The Ukraine Ceasefire Is A Failure — Will NATO Be Forced To Intervene? — Videos

Posted on February 22, 2015. Filed under: American History, Ammunition, Articles, Blogroll, British History, Business, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), College, Communications, Computers, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Diasters, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Enivornment, European History, Faith, Family, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Fraud, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Inflation, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Missiles, Money, National Security Agency (NSA_, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Rifles, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Terrorism, Transportation, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 2: The Ukraine Ceasefire Is A Failure — Will NATO Be Forced To Intervene? — Videos

ceasefire-cartooncartoon ceasefire ukraine160085_600

_80980240_ukraine_ceasefire_lines_12.02.2015_624map2015-02-15_wor_7022384_I132-Russian-Tanks-Enter-Ukraine-600x399 easternukraineIslamic-States-Libya-affiliate-beheads-21-Coptic-Christians-from-Egyptukraine-ceaseFire-2-2-15-WEBukraine-maprussian_language_map_ukraine_73363841_ukraine_crimea_russia_map3_624easternukraineships-russia-s-black-sea-fleet-during-naval-parade-sevastopol-crimea-july-2014-photodpa_6-russia-will-add-80-new-warships-to-black-sea-fleetSoviet_and_Russian_Black_Sea_Fleet

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BBC News Ukraine crisis BBC meets last few Donetsk residents

Kerry says arming Ukrainian forces has not been ruled out

Conversation: Arming Ukraine with Lethal Weapons has Risks

Former U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Yalowitz discusses Ukraine ceasefire

Ceasefire appears to be failing in Ukraine

Ceasefire appears to be failing in Ukraine. Pro-Russian rebels now control key town

Shaky ceasefire in Ukraine

East Ukraine Opinion: Soldiers and residents in Artemivsk doubt ceasefire will last

Ukraine: Fighting continues despite truce

Fierce fighting is said to be continuing in the key Ukrainian town of Debaltseve, as the new ceasefire appears to be failing.

Rebels say they have taken most of the town, but the government says it is still in its control.

Gas Pipeline Blast Caught On Video, Hit By Shell In Eastern Ukraine

Ukraine and Natural Gas

Ukraine promised not to steal Russian gas from Europe

Russia halts plans for natural gas pipleine to Europe

Russia Expands Its Natural Gas Infrastructure (Agenda)

Caspian pipeline politics of Europe, Russia and China

Russia supplies more then 25 percent of Europe’s hydrocarbon needs. Ever since the natural gas cutoffs in 2006 and 2009, the European countries have been searched for ways to reduce their dependency on Russian oil and natural gas. In this context, the crisis in Ukraine has sparked a new drive for the search for alternative sources of energy. One project that is of particular interest, but underappreciated in the media, is the Trans-Caspian pipeline. If realized it would significantly change the energy map of Europe in the long term.

Fulcrium – Like it or not, Russian natural gas is here to stay – panel on European Energy Security

The LBS GES Energy Security panel addressed geo-political issues and challenges decision-makers face in the pursuit of European energy supply security in the wake of the Ukraine Crisis. Bottom line: The EU will remain dependent on Russian natural gas for decades to come irrespective of sanctions, source of supply diversification, and renewables agendas ! Likewise Moscow is dependent on the EU for 60% of Gazprom’s revenues. Like it or not, the EU and Russia are highly co-dependent as far as Russian natural gas is concerned.

Days after this debate took place, Russian President Vladimir Putin shelved the $40bn South Stream project designed to bypass Ukraine as the key transit state for Russian gas to Europe. And in a further twist, on 16 December 2014, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Bulgaria to enter into dialogue with Moscow to revive the South Stream project. Perhaps this is a signal of a softening EU stance in order to rebuild economic ties with Russia, more out of a necessity to safeguard Germany’s and Bulgaria’s interests. Other countries which stood to gain from South Stream, including Serbia and Hungary, also want to rescue the project. Russia supplies about 25 percent of EU gas needs; half of that flows via Ukrainian transit pipelines. The EU’s most powerful economy, Germany, is still highly dependent on Russian natural gas, importing 30% of it’s annual gas consumption from Russia.

Panel Chair: Raju Patel, Chief Executive, Fulcrium

Panellists:

Vladimir Drebentsov, Vice President, BP Russia / Head of Russia & CIS Economics, BP Plc

Dr Tatiana Mitrova, Head of Oil and Gas Department in the Energy Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ERI RAS), Board Director – E.ON Russia

Andrew Risk, Senior Associate – Political Risk, GPW + Co

David Buchan, Senior Research Fellow, The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies

Impact on world energy markets of Ukraine Crisis

The Effect of the Ukrainian Crisis on the Economy | Made in Germany

Psaki. Minsk Ceasefire. 19 Feb 2015 (Ukraine)

Ukraine: EU says ceasefire agreement not a failure

Military Forces Pull Out Of Besieged Ukrainian Town – Feb 19, 2015

Putin Tells Kiev to Let Troops Surrender as Ukraine Ceasefire Unravels

NATO Slams Russian Role in Ukraine Conflict: Stoltenberg says Kremlin must end insurgent support

Will the Ukraine-Russia deal stick?

WW3 NEWS UPDATE: The Strategic Role of UKRAINE in WW3

The Road to World War 3: Oil Prices, Ukraine, Russia, America, Collapse U.S. Dollar

Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum

The Role of Russia and NATO in Ukraine’s Civil War

Paul Craig Roberts: The Real Story Behind Oil Prices

The Road to World War 3: Ukraine, Russia and American Imperialism

 

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Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France Negotiate Ceasefire To Begin Sunday — World War 3 Averted? — Did Putin Blink or Bluff? — Videos

Posted on February 13, 2015. Filed under: American History, Ammunition, Blogroll, Communications, Crisis, Documentary, Economics, Education, European History, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, history, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, Missiles, Money, Natural Gas, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Press, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Rifles, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxes, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France Negotiate Ceasefire To Begin Sunday — World War 3 Averted? — Did Putin Blink or Bluff? — Videos

Civil-War-In-Ukrainemap ukraineRussian_language_map_Ukraineukraine-map

Will the Ukraine-Russia deal stick?

A previous cease-fire last year between Ukraine and the Russian-backed rebels barely took hold, eventually collapsing altogether. What are the chances the new agreement will last? Gwen Ifill talks to Fiona Hill of the Brookings Institution and former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.

Can Russia-Ukraine Cease-Fire Hold Without U.S. Help?

Ukraine Russia ceasefire agreed

Minsk Deal Reaction: Participants emerge after night-long peace talks

Minsk deal provides hope for peace in eastern Ukraine but leaders warn ‘major obstacles’ remain

How This Cease-Fire Between Russia And Ukraine Is Different

New Ukraine Peace Deal Met With Distrust

Skepticism in Ukraine, after a peace deal is hammered out between Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany. Under the agreement Ukraine will trade broad autonomy for the east to get back control of its Russian border by the end of 2015. (Feb. 12)

Putin briefs press after marathon Minsk talks on Ukraine peace deal

Russian president Vladimir Putin is giving a press conference after 14-hour talks with the leaders of Germany, France and Ukraine on the Ukrainian crisis in Minsk, Belarus

Russia vs Ukraine – War & Peace 2015

The European Union may impose further sanctions if a ceasefire deal sealed in Minsk between Ukraine and Russian-backed rebels is not fully implemented, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said after an EU summit in Brussels tonight.

Fresh from brokering a deal in Minsk between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Ms Merkel told a news conference that EU leaders had asked the European Commission to prepare further sanctions in case the ceasefire did not hold.

“We hold open the possibility, if these new agreements are not implemented, that we must take further measures,” she said, adding that existing sanctions could only be lifted when the grounds that led to them are removed.The leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia had committed to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, according to a joint declaration distributed by the Kremlin.

“The main thing which has been achieved is that from Saturday into Sunday there should be declared without any conditions at all, a general ceasefire,” Mr Poroshenko told journalists.

Ms Merkel and Mr Hollande had joined Mr Poroshenko and Mr Putin for a marathon negotiating session that began early on yesterday evening and continued into this morning. As the fighting escalated, the US began openly talking of arming Ukraine to defend itself from “Russian aggression”, raising the prospect of a proxy war in the heart of Europe between Cold War foes.

US President Barack Obama said he has yet to make up his mind on the question of sending weapons.

He spoke by phone to Mr Putin on Tuesday, and the White House said he warned the Russian leader that the costs would rise if Russia kept aiding the separatists.

The White House released a statement today welcoming the ceasefire, saying that the move represents a “potentially significant step toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict and the restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty”.

As the French and German leaders’ peace initiative was announced, pro-Russian rebels appeared determined to drive home their advantage ahead of a deal.

Armoured columns of Russian-speaking soldiers with no insignia have been advancing for days around Debaltseve, which has seen heavy fighting in recent days.

On the Russian side of the border, Russia has begun military exercises in 12 regions involving more than 30 missile regiments, RIA news agency reported this morning, citing a Defence Ministry official.

World War 3 : The Beast to arm Ukraine as the Russian Bear mobilizes 100,000 troops (Feb 02, 2015)

US ‘should send Ukraine arms’

Ukraine Conflict Reignites U.S. Considers Sending Arms | NBC Nightly News

The Ukraine Crisis: Withstand and Deter Russian Aggression

Obama on Ukraine: A diplomatic path for now

Last Hope for Minsk Peace Talks: Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France leaders to meet in Belarus

Russia cuts off gas supply via Ukraine

Published on Jan 19, 2015

Europe plunged into energy crisis as Russia cuts off gas supply via Ukraine Gas prices rise in London Bulgaria reaches ‘crisis’ point

Russia cut gas exports to Europe by 60 per cent today, plunging the continent into an energy crisis ‘within hours’ as a dispute with Ukraine escalated.

This morning, gas companies in Ukraine said that Russia had completely cut off their supply.

Six countries reported a complete shut-off of Russian gas shipped via Ukraine today, in a sharp escalation of a struggle over energy that threatens Europe as winter sets in.

Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Croatia and Turkey all reported a halt in gas shipments from Russia through Ukraine.

Gas Battle: Ukraine Vs Russia – An Animated History

WW3 RUSSIA Set To CUT OFF All GAS SUPPLIES to UKRAINE

 

‘Ukraine gas poker with Russia not over’

Published on Oct 31, 2014

Moscow and Kiev have sealed a gas agreement after several hours of tense talks in Brussels. Previous rounds in recent weeks had failed. The deal on supplies and transit to Europe has allayed EU fears of staying in the cold this winter. Geopolitical analyst William Enghdal says the deal won’t solve anything in the longterm.

 

 

Marathon talks produce Ukraine peace deal; cease-fire Sunday

The peace deal reached Thursday for Ukraine, if it holds, would be a partial win for both Moscow and Kiev: Ukraine retains the separatist eastern regions and regains control of its border with Russia, while Russia holds strong leverage to keep Ukraine from ever becoming part of NATO.

But neither side came away from the marathon talks unscathed.

There’s no sign Russia will soon escape the Western sanctions that have driven its economy down sharply, and Kiev’s price for regaining control of the border with Russia is to grant significant new power to the east.

But the complicated calculus of whether any side came out truly ahead can’t be determined unless a single, straightforward term is fulfilled: halting the shooting and artillery salvos that have killed more than 5,300 people since April. That is supposed to happen on Sunday, at one minute after midnight.

A cease-fire called in September never fully took hold and fighting escalated sharply in the past month. Questions remain about whether either side possesses the will or discipline to ensure a truce this time.

The cease-fire is to be monitored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s observer mission in Ukraine.

But that “will probably go nowhere if there isn’t a huge political will to beef up the OSCE, pull in many more monitors, give them clear support,” said analyst Judy Dempsey, an associate of the Carnegie Europe think-tank.

The OSCE mission head, Ertugrul Apakan, said Thursday that he expected it would expand by the end of the month to about 500 observers, up from about 310 currently, the Interfax news agency reported.

Under the terms of the deal reached after 16 hours of talks between the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, the next step is to form a sizeable buffer zone between Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed rebels. Each side is to pull heavy weaponry back from the front line, creating a zone roughly 30-85 miles (50-140 kilometers) wide, depending on the weapon caliber.

Then come the knotty and volatile political questions.

While Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters the deal envisages special status for Ukraine’s separatist regions, Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, maintained there was no consensus on any sort of autonomy or federalization for eastern Ukraine.

In addition, the agreement foresees the regions being able to form their own police forces and to trade freely with Russia, both of which would bring a degree of division and uncertainty within Ukraine that could be leverage to keep the country out of NATO.

Those measures would require constitutional reform, certain to be a highly fraught process.

“Anything that has to go through the Ukrainian parliament has a huge question mark attached to it,” said Eugene Rumer of the Carnegie center. “It is going to be the subject of a huge and very fierce debate in Kiev.”

Only after such reform is passed would Ukraine’s full control over its border with Russia be restored, according to the pact.

Aside from the political resolution of the east’s status, Ukraine also faces severe challenges with its troubled economy, which is close to bankruptcy. On Thursday, the International Monetary Fund agreed to give Ukraine a new bailout deal worth $17.5 billion (15.5 billion euros). The World Bank, meanwhile, announced it was ready to commit up to $2 billion to help Ukraine with reforms, to fight corruption and for other purposes.

Despite the uncertainties, the agreement’s initiators saw it as a step forward.

“We now have a glimmer of hope,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who brokered the talks in the Belarusian capital of Minsk together with French President Francois Hollande.

“But the concrete steps, of course, have to be taken. And we will still face major obstacles. But, on balance, I can say what we have achieved gives significantly more hope than if we had achieved nothing.”

As for Putin, he told reporters: “It was not the best night of my life.”

“But the morning, I think, is good, because we have managed to agree on the main things despite all the difficulties of the negotiations,” the Russian leader said.

Battles continued Thursday even as the talks went on, and Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Russia sent 50 tanks and a dozen heavy weapons overnight into Ukraine.

In the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, residents who have seen their city pounded daily by artillery since late May were skeptical of the deal.

“We will see whether there will be a cease-fire or not,” said resident Tatyana Griedzheva. “You have seen it with your own eyes, the kind of cease-fire that we have already had.”

A previous cease-fire in September was violated repeatedly as Ukrainian forces and the rebels both tried to gain more ground.

Poroshenko stressed that the pact contains “a clear commitment to withdraw all foreign troops, all mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine,” a reference to the Russian soldiers and weapons that Ukraine and the West say Russia has sent into eastern Ukraine to back the rebels.

Moscow has denied the accusations, saying any Russian fighters were volunteers, but the sheer number of sophisticated heavy weapons in the rebels’ possession belies that.

Still, Merkel said, in the end, Putin exerted pressure on the separatists to get them to agree to the cease-fire.

“I have no illusions. We have no illusions. A great, great deal of work is still necessary. But there is a real chance to make things better,” she said.

In Brussels, European Union President Donald Tusk said the test of the Minsk agreement will be whether the weekend cease-fire holds in eastern Ukraine.

The French-German diplomatic offensive came as President Barack Obama considered sending U.S. lethal weapons to Ukraine, a move that European nations feared would only widen the hostilities.

“The true test of today’s accord will be in its full and unambiguous implementation, including the durable end of hostilities and the restoration of Ukrainian control over its border with Russia,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

The urgency felt by all sides was underlined by the extraordinary length of the talks, which began Wednesday evening and continued uninterrupted through the night as crowds of reporters waited anxiously in a marble-floored, chandeliered convention hall in Minsk.

While the four leaders hailed the agreement, Russia and Ukraine still disagreed on how to end the fighting around Debaltseve, a key transport hub between the rebels’ two main cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Putin said the rebels consider the Ukrainian forces there surrounded and expect them to surrender, while Ukraine says its troops have not been blocked.

