Protesters shutdown Interstate 170

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Protests are ongoing at the Mobil at Berkeley, Missouri where a young black man was shot by a white officer on Tuesday.

Protesters initially shutdown Interstate 170 before being moved by police officers down the highway as long lines of cars remained backed up.

https://mtc.cdn.vine.co/r/videos/12E42D434D1159736871107358720_3b07c05d19d.1.4.2527631452843478439.mp4?versionId=9Yw4patEcHO59OL8svwP1BJUZQ_bfn_L

The demonstrators chanted several slogans as they shutdown the Interstate, as they walked to gas station, and while at the gas station. “Hands up, don’t shoot!”, “You can’t stop the revolution,” and “FTP, F*** the police!” were just a few slogans chanted by the protesters.

Some protesters said they were maced by officers while on Interstate 170 but so far the protests have remained peaceful.

Residents in Ferguson, Missouri and other cities across the U.S. have been protesting following the killings of several African Americans by white Police Officers.

As protesters expressed their anger and frustration to officers outside of the Mobil gas station, Bassem Masri, a known activist and livestreamer of the protests said, “We don’t negotiate with terrorists,” referring the police.

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Obama’s Message to Young Adults

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In what was both a humorous and serious one hour event at the White House on Tuesday, United States President Barack Obama sat down with Tumblr founder David Karp and answered and discussed questions sent in by young adults all across the U.S.

From student debt to gun violence, President Obama shared his views and opinions on some of America’s most prominent issues, and proposed ways to fix them.

During the event, Mr. Karp asked President Obama questions sent in by Tumblr users.

Tumblr, which was founded in 2007, is an insanely popular blogging website with over 190 million blogs and 83.1 billion posts.  With over 90 million posts a day, it is one of the most popular and used blogging sites in the world.

Mr. Obama answered numerous questions and gave future, financial and education advice to young adults.

He gave advice to those entering or searching for jobs to do what they enjoy most.  “You are going to do best at what you most deeply care about,” Mr. Obama said, adding that if your job is what you enjoy, the effort you put into it won’t “feel like a burden.”

President Obama also gave his insight and financial advice to those going into college, saying that an “investment in college is always going to be a smart investment”, but that it is import to research what you’re investing into, as to avoid wasting money and time on things of little to no use to you.

He also encouraged teens and young adults to find more than just one way to achieve a goal or dream–you don’t need to take the traditional road.

Mr. Obama warned teens and young adults of the dangers of not believing that they have a voice and the ability to make a change, saying that is of the utmost importance for people to realize and know that they are capable of making the world a better place.

As for the numerous problems faced at schools and universities across the U.S., President Obama stressed for the need for people to take control of the steering wheel and to choose their education and life path.

Too many young adults see college as a box to check, he said, as opposed to an opportunity to find out what matters to them.  Numerous “Young people waist a lot of time” on things that aren’t important and beneficial to them, he warned.

“Education is not a passive thing… it is an active passage” of finding what matters and is important to you, he said.

Mr. Obama seemed to suggest that schools should not just teach text book material, but also teach students traits and skills which will come in handy when they enter the real world.

He also touched on the importance of allowing transgenders the same rights as others.

The controversial subject of gun violence was also discussed by the president.  Gun violence has been rampant in the U.S. in the last two years, with numerous mass-shootings happening across the country, including on Tuesday.

“Our levels of gun violence are off the chart,” President Obama said, adding that he does respect gun violence, but believes that it is absurd that a bill can’t be passed to make those who wish to obtain a firearm first go through a background check.

He also encouraged those who want a restriction on guns to take action, saying: “If the public opinion does not demand change in Congress, it will not change.”

Mr. Obama said that the reason gun restrictions haven’t taken place on a wide scale is because those who want gun restrictions are not taking the same level of action as those who do not want gun restrictions are.

He stated that until people take action, not much is going to change.

The president warned that mass shootings have become the “norm” in the U.S., and added that he is willing to work with others to bring an end to gun violence in the United States.

In conclusion, Mr. Obama answered a question about where he saw himself in ten years, saying that while he does not know where he will be in 10 years, he does intend to make every day of the remaining two and a half years of his term “count”.  He said that it encourages him, despite all the negativity he deals with on a daily basis, that he is able to do something in office that helps others’ lives.

He said that if he comes away helping those in the middle class, it’s a good day for him.

He also added that he and his wife, Michelle Obama, are interested in working with and developing young people for a brighter and better future.

