list of Russian media professionals for the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) banned from entering the country, the council’s spokesperson said Thursday, as quoted by RIA Novosti.
“Last time the list consisted of 38 people. Now, considering the situation in the country and the current developments, we have expanded this list to include 49 people,” Ukrainian Broadcasting Council Chairman Yuri Artemenko said, adding that the list has already been passed on to the SBU.
Artemenko also noted that the SBU has already banned more than 20 journalists, whose names were included in the initial version of the list, from entering Ukraine.
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NATO says 'over 1,000 Russian troops' in Ukraine

NATO says 'over 1,000 Russian troops' in Ukraine

28 August 2014 | 15:14 | FOCUS News Agency
Mons. A senior NATO official said on Thursday that "well over a thousand" Russian troops were operating inside Ukraine, AFP reports.
"They support separatists, fighting with them and fighting amongst them," the official said on condition of anonymity, adding that the supply of arms by Russia had increased in both "volume and quality".
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Ukraine president scraps Turkey trip over 'deteriorating' situation

Ukraine president scraps Turkey trip over 'deteriorating' situation

28 August 2014 | 14:19 | FOCUS News Agency
Kiev. Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko scrapped a visit to Turkey on Thursday and convened a top security meeting after Kiev accused Russian troops of seizing a border town in the east, AFP reported.
"I have cancelled the visit to Turkey and am urgently convening a meeting of the (National Security and Defence Council) due to the sharp deterioration of the situation in the Donetsk region," a post on Poroshenko's official Twitter account said.
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Mothers pressure Russia to come clean on soldiers in Ukraine

Mothers pressure Russia to come clean on soldiers in Ukraine

28 August 2014 | 14:18 | FOCUS News Agency
Kostroma. Wives and mothers of Russian soldiers were set to demonstrate Thursday after reports of secret military funerals ratcheted up pressure on Moscow to come clean about its role in the Ukraine conflict, AFP reported.
The women said paratroopers from a base in Kostroma, north of Moscow, were sent on military drills and then went incommunicado, only for some of their husbands and sons to return in pine boxes.
"Cargo-200 arrived in Kostroma yesterday," Valeria Sokolova, a wife of one of the paratroopers, told AFP, using the Russian military term for body bags.
She said military commanders had refused to confirm that their loved ones had been sent to fight in Ukraine.
"There would only tell us that they are not in Russia," Sokolova said.
The case echoes official denials earlier this year that Russia had sent paramilitary forces into Crimea, and the Soviet Union's reluctance to acknowledge it was at war in Afghanistan in 1979.
Washington and Kiev on Thursday accused Moscow of direct involvement in the deadly conflict raging in the east of Ukraine, saying Russian troops were on the ground.
Russian independent media have widely reported on the funerals of two paratroopers that were held in secret in northwestern Russia, citing mourners as saying they were killed in Ukraine.
President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, would only say that the reports were being looked into.
However questions about Russian involvement in Ukraine came to a head when Moscow confirmed this week that nearly a dozen of its soldiers had strayed into the country "accidentally" and been captured.
The leader of the Donetsk rebels, Alexander Zakharchenko, said Wednesday that many Russian troops were fighting alongside his insurgents, but that they had all chosen to spend their holidays in the region.
Moscow's Rain TV station reported this week that a regional branch of the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers, a rights group that campaigns against abuses in the armed forces, has drawn up a list of 400 soldiers believed to have been injured or killed in Ukraine.
Moscow initially denied it had sent paramilitary forces into Crimea in March this year, only to admit it later and annex the territory from Ukraine following a hastily-arranged referendum.
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EU 'extremely concerned' about reports of Russia incursion in Ukraine

EU 'extremely concerned' about reports of Russia incursion in Ukraine

28 August 2014 | 14:16 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. The European Union said on Thursday said it was "extremely concerned" by reports of an incursion by Russian troops into Ukraine, AFP reported.
"We are extremely concerned by the latest developments, including reports on what is happening on the ground," Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said at a news conference.
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OSCE to meet on 'Russia violations' in Ukraine at 0900 GMT: US

OSCE to meet on 'Russia violations' in Ukraine at 0900 GMT: US

28 August 2014 | 11:25 | FOCUS News Agency
Vienna. The European security body OSCE will hold a special meeting Thursday to discuss developments in conflict-torn Ukraine, following reports of Russian troops on the ground there, the US mission said to the organisation said, AFP reported.
"Russia violations in Ukraine to top agenda at extraordinary meet of OSCE delegations at 11:00 CET (0900 GMT) today in Vienna," the US mission said in a tweet.
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Russian troops in Ukraine would be 'intolerable', 'unacceptable': France

Russian troops in Ukraine would be 'intolerable', 'unacceptable': France

28 August 2014 | 10:51 | FOCUS News Agency
Paris. French President Francois Hollande warned on Thursday it would be "intolerable and unacceptable" if Russia troops were to be operating on Ukrainian territory, as Western intelligence believes, AFP reported.
"If it turns out that there are Russian soldiers present on Ukrainian soil, it would be intolerable and unacceptable," he told a Paris gathering of French ambassadors from around the world.
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Shelling kills 11 civilians in east Ukraine's Donetsk: official

Shelling kills 11 civilians in east Ukraine's Donetsk: official

28 August 2014 | 10:34 | FOCUS News Agency
Donetsk. Mortar bombardments have killed 11 civilians and wounded 22 more in east Ukraine's main rebel bastion of Donetsk over the past 24 hours, local authorities said Thursday, AFP reported.
"As a result of artillery fire on districts of Donetsk 11 civilians died and 22 were injuries," the city council said in a statement.
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Rebels seize ground as West claims Russia army is in Ukraine: AFP

Rebels seize ground as West claims Russia army is in Ukraine: AFP

27 August 2014 | 23:49 | FOCUS News Agency
Starobesheve. Rebels in east Ukraine on Wednesday appeared to have seized swathes of territory from retreating government forces, while Western intelligence said Russian army units were operating inside the country.
After weeks of government offensives that have seen troops push deep into the last rebel bastions, the tide appears to be turning once again in the four-month conflict, prompting a nervous government in Kiev to call on NATO for help.
AFP journalists saw no signs of government troops south of the rebel-held city of Donetsk, with road blocks on the entire 100-kilometre (60-mile) stretch to the Azov Sea manned by pro-Russian rebels.
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