 

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/leaders-minsk-crucial-ukraine-peace-talks-28908311

 

 

Russia–Ukraine gas disputes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Natural gas pipelines from Russia to Europe

The Russia–Ukraine gas disputes refer to a number of disputes between Ukrainian oil and gas company Naftohaz Ukrayiny and Russian gas supplier Gazprom over natural gas supplies, prices, and debts. These disputes have grown beyond simple business disputes into transnational political issues—involving political leaders from several countries—that threaten natural gas supplies in numerous European countries dependent on natural gas imports from Russian suppliers, which are transported through Ukraine. Russia provides approximately a quarter of the natural gas consumed in the European Union; approximately 80% of those exports travel through pipelines across Ukrainian soil prior to arriving in the EU.[1]

A serious dispute began in March 2005 over the price of natural gas supplied and the cost of transit. During this conflict, Russia claimed Ukraine was not paying for gas, but diverting that which was intended to be exported to the EU from the pipelines. Ukrainian officials at first denied the accusation,[2][3] but later Naftohaz admitted that natural gas intended for other European countries was retained and used for domestic needs. The dispute reached a crescendo on 1 January 2006, when Russia cut off all gas supplies passing through Ukrainian territory.[4] On 4 January 2006, a preliminary agreement between Russia and Ukraine was achieved, and the supply was restored. The situation calmed until October 2007 when new disputes began over Ukrainian gas debts. This led to reduction of gas supplies in March 2008. During the last months of 2008, relations once again became tense when Ukraine and Russia could not agree on the debts owed by Ukraine.[5]

In January 2009, this disagreement resulted in supply disruptions in many European nations, with eighteen European countries reporting major drops in or complete cut-offs of their gas supplies transported through Ukraine from Russia.[6][7] In September 2009 officials from both countries stated they felt the situation was under control and that there would be no more conflicts over the topic,[8][9] at least until the Ukrainian 2010 presidential elections.[10] However, in October 2009, another disagreement arose about the amount of gas Ukraine would import from Russia in 2010. Ukraine intended to import less gas in 2010 as a result of reduced industry needs because of its economic recession; however, Gazprom insisted that Ukraine fulfill its contractual obligations and purchase the previously agreed upon quantities of gas.[11]

On June 8, 2010, a Stockholm court of arbitration ruled Naftohaz of Ukraine must return 12.1 billion cubic metres (430 billion cubic feet) of gas to RosUkrEnergo, aSwiss-based company in which Gazprom controls a 50% stake. Russia accused Ukrainian side of siphoning gas from pipelines passing through Ukraine in 2009.[12][13] Several high-ranking Ukrainian officials stated the return “would not be quick”.[14]

Russia plans to completely abandon gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine after 2018.[15][16]

Historical background

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, oil import prices to Ukraine reached world market levels in 1993. However, gas import prices and transit fees remained below European levels for Russian exports to Europe through pipelines in Ukraine; these were set in bilateral negotiations.[17] At the same time Ukraine remained the main transit corridor for Russia’s gas export. In 2004–2005, 80% of Russian gas exports to the European Union were made through Ukrainian Territory.[18][19]Two-thirds of Gazprom’s revenue comes from the sale of gas that crosses Ukraine.[20]

Ukraine’s own annual gas consumption in 2004–2005 was around 80 billion cubic metres (2.8 trillion cubic feet), of which around 20 billion cubic metres (710 billion cubic feet) were produced domestically, 36 billion cubic metres (1.3 trillion cubic feet) were bought from Turkmenistan, and 17 billion cubic metres (600 billion cubic feet) were received from Russia in exchange for transport of Russian natural gas. The remaining 8 billion cubic metres (280 billion cubic feet) were purchased from Russia.[21] The gas trading system differed substantially from the gas sale to the European Union and caused problems in the form of large-scale deliveries of relatively cheap Russian gas causing an increase of energy-intensive industries and supporting Ukraine’s status as one of the world’s least energy-efficientcountries and largest gas importers, the accumulation of Ukrainian debts and non-payment of same, unsanctioned diversion of gas and alleged theft from the transit system, and Russian pressure on Ukraine to hand over infrastructure in return for relief of debts accumulated over natural gas transactions.[17]

Gas trading was conducted under a framework of bilateral intergovernmental agreements which provided for sales, transit volumes, gas prices, gas storage, and other issues such as the establishment of production joint ventures.[citation needed] Commercial agreements were negotiated between the relevant companies within the guidelines and dictates of that framework and supplemented by annual agreements specifying exact prices and volumes for the following year.[citation needed] Gas sales prices and transit tariffs were determined in relationship to each other.[17] Commercial agreements and trade relations have been non-transparent and trade has been conducted via intermediaries such as Itera, EuralTransGaz, and RosUkrEnergo. RosUkrEnergo’s involvement in the Russian-Ukrainian gas trade has been controversial. There are allegations that the company is controlled by Semion Mogilevich and its beneficiaries include strategically placed officials in the Russian and Ukrainian gas industries and governmental structures related to the energy sector.[20][22] Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has made accusations that RosUkrEnergo is owned by a business ally of Ukraine’s ex-president, Viktor Yushchenko.[23] The Ukrainian investigation into RosUkrEnergo, during Yulia Tymoshenko‘s first term as Prime Minister, was closed after she was fired by Yushchenko in September 2005.[24]

According to a contract between Gazprom and Naftohaz signed on 21 June 2002, payment for the transfer of Russian natural gas through the Ukrainian pipelinesystem had been made in exchange for no more than 15% of the gas pumped through Ukrainian territory to be taken in lieu of cash.[citation needed] This contract was supposed to be valid until the end of 2013.[citation needed] On 9 August 2004, the two companies signed an addendum to the contract, according to which the amount of gas given as a payment was calculated based on a tariff of US$1.09 for the transportation of 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas over a distance of 100 kilometres (62 mi); the addendum further stated the price of the natural gas supplied to Ukraine was to be $50 per 1,000 cubic meters (approximately $1.40 per million Btu).[25]This price was constant notwithstanding the gas prices in the European markets.[26] According to the addendum the price was not subject to change until the end of 2009.[25] Gazprom argued that this addendum was only applicable provided that the two countries sign an annual intergovernmental protocol that has higher legal status for specifying the terms of gas transit.[27] According to Gazprom, the addendum becomes void as the annual protocol had not been signed for 2006 under the required terms.[28] Russia claimed that Gazprom’s subsidies to the Ukrainian economy amounted to billions of dollars.[29]

According to the agreement of 2006, RosUkrEnergo was to receive no more than 20 percent of the total delivered gas, which in 2007 was 15 billion cubic metres (530 billion cubic feet) of 73 billion cubic metres (2.6 trillion cubic feet).[citation needed]

Disputes of the 1990s

Initial disputes concerning gas debts and non-payment appeared immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union.[citation needed] As a result of disputes over non-payments by Ukraine, Russia suspended natural gas exports several times between 1992 and 1994. This led to the illicit diversion of Russian natural gas exports from transit pipelines by Ukrainian companies and institutions in September 1993 and November 1994.[citation needed] The siphoning of gas was acknowledged by Ukraine, while accusations of other diversions were disputed.[17] In September 1993, at a summit conference in Massandra, Crimea, Russian President Boris Yeltsin offered to Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk to forgive Ukrainian debts in return for control of the Black Sea Fleet and Ukraine’s nuclear arsenal.[30][citation needed]After a strong negative reaction from politicians in Kiev, the idea was abandoned.[17] An intergovernmental agreement was drafted on gas issues, including a clause stating Ukraine would permit Gazprom to participate in the privatization of Ukrainian enterprises in gas and other sectors.[citation needed] In March 1994, a Ukrainian deputy prime minister agreed with Russia that Gazprom could acquire a 51% stake in the pipeline system. In early 1995, Russia and Ukraine agreed to create a joint company, Gaztransit, to operate Ukraine’s natural gas transit infrastructure in exchange for the cancellation of a substantial portion of Ukraine’s debts to Russia. These agreements were never implemented, and in November 1995, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, adopted a law prohibiting the privatization of oil and gas assets.[17]

In 1998, Gazprom and Naftohaz made a contract under which Gazprom would pay for the transit of volumes of gas, which established a link between gas prices and transit tariffs,[citation needed] but this contract did not resolve the issue of already incurred gas debts.[17] In 1998, Gazprom alleged that Ukraine had illegally diverted gas meant for export to other European countries and suspended exports of oil and electricity to Ukraine in 1999.[citation needed] Gazprom also claimed that Ukraine’s gas debt had reached $2.8 billion.[18] In 2001, Deputy Prime Minister Oleh Dubyna acknowledged that in 2000 alone 8–7 billion cubic metres (280–250 billion cubic feet) of Russian natural gas had been siphoned off from export pipelines.[17] The debt issue was settled on 4 October 2001, by the signing of an intergovernmental agreement on Additional Measures Regarding the Provision of Transit of Russian Natural Gas on the Territory of Ukraine (the 2001 Transit Agreement).[18]

Dispute of 2005–2006

Then President of Russia Vladimir Putin at a meeting on 29 December 2005, with Alexei Kudrin (Russian Finance Minister), Viktor Khristenko(Russian Energy Minister), Alexander Medvedev (Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom board), Ivan Plachkov(Ukrainian Energy Minister) and Alexey Ivchenko (CEO of Naftohaz), in which the dispute was discussed.

In 2005, negotiations over gas prices for 2006 started. Gazprom insisted on a new price of $160 per 1,000 cubic meters.[citation needed] The Government of Ukraine agreed, with the stipulation that price increases were to be gradual, in return for increased gas transit fees and changing the method of payment for transit from payment in kind to cash.[31][verification needed] In May 2005, it was revealed that 7.8 billion cubic metres (280 billion cubic feet) of gas which Gazprom had deposited in Ukrainian storage reservoirs during the previous winter had not been made available to the company.[citation needed] It remained unclear if the gas was missing, had disappeared due to technical problems, or had been stolen.[32] This issue was resolved in July 2005 by agreement between Gazprom, Naftohaz and RosUkrEnergo, according to which Naftohaz received 2.55 billion cubic metres (90 billion cubic feet) of gas as partial settlement of the Russian gas transit over 2005 services and 5.25 billion cubic metres (185 billion cubic feet) was sold by Gazprom to RosUkrEnergo who has to receive it from Naftohaz.[33] However, the negotiations between Gazprom and Naftohaz over gas prices and a new gas supply agreement failed.[34] On 1 January 2006, Gazprom started reducing the pressure in the pipelines from Russia to Ukraine.[34]

Although Russia cut off supplies only to Ukraine, a number of European countries saw a drop in their supplies as well.[3] TheEuropean Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs and several affected member states warned that blocking of gas deliveries was unacceptable.[citation needed] Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organisation, expressed the opinion that all Post-Soviet states should pay market prices for their energy needs in order to improve the efficiency of their economies.[35]

The supply was restored on 4 January 2006, after the preliminary agreement between Ukraine and Gazprom was settled.[36] The five-year contract was signed, although with prices set for only six months. According to the contract, the gas was sold not directly to Naftohaz, but to the intermediary Russian-Swiss company RosUkrEnergo. The price of natural gas sold by Gazprom to RosUkrEnergo rose to $230 per 1,000 cubic metres, which, after mixing it in a proportion of one-third Russian gas to two-thirds cheaper supplies from Central Asia, was resold to Ukraine at a price of $95 per 1,000 cubic metres.[37][38] The parties also agreed to raise the tariff for transit from US$1.09 to US$1.60 per 1,000 cubic meters per 100 km; this applied not only to the transit of Russian gas to Europe, but also Turkmen gas through Russia to Ukraine.[citation needed] On 11 January 2006, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yushchenko confirmed that the conflict had been concluded.[citation needed]

One possible reason for this conflict is the more pro-NATO and European Union-style approach of the new “orange” government of Ukraine.[citation needed] Russia disagreed, stating they did not want to subsidize former Soviet republics.[39]

Dispute of 2007–2008

Then President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko at a meeting of the Russian–Ukrainian Intergovernmental Commission at the Kremlin on 12 February 2008, at which the gas dispute was discussed.

On 2 October 2007, Gazprom threatened to cut off gas supplies to Ukraine because of unpaid debt of $1.3 billion.[40] This dispute appeared to be settled on 8 October 2007.[41] On 5 January 2008, Gazprom warned Ukraine that it would reduce its gas supplies on 11 January if $1.5 billion in gas debts were not paid.[42] Presidents Putin and Yushchenko announced on 12 February 2008, an agreement on the gas issue.[43] Ukraine would begin paying off its debts for natural gas consumed in November–December 2007 and the price of $179.5 would be preserved in 2008.[44][44] The presidents also decided to replace RosUkrEnergo and UkrGazEnergo with two new intermediaries, creating them as joint ventures of Gazprom and Naftohaz.[45]

At the end of February 2008, Gazprom threatened to reduce the supply of natural gas to Ukraine beginning on 3 March 2008, unless the pre-payment for 2008 was paid.[46][47] The Ukrainian government said it paid for the natural gas which was consumed in 2007, but refused to pay the bill for 2008.[48] A Gazprom spokesman claimed that the bill for 1.9 billion cubic metres (67 billion cubic feet) of gas deliveries to Ukraine valued around $600 million remained unpaid. Ukraine disagreed as that debt accumulated in recent months when Russia used its own gas to make up for a shortfall in less expensive Central Asian gas.[49] On 3 March, Gazprom cut its shipments to Ukraine by 25% and an additional 25% the next day, claiming that the $1.5 billion debt still was not paid, although Ukrainian officials stated it had indeed been paid.[50] Gas supplies were restored on 5 March after Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Naftohaz CEO Oleh Dubyna agreed during negotiations by phone on a settlement. On 6 March, the Ukrainian cabinet refused to execute the gas agreements made by presidents Yushchenko and Putin. The Ukrainian cabinet did not want to pay in advance for 2008, and it opposed the creation of a Naftohaz–Gazprom venture that would sell gas in Ukraine.[51] Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko stated that Ukraine did not need any additional joint ventures, and as of 1 March 2008, UkrGazEnergo is no longer operating in Ukraine’s domestic gas market.[52]

Dispute of 2008–2009

Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yushchenko (12 February 2008)

The gas crisis of 2009 began with a failure to reach an agreement on gas prices and supplies for 2009. Ukraine owed a debt of $2.4 billion to Gazprom for gas already consumed, and Gazprom requested payment before the commencement of a new supply contract.[53] In December 2008, despite Ukraine’s repayment of more than $1 billion of its debt, Gazprom maintained its position, intending to cut the supply of natural gas to Ukraine on 1 January 2009, if Ukraine did not fully repay the remainder of $1.67 billion debt in natural gas supplies and an additional $450 million in fines levied by Gazprom.[54][55][56] On 30 December, Naftohaz paid $1.522 billion,[57] of the outstanding debt, but the two parties were not able to agree on the price for 2009. Ukraine proposed a price of $201, and later increased their proposed price to $235, while Gazprom demanded $250 per 1,000 cubic meters.[58] Negotiations between Gazprom and Naftohaz were interrupted on 31 December.[59]

On 1 January 2009, exports to Ukraine of 90 million cubic meters of natural gas per day were halted completely at 10:00 MSK. Exports intended for transhipment to the EU continued at a volume of 300 million cubic meters per day.[60] President Yushchenko requested that the European Union become involved in the settlement of this dispute in a letter to the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.[61] A Ukrainian delegation including Fuel and Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan, Deputy Foreign Minister Konstantin Yeliseyev, the President’s Representative for Energy Issues Bohdan Sokolovsky, and Deputy Head of Naftohaz Vadym Chuprun visited the Czech Republic as the first stop on a tour of a number EU member states to hold consultations on the gas crisis.[62][63]

On 2 January 2009, Hungary, Romania, and Poland reported that pressure in their pipelines had dropped. Bulgaria also reported that their natural gas supply was dropping, affecting the shipment of natural gas to Turkey, Greece, andMacedonia. Furthermore, the United Kingdom Government announced that it was preparing to enter its gas reserves after gas pressure had dropped from the continent.[64][65][66] On 4 January 2009, both RosUkrEnergo and Gazprom filed lawsuits against Ukraine and Naftohaz respectively with the Stockholm Tribunal of the Arbitration Institute.[67][68] Ukraine also filed lawsuits with the tribunal.[69] According to Naftohaz, RosUkrEnergo owes the company $40 million for services in transportation of natural gas.[70] On 5 January 2009, Kiev’s economic court banned Naftohaz from transshipping Russian natural gas in 2009 at the price of $1.60 per 1,600 cubic meters per 100 kilometers. The court declared contracts made by Naftohaz for the transit of natural gas through Ukraine void because the contracts were signed by Naftohaz without authorization from the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.[71] On 30 March 2010, the Stockholm tribunal ordered Naftohaz to pay RosUkrEnergo around $200 million as a penalty for various breaches of supply, transit, and storage contracts.[72] On 8 June 2010, the tribunal ordered Naftohaz to return 11 billion cubic metres (390 billion cubic feet) of natural gas to RosUkrEnergo. The tribunal further ordered that RosUkrEnergo would receive from Naftohaz a further 1.1 billion cubic metres (39 billion cubic feet) of natural gas in lieu of RosUkrEnergo’s damages for breach of contract.[72][73]