And lastly, President Obama warned young people not to become cynical; believe you can make a change; “Look out on the horizon,” and take advantage of opportunities.

NATO General Believes Poroshenko Will Bring Stability to Ukraine

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Newly elect-President Petro Poroshenko was inaugurated on Saturday.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has congratulated the newly elected Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, on his inauguration on Saturday.

Mr. Poroshenko, 45, won the presidential election on May 25.  His inauguration brings much needed hope for the restoration of peace and stability in Ukraine after months of internal turmoil has torn the country apart and devastated numerous lives.

In late February, former President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted after months of protests in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, which resulted in over 100 people dead.  An interim president, and government, took over until a democratically elected president was elected.

The new president brings hope of peace not just to the people of Ukraine, but leaders, organizations and officials across Europe and the West.

After months of fighting between the Ukrainian military and independence fighters–also labeled as separatists, pro-Russians, and “terrorists” by Kiev authorities–President Poroshenko has said he has a plan to bring peace.

Mr. Rasmussen welcomed Mr. Poroshenko’s inauguration on Saturday and wished him “success in carrying forward this new position of responsibility at a defining time in Ukraine’s history.

“The presidential elections were an important milestone for Ukraine,” Mr. Rasmussen said.  “In holding transparent and democratic elections despite significant challenges, the people of Ukraine showed their commitment to a united, independent and sovereign country.”

During the elections in May, separatists in eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions disrupted voting.  Out of the twelve poling districts in Donetsk, 10 did not take place.  In Luhansk, fourteen out of the 22 polling districts did not take place either.  Only eight-hundred out of 3,908 polling stations were open.

Reasons for the disruption ranged from fear, to direct threats against voters by separatists.

But despite these problems, the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) stated that the elections were largely successful.  Voting took place normally in other parts of Ukraine, with voting assessed positively in 98% of polling stations independently observed.

Secretary Gen. Rasmussen stated that he is confident that Mr. Poroshenko’s “leadership will contribute to the stabilization of the country, building on the inclusive political dialogue launched ahead of the elections.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that Moscow will respect the will of the Ukrainian people and work with the newly elected president to help bring peace and stability to Ukraine.

NATO remains committed to supporting Ukraine within the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, Mr. Rasmussen said.

The NATO-Ukraine Commission is a decision-making body that is responsible for developing the NATO-Ukraine relationship.  Talks include a number of things such as strengthening defense following the annexation of Crimea by Russian in March.

NATO is finalizing “further comprehensive measures to assist Ukraine and support reforms in the country’s security and defense sector,” Mr. Rasmussen said.

Mr. Ruasmussen concluded his statement with the promise of further support for Ukraine, saying: “Ukraine is a long-standing and active NATO partner, and we look forward to working with President Poroshenko.  NATO Allies stand firm in their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.”

In other Developments in Ukraine:

  • OSCE SMM Observers observed anti-government rallies in Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk.  Both rallies were small and non-violent.
  • Self-declared Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Donestk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin survived an attempted assassination on Saturday.  A passing car reportedly fired at Mr. Pushilin, who was not hit.  His assistant, Maxim Petruhin, was, however, killed.

 

NATO To Expand Partnership in a ‘post-Crimean World’

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NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow discussed NATO's new partnership policies in Poland on Friday

NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow discussed NATO’s new partnership policies in Poland on Friday

NATO has promised that the transatlantic security partnership must focus not only on collective defense in its immediate region, but global partners as well, in a “post-Crimean world”.

The statement came from NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershblow on Friday at Wrocław Global Forum in Poland.

“Our Strategic Concept sets out collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security as three essential core tasks for NATO,” Mr. Vershblow said.  “Although Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has changed the strategic environment in a fundamental way, all three core tasks remain essential, valid and vital for our security.”

Mr. Vershblow went on to accuse Russia of changing borders “through force”, continuing to subvert a sovereign state [Ukraine] through covert means and a cynical disinformation campaign,” ripping “up the international rule book”, and seeking to “recreate a sphere of influence based on a dangerous new doctrine of limited sovereignty for countries that form part of the so-called ‘Russian World’.”

Following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in March, NATO has heavily criticized and rebuked Russia’s “aggressive” actions in Ukraine, which the Alliance believes are bent on expanding the Kremlin’s power.

Since the Ukraine-crisis began, NATO has taken steps to meet the crisis and strengthen collective defense from the Baltic to the Black Sea, Mr. Vershblow said.