On 5 January 2009 Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin instructed Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller to reduce natural gas exports to Europe via transshipment through Ukraine by quantities equivalent to the amounts of gas which Ukraine had allegedly siphoned from the pipelines since deliveries ended on 1 January 2009.[74] On 7 January, all Russian natural gas exports via Ukraine were halted amid accusations between the two parties.[75][76][77] Several countries reported a major fall in supplies of Russian gas starting on 7 January; Bulgaria, Moldova, and Slovakia were among the most affected by these supply drops.[6][78][79]

Talks between Naftohaz and Gazprom resumed overnight on 8 January 2009.[75][80][81] Ukraine agreed to guarantee the unfettered transport of natural gas on the condition that Gazprom would guarantee and supply technical gas for Ukraine’s gas transit system to function; this was denied by Russia.[82] The supplies to Europe were not restored although the European Union, Ukraine, and Russia agreed to the deployment of an international monitoring group to the gas metering stations between Russia and Ukraine.[83][84][85][86] Naftohaz blocked the transit of gas, blaming a lack of pressure in the pipeline system and saying the design of the Soviet-built pipeline meant it could not ship gas entering through the Sudzha metering station governing gas leaving through the Orlivka metering station without cutting off the Donetsk region, Luhansk region, and portions of the Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine.[87][88][89] Naftohaz suggested a technically more feasible alternative through the Valuyki and Pisarevka metering stations but was refused.[90][91][92]

Signing of the deal reached at theMoscow summit on 19 January 2009, byOleh Dubyna and Alexei Miller (with Yulia Tymoshenko and Vladimir Putin standing in the background)

On 17 January 2009, Russia held an international gas conference in Moscow. The EU was represented by the Presidency, the Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Martin Říman, and the EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, so that the European Union could speak with one voice.[93][94][95] Ukraine was represented by the Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.[96] The conference did not achieve any solution to the crisis, and the negotiations continued bilaterally between Prime Ministers Putin and Tymoshenko. Early on 18 January 2009, after five hours of talks, Putin and Tymoshenko reached a deal to restore gas supplies to Europe and Ukraine.[97][98] Both parties agreed that Ukraine would start paying European prices for its natural gas, less a 20% discount for 2009, and that Ukraine would pay the full European market price starting in 2010. In return for the discounts for 2009, Ukraine agreed to keep its transit fee for Russian gas unchanged in 2009. The two sides also agreed not to use intermediaries.[99][99] On 19 January 2009,Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and the head of Naftohaz Oleh Dubyna signed an agreement on natural gas supply to Ukraine for the period of 2009-2019.[100][101][102] Gas supplies restarted on 20 January 2009, and were fully restored on 21 January.[103]

According to the EU Commission and Presidency, the Russia–Ukraine gas disputes caused irreparable and irreversible damage to customers’ confidence in Russia and Ukraine, causing Russia and Ukraine to no longer be regarded as reliable partners.[89][91][95] According to reports, due to the gas crisis Gazprom lost more than $1.1 billion in revenue for the unsupplied gas.[104] Ukraine also incurred losses as a result of the temporary closure of its steel and chemical industries due to the lack of gas. Ukraine also lost $100 million of potential revenue in transit fees from natural gas.[104]

There were also accusations of illegal siphoning of natural gas by Ukraine; however, these accusations were not confirmed.[105][106] The issue of technical gas used to fuel compressor stations and to maintain gas pressure in the pipeline network remained unclear.[107][108] Some sources asserted that the responsibility for providing the technical gas falls to Ukraine,[109] while others say that this is the responsibility of Gazprom.[110]

There were several theories as to alleged political motives behind the gas disputes, including Russia exerting pressure on Ukrainian politicians or attempting to subvert EU and NATO expansions to include Ukraine.[111][112][113] Others suggested that Ukraine’s actions were being orchestrated by the United States.[86] Both sides tried to win sympathy for their arguments fighting a PR war.[114][115]

In August 2009, it was agreed that loans worth $1.7 billion would be given to Ukraine to help it provide stable supplies of Russian gas to Europe by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, in return for reforms in Ukraine’s gas sector.[1]

On 28 December 2009, the Slovakian government announced that Russia warned it would stop oil supplies to Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic over a transit price dispute with Ukraine.[116] However, the next day, Ukraine’s Naftohaz issued a statement confirming that Russia agreed to a 30% increase in the transit fees through Ukraine. The alleged rise in the tariff would be from $7.8 to $9.50 (or €6.6) per tonne of oil going through Ukraine in 2010. Additionally, unlike previous payments, new payments would be made in Euros as this was one of Ukraine’s demands. Russia and Ukraine also agreed on the volume of oil to be transported through Ukraine. The overall amount of oil to be transported to Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Hungary through Ukraine in 2010 will be 15 million tonnes—a decrease from 17.1 million tonnes in 2008.[117]

2010 natural gas agreement

Prologue

After meeting her Russian counterpart Putin, Ukrainian Prime Minister Tymoshenko declared on 3 September 2009, “Both sides, Russia and Ukraine, have agreed that at Christmas, there won’t be [any halt in gas supplies], as usually happens when there are crises in the gas sector. Everything will be quite calm on the basis of the current agreements”.[118] Tymoshenko also said that the Ukrainian and Russian premiers had agreed that sanctions would not be imposed on Ukraine for the country buying less gas than expected and that the price of Russian gas transit across Ukraine may grow 65% till 70% in 2010.[119] A week before Gazprom had said it expected gas transit fees via Ukraine to rise by up to 59% in 2010.[8]

On 8 October 2009 Tymoshenko announced that Ukrainian 2010 natural gas imports will be significantly less than in previous years “because we have less need for natural gas”. Because of its economic recession the industries require far less gas. In response to Tymoshenko Gazprom Chief Executive Alexey Miller stated that Ukraine should stick to the January (2009) contract for 2010.[11]

On 16 November 2009 Commissioner for Energy at the European Commission Andris Piebalgs stated that Russia and the European Union do not expect another gas conflict with Ukraine. According to him there were no gas price negotiations or questions other than that of gas payments.[120]

On 20 November 2009, the gas deal of 18 January 2009, was altered after a meeting between Tymoshenko and Putin in Yalta; meaning Ukraine would not be fined for buying less gas then the old contract stipulated, this was done in view of the 2008–2009 Ukrainian financial crisis.[121] On 24 November 2009 Gazprom and Naftohaz signed these supplements to the contract of 19 January 2009 on the purchase and sale of natural gas; according to the supplements, the annual contracted amount of gas to be supplied to Ukraine in 2010 has been set at 33.75 billion cubic metres (1.192 trillion cubic feet), instead of the 52 billion cubic metres (1.8 trillion cubic feet) contracted earlier. The documents signed by the sides also stipulated that there will be no fines related to the amount of gas consumed by Naftohaz in 2009.[122] Over the first ten months of 2009 Naftohaz has purchased 18.85 billion cubic metres (666 billion cubic feet) of gas with the contracted volume being 31.7 billion cubic metres (1.12 trillion cubic feet).[123]

On 15 December 2009, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko stated he expects no problems with Ukraine over gas supplies at New Year.[124]

Agreement

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko were in Moscow late March 2010 to negotiate lower gas prices; neither clearly explained what Ukraine was prepared to offer in return.[125] Following these talks Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin stated that Russia was prepared to discuss the revision of the price for natural gas it sells to Ukraine.[126]

Signing of the deal reached at the Kharkivsummit on 21 April 2010 by Dimitry Medvedev and Viktor Yanukovych

On 21 April 2010, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed an agreement[127] in which Russia agreed to a 30 percent drop in the price of natural gas sold to Ukraine. Russia agreed to this in exchange for permission to extend Russia’s lease of a major naval base in the Ukrainian Black Sea port ofSevastopol for an additional 25 years with an additional five-year renewal option (to 2042-47).[128] As of June 2010 Ukraine pays Gazprom around $234/mcm (thousand cubic meter).[129]

This agreement was subject to approval by both the Russian and Ukrainian parliaments.[128] They did ratify the agreement on 27 April 2010.[130] The Ukrainian parliament ratified it after several eggs were thrown towards thespeaker, Volodymyr Lytvyn, by deputies and other incidents.[131][132][133] Opposition members in Ukraine and Russia expressed doubts the agreement would be fulfilled by the Ukrainian side.[130][134]

Yanukovych has defended the agreement as a tool to help stabilise the state budget.[135] Opposition members in Ukraine described the agreement as a sell out of national interests.[135]

Dispute of 2013–2014

Crimean crises

Further information: 2014 Crimean crisis

In February 2014, Ukraine’s state-owned oil and gas company Naftogaz sued Chornomornaftogaz for delayed debt payments of 11.614 billion UAH (almost €1 billion) in the Economic Court of the Crimean Autonomous Republic.[136]

In March 2014, Crimean authorities announced that they would nationalize the company.[137] Crimean deputy prime minister Rustam Temirgaliev said that Russia’sGazprom would be its new owner.[138] A group of Gazprom representatives, including its head of business development, has been working at the Chornomornaftogaz head office since mid-March 2014.[139] On April 1, Russia’s energy minister Alexander Novak said that Gazprom would finance an undersea gas pipeline to Crimea.[140]

On 11 April 2014 the U.S. Treasury‘s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that it had added Chornomornaftagaz to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List as part of the third round of U.S. sanctions.[141] Reuters quoted an anonymous U.S. official who explained that the United States wanted to make it impossible for Gazprom to “have dealings with Chornomorneftegaz”, and if that were to happen, Gazprom itself could face sanctions.[140]

The European Union followed suit on May 13, 2014, the first time its sanctions list has included a company (in addition to Chornomorneftegaz, a Crimean oil supplier called Feodosia was also included).[142][143]

June 2014 gas supplies to Ukraine cut off

In an attempt at energy independence, Naftogaz signed a pipeline access deal with Slovakia‘s Eustream on April 28, 2014. Eustream and its Ukrainian counterpart Ukrtransgaz, owned by Naftogaz, agreed to allow Ukraine to use a never used (but aging, at 20 years old) pipeline on Slovakia’s eastern border with Uzhhorod inwestern Ukraine. The deal would provide Ukraine with 3 billion cubic meters of natural gas beginning in autumn of 2014 with the aim of increasing that amount to 10 billion cubic meters in 2015.[142]

On 1 April 2014 Gazprom cancelled Ukraine’s natural gas discount as agreed in the 17 December 2013 Ukrainian–Russian action plan because its debt to the company had risen to $1.7 billion since 2013.[144][145] Later that month the price “automatically” jumped to $485 per 1,000 cubic meters because the Russian government annulled an export-duty exemption for Gazprom in place since the 2010 Kharkiv Pact (this agreement was denounced by Russia on 31 March 2014[146]).[147][148] On 16 June 2014 Gazprom stated that Ukraine’s debt to the company was $4.5 billion.[147] On 30 May 2014 Ukraine paid $786 million to Gazprom.[149]

After intermediary (that had started in May 2014[147]) trilateral talks between EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, Ukraine and Russia failed on 15 June 2014 the latter halted (after a deadline of 10 a.m. Moscow time passed without it receiving payment[147]) its natural gas supplies to Ukraine the next day.[144]Unilaterally Gazprom decided that Ukraine had to pay upfront for its natural gas.[150] The company assured that its supplies to other European countries would continue.[150] Ukraine vowed to “provide reliable supply of gas to consumers in Ukraine and we will provide reliable transit to the European Union”.[147] At the time about 15 percent of European Union’s demand depended on Russian natural gas piped through Ukraine.[147]

After trilateral months of talks between the European Union, Ukraine and Russia a deal was reached on 30 October 2014 in which Ukraine agreed to pay (in advance) $378 per 1,000 cubic metres to the end of 2014, and $365 in the first quarter (ending on 31 March) of 2015.[151] Of its debts to Gazprom Ukraine agreed to pay of $1.45bn immediately, and $1.65bn by the end of 2014.[151] It was agreed that the European Union will be acting as guarantor for Ukraine’s gas purchases from Russia and would help to meet outstanding debts (using funds from existing accords with the European Union and IMF).[151] The total package was worth $4.6bn.[151] According to European Union officials the deal secured that there would be no natural gas supply disruptions in other European countries.[151]

See also

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia%E2%80%93Ukraine_gas_disputes

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Russian Separatist Rebels in Ukraine Shot Down Malaysian Airline Flight MH 17 Killing 298 Passengers and Crew With A Russian Provided SA 11 Gadfly Surface To Air Missile (SAM) From A BUK Launcher — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 298: July 18, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 293: July 11, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 289: July 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 288: June 30, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 286: June 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 285 June 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 284: June 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 283: June 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 282: June 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 281: June 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 280: June 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 279: June 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 278: June 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 277: June 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 276: June 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 275: June 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 274: June 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 273: June 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 272: June 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 271: June 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 270: May 30, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 262: May 16, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 260: May 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 259: May 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 258: May 9, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 256: May 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 255: May 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 254: May 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 253: April 30, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 250: April 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 249: April 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 248: April 22, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 246: April 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 245: April 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 244: April 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 243: April 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 242: April 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 241: April 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 240: April 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 239: April 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 238: April 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 237: April 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 236: April 3, 2014

 Story 1: Russian Separatist Rebels in Ukraine Shot Down Malaysian Airline Flight MH 17 Killing 298 Passengers and Crew With A Russian Provided SA 11 Gadfly Surface to Air Missile (SAM) From A BUK Launcher — Videos

Scenes reminiscent of MH370 disaster as distraught MH17 relatives gather at airports to learn the fate of their missing loved ones

  • Relatives gathered at airports in Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur
  • Nine Britons and 27 Australians were among those on board, according to Dutch authorities
  • Fears that up to 23 Americans could have been on Malaysian Airlines flight
  • Plane was shot down over territory held by Pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine

By STEPHANIE LINNING

Clutching the side of an escalator for support, one man weeps after finding out the fate of his relative at an information point set up at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, where the doomed plane took off from at lunchtime today.

At Kuala Lumpur International Airport, where flight MH 17 was due to land shortly after 6am local time on Friday morning, women cry into tissues as they hear about the fate of their loved ones.

Up to 100 children were thought to be among the 283 passengers and 15 crew who died when the plane was shot down in an ‘act of terrorism’ on the Russia-Ukraine border.

Scroll down for videos

A woman who believes that a relative was travelling on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 cries as she waits for more information about the crashed plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

A woman who believes that a relative was travelling on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 cries as she waits for more information about the crashed plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport

A relative of a passenger on flight MH17 walks past members of the press as he arrives at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, to find out more information

A relative of a passenger on flight MH17 walks past members of the press as he arrives at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, to find out more information

A woman sobs on the phone after finding out the fate of her relative who was on board flight MH17. A full passenger list of those who were travelling on the plane has still not been published

A woman sobs on the phone after finding out the fate of her relative who was on board flight MH17. A full passenger list of those who were travelling on the plane has still not been published

A man clutches his head in anguish as he leaves Schiphol airport on a bus provided for the families of passengers travelling on MH17

A man clutches his head in anguish as he leaves Schiphol airport on a bus provided for the families of passengers travelling on MH17

A woman weeps into a tissue after hearing news regarding a relative who was travelling on the plane. She was one of a group of people who gathered in Kuala Lumpur International Airport early on Friday morning local time

A woman weeps into a tissue after hearing news regarding a relative who was travelling on the plane. She was one of a group of people who gathered in Kuala Lumpur International Airport early on Friday morning local time

Izzy Sim is visibly shaken after learning that she cheated death

Nine British passengers are among the 298 feared dead after a Malaysian Airlines plane was ‘shot down’ on the Russia-Ukraine border, according to Dutch authorities.