Every NATO member is contributing in one way or another; either with aircraft, naval ships, ground troops and/or commanders and planners, he added.

NATO is also “considering the longer-term implications of Russia’s actions for our Alliance.”

Over the last few months, Western countries have applied sanctions against Russia–allegedly damaging its already crippled economy–in consequence for Moscow’s supposed backing of anti-Kiev separatists in Eastern and Southern Ukraine.

In light of the conflict between the EU and the US and Russia over Ukraine, NATO Defense Ministers discussed earlier this week about a “Readiness Action Plan”, which includes improving NATO’s reaction time, enhancing its intelligence and awareness capabilities, pre-positioning equipment and supplies further East, “and carrying out more high-intensity military exercises in more demanding scenarios.”

NATO is also working towards filling “capability gaps” that exist within the alliance, Mr. Vershblow said.  These gaps include drones, transport aircraft, Special Forces and deployable C2, all of which are needed to be able to “react quickly, together, and effectively to all threats, whether here in Europe or out of area.”

Ambassador Vershblow stated that developing these capabilities “puts a premium on our ‘Smart Defense’ multinational capability projects, and on further regional cooperation.”  He added that “Poland and its Višegrad partners continue to demonstrate that this is a pragmatic and cost-effective way to build greater security together, and in a way that makes both NATO and the European Union stronger.”

Mr. Vershblow challenged NATO members who do not spend the required 2% of their GDP on defense, to raise their defense spending to the expected percent.

Order Descending NATO Members’ GDP Defense Spending According to WorldBank 

  1. U.S. 4.2%
  2. Greece 2.6%
  3. U.K. 2.4%
  4. France 2.3%
  5. Turkey 2.3%
  6. Estonia 1.9%
  7. Poland 1.9%
  8. Portugal 1.8%
  9. Croatia 1.7%
  10. Italy 1.7%
  11. Albania 1.5%
  12. Bulgaria 1.5%
  13. Denmark 1.4%
  14. Norway 1.4%
  15. Canada 1.3%
  16. Germany 1.3%
  17. Netherlands 1.3%
  18. Romania 1.3%
  19. Slovenia 1.2%
  20. Belgium 1.1%
  21. Czech Republic 1.1%
  22. Slovakia 1.1%
  23. Lithuania 1.0%
  24. Latvia 0.9%
  25. Spain 0.9%
  26. Hungary 0.8%
  27. Luxembourg 0.6%
  28. Iceland 0.1%

“The crisis in Ukraine has made us go ‘back to basics’ and focus more on collective defense,” Mr. Vershblow said.  But it must not “lead to a self-centered, inward-locking Alliance,” he added.  The Alliance must focus on the “Future NATO” that is needed to meet the “evolving 21st century security needs.”

Dialogue and cooperation with partner countries is “vital” to fulfill NATO’s vision of the future, the ambassador said.  This applies to NATO members, and Ukraine and “other Eastern neighbors whose sovereignty is being challenged by Russia.”

Mr. Vershblow stated that partnership is crucial for keeping Europe free, stable, and peaceful, and NATO must keep its doors open for European partners who wish to join the Alliance.

He also added that NATO, in coordination with the EU, the UN, and regional organizations such as the African Union, must do what they can to help countries in the Middle East and North Africa develop their own defense capacity.

In conclusion to his speech, Mr. Vershblow summarized NATO’s new policies: “when it comes to shaping transatlantic security and defense in a post-Crimean world, we should avoid false choices.  NATO’s duty is to defend all 28 Allies against any possible risk or threat to their security, whenever and wherever it may occur.  This means we not only need the right capabilities, but also the right connections, so that we can deter aggression at home and project stability abroad.”

A Plan to Bring Peace to Ukraine

While responding to journalists on Friday at the 70th Anniversary of D-Day in Northern France, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the newly-elected Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had mentioned to him a “plan” to bring an immediate cease-fire between Ukraine military forces and separatists in Ukraine.

In recent weeks, Moscow has condemned Ukraine’s military operations against separatists in Eastern and Southern Ukraine, and demanded an immediate end to them.

Fighting between the Ukrainian military forces and separatists in the last few months has left over 100 dead–soldiers, militants and civilians.  Kiev authorities have accused the Kremlin of backing and supporting the armed separatists–who are deemed as terrorists by the authorities–and demanded that Russia use its power to convince the gunmen to lay down their arms.

In April, at Geneva, Moscow had agreed to use its influence to bring an end to the fighting, but their promises never came about.

Fighting has drastically intensified since and threatens to divide the country in two if it does not end soon.  Many citizens of Ukraine believe the country is already in a civil-war.

The situation took a turn for the worse on May 11 when separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk regions declared independence after holding referendums on self-rule.  The Ukrainian government has refused to recognize the referendums as legitimate–including the one in Crimea–and has been conducting what they call “anti-terrorists” military operations against the separatists.

The partial aftermath of some of the fighting between separatists and Ukrainian soldiers at BCP at Marynivka.  Photo by Konstantin Tabakayev/State Border Guard Service of Ukraine

The partial aftermath of some of the fighting between separatists and Ukrainian soldiers.  Location, BCP at Marynivka. Photo by Konstantin Tabakayev/State Border Guard Service of Ukraine

And amid all of this, the West and Russia have continuously accused each other of fueling the fire and doing nothing to extinguish the growing flame.

President Putin said that he does not know if Mr. Poroshenko’s plan will be implemented and carried out, but he “thought the general attitude seems right; I like it.”

He added that if the plan does go-through, Russia will work towards developing relations on other areas, “including economic relations.”

Moscow has stated that they will “respect” the will of the Ukrainian people, and work with authorities to bring stabilization and peace to the agonized Ukraine.

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has challenged the U.S. to present its proof of Russian intervention in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has challenged the U.S. to present its proof of Russian intervention in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has challenged the United States’ claim of possessing proof of Russian intervention in Ukraine.

During an interview with Radio Europe 1 news and TF1 TV channel, Mr. Putin was asked about claims by the U.S. that they had proof of Russian intervention in Ukraine. President Putin’s response was: “Proof?  Why don’t they show it?”

He went on to discredit the the alleged proof by recalling the United States’ claim of evidence of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq, only to find out after U.S. troops invaded Iraq and Saddam Hussein was hung that there was, in fact, no WMDs.

“The entire world remembers the U.S. Secretary of State demonstrating the evidence of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, waving around some test tube with washing powder in the U.N. Security Council,” Mr. Putin said.  “You know, it’s one thing to say things and another to actually have evidence,” he added.

The Ukrainian Government and Western leaders have repeatedly accused Russia of supporting the pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine that are fighting for independence, a claim which Moscow denies.

When asked about Russian troops annexing Crimea in March, Mr. Putin clarified the soldiers’ roles, saying that they didn’t annex the region.

“It’s a delusion that Russian troops annexed Crimea,” he said.  “Russian troops were in Crimea under the international treaty on the deployment of the Russian military bases.  It’s true that Russian troops helped Crimeans hold a referendum on their (a) independence and (b) desire to join the Russian Federation.  No one can prevent these people from exercising a right that is stipulated in Article 1 of the U.N. Charter, the right of nations to self-determination.”

The contents of Article 1 of the U.N. Charter:

The Purposes of the United Nations are:

  1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
  2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
  3. To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
  4. To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

Mr. Putin has repeatedly stressed that Ukrainian citizens have “certain rights, political, humanitarian rights, and they must have a chance to exercise those rights.”

NATO and Kiev have refused to recognize the annexation as legitimate and have stressed that Crimea is still part of Ukraine.   NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Wednesday that “NATO allies do not, and will not, recognize Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.”

When asked if Russia will return Crimea to Ukraine, Mr. Putin said that “In accordance with the expression of the will of people who live there, Crimea is part of the Russian Federation and its constituent entity.”

President Putin stated that with the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO, Moscow “could not allow a historical part of the Russian territory with a predominantly ethnic Russian population to be incorporated into an international military alliance, especially because Crimeans wanted to be part of Russia.  I’m sorry, but we couldn’t act differently.”

Known as “little green men” these Russian troops abruptly began appearing in Crimea following the ousting of Ukraine’s former president. Photo by AP.

Following the annexation, pro-Russian activists in eastern and southern Ukraine took up arms against the Kiev authorities, leading to clashes with the Ukrainian military that have resulted in scores of deaths in recent months.  The Ukrainian government has accused Moscow of supporting and supplying the separatists, a claim which the Kremlin denies.

Mr. Putin and other top ranking Russian officials have criticized Ukraine for allegedly attacking its own citizens and denying its people their rights.

It is “vital” to hold talks with the separatists “instead of sending tanks” to deal with them and “firing missiles at civilians from the air and bombing non-military targets,” the president said, adding that the Kiev authorities must hold talks with the militants to deescalate the crisis.