There were are fears that there were up to 23 Americans on the flight, though it has yet to be confirmed that any were on board.

In one image taken from the crash site, a pile of passports can be seen scattered amid the rubble.

 

Witnesses say body parts are scattered over a distance of 15km, suggesting the plane broke up in mid-air.

As shocking images emerged of bodies amid the smouldering wreckage of the Boeing 777 it raised concerns of renewed tension between the US and Russia.

A woman lights a candle in front of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kiev on Thursday night to commemorate passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17

A woman lights a candle in front of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kiev on Thursday night to commemorate passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17

A young girl places her head on a teddy bear as people around her light candles at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kiev. They gathered on Thursday night to pay tribute to those on flight MH17

A young girl places her head on a teddy bear as people around her light candles at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kiev. They gathered on Thursday night to pay tribute to those on flight MH17

Flowers, signs and candles line the street in front of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kiev. They commemorate the 295 passengers who died when flight MH17 was shot down

Flowers, signs and candles line the street in front of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kiev. They commemorate the 295 passengers who died when flight MH17 was shot down

Tearful family members leave Schiphol airport in a bus provided after finding out the fate of their relatives. The crash site was littered with remains of charred passports

Tearful family members leave Schiphol airport in a bus provided after finding out the fate of their relatives. The crash site was littered with remains of charred passports

 

A tearful couple, who had loved ones on board flight MH 17, hold on to each other for support as they leave Schiphol airport on Thursday evening

A tearful couple, who had loved ones on board flight MH 17, hold on to each other for support as they leave Schiphol airport on Thursday evening

 

Relatives, eyes red from crying, head towards the area in Schiphol airport in Amsterdam where family members of the victims are gathering to await further information

Relatives, eyes red from crying, head towards the area in Schiphol airport in Amsterdam where family members of the victims are gathering to await further information

A family anxiously await news of passengers on flight MH17 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport early on Friday morning local time

A family anxiously await news of passengers on flight MH17 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport early on Friday morning local time

Smoke and debris believed to be from flight MH17 falling to Earth

Pictures and footage taken from the wreckage show the charred remains of passports and suitcases scattered on the crash site.

MH17: DEATH TOLL SO FAR

154 Dutch nationals 45 Malaysians (including 15 crew members) 27 Australians 12 Indonesians Nine Britons Four Germans Four Belgians Three Filipinos One Canadian 41 unconfirmed

Emergency workers are seen tackling the blazes that broke out after the aircraft crashed near Donestsk, where pro-Russian rebels have been fighting Ukrainian government forces. TV pictures from the scene showed a pall of smoke billowing into the sky apparently from the stricken aircraft. Among those feared dead is a Dutch man who posted a photo on Facebook of the plane on the tarmac just hours before the crash.

Initially, friends commented on the photo wishing him happy holidays. But their messages turned to ones of concern once news of the crash broke.

Based on the number of flights leaving Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, and the timing of his Facebook status, it is feared he was on the fated flight. His cousin later posted the flight number beneath the picture and shortly after friends began leaving messages saying ‘rest in peace’. Another said that his girlfriend was on the flight with him.

 

A relative of passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam speaks on the phone as he waits for information outside the family holding area at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport

A relative of passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam speaks on the phone as he waits for information outside the family holding area at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport

A couple walks towards the information point at Schiphol Airport that has been set up for loved ones of passengers travelling on flight MH17

A couple walks towards the information point at Schiphol Airport that has been set up for loved ones of passengers travelling on flight MH17

One passenger is believed to have posted this picture of the doomed flight on the tarmac of Amsterdam airport just hours before it was shot down over Ukraine

One passenger is believed to have posted this picture of the doomed flight on the tarmac of Amsterdam airport just hours before it was shot down over Ukraine

Passports from some of the doomed passengers on-board MH17 found

Prime Minister David Cameron said: ‘I’m shocked and saddened by the Malaysian air disaster. Officials from across Whitehall are meeting to establish the facts.’

In a statement on Thursday night Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: ‘We do believe that there were British Nationals on board the flight we’re currently working through passenger data cross checking it and referencing it to establish exactly the numbers and identities of those British nationals and as soon as we have further information we will be in contact with the families.’

It is believed the plane was struck by BUK surface-to-air missile at 33,000ft around 20 miles before entering Russian airspace.

Russian news footage taken from the crash site shows passports on the ground among the wreckage of MH17

Russian news footage taken from the crash site shows passports on the ground among the wreckage of MH17

A suitcase is found among the wreckage of flight MH17. Six British passengers were killed after the aircraft was shot down, according to Dutch authorities

A suitcase is found among the wreckage of flight MH17. Six British passengers were killed after the aircraft was shot down, according to Dutch authorities

Suitcases and bags are pictured at the crash site of Malaysian Airways flight MH17

Suitcases and bags are pictured at the crash site of Malaysian Airways flight MH17

A spokesman from the Foreign Office would not be drawn on whether any British nationals had been on board the plane.

‘We are aware of the reports and are urgently working to establish what has happened,’ he said.

Asked about reports that up to 10 British people had been on board, the spokesman added: ‘Our first priority is to establish if there are any British persons on board but we are not in a position to go beyond that line.’

David Cameron has summoned officials from across Whitehall for urgent talks at 7pm to discuss the latest on the crash, and what is known about any British casualties.

The Foreign Office is in talks with consular teams in Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur to obtain passenger lists to establish how many UK nationals were on board.

Malaysian Airlines said they have no information about any survivors.

An armed pro-Russian separatist stands at a site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region

An armed pro-Russian separatist stands at a site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region

Charred plane parts  litter the ground at the crash site of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17

Charred plane parts litter the ground at the crash site of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash site in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash site in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region

Firefighters put out smouldering wreckage of ‘shot down’ MH17

In a tweet, the airline said: ‘Malaysia Airlines has lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam. The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace. More details to follow.’

A Boeing spokesman said: ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with those on board the Malaysia Airlines airplane lost over Ukrainian airspace, as well as their families and loved ones.

‘Boeing stands ready to provide whatever assistance is requested by authorities.’

The jet would have been flying at high altitude on an intercontinental flight that took it over the crisis hit region of Ukraine, where the authorities have accused Russia-backed separatists of previous attacks on aircraft.

A firefighter tackles a blaze at the site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region of Ukraine

A firefighter tackles a blaze at the site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region of Ukraine

 

Carnage: A firefighter tackles a blaze at the site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region of Ukraine

Carnage: A firefighter tackles a blaze at the site of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash in the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region of Ukraine

Kuala Lumpur International airport after plane downed

The crash comes four months after the mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 which is thought to have crashed into the Indian Ocean. Two weeks ago, investigators say what little evidence they have to work with suggests the plane was deliberately diverted thousands of kilometres from its scheduled route before eventually plunging into the Indian Ocean. The search was narrowed in April after a series of acoustic pings thought to be from the plane’s black box recorders were heard along a final arc where analysis of satellite data put its last location

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2696340/Up-10-British-23-American-passengers-feared-dead-Malaysian-Airlines-MH17-shot-Ukraine.html

2014 – BBC World News – Obama: US Has Evidence MAS Plane Shot Down from Inside Ukraine – 19/7/14

Malaysian MH17 : SA 11 Buk Missile Dating to Soviet Era Eyed in MH17 Attack

U.S. Evidence Points to Separatist Missile Downing Airliner

Flight MH17: Ukraine releases video of ‘Buk missile unit’

Footage Emerges Of BUK Missile Launcher Being Smuggled Back To Russia ~ MISSING TOW ROCKETS!!!

Malaysia Airlines MH17 killed by Buk missile launcher in Ukraine rebel territory

SA-11 Gadfly (9К37 Бук) Soviet SAM System

The Buk missile system is the successor to the NIIP/Vympel 2K12 Kub (NATO reporting name SA-6 “Gainful”).

The first version of Buk adopted into service carried the GRAU designation 9K37 and was identified in the west with the NATO reporting name “Gadfly” as well as the US Department of Defense designation SA-11. Designed: 1972-1977, testing in 1977-1978, operation in 1979

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 17 Crash: Timeline Of Flight MH17 Malaysian Plane Shot Down In Ukraine

List of Nationalities Aboard Malaysia Airlines MH-17

 

Obama says Malaysian plane shot down by missile from rebel-held part of Ukraine

President Obama said Friday that a Malaysia Airlines plane carrying nearly 300 people, including at least one U.S. citizen, was evidently shot down by an antiaircraft missile fired from an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. In a White House news conference a day after the Boeing 777 crashed en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Obama stopped short of saying who fired the missile or directly blaming Russia for the deaths, which he called “an outrage of unspeakable proportions.” But he said the separatists “have received a steady flow of support from Russia,” including heavy arms, training and antiaircraft weapons. Pointing to rebel claims to have shot down several Ukrainian aircraft in recent weeks, including a Ukrainian fighter jet, Obama said it was “not possible for these separatists to function the way they’re functioning . . . without sophisticated equipment and sophisticated training, and that is coming from Russia.” Russian President Vladimir Putin “has the most control over that situation, and so far at least, he has not exercised it,” Obama said. He spoke after U.S. officials disclosed a preliminary intelligence assessment indicating that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was likely shot down by pro-Russian separatists with an SA-11 missile. The SA-11 is an early version of the Buk antiaircraft system that was previously identified by Ukrainian authorities as the weapon used to bring down the airliner.

As emergency workers continue to search for victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 after it was shot down near the Russian border, world leaders are calling for a cease-fire in Ukraine. (AP)

In public statements, senior members of the administration from the president down did not specify the perpetrators of the shootdown, although they made it clear that the rebels are the likeliest suspects.

Because of the “technical complexity” of the Russian-made surface-to-air missile system, “it is impossible to rule out Russian technical assistance” to the separatists in operating it, Samantha Power , the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, told the U.N. Security Council earlier Friday. Separately, military and intelligence officials said Friday that the United States has gathered a significant body of evidence that Ukrainian separatists have been trained on Russian territory in recent weeks to fire antiaircraft missiles. Obama identified the American victim on the plane as Quinn Lucas Schansman, a 19-year-old U.S.-Dutch dual national who reportedly lived in Amsterdam and was traveling to Kuala Lumpur to meet his family for a vacation. The president called for “a credible international investigation” into the tragedy and urged Russia to cooperate with it. As the shootdown sent the Ukraine war into the realm of international crisis, Obama called it a “global tragedy,” saying that “it is not going to be localized; it is not going to be contained.” He joined calls for an international investigation and said investigators from the FBI and National Transportation Safety Board have already been dispatched. At an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting Friday morning, Power was much more direct in holding Russia responsible for the shootdown, detailing the volume of weapons and other assistance that Moscow has provided to the separatists.

“Russia can end this war,” she said. “Russia must end this war.”

Among the 298 victims, Power said, were 80 children and three listed on the passenger manifest as infants. In response, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin did not directly address charges that Moscow bears responsibility and was complicit in the missile attack. Agreeing that an international investigation is needed, Churkin criticized those who he said are “trying to prejudge the outcome with broad statements and insinuations,” and he accused the Ukrainian government of failing to warn international aviation to avoid the conflict area in eastern Ukraine. “Why did Ukrainian aviation dispatchers send [the Malaysian plane] to an area of strife, where there were antiaircraft systems in operation?” he asked. By continuing its military offensive to dislodge the separatists, Ukraine “chose the wrong path, and their Western colleagues supported them,” Churkin said. “I’m talking about the United States; they actually pushed them to escalate,” he said, and now “they are trying to lay the blame on Russia.” Britain, which lost nine citizens in the crash and called for the emergency Security Council meeting, demanded an independent international investigation. “The immediate priority has to be for investigators to gain access to the crash site,” British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said. “There must be no interfering or tampering with the evidence.” As the council session continued, and before any Russian response, most representatives concentrated on the need for an immediate cease-fire in eastern Ukraine and an independent probe. Many indirectly accused Russia of responsibility for the separatists’ actions, although China cautioned member nations not to “jump to any conclusions . . . or trade accusations.”

Speaking later in the White House briefing room, Obama said it was “too early for us to be able to guess what the intentions were of those who might have launched” the missile. “What we know right now, what we have confidence in saying right now, is that a surface-to-air missile was fired, and this is what brought the jet down. . . . That shot was taken within territory that was controlled by the Russian-backed separatists.” The identities of “what individuals or groups of personnel ordered” the strike, he said, are “still subject to additional information that we’re going to be gathering.” But after months of conflict in Ukraine, the shootdown should “snap everyone’s head” to action, he said. “We don’t have time for propaganda; we don’t have time for games.” “Time and again, Russia has refused to take the concrete steps necessary to de-escalate the situation,” Obama said. At least in public, the leaders of Germany, France and Britain expressed outrage over the downing of the airliner but were careful not to rush to judgment or publicly accuse Russia. Countries in the region considered more hawkish on Russia, however, were more willing to assign blame. “We are concerned over press reports that the Ukrainian side has captured phone conversation recordings indicating that pro-Russian separatists might be responsible for shooting the plane down,” the Polish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. British and German leaders were more cautious. “We have some information, but we need to find more information,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron. He called for an proper international investigation but added, “until we know more, it’s not really possible to say more.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday pressed Russia to work harder toward a political solution in the Ukrainian conflict. But she also drew a line between the Russians and the separatists. “We’re assuming that the Russian president of course has an influence on Russian separatists,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin. “But still one has to differentiate between the separatists and the Russian government.” On Wednesday, both the United States and European Union slapped new sanctions on Russia, but the European moves were significantly less stinging. Suggesting Friday that she was in no rush to go further, Merkel called Wednesday’s move “an adequate response to what happened in the past few days.” But she also noted that the E.U. decision had left open the door to “act on a new level” if necessary. As the day wore on, and particularly after the Security Council meeting, the rhetoric grew somewhat harsher. “Those who are responsible for this would forfeit their right to claim their own concerns in the name of humanity,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in Mexico City. In France, pressure mounted on the government to cancel the $1.7 billion sale to Russia of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers — capable of transporting 16 attack helicopters, dozens of tanks and 700 soldiers. Philippe Migault, a Russia expert at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations in Paris, said canceling the sale would cost the nation hundreds of jobs, result in a substantial cash penalty and portray France a nation that does not meet its defense contracts.

But, he said, “if there is further evidence of the responsibility of the pro-Russian rebels, there are chances that it might be” canceled. European governments have been more reluctant than the Americans to slap tougher sanctions on the Russians largely due to Moscow’s economic clout in the region. Should the pro-Russian separatists — with the direct or indirect aid of Russia — ultimately be proven responsible for the shootdown, analysts said the calculations in the region could change. “It’s a game-changer because it’s very difficult to see how anyone in Europe can continue as business as usual,” said Jonathan Eyal, director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute in London. “This time we have our own European casualties. It’s not a theoretical conflict in which people we do not know are dying.” Yet other analysts insisted that the desire of the Europeans to sidestep truly forceful sanctions to protect their economies should not be underestimated. Just as vital to their calculations, analysts said, will be a desire not to take steps that could dramatically ratchet up tensions and prompt the Russians to respond by cutting off important energy supplies to the region. “How Europe reacts, we don’t know. It could go either way,” said Andrew Wilson, senior policy fellow in the London office of the European Council on Foreign Relations. Jakov Devcic, deputy bureau chief of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Kiev, a group associated with Merkel’s CDU party, said that in Europe, as in the United States, military intervention remained ruled out. But if the rebels are found to have filed the missile, Germany and the E.U. will consider further sanctions, including import bans on luxury goods and, as a second step, moves targeting Russian financial transactions.