Fighting in recent weeks has resulted in dozens of deaths.  Clashes between the Ukrainian military and armed separatists at the Donetsk International Airport last week left over 50 militants dead, separatists leader said.  On Monday, an estimated 500 separatists began a three-day attack on a border center near the city of Luhansk. Today, the guards left the center.  Also on Monday, a Ukrainian fighter jet bombed Luhansk’s main regional building, resulting in the deaths and injuries of several citizens.

lugansk-3

Russia has demanded that Kiev bring an immediate end to its military operations against the separatists, and expressed its will to work with the Ukrainian government to deescalate the crisis.

In response to Westerners’ claims of Russia wishing to restore the Soviet Union and destroy Ukraine, Mr. Putin said that Moscow recognizes Ukraine as sovereign state and respects the country’s choices, but wishes that it would not join NATO because it would mean “NATO’s infrastructure will move directly towards the Russian border, which cannot leave us indifferent.”

President Putin also responded to accusation against the Kremlin by U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton that Russia’s recent actions resembles Hitler’s during the 1930’s: “when I hear such extreme statements, to me it only means that they don’t have any valid arguments.”

He also said that the U.S. takes the “most aggressive and toughest policy to defend their own interests… and they do it persistently.”

Mr. Putin concluded his statement by scoffing the United States’ disapproval of Russia’s recent “aggressive” actions, saying:  “There are basically no Russian troops abroad while U.S. troops are everywhere.  There are U.S. military bases everywhere around the world and they are always involved in the fate of other countries even though they are thousands of kilometers away from U.S. borders.”

 

 

 

 

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Multinational Military Exercises to be held in Ukraine

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The Supreme Council of Ukraine has announced plans to admit international military forces to participate in military exercises in Ukraine, Colonel General Mykhailo Koval said.

Speaking at a briefing for mass media after the Meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Committee, Gen. Koval said: “Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine [The Supreme Council of Ukraine] adopted the Act of Ukraine ‘On admission of units of armed forces of other states to the territory of Ukraine in 2014 for participation in exercises’ and approved the Plan of Multinational Exercises.

“We didn’t stop any action and we are ready to conduct them; the necessary resources have been allocated.”

The general’s announcement comes amid recent fighting between anti-Kiev separatists and Ukrainian military forces in eastern Ukraine that has resulted in scores of deaths in recent months.

On Monday, a Ukrainian fighter jet bombed strike the city of Luhansk’s main regional building, resulting in several deaths and injuries.

Ukrainian Diplomat Yuriy Sergeyev denied claims of the airstrike, saying that the explosion had come from the misuse of a grenade by separatists.  However, videos on Youtube showing the airstrike contradicted Mr. Sergeyev’s claims.

Other videos showed the bloody aftermath of the airstrike.  Several dead and injured laid around the regional building. Those alive were in critical condition, some drenched in their own blood and or mutilated, while the dead laid in pools of blood.

One particular video shows a white car just barely avoiding the airstrike.

The airstrike came during an attack by pro-Russian militants on a border command center outside of Luhansk.

Reports from the Border Guard Service of Ukraine say that a “great number” of armed separatists have surrounded the center for a second day in a row, but have not yet attacked.  The service added that the guards maintain high moral and will stand their ground against any further attacks.

The gunmen used small-arms, machine-guns, mortars, sniper fire and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) during their attack on Monday.

NATO To Amp its Defense Measures

On Tuesday, NATO Defense Ministers reviewed collective defense in wake of the current Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Ever since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March, Moscow and Ukraine have continuously insulted each other and accused the other of fueling the fighting between Ukrainian military forces and anti-Kiev separatists.

The Kiev authorities have accused Russia of “supporting terrorism” in eastern and southern Ukraine, a claim which Russia has repeatedly denied.

In recent weeks, the West has strengthened its support for the Ukrainian government, and shown its disapproval of Moscow’s actions by applying sanctions against top ranking Russian officials.

“We are facing a new security landscape because of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen said on Tuesday during the first day of a two-day Ministerial.  “We have already taken immediate steps.  In a strong show of solidarity, every single Ally, from both sides of the Atlantic, contributes to bolstering our collective defense, including deployments of ships, aircraft and troops,  It really is all for one and one for all,” he added.

Mr. Rasmussen also said that the Ukraine crisis has shown that the security threats NATO is facing is increasing and becoming more unpredictable.