The U.S. intelligence assessment that rebels were responsible for the shootdown came as Ukrainian leaders stepped up their condemnation of Russia over the crash, calling for Moscow to be held accountable for allegedly supplying the missile system that they said was used by the rebels in eastern Ukraine. “This is a crime against humanity,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said, as he called for swift international justice. “All red lines have been already crossed. . . . We ask our international partners to call an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting and to [do] everything we can to stop this war: a war against Ukraine, a war against Europe, and after these terrorists shot down a Malaysian aircraft, this is a war against the world.” Yatsenyuk added: “Everyone is to be accountable and responsible. I mean everyone who supports these terrorists, including Russians and the Russian regime.” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, addressing the nation early Friday, also blamed pro-Russian separatists and those he called their Russian masters for the downing of the Boeing 777 with 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. The victims included “nearly 100 researchers and advocates” who were en route from Amsterdam via Kuala Lumpur to attend an AIDS conference in Australia, Obama said. “They were taken from us in a senseless act of violence,” he said. AIDS conference organizers have confirmed only seven names and said they think the number of people flying to the conference on the Malaysian flight could be much lower than 100.

“War has gone beyond the territory of Ukraine,” Poroshenko said earlier Friday. “Consequences of this war have already reached the whole world.” Russia and the separatists both denied any responsibility for the shootdown, pinning the blame instead on the Ukrainian government. But Poroshenko said recordings of what the Ukraine Security Service described as intercepted phone conversations between separatist rebels and Russian intelligence officials implicated them in the shootdown. The Security Service released new recordings Friday in which it said rebels discussed possessing and moving the Russian-made Buk missile launcher that Ukraine says shot down the airliner. The Ukrainian government released video purporting to show rebels moving a Buk antiaircraft missile system to the Russian border Friday from eastern Ukraine. The government claimed that the missile-launcher was missing one of its missiles. Neither the claims nor the authenticity of the video could be independently verified. Russia pushed back Friday, accusing Poroshenko of poisoning efforts to investigate the crash.   A rebel leader on Thursday had briefly claimed responsibility for downing a plane that he described as a Ukrainian military aircraft. Soon after it was established that a commercial airliner had been shot down, the claim was removed. Ukraine’s top intelligence official said Friday that the plane crash was being investigated as a criminal case under Ukraine’s terrorism laws. Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, head of the Ukraine Security Service, said Ukraine now believes that the Boeing 777 was shot down by rebel forces using a Buk antiaircraft missile launcher that had recently been moved over the border from Russia. He said Ukraine has detained two Russian citizens who allegedly helped bring the missile launcher into Ukraine. Ukrainian intelligence services also observed rebels trying to move back into Russia a Buk launcher that had fired two missiles, he added. It was not immediately possible to independently verify the claims.

“The terrorists are trying to hide the crime,” Nalyvaichenko said. The Ukraine Security Service on Friday released a second series of recordings of what it said were intercepted phone calls between pro-Russian separatists over the last few days, in which the voices describe being in possession of and moving the Buk missile launcher. In the first conversation, which the Security Service said took place on July 14, an alleged rebel called “Oleg” said he missed a plane flying above a village. “We already have the Buk,” a woman identified as “Oreon” told him. “We’ll be knocking it down.” The Security Service said that on additional tapes from July 17, rebels discuss moving the Buk launcher. “Where do we ship this beauty to, Nikolayevich?” asked an alleged rebel identified by the Security Service as “Buryat.” “It’s not necessary to hide it anywhere,” came the reply. The rebel identified as Nikolayevich, also known as “Khmuri,” also talked about stocks of other weapons and the rebels’ relationship with the Russians at one point. “The thing is, we have Grads, but no spotters,” he said, referring to the mobile, Russian-made multiple rocket launcher. “We are waiting. Supposedly Russia should strike from that side at their positions.” In recent months, the rebels have shot down numerous Ukrainian military aircraft using short-range surface-to-air missiles. Experts said such missiles probably could not reach a plane flying at 33,000 feet, the reported altitude of Flight 17. But Ukrainian authorities have said the rebels recently obtained Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missiles — a complex system using ground radar to guide a missile to its target. Experts said it requires expertise and training to operate.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that the international community could not expect Russia to get the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine to lay down their arms. But Lavrov said he hoped that the OSCE would send monitors to the Russian-Ukrainian border before the end of the week. In an interview with Rossiya-24 television, he added that Russia was ready to guarantee the safety of those observers at Russia’s own border checkpoints but could make no promises about keeping them safe from bombardments from Ukraine, Interfax reported. Lavrov also accused Poroshenko of potentially poisoning the investigation of the plane crash by calling for a commission to look into it while also declaring it an act of terrorism. “Of course, attempts to claim that this was a terrorist act, so the Ukrainian researchers will be guided by this in their work — this is unacceptable, this pressure on the acts of the this commission,” Lavrov said. In an effort to cooperate with international investigations, Lavrov said, Russia would not accept the black box that rebels said they had recovered from the plane. “We are not going to take away these boxes,” he said. “We are not going to violate the rules existing with regard to this sort of cases within the international community.” Aleksey Komarov, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, called for “a thorough investigation with the use of representatives from all the interested international organizations.” He alleged that, according to the information available to the Russians, a Ukrainian military Buk-M1 type air defense system capable of bringing down the jet as it cruised at 33,000 feet was stationed in the area near the crash.

“Ukrainian Air Force planes armed with various types of missiles are constantly present in the Donetsk region airspace,” he said on Rossiya 24 TV. “This is an indisputable fact.” He said Kiev’s claims that these systems or planes did not shoot at airborne targets “raise serious doubts.” He added that “planes of the Russian Air Force did not fly in Russian regions bordering the Donetsk region on July 17, 2014.” The Ukrainians, however, have cited the purported intercepts and conflicting claims by the pro-Russian rebels, who have been operating with tactical Russian assistance, as evidence of their guilt. In recent days, the rebels, who have shot down numerous Ukrainian military aircraft using shorter-range missiles, claimed to have obtained more advanced antiaircraft missile systems. “Evidence and information we have as of now confirm that it was pro-Russian groups, and unfortunately this tragedy took the lives of 298 people,” Ihor Dolhov, Ukraine’s ambassador to NATO, told the BBC. Sergei Kavtaradze, a representative of the separatist militias, told Interfax on Friday that the purported recordings of intercepted phone calls amounted to “unprofessional propaganda.”   http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/missile-downs-malaysia-airlines-plane-over-ukraine-killing-298-kiev-blames-rebels/2014/07/18/d30205c8-0e4a-11e4-8c9a-923ecc0c7d23_story.html

Did MH17 pilot divert INTO the danger zone? Aviation expert claims captain made last-minute change of course over Ukraine because he ‘felt uncomfortable’

  • Russian military expert claims pilot radioed his concerns about the route before diverting over rebel-held territory
  • Russian media explores theory that Ukrainian armed forces shot down Boeing 777 after mistaking it for Putin’s jet
  • Malaysia Airlines filed flight plan requesting 35,000 feet through airspace but was told to fly at 33,000
  • Kremlin leader was flying back to Moscow from Brazilian World Cup at around same time passenger plane crashed
  • Russian aviation sources said the routes of the two planes ‘crossed at the same point and on the same altitude’
  • Ukrainian official accuses Putin of smuggling missile launcher back into Russia to cover up Kremlin involvement
  • Malaysian transport minister said MH17 was flying on approved route and pilot given no last-minute instructions
  • Putin calls for a ceasefire by pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces to allow for negotiations
  • Confusion over the two black boxes: Rebel says none found, another said it has eight, Ukraine says it has both
  • Ukrainian officials issue plea for respect as it emerges looters are raiding the possessions of dead passengers

By SIMON TOMLINSON and MICHAEL SEAMARK and LOUISE ECCLES and WILL STEWART and TED THORNHILL

The pilot of MH17 radioed that he ‘felt uncomfortable’ about the route he was flying while over Ukraine and fatally altered his course to hostile territory, according to an expert. Dr Igor Sutyagin, Research Fellow in Russian Studies from the Royal United Services Institute, believes that MH17 was shot down by rebels based in the 3rd District of Torez, in eastern Ukraine, after mistaking his plane for a government military transport aircraft. He told MailOnline that information had been leaked from a source he was unwilling to name that the pilot of MH17 ‘felt bad’ about his course over Ukrainian airspace, so changed direction. Little did he know, according to Dr Sutyagin, that his plane would then be mistaken by rebels who brought it down using a ground-to-air Buk missile system. Malaysia Airlines today denied that the plane was told to alter its course. His comments come as Vladimir Putin called for a ceasefire by pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces to allow for negotiations. A top separatist leader in east Ukraine has ruled out a truce with government forces but pledged to allow investigators to access the crash site. ‘There is no question of a ceasefire but we will let experts access the site of the catastrophe,’ Alexander Borodai, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’, told journalists.

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Is this proof that MH17 change course into a war zone? A route map compiled by Twitter user Vagelis Karmiros using data from flight-tracking website Flightaware claims to show how the doomed Malaysia Airlines plane took a different flightpath to the ones taken by the previous ten MH17 flights

Is this proof that MH17 change course into a war zone? A route map compiled by Twitter user Vagelis Karmiros using data from flight-tracking website Flightaware claims to show how the doomed Malaysia Airlines plane took a different flightpath to the ones taken by the previous ten MH17 flights

Stunned: Ukrainians inspect the wreckage of MH17 as coal miners, farmers and other volunteers help with the grisly task of clearing up the crash sites after the Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over the east of the country

Stunned: Ukrainians inspect the wreckage of MH17 as coal miners, farmers and other volunteers help with the grisly task of clearing up the crash sites after the Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over the east of the country

Decimated: A pro-Russian separatist looks at wreckage from the nose section of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane which was downed near the village of Rozsypne

Decimated: A pro-Russian separatist looks at wreckage from the nose section of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane which was downed near the village of Rozsypne

Disturbing: A woman walks past a body covered with a plastic sheet in a sunflower field near the site of a crashed Malaysia Airlines passenger plane near the village of Rozsypne

Disturbing: A woman walks past a body covered with a plastic sheet in a sunflower field near the site of a crashed Malaysia Airlines passenger plane near the village of Rozsypne

All hand on deck: Coal miners help with the search effort at the crash site near the village of Rozsypne in eastern Ukraine

All hand on deck: Coal miners help with the search effort at the crash site near the village of Rozsypne in eastern Ukraine

Emergency workers, police officers and even coal miners spread out across the sunflower fields and villages of eastern Ukraine, searching the wreckage of MH17

Emergency workers, police officers and even coal miners spread out across the sunflower fields and villages of eastern Ukraine, searching the wreckage of MH17

Out of the blue: A Ukrainian covers a body with a  plastic sheet in a field. Malaysia's prime minister said there was no distress call before the plane went down and that the flight route was declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation

Out of the blue: A Ukrainian covers a body with a plastic sheet in a field. Malaysia’s prime minister said there was no distress call before the plane went down and that the flight route was declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation

BRITAIN BLAMES PUTIN AS UKRAINE CALLS ON WORLD LEADERS TO ‘BRING THOSE B******* TO JUSTICE’

Britain today formally accused Russia of being responsible for bringing down flight MH17 over Ukraine – killing on 298 passengers on board. The UK’s representative at the UN said it was ‘clear’ who was to blame for shooting down the Malaysian Airways aircraft over Ukraine. Speaking at the UN in New York today, Ambassador Peter Wilson said the blame lay with ‘the senseless violence of armed separatists and with those who have supported, equipped and advised them’. Earlier, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Western leaders to ‘bring justice to those b*******’ who brought down the flight. He said world leaders needed to realised there was ‘a war in the heart of Europe’ taking place, amid growing fury at Moscow’s backing the pro-Russian separatists suspected of carrying out the assault.

Dr Sutyagin’s theory appears to be supported by a route map which shows the passenger plane travelling on a different course to the ones taken by the previous ten MH17 flights. Twitter user Vagelis Karmiros collated the information from Flightaware, the largest flight tracking website in the world. Dr Sutyagin said: ‘There is a Ukrainian mechanised brigade blocked by separatists near the Russian border.

‘It’s blocked on three sides by separatists and behind the brigade is the Russian border, so they can’t get out. The Ukrainians try to resupply them from the air by transport aircraft. ‘Now, the pilot of MH17 said that he “felt bad” and wanted to change course south to get out of the danger zone. But several kilometers to the south is a Ukrainian Army heavy transport plane, an IL76, or Candid, which has the same echo as a 777 on a radar screen. ‘The two planes came close. They tried to shoot down the transport delivering supplies to the brigade. They believed that they had been firing at a military plane, but they mistakenly shoot down a civilian airliner.’ His comments came as Malaysia Airlines said it filed a flight plan requesting to fly at 35,000 feet through Ukraine airspace but was instructed by Ukraine air traffic control to fly at 33,000. It would still have been in range of the missile were it flying at the higher altitude, however.

Rescue workers, police and even coal miners are today combing the site where a Malaysian Airlines jet crashed after being shot from the sky by a surface-to-air missile, scattering wreckage and bodies across the Ukrainian countryside.

Ukraine accused pro-Russian separatists of shooting down the plane which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 people on board, while the Russian media today blamed everyone but pro-Moscow rebels for the Malaysia Airlines horror.

One theory explored by TV and newspapers was that the Ukrainian armed forces may have shot the Boeing out of the sky after mistaking it for Vladimir Putin’s official Ilyushin jet.

The Kremlin leader was flying back to Moscow from Brazil at around the same time that the Boeing 777 was downed, stated TV and newspaper reports.

Blaming the Ukraine: Self-proclaimed Prime Minister of the pro-Russian separatist Donetsk People's Republic, Alexander Borodai (centre), arrives at the crash site

Blaming the Ukraine: Self-proclaimed Prime Minister of the pro-Russian separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Borodai (centre), arrives at the crash site

Blame game: The pro-Russian self-proclaimed governor of the Donetsk region Paul Gubarev (centre) is surrounded by armed guards as he looks at debris of the Boeing

Blame game: The pro-Russian self-proclaimed governor of the Donetsk region Paul Gubarev (centre) is surrounded by armed guards as he looks at debris of the Boeing

Under pressure: Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Geletey arrives for a meeting with media in Kramatorsk as global demands mounted to find those responsible for downing the airliner

Under pressure: Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Geletey arrives for a meeting with media in Kramatorsk as global demands mounted to find those responsible for downing the airliner

HORRIFIC IMAGE OF DEAD BABY IN FIELD ‘ON PUTIN’S CONSCIENCE’

A shocking photograph released today by an Ukrainian official shows the harrowing image of an infant victim lying on its own in a field. The baby, who is pictured sprawled in the dirt near the crash site, is thought to be the youngest victim of the crash. Ukraine government advisor Anton Gerashchenko, who published the picture, said in a statement: ‘This baby’s death is on your conscience Putin’ – placing the blame squarely on Russia. The nationality of the baby is still unknown.

Evidence for the theory seems scant, but an anonymous source in Russia’s Federal Agency for Air Transportation was quoted saying that there was a crossover flight path between the doomed Malaysian aircraft and Russian plane ‘number one’ used by Putin.

A source at the agency was quoted by Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper as saying: ‘Vladimir Putin’s plane could have been a target for a Ukrainian missile.’

NTV cited a source from the same body as saying: ‘I can say that the routes of plane Number One and the Malaysian Boeing crossed at the same point and on the same altitude.

‘It was near Warsaw at altitude 10,100 metres, echelon 330. The plane Number One was at that point at 16.21 Moscow time, the Malaysian plane was there at 15.44 Moscow time.’

The source also said that the ‘plane’ contours are similar in principle, the real sizes are also similar, and ‘as for their liveries then at the distance they are almost identical’.

Putin’s equivalent of Air Force One is a specially modified Ilyushin, the Il-96 300. It is a four-engine  long distance aircraft, with a length of 55 metres, and a wingspan of 60 metres.

The Boeing 777-200 is 63 metres long, and its wingspan 61 metres.

Asked last night on the route of Putin’s plane, agency head Alexander Neradko said: ‘We never comment on the routes and other details of the flights of the president of Russia.’