The current conflict in Ukraine erupted back in February when protesters in Kiev clashed with police, resulting in over 100 deaths and the ousting of the president at the time, Viktor Yanukovych.

Shortly later, Crimea held a referendum on secession from Ukraine, and was then annexed by Russia in March, an act that Kiev and the West declared illegitimate.

Following the annexation, pro-Russian activists in east and south Ukraine rose up against the Kiev authorities and demanded for greater autonomy from the Ukrainian government.

When their requests were denied, the activists took up arms, leading to clashes with the Ukrainian military that have since resulted in scores of deaths.

Fighting has amplified in recent weeks.

Roughly a week ago, over 50 separatists were killed in fighting with the Ukrainian military at the Donetsk International Airport.

Last week, 14 Ukrainian soldiers, including a top ranking general, were killed when the helicopter they were travelling in was shot down by separatists.

Moscow has repeatedly called for an immediate end to the bloodshed, and on Monday, called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security council to seek a cease-fire.

Mr. Sergeyev claimed Moscow’s resolution for an end to the fighting was “immoral”, and accused Russia of backing the separatists.  He demanded that the Kremlin use its power to deescalate the crisis in Ukraine as promised in the Geneva convention in April.

The Kiev authorities have deemed the anti-Kiev activists of being “terrorists” because of their violent actions taken against the Ukrainian government and military.

 

Ukrainian Diplomat Blatantly Lies About Airstrike

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lugansk-3

A member of the local self-defense forces covers the body of a person killed during the air attack on the building of Lugansk regional administration by Ukrainian air force. (RIA Novosti / Evgeny Biyatov)

Ukrainian Diplomat Yuriy Sergeyev has blatantly lied to journalist about a military airstrike on the city of Lugansk’s main regional building that resulted in multiple deaths and injuries on Monday.

During a Security Council meeting on Monday evening, Mr. Sergeyev was asked to comment on the bloody airstrike that killed and wounded several civilians.  He lied about who carried out the attack, saying it was rebels who misused a grenade, causing it to explode.

Videos on Youtube showed the attack and gruesome aftermath.  Several survivors were badly mutilated.  One woman’s leg had been sliced in three, the skin just barely keeping the parts together.  Her face had been torn apart as well.

In a separate video, a woman is seen laying against a car, alive but drenched in her own blood.

Another video shows a white car avoiding being hit in the strike by just a mere second.

“There were no Ukrainian airstrikes on Lugansk because the Ministry of Defense did now allow it,” Mr Sergeyev said, adding that the explosion was caused by the misuse of a grenade by “terrorists”, before promptly leaving.

The Ukrainian government has repeatedly accused anti-Kiev activists of being terrorists who’s goal is to divide the country.

On May 11, separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk region declared a “People’s Republic” after holding referendums on greater autonomy from the Kiev authorities.

Ukraine had accused Russia of backing the separatists, and Mr. Sergeyev reiterated these claims during the meeting.

He accused Russia of “sponsoring terrorism” multiple times and criticized Moscow for its annexation of Crimea in March.

Ukraine “continues to face aggression from the Russian Federation”, he said.

But in recent weeks, the Kremlin has stressed for an end to the fighting and bloodshed raging in eastern Ukraine as pro-Russian militants and Ukrainian military forces clash on an almost daily basis.

Last week, Ukrainian “anti-terrorist” military operations against separatists at the Donetsk International Airport resulted in the death of over 50 militants.

Scores more of Ukrainian soldiers and separatists have been killed in other clashes between the two sides in recent months.

Also last week, 14 Ukrainian soldiers, including a general, were killed when the helicopter they were in was shot down by militants.

Newly-elected President Petro Poroshenko has promised to squash the rebellion and bring order and stability in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Moscow has condemned Ukraine’s military operations and demanded they be brought to an end.  On Monday, Russia called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to seek a cease-fire.

In Mr. Sergeyev’s statement, he described Russia’s resolution for a cease-fire as “immoral” because of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and its alleged support of “terrorists”.

Ukraine is “ready to do dialogue, but with our own people” he said, adding that majority of the pro-Russian activists aren’t actually Ukrainians, but Russians.

He demanded that Russia uphold its promises in the Geneva agreement in April to use its power to deescalate the crisis in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Meanwhile on Monday, an estimated 500 anti-Kiev gunmen attacked a border center near the city of Luhansk.  Five were reportedly killed and another eight wounded.

Several border guards were wounded but there were no reports of fatalities.