Political storm: Russian President Vladimir Putin has blamed Ukraine for the Malaysian Airlines tragedy that claimed the lives of all 298 people on board

Political storm: Russian President Vladimir Putin has blamed Ukraine for the Malaysian Airlines tragedy that claimed the lives of all 298 people on board

Crumpled: Wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines jet carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur a day after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in east Ukraine

Crumpled: Wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines jet carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur a day after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in east Ukraine

Complex investigation: Rescue workers pick through the debris of Flight MH17 at the crash site outside Shakhtyorsk in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine

Complex investigation: Rescue workers pick through the debris of Flight MH17 at the crash site outside Shakhtyorsk in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine

'Circumstances need to be investigated carefully and objectively': Vladimir Putin has called for a thorough probe into the cause of disaster

‘Circumstances need to be investigated carefully and objectively’: Vladimir Putin has called for a thorough probe into the cause of disaster

Earlier, Ukrainian government official Anton Gerashchenko accused Mr Putin of ‘a desperate attempt to hide the consequences of his deeds’ by permitting the smuggling of the Buk rocket launcher – suspected of being used to shoot down the Boeing – across the frontier into Russia.

An effort during the night was made ‘to hide the Buk rocket complex on Russian territory’, he alleged.

He did not say if it was known whether or not it had moved into Russia.

‘It is most likely that the machinery which fired the missiles at Malaysian aircraft will be destroyed and the people who committed the act of terror will be annihilated,’ warned Gerashchenko, an advisor to the Interior Ministry in Kiev.

‘Several hours ago, Putin made a statement in regard the catastrophic crash of the Malaysian Boeing in which he blamed it all on Ukrainian side. What else is there to be done for an international terrorist? Only lie.’

Poignant: A white flag placed by the Ukrainian Emergency Services marks the location of a body (not pictured) the settlement of Grabovo

Poignant: A white flag placed by the Ukrainian Emergency Services marks the location of a body (not pictured) the settlement of Grabovo

Mangled: Malaysia Airlines is trying to arrange safe access for relatives of victims to the site in eastern Ukraine where its Boeing 777 airliner crashed

Mangled: Malaysia Airlines is trying to arrange safe access for relatives of victims to the site in eastern Ukraine where its Boeing 777 airliner crashed

Distressing: Cards, games and money belonging to passengers on MH17 lie strewn across the grass near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine

Distressing: Cards, games and money belonging to passengers on MH17 lie strewn across the grass near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine

Clear-up operation: Personal luggage is collected at the site of the crashed Malaysia Airlines passenger plane near the village of Rozsypne

Clear-up operation: Personal luggage is collected at the site of the crashed Malaysia Airlines passenger plane near the village of Rozsypne

Global response: The UN Security Council has called for 'a full, thorough and independent international investigation' after approving a statement expressing 'deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims'

Global response: The UN Security Council has called for ‘a full, thorough and independent international investigation’ after approving a statement expressing ‘deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims’

Meanwhile, Pro-Kremlin Izvestia cited separatists claiming the shooting out of the sky was ‘a planned provocation by Kiev’.

‘Judge for yourself, who could have done it? The rebels don’t have weapons that you could use to shoot down a plane at such a height, but Kiev does,’ one local leader told the paper.

Tabloid Tvoi Den splashed a full-page cover photograph of the crash scene with a line reading: ‘Donetsk People’s Republic Authorities Claim Plane Destroyed by Ukrainian Buk Missile,’ an anti-aircraft system.

Rebel official Sergei Kavtaradze was quoted saying: ‘According to our information, this plane was shot down by Ukrainian armed forces.’

Other media claimed it could have been a Ukrainian plot to give the Americans an excuse to deploy NATO on the ground in the eastern European country.

But a Ukrainian military expert, Igor Levchenko, told Kommersant business daily that although Kiev did have several Buks in the conflict zone, they ‘definitely would not be used against such a target as a passenger liner.’

IS THIS THE SMOKING GUN THAT PROVES SEPARATISTS WERE TO BLAME? FOOTAGE SHOWS MISSILE LAUNCHER BEING SMUGGLED BACK TO RUSSIA WITH TWO ROCKETS MISSING

An expert believes that MH17 was downed by a missile fired from rebel-held Torez in eastern Ukraine – and a BUK anti-aircraft launcher has been pictured rumbling into the town just two hours before the crash, leading to speculation that it was this piece of equipment that was used to bring about the tragedy.

On Friday a missile launcher with two rockets missing was then filmed by Ukrainian intelligence services being smuggled on the back of a truck to Russia.

Anton Gerashchenko, from Ukraine’s interior ministry, said of the missing missiles that ‘it’s not hard to guess why’.

Suspicious: Ukrainian spies reportedly filmed the launcher used in the attack being smuggled to Russia - with two missiles missing

Suspicious: Ukrainian spies reportedly filmed the launcher used in the attack being smuggled to Russia – with two missiles missing

A view of what is believed to be a BUK surface-to-air missile battery being driven along a path on July 17 in Torez, Ukraine

A view of what is believed to be a BUK surface-to-air missile battery being driven along a path on July 17 in Torez, Ukraine

Launch site? The BUK missile system photographed in Torez hours before MH17 was downed

Launch site? The BUK missile system photographed in Torez hours before MH17 was downed

‘It was exactly these missiles which brought death to almost 300 innocent passengers of the ill-fated Malaysian Boeing,’ he said, according to the Telegraph.

He continued: ‘International terrorist Igor Strelkov, aka Girkin, last night visited Snizhne to settle the situation with the downed Malaysian Boeing.

‘In the night the Buk system, from which the missile was launched, was removed to Russia, where it is likely to be destroyed.’

He claimed that the ‘direct performers of the terrorist attack’ are also likely to have been killed to avoid any witnesses.

The rebels ‘happily announced that they had downed the Ukrainian AN-26’ when in fact they had shot the Boeing, he said.

Dr Igor Sutyagin, Research Fellow in Russian Studies from the Royal United Services Institute, believes that MH17 was shot down by rebels based in the 3rd District of Torez.

Russian air defense missile system Buk M2 seen at a military show at the international forum "Technologies in machine building 2010" in Zhukovsky outside Moscow, Wednesday, June 30, 2010. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

Russian air defense missile system BUK  M2 seen at a military show at the international forum in Zhukovsky outside Moscow, in 2010

A map showing the distance between the launch site and the MH17 crash site

A map showing the distance between the launch site and the MH17 crash site

Dr Sutyagin said the evidence that Russian separatists were responsible was very strong – and that there’s even a suggestion the BUK missile launcher was being manned by soldiers from Russia.

He said: ‘These separatists boasted on Twitter about capturing an BUK SA11 missile launcher [capable of downing high-flying airliners] on June 29, and several hours before the downing of the plane locals in Torez reported seeing BUK missile launchers and separatist flags around the city.

‘Later, there was lots of video posted of the plane falling down and rebels saying that “it was not pointless moving it [the BUK] there”.’

Dr Sutyagin then underscored the emerging Russian link to the tragedy.

He said: ‘The military leader of the Donetsk Republic, Igor Strelkov, real name Girkin, a Muscovite, a Russian citizen, posts a video of the intercept.’

This video was taken down once it was discovered that the downed plane was civilian. 

The expert implicated Russia further, revealing that the former commander of Russian Air Force Special Operations Command, a Colonel-General, stated recently in an interview that the separatists did not have the expertise to operate the BUK launchers, that only Russian personnel could do so.

It’s also suspicious, Dr Sutyagin said, that Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported the crash at 16.13 Moscow time, several minutes before the crash actually happened – at 16.20.

‘The plane is safely in the sky, and RIA Novosti publishes information that it has been shot down,’ he said.

Grim: Bodies lie strewn among the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 a day after it was shot down over pro-Russian rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine

Grim: Bodies lie strewn among the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 a day after it was shot down over pro-Russian rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine

Horrific: Flight MH17, a Boeing 777-200 on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, exploded into flames at 33,000ft after it was hit by a surface-to-air missile

Macabre: As shocking pictures of bodies and debris emerged, the tragedy sparked a full-blown international crisis, increasing tension between Moscow and Washington

Macabre: As shocking pictures of bodies and debris emerged, the tragedy sparked a full-blown international crisis, increasing tension between Moscow and Washington

Devastation: Dutch authorities have said that at least nine Britons, 154 Dutch, 27 Australians were among the passengers and crew killed on board the flight

Devastation: Dutch authorities have said that at least nine Britons, 154 Dutch, 27 Australians were among the passengers and crew killed on board the flight

Turning some of the blame towards the aviation industry, the same paper cited aviation sources saying it was ‘reckless’ to allow passenger flights over the region.

Government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta said: ‘It remains unclear how a Boeing 777 came to be above a conflict zone and why air traffic controllers didn’t prevent a potentially dangerous situation.

Malaysia’s transport minister today insisted there were no last-minute instructions to the pilots of MH17 before it took off.

Liow Tiong Lai said the Boeing 777 was flying on an internationally-approved route which other airlines had been using ‘in the hours before the incident’.

He said: ‘Our sympathies are with those affected by this tragedy. There were 298 passengers and crew. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families at this incredibly difficult time for them.’

Mr Lai reiterated that the plane had ‘a clean bill of health’ and all its systems were functioning normally.

The route taken over Ukraine was one approved by the International Civil Aviation Authority and by the International Air Transport Association.

He went on: ‘There were no last-minute instructions given to the pilots to change the route. In the hours before the incident, a number of airlines used this route.’

Mr Lai said that of the 41 passengers whose nationalities were initially unknown, 21 had now been identified.

Listing the nationalities, he confirmed that nine UK passengers were among those lost.

He added that the full passenger manifesto would be released once all next of kin had been informed.

Mr Lai called for the crash site to be preserved, adding that Malaysia was sending a dozens-strong team to Ukraine, which would include 15 medical staff. Malaysia Airlines is also sending 40 staff to Amsterdam to support families there.

Speaking at a media conference in Kuala Lumpur, Mr Lai said Ukraine would start the investigation into the crash and he supported a call for an international investigation.

Demanding answers: Dutch Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten arrives for a press conference at the Ministry of Security and Justice in The Hague

LOOTERS RAIDING POSSESSIONS OF 298 PASSENGERS AND CREW STREWN BETWEEN DEAD BODIES

Cash and jewellery is being stolen from victims of the Malaysian plane crash, Ukrainian politicians claim. The missile strike which brought down the MH17 flight left naked bodies strewn across fields surrounded by hundreds of possessions including children’s books, playing cards, slippers, letters and old vinyl records. But tonight it has emerged looters have descended on the distressing scene, stealing valuable goods from the 298 passengers and crew, who all died in the blast. Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to the Kiev government, said: ‘I have received information that terrorist death-hunters were collecting not only cash and jewellery of the crashed Boeing dead passengers but also the credit cards of the victims. ‘Currently, they might as well try to use them in Ukraine or pass them on to Russia. ‘My humble request to the relatives of the victims to freeze their credit cards, so that they won’t loose their assets to terrorists.’

The Duke of Cambridge spoke today of his ‘deep sadness’ over the Ukraine plane disaster.

Speaking at an event at Australia House in London to remember a British explorer, William said words ‘cannot do justice to our sense of loss’.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight  MH17 in Ukraine was ‘an absolutely appalling, shocking, horrific incident’ and said his thoughts were with the families of those killed.

Mr Cameron said: ‘If, as seems possible, this was brought down, then those responsible must be held to account and we must lose no time in doing that.’

Emergency workers, police officers and even off-duty coal miners spread out Friday across the sunflower fields and villages of eastern Ukraine, searching the wreckage of a jetliner shot down as it flew miles above the country’s battlefield.

By midday, 181 bodies had been located, according to emergency workers in contact with officials in Kiev.

Malaysia Airlines said the passengers included 189 Dutch, 29 Malaysians, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, nine Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three Filipinos and one person each from Canada and New Zealand.

Still Nataliya Bystro, a spokeswoman for Ukraine’s emergency services, said rebel militiamen were interfering with the recovery operation.

It came as the UN Security Council has called for ‘a full, thorough and independent international investigation’ after approving a statement expressing ‘deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and governments of all those killed in the crash’.

Security Council members stood in a moment of silent tribute to the 298 victims at the start of an emergency council meeting.

The council called for an investigation ‘in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines and for appropriate accountability’.

It stressed the need for ‘immediate access by investigators to the crash site to determine the cause of the incident’.

The crash site is spread out between two villages in eastern Ukraine with pro-Russia separatists apparently controlling access in and out.

Confusion surrounds the fate of the plane’s flight recorders after conflicting reports over whether they had been found.

An assistant to the insurgency’s military commander, Igor Girkin, said earlier that eight out of the plane’s 12 black boxes had been located and that he was considering whether to give international crash investigators access to the crash site.

Since planes usually have two black boxes – one for recording flight data and the other for recording cockpit voices – it was not clear what the number 12 referred to.

But another separatist leader, Aleksandr Borodai, said later: ‘No black boxes have been found. We hope that experts will track them down and create a picture of what has happened.’

Earlier, the separatists claimed that one of the black boxes had been sent to Moscow.

Meanwhile, Kostyantyn Batozsky, adviser to the Donetsk regional governor, claimed the voice and data recording devices by the Ukrainian Emergency Services Ministry after workers were granted access to the crash site by rebels, it was reported by The New York Times. But Mr Batozsky said he did not know the current location of the devices or who had them.

Large chunks of the Boeing 777 that bore the airline’s red, white and blue markings lay strewn over a field.

The cockpit and one of the turbines lay more than half a mile (1km) apart and residents said the tail landed about six miles (10km) away, indicating that the aircraft probably broke up before hitting the ground.

The downing of flight MH17

PASSENGERS AND CREW WILL HAVE BEEN OBLIVIOUS TO HORROR AS MISSILE BLEW APART AIRCRAFT

The 298 passengers and crew aboard MH17 will have been oblivious to the horror as a shrapnel-based missile instantly shredded the doomed plane, experts claim. The SA-11 missile – known as a Grizzly – that hit the doomed Malaysian Airlines flight is designed to pulverise aircraft on impact. It will have perforated the plane at various points, ignited the fuel, and taken out the engines and the wings within a split second – meaning the people aboard will have been unconscious almost instantly. Justin Bronk, researcher analyst at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), told MailOnline: ‘An SA-11 missile is designed to shred aircraft. ‘The extent at which the remains of the aircraft are spread across a large area seems to confirm that. ‘The missile is programmed using a tracker to get within a metre of the target then let off a ring of shrapnel, which will enter the aircraft at various points. ‘The shrapnel will have hit the wings, the engines and the fuel tanks, igniting the fuel. ‘A large aircraft like that is highly pressurised to allow humans to breathe at that altitude so it will have exploded instantly.’

Bodies and body parts strewn across the field outside the village of Rozsypne about 2.5 miles (4km) away from the crash site. Shocking new accounts of the carnage emerged today. ‘The plane broke up in the air and the parts and human bodies are lying within a three-kilometre area,’ said a post by Vsevolod Petrovsky after visiting the scene. ‘One body broke a hole in the thin roof of a summer terrace in a private house. I got out of the car and immediately saw the naked body of a woman, covered by some leaves. ‘There were many bodies without clothes around. Probably, their clothing was torn away after the loss of pressurisation. Horrible. ‘I go further and see a hill made of the cockpit parts. The area is lit. The pilot’s body is in this seat, with seat belt fastened, he is dressed in his clothes. ‘Among the plane parts there were many parcels. Letters tied with a rope, books, old vinyl records, somebody’s shoes. Children’s caps with the Dutch national flag colours. Amazingly, almost all of these things are not destroyed. ‘There was no fire in this part of the plane. The fire was in the back part which is lying not far from Grabovo village.’ A local farmer said: ‘I was herding my cows and heard a buzzing noise. I lay on the ground and thinking only that it would not hit me and my cows. ‘Then I looked and saw that something turns sharply and two big wings were flying. Bang. And something explodes. It came from eastern side, from the side of Sokholikha mountain.’

American intelligence authorities believe a surface-to-air missile brought the plane down but are still working on who fired the missile and whether it came from the Russian or Ukrainian side of the border, a U.S. official said.

Malaysia’s prime minister said there was no distress call before the plane went down and that the flight route was declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

More than half of the passengers on board – 154 – were Dutch citizens, with 43 from Malaysia, including the 15 crew members.

Another 27 were Australians, 12 from Indonesia, and nine Britons. The victims included three infants.

Earlier it was feared that 23 Americans had perished based on a Reuters report, but there has been no confirmation of any U.S. deaths since then from the State Department.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called it an ‘act of terrorism’ and demanded an international investigation. He insisted his forces did not shoot down the plane.

U.S. Senator John McCain said there ‘would be hell to pay’ if the plane was shot down by the Russian military or separatists.

Earlier this week, the rebels claimed responsibility for shooting down two Ukrainian military planes.

In Kuala Lumpur, several relatives of those on board the jet gathered at the international airport.

A distraught Akmar Mohamad Noor, 67, said her older sister was coming to visit the family for the first time in five years.

‘She called me just before she boarded the plane and said, “See you soon”,’ she said.

Counsellors were meeting with a few family members in the airport viewing gallery, sealed off from a horde of journalists. One woman emerged in tears and was escorted out of the airport by a security officer without saying anything.

‘This is just too much,’ said Cindy Tan, who was waiting at the airport for a friend on another flight.

‘I don’t know really why this happened to a MAS (Malaysia Airlines) plane again.’

Ukraine’s security services produced what they said were two intercepted telephone conversations that showed rebels were responsible.

In the first call, the security services said, rebel commander Igor Bezler tells a Russian military intelligence officer that rebel forces shot down a plane.

In the second, two rebel fighters – one of them at the crash scene – say the rocket attack was carried out by a unit of insurgents about 15 miles (25km) north of the site.

MH17 WASN’T THE ONLY ONE FLYING OVER DANGER ZONE: 55 OTHER AIRCRAFT ALSO DID ON THE SAME DAY

A Singapore Airlines passenger plane was flying just 15 miles away from flight MH17 when it was shot out of the sky over Ukraine.

Data from Flightradar24.com reveals the Copenhagen to Singapore flight was in airspace above the dangerous Donetsk region just two minutes before a surface-to-air missile hit the Malaysia Airlines plane on Thursday.

Figures also reveal 55 planes – including six flights from London’s Heathrow Airport – flew over the war zone on the same day the tragedy happened.

The flights were still operating in the conflict zone despite warnings from as far back as April from the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) about potential risks to commercial planes.

Danger zone: Flightradar24.com data shows the closest plane in the air to MH17 just two minutes before it was shot out of the sky over Ukraine was a Singapore Airlines flight

Danger zone: Flightradar24.com data shows the closest plane in the air to MH17 just two minutes before it was shot out of the sky over Ukraine was a Singapore Airlines flight

Neither recording could be independently verified.

Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted Sergey Kavtaradze, a special representative of the Donetsk People’s Republic leader, as denying that the intercepted phone conversations were genuine.

U.S. President Barack Obama called the crash a ‘terrible tragedy’ and spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as Mr Poroshenko. Britain called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Ukraine.

Later, Mr Putin said Ukraine bore responsibility for the crash, but he did not address the question of who might have shot it down and did not accuse Ukraine of doing so.

‘This tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on this land, if the military actions had not been renewed in southeast Ukraine,’ he said, according to a Kremlin statement issued early today.

‘And, certainly, the state over whose territory this occurred bears responsibility for this awful tragedy.’ At the United Nations, Ukrainian Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev told the AP that Russia gave the separatists a sophisticated missile system and thus Moscow bears responsibility, along with the rebels.

SHOT OUT OF THE SKY: OTHER PLANES HIT MID-FLIGHT

April 20, 1978: Korean Airlines Flight 902, which diverted from its planned course on a flight from Paris to Seoul and strayed over the Soviet Union. After being fired upon by an interceptor aircraft, the crew made a forced landing at night on the surface of a frozen lake. Two of the 97 passengers were killed by the hostile fire September 1, 1983: Korean Air Lines Flight 007 shot down by at least one Soviet air-to-air missile after the 747 had strayed into Soviet airspace. All 240 passengers and 29 crew were killed July 3, 1988: Iran Air Flight 655 Aircraft was shot down by a surface to air missile from the American naval vessel U.S.S. Vincennes. All 16 crew and 274 passengers were killed

 

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Parliament today that authorities owe it to the families of the dead to find out exactly what happened and who was responsible.

‘As things stand, this looks less like an accident than a crime. And if so, the perpetrators must be brought to justice,’ he said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he was ‘horrified’ by the crash, and the United States was prepared to help with an international investigation.

Ukraine’s crisis began after pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych was driven from office in February by a protest movement among citizens angry about endemic corruption and seeking closer ties with the European Union.

Russia later annexed the Crimean Peninsula in southern Ukraine, and pro-Russians in the country’s eastern regions began occupying government buildings and pressing for independence. Moscow denies Western charges that it is supporting the separatists or sowing unrest.

Kenneth Quinn, of the Flight Safety Foundation, said an international coalition of countries should lead the investigation.

Safety experts say they are concerned that, because the plane crashed in area of Ukraine that is in dispute, political considerations could affect the investigation.

The RIA-Novosti agency quoted rebel leader Alexander Borodai as saying that talks were under way with Ukrainian authorities on calling a short truce for humanitarian reasons. He said international organisations would be allowed into the conflict-plagued region.

Aviation authorities in several countries, including the FAA in the United States, had issued warnings not to fly over parts of Ukraine prior to yesterday’s crash, but many carriers, including cash-strapped Malaysia Airlines, had continued to use the route because ‘it is a shorter route, which means less fuel and therefore less money,’ said aviation expert Norman Shanks.

Within hours of the tragedy, several airlines said they were avoiding parts of Ukrainian airspace.

A U.S. official said American intelligence authorities believe the plane was brought down by a surface-to-air missile but are still working to determine additional details about the crash, including who fired the missile and whether it came from the Russian or Ukraine side of the border.

But American intelligence assessments suggest it is more likely pro-Russian separatists or the Russians rather than Ukrainian government forces shot down the plane, according to the official.

The United States has sophisticated technologies which can detect missile launches, including the identification of heat from the rocket engine.

Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, said on his Facebook page the plane was flying at about 33,000ft (10,000m) when it was hit by a missile from a Buk launcher, which can fire up to an altitude of 72,000ft (22,000m). He said only that his information was based on ‘intelligence’.

Igor Sutyagin, a research fellow in Russian studies at the Royal United Services Institute, said both Ukrainian and Russian forces have SA-17 missile systems – also known as Buk ground-to-air launcher systems.

Rebels had recently bragged about having acquired Buk systems.

Mr Sutyagin said Russia had supplied separatists with military hardware but had seen no evidence ‘of the transfer of that type of system from Russia’.

Earlier yesterday, AP journalists saw a launcher that looked like a Buk missile system near the eastern town of Snizhne, which is held by the rebels.

Mr Poroshenko said his country’s armed forces did not shoot at any airborne targets.

Separatist leader Andrei Purgin told the Associated Press news agency he was certain that Ukrainian troops had shot the plane down, but gave no explanation or proof.

There have been several disputes over planes being shot down over eastern Ukraine in recent days.

A Ukrainian fighter jet was shot down on Wednesday by an air-to-air missile from a Russian plane, Ukrainian authorities said, adding to what Kiev says is mounting evidence that Moscow is directly supporting the insurgents.

Pro-Russia rebels claimed responsibility for strikes on two Ukrainian Sukhoi-25 jets on Wednesday. Ukraine’s Defence Ministry said the second jet was hit by a portable surface-to-air missile but the pilot landed safely.

The tragic victims of Flight MH17: EIGHTY children among the 298 who perished on doomed plane – including a brilliant young British mathematician, Catholic nun, UN worker and leading Aids doctor

  • Three Australian children – Mo, Evie and Otis Maslin, aged between eight and 12 – were among those killed
  • An entire Indonesian family – including a five-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl, also died in the attack
  • Two British students – Richard Mayne, 20, and Ben Pocock, in his early 20s, were also named as victims today
  • Also named were press officer Glenn Thomas, 49, and Newcastle United fans John Alder and Liam Sweeney
  • As many as 100 of the victims are thought to have been Aids experts on their way to a conference in Melbourne

By SIMON TOMLINSON and MICHAEL SEAMARK and LOUISE ECCLES and WILL STEWART and TED THORNHILL

Eighty children were among the victims killed when a passenger jet was shot out of the sky at 32,000ft by a surface-to-air missile yesterday.

Two Indonesians aged just three and five who were flying with their parents, as well as three Australian children headed home with their grandfather, numbered among the 298 dead after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over rebel-held Ukraine yesterday.

Also on board the doomed flight were around 100 Aids experts on their way to an international conference, a Catholic nun from Australia and a British university student.

The nationalities of more victims were confirmed today – with the toll now including 189 Dutch, 44 Malaysians, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians and nine Britons. Four passengers are yet to be verified. No victims are thought to be U.S. citizens.

The Boeing 777 aircraft was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was hit by a sophisticated surface-to-air missile over territory near Donetsk held by pro-Russian rebels who the Ukrainian government says are backed by the Kremlin. Russian President Vladimir Putin has blamed Ukraine for the attack.

Children: Evie (left), Mo (centre) and Otis (right) Maslin, pictured celebrating a birthday, are among the Australian victims of the disaster, in which a Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down by a missile over Ukraine

Children: Evie (left), Mo (centre) and Otis (right) Maslin, pictured celebrating a birthday, are among the Australian victims of the disaster, in which a Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down by a missile over Ukraine

 

Young: Evie Maslin, 10, from Australia was flying with her siblings

Young: Evie Maslin, 10, from Australia was flying with her siblings

Accompanying: Grandfather Nick Norris, pictured, was on board the flight with his three grandchildren

Accompanying: Grandfather Nick Norris, pictured, was on board the flight with his three grandchildren

Pose: Mo Maslin has is pictured above at a parade

Pose: Mo Maslin has is pictured above at a parade

Child victims: Three grandchildren, Mo Maslin, 12, (left), his brother Otis, eight, (centre) and sister Evie Maslin, 10, (right) were killed on the flight along with their grandfather Nick Morris

Child victims: Three grandchildren, Mo Maslin, 12, (left), his brother Otis, eight, (centre) and sister Evie Maslin, 10, (right) were killed on the flight along with their grandfather Nick Morris

At one swoop: An entire Indonesian family was killed in the attack: John Paulissen, his wife Yuli Hastini and two children, Martin Arjuna Paulissen, five and Sri Paulissen, three

At one swoop: An entire Indonesian family was killed in the attack: John Paulissen, his wife Yuli Hastini and two children, Martin Arjuna Paulissen, five and Sri Paulissen, three

 

Devastation: A surviving relative shows photographers images of the family, who were on the doomed plane

Devastation: A surviving relative shows photographers images of the family, who were on the doomed plane

The plane was shot down in an ‘act of terrorism’, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board, including three Australian children, aged between eight and 12, who were travelling with their grandfather. The family had been on holiday and the children’s parents had remained in Amsterdam for a few extra days, but Mr Norris took his grandchildren on MH17 to get them back to Australia in time for school, Australian broadcasters reported.

NATIONALITIES OF THE MH17 VICTIMS

Netherlands: 189 Malaysia: 44 Australia: 27 Indonesia: 12 UK: 9 Germany: 4 Belgium: 4 Philippines: 3 Canada: 1 New Zealand: 1 Unverified: 4

The tragedy has sparked outrage across the globe, with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk leading calls on world powers to support his government in bringing to justice ‘those b****** who committed this international crime’ after a passenger plane was shot down over his country.

Security forces from Ukraine claim to have intercepted two phone conversations in which in which pro-Russian separatists seem to celebrate hitting the plane. In the wake of the aviation disaster tributes have poured in for the victims, who include families and renowned researchers.

Nick Norris, from Perth, Australia, was flying on the service with his grandchildren Mo, 12, Evie, 10, and Otis Maslin, eight, when it was shot down at around 16.00 BST yesterday.

Mr Norris’s son Brack, 24, paid tribute to his father, niece and nephews. ‘I’m a bit dizzy right now,’ he told MailOnline in Australia. The family had been on holiday and the children’s parents had remained in Amsterdam for a few extra days, but Mr Norris took his grandchildren on MH17 to get them back to Australia in time for school, Australian broadcasters reported. Mr Norris, the managing director of management consulting firm Collaborative Systemic Change Pty Ltd, is survived by his son Brack, who is the company’s marketing manager, and daughter Kirstin, a marine engineer with the Royal Australian Navy. He was a well-known member of the South Perth Yacht Club. The identities of British victims also emerged today, including two Newcastle United fans on their way to see the club play in New Zealand, and a student from Leeds University.

A Leeds university student has also been named as one of the British nationals who died when flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine. Richard Mayne, 20,  was originally from Leicester where he lived with his parents.

 

He also leaves behind his brothers Thomas, 24, and William, 19. Mr Mayne was studying maths and finance at the university.

Student: Richard Mayne, 20, was another of the British victims, who studied maths and finance at Leeds University

Student: Richard Mayne, 20, was another of the British victims, who studied maths and finance at Leeds University

 

Gap year: Mr Mayne was setting off to spend a year in Australia, friends said

Around the world: Mr Mayne had been at a celebratory barbecue days before as friends wished him luck on his voyage

Traveller: Mr Mayne was on his way to spend a year in Australia, friends said, and had been at a celebratory barbecue days before where he was wished good luck

 

Speaking from the family home today, his father Simon, 53, said: ‘He was on his way to Perth. When we were looking at flights together, there was this one that stopped in Amsterdam and we thought it would be perfect.

‘I took him to the airport at 3am myself, to fly to Amsterdam. When I first saw it on the news, my heart dropped. I just thought, oh god, oh god – I couldn’t believe it. We were hoping and praying he had fallen asleep at Amsterdam and missed his flight. ‘You think you’ve got problems and them something like this happens and it all just takes over. I can’t even bring myself to look at a photograph of him. We are beyond devastated. It is such a beautiful sunny day but our lives have been torn apart.’ Student Ben Pocock from Bristol was also named today as one of the victims. Mr Pocock, who was in his early 20s, had just finished studying at Loughborough University and was headed to Australia for a year’s placement abroad. The university paid tribute to Mr Pocock, today, saying he was destined to achieve a first-class degree. ‘We are incredibly saddened to hear that one of our students, Ben Pocock, was believed to be a passenger on flight MH17,’ a spokesman said.

Student: Ben Pocock, a student from Bristol who had just finished exams at Loughborough University, was headed to a holiday in Australia on MH17

Student: Ben Pocock, a student from Bristol who had just finished exams at Loughborough University, was headed to a holiday in Australia on MH17

‘Ben had just completed the second year of his international business BSc degree and was flying out to begin a professional placement and to study abroad at the University of Western Australia as part of his third year. ‘Ben was an excellent student and on course to gain a first class degree. He was also a fine athlete, who played on the university athletic union’s Ultimate Frisbee team and won their Player of the Year honour.’ Glenn Thomas, a 49-year-old UN worker from Blackpool, was on board the flight. Mr Thomas was a media relations co-ordinator for the World Health Organisation, an agency of the United Nations agency, and had previously worked as a journalist for the BBC.

Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that 189 Dutch, 44 Malaysian (including 15 crew and two infants), 12 Indonesian, nine British, four German, three Filipino, and one Canadian citizen were also on the plane.

Mr Thomas grew up in Blackpool and worked as a journalist in the Lancashire seaside resort in the early 1990s, where his twin sister Tracey Withers still lives. The Blackpool Gazette reported that he moved to Geneva, Switzerland, a decade ago to start working for the WHO. He was said to have posted a status update shortly before starting his journey, which was supposed to end in Melbourne.

He caught a place from Geneva to Amsterdam, and boarded the doomed service from the Dutch capital to Kuala Lumpur, where he would have boarded a connecting flight. Mr Thomas lived in Geneva with his partner who lived in Geneva with his partner Claudio-Manoel Villaca-Vanetta, but is said to have kept up his ties to Blackpool.

Today one of his nephews said the family was ‘totally torn up’ by his death. The relative, a son of Mr Thomas’s sister Tracey and her husband Mark, said his parents were on holiday in Spain when they heard the news. He said: ‘She is on her way home; she is totally torn up. Like any twins they are very close-one of them feels everything the other does.She must have known in her mind something terrible was going on.’

Tributes were paid to Mr Thomas today, whom colleagues described as ‘a wonderful personal and a great professional’. WHO spokesman Fadela Chaib said: ‘I can confirm he was on the flight travelling to Australia to attend the Aids conference in Australia.

Victim: Glenn Thomas, 49, pictured, was a media relations worker for the World Health Organisation

Briton: Mr Thomas is from Blackpool and used to work for the BBC

Victim: Briton Glenn Thomas, 49, was among the 298 killed when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was blasted out of the sky by a surface-to-air missile

 

International: Mr Thomas (circled) is pictured above at a press conference delivered by the World Health Organisation - an agency of the United Nations - and is surrounded by high-ranking experts from the body

International: Mr Thomas (circled) is pictured above at a press conference delivered by the World Health Organisation – an agency of the United Nations – and is surrounded by high-ranking experts from the body

‘For the time being we would like to give his family time to grieve. We have lost a wonderful person and a great professional. Our hearts are broken. We are all in shock.’

It was also revealed that two Newcastle United fans were among the nine Britons killed. A fan site for the football club posted that two people were aboard MH17 on their way to New Zealand, where the team is playing in a pre-season tour.

One of the men is thought to be fan John Alder, who was in his 60s. The loyal supporter is known to other fans as The Undertaker because of his tradition of wearing a suit to every game.

He is thought only to have missed a single match since he started attending in 1973, and follows the team around the world for their away games.

It is believed John was travelling to the game with another 28-year-old fan, believed to be Liam Sweeney, from Newcastle.

Before the flight John had made his way from Amsterdam, then boarded the flight destined for Kuala Lumpur.

Tributes have started to pour in for the former BT worker, who was also known for his mullet-style haircut.

Loyal: John Alder, in his 60s, is thought to have died

Fan: Tributes were also paid to Liam Sweeney, 28

Newcastle Fans: John Alder, pictured left, and Liam Sweeney, right, were football supporters who were travelling to watch Newcastle United play in New Zealand when MH17 was shot out of the skies

GROWING LIST OF THE DEAD: NAMED VICTIMS FROM THE MH17 TRAGEDY

Mo Maslin, 12, Australian                                               Otis Malsin, eight, Australian                                             Evie Maslin, 10, Australian John Paulissen, Indonesian                                           Yuli Hastini, Indonesian                                                        Martin Arjuna Paulissen, five, Indonesian Sri Paulissen, three, Indonesian                                                 Glenn Thomas, 49, British, WHO press officer          Richard Mayne, 20, British, student John Alder, 60s, NUFC fan                                                            Liam Sweeney, 28, NUFC fan                                 Elaine Teoh, student, Australian Nick Norris, Australian                                                    Albert Rizk, Australian, estate agent                       Mari Rizk, Australian Sister Philomene Tiernan, Australian, nun                   Roger Guard, Australian, pathologist                      Jill Guard, Australian Joep Lange, leading HIV expert                                      Pim de Kuijer, Aids expert                                       Martine de Schutter, Aids expert Eugene Choo Jin Leong, Malaysian, pilot                     Regis Crolla, Dutch                                                Azrina Yakob, Malaysian, air stewardess Sanjid Singh Sandu, 41, Malaysian, air steward            Shazana Salleh, Malaysian, air hostess                  Angeline Premila, Malaysian, air hostess Ben Pocock, early 20s, British, student                          Fatima Dyczynski, Australian, entrepreneur           Liliane Derden, Australian, researcher Willem Witteveen, 62, Dutch, senator                           Cameron Dalziel, British, helicopter pilot                Fan Shun-Po, Hong Kong, chef

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew said today his players were ‘deeply shocked and saddened’ at the deaths of two such ‘dedicated’ fans.

The club said both men were familiar faces at every United away game and attended reserve and academy matches as well as first-team games.

The sixth Briton named today was helicopter rescue pilot and father-of-two Cameron Dalziel.

Mr Dalziel, 43, is from South Africa but travels on a British passport, it is believed. He moveed to Malaysia last October with his wife Reine, and their two sons Sheldon, 14, and four year-old Cruz, to take up a job with CHC Helicopter.

He had previously worked as a helicopter rescue pilot in KwaZulu-Natal, a province of South Africa.

Mr Dalziel’s brother-in-law, Shane Hattingh, said his sister Reine was so traumatised she has not been able to answer phone calls from anxious relatives, according to Eye Witness News.

He said: ‘She is basically alone there other than with new friends. So she couldn’t even talk to me. Apparently three people from the company were there with her. It’s crazy, the kids are going to be absolutely shattered.’

It is understood Mr Dalziel had been sent for training in the Netherlands and was returning on yesterday’s Malaysia Airlines flight when the plane was shot down.

Victim: Cameron Dalziel, who lived in South Africa but used a British Passport, was named today as a victim

Victim: Cameron Dalziel, who lived in South Africa but used a British Passport, was named today as a victim

Helicopter pilot: Cameron Dalziel, who lived in South Africa but used a British Passport, was named today as another victim, the sixth Briton

The airline has now said that all European flights operated by Malaysia Airlines will now be taking alternative routes, avoiding the usual route over Ukraine. A real estate agent, from Victoria, Australia, his wife, a Perth management consultant, a Melbourne university student and a Sydney Catholic nun are among the Australian dead on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that was shot down on the Russian-Ukraine border. A Catholic nun from Sydney was also on board the flight. Sister Philomena, a teacher at girls’ high school Kincoppal-Rose Bay, was the relative of school students at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in North Sydney. Malaysian student Elaine Teoh, who had been studying at Melbourne University, was on the flight, along with recently retired pathologist Roger Guard and his wife Jill from Toowoomba in Queensland, have also been identified from the MH17 flight. Dr Guard was well regarded in the medical community, acting as the director within the Pathology Queensland laboratory in Toowoomba Hospital. He also helped perform autopsies on the victims of the Queensland flood and was well known for organising local marathon events in his local community for the Toowoomba Road Runner fitness group. A Victorian couple Frankie Davison and her husband Liam were on MH17. Mrs Davison was a teacher at Toorak College Community, south-east of Melbourne.

Entrepreneur: Fatima Dyczynski, the founder of data company Xoterra Space, is thought to have been on board

On board: Ms Dyczynski's Australian parents fear their Amsterdam-based daughter was on board

Entrepreneur: Fatima Dyczynski, the founder of data company Xoterra Space, is thought to have been on board. Her parents are believed to be Australian

Pilot: Eugene Choo Jin Leong was flying MH17 when it was shot down. Malaysia Airlines has described him as one of their most trusted pilots

Pilot: Eugene Choo Jin Leong was flying MH17 when it was shot down. Malaysia Airlines has described him as one of their most trusted pilots

 

Melbourne University student Elaine Teoh was among the 298 people on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which was shot down on the Russian-Ukraine border

Victims: Melbourne student Elaine Teoh

Nick Norris

Perth man Nick Norris

Victorian real estate agent, Albert Rizk, was among the 298 passengers on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH17

Marie Rizk

Mr Rizk’s wife Marie

It has also been confirmed that NSW resident Sister Philomene Tiernan, a teacher at eastern Sydney's Catholic girls' school in Kincoppal-Rose Bay, was also on the plane

It has also been confirmed that NSW resident Sister Philomene Tiernan (centre), a teacher at eastern Sydney's Catholic girls' school in Kincoppal-Rose Bay, was also on the plane

It has also been confirmed that NSW resident Sister Philomene Tiernan (centre), a teacher at eastern Sydney’s Catholic girls’ school in Kincoppal-Rose Bay, was also on the plane

Recently retired pathologist Roger Guard (left) and his wife Jill (right) from Toowoomba in Queensland, have also been identified from the MH17 flight

Recently retired pathologist Roger Guard (left) and his wife Jill (right) from Toowoomba in Queensland, have also been identified from the MH17 flight

Shot down: Recently retired pathologist Roger Guard (left) and his wife Jill (right) from Toowoomba in Queensland, have also been identified from the MH17 flight

Scientist: Leading HIV researcher Joep Lange (pictured) died in the MH17 crash

Scientist: Leading HIV researcher Joep Lange (pictured) died in the MH17 crash

Conference: Pim de Kuijer, another AIDS researcher, was on his way to the Melbourne conference

Conference: Pim de Kuijer, another AIDS researcher, was on his way to the Melbourne conference

Victim: Martine de Schutter, pictured, was another one of the delegation

Victim: Martine de Schutter, pictured, was another one of the delegation

‘Toorak College Community is saddened by the loss of much loved teacher Frankie Davison and her husband Liam who were on the Malaysia Airlines flight that was brought down over Ukraine, this morning,’ said a statement on the college Facebook page. ‘Our hearts and sympathy goes out to their children Milly and Sam, and family. We are devastated by the news of this tragedy.’ Victorian real estate agent, Albert Rizk, and his wife Marie also died in the crash.

They had been in Europe on holidays for several weeks. They had been travelling with family friends who took an earlier flight and were waiting for the Rizks to arrive home in Sunbury, Victoria, where they were high-profile members of a tight-knit community.

Mr Rizk was a director of Raine & Horne in Sunbury.

President of the Sunbury Football Club Phil Lithgow said Mr Rizk was a sponsor of the AFL club as well as an enthusiastic community worker and his wife worked in the club canteen.

The couple’s son James, who is also a real estate agent, plays football for the Sunbury club.

‘He is a very good footballer and Albert and Marie were just lovely people,’ Mr Lithgow told Daily Mail Australia.

‘It is a shock to us all, Albert was just such a community person in the area.’

Australian death: Liliane Derden, from Canberra, was also named as a victim

Australian death: Liliane Derden, from Canberra, was also named as a victim

Australian death: Liliane Derden, from Canberra, was also named as a victim. She worked for the National Health and Medical Research Council

Dutch victim: Regis Crolla, pictured, was one of the 154 Dutch nationals on board the flight out of Amsterdam

Stewardess: Azrina Yakob, pictured, was thought to have been working on the flight when it was shot down

Victims from around the world: Regis Crolla, left, was one of the 189 Dutch nationals on board the flight out of Amsterdam, while stewardess Azrina Yakob, right, was thought to have been working on board the flight

Twist of fate: Sanjid Singh Sandu, 41, switched shifts on to the doomed liner at short notice

Twist of fate: Sanjid Singh Sandu, 41, switched shifts on to the doomed liner at short notice

Loss: Shazana Salleh, pictured, was reportedly one of the Malaysian flight attendants on board

Loss: Shazana Salleh, pictured, was reportedly one of the Malaysian flight attendants on board

'Killed': Angeline Premila was another airline worker thought to have been on board

‘Killed’: Angeline Premila was another airline worker thought to have been on board

A spokesman for The University of Melbourne released a statement saying they were ‘saddened’ to hear reports about one of their students.

‘Ms Teoh graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Commerce in 2008,’ the spokesman said. ‘Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time.’

Other victims from around the world were also name today, including four members of the Malaysia Airlines cabin crew and the pilot. Authorities confirmed that almost two thirds of those on board were Dutch, including a member of the country’s Senate, Professor Willem Witteveen. Also named was Hong Kong native Fan Shun-po, a chef at an Asian restaurant in Rotterdam. He is thought been on board with his Malaysian wife Jenny Loh, who owns the restaurant.

Denis Napthine, a political leader in Victoria, Australia, confirmed MH17 was to connect with MH129 arriving in Melbourne this evening.

‘It is with deep regret that I can now confirm nine Australian nationals from Victoria are among those who have been killed in the MH17 tragedy,’ he said.

‘This is a sad and tragic day, not just for Victorians, but for all people and all nations. The shooting down of a passenger aircraft full of innocent civilians is an unspeakable act that will forever leave a dark stain on our history.’

Travelling: Fan Shun-Po, a chef in an Asian restaurant, was on board

Senator: Willem Witteveen, a Dutch politician, was also among the dead

Travellers: Asian chef Fan Shun-Po, left, from Hong Kong, and Dutch senator Willem Witteveen, right, were also named today as victims

 

Mourners have laid flowers at the doorstep of the embassy to pay respect to victims

Mourners have laid flowers at the doorstep of the embassy to pay respect to victims

Passengers board their Malaysia Airlines flight at Bangkok airport as it prepares to depart for Kuala Lumpur early on July 18

Passengers board their Malaysia Airlines flight at Bangkok airport as it prepares to depart for Kuala Lumpur early on July 18

Relics in the rubble: Passports of victims, such as this one which appears to show a Dutch teenager, were found in the crash site wreckage

Relics in the rubble: Passports of victims, such as this one which appears to show a Dutch teenager, were found in the crash site wreckage

 

Leading HIV researchers, including former president of the International Aids Society Joep Lange, were en route to the 20th International Aids Conference, AIDS2014, which will begin this weekend despite the attack. It was also revealed today that the U.S. government does not believe any of its own citizens were on board, as nobody used an American passport to get on the plane. Internal White House emails shown to Buzzfeed indicate that a list of passengers on the flight seen by government officials did not include details of U.S. passports.

Although there is a possibility that U.S. citizens with dual nationalities – which could give them access to another passport – were on board, nobody is thought to have contacted the U.S. consulate in Amsterdam.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2696975/Putin-blames-Ukraine-loss-Flight-MH17-298-innocent-souls-DOESNT-deny-Russian-separatists-shot-missile-McCain-warns-Hell-pay.html

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
9M-MRD in October 2011 at Rome Fiumicino Airport

Incident summaryDate17 July 2014SummaryAppears to have been shot down by a surface-to-air missile launched from Ukraine,[1][2][3] although still under investigation[4]SiteNear HraboveDonetsk Oblast, Ukraine 48°7′56″N 38°39′19″ECoordinates48°7′56″N 38°39′19″EPassengers283Crew15Fatalities298Survivors0Aircraft typeBoeing 777-200EROperatorMalaysia AirlinesRegistration9M-MRDFlight originAmsterdam Airport SchipholDestinationKuala Lumpur International Airport

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17/MAS17)[a] was a scheduled international passenger flight from Amsterdam toKuala Lumpur that appears to have been shot down by a surface-to-air missile launched from Ukraine[6][7][8] on 17 July 2014[9][10] near Hrabove in Donetsk OblastUkraine, about 40 km (25 mi) from the Ukraine–Russia border.[11] All 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER aircraft were killed.[12][13][14] The crash occurred in the conflict zone of the ongoing Donbass insurgency. Ukrainian Interior Ministry advisor Anton Gerashchenko said a Buk missile hit the aircraft at an altitude of 10,000 m (33,000 ft).[15] Ukrainian security services said they intercepted two phone conversations in which pro-Russian separatists discuss having just shot down a civilian plane with Russian intelligence officers.[16] Russia’s Defence Ministry said that a Ukrainian Buk missile system radar was operational in the area where the Malaysian plane was downed.[17][18] Pro-Russian separatist rebels, however, accused the Ukrainian government of shooting down the plane. U.S. President Barack Obama, citing U.S. intelligence officials, said the plane was shot down by a missile and that there was “credible evidence” it was fired from a rebel-held location.[19][20][21] The crash, Malaysia Airlines’ deadliest ever, was the airline’s second major incident of the year; Flight 370 (9M-MRO) disappeared on 8 March en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. With 298 deaths, MH17 was the deadliest aviation incident since the 11 September 2001 attacks and the deadliest-ever Boeing 777 hull loss.[22]

 

Aircraft

Flight 17 was operated with a Boeing 777-2H6ER,[b] serial number 28411, registration 9M-MRD. The 84th Boeing 777 produced, it first flew on 17 July 1997, exactly 17 years before the incident, and was delivered new to Malaysia Airlines on 29 July 1997.[23] Powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 892 engines and configured to carry 282 passengers in a 35-Business and 248-Economy configuration, the aircraft had logged more than 43,000 hours of flight time, including 6,950 cycles, before the crash.[23][24] The Boeing 777 entered commercial service on 7 June 1995; as of June 2014, there were more than 1,200 in service.[25] Aviation experts say it has one of the best safety records in commercial aircraft. Only four other 777s have suffered a hull lossBritish Airways Flight 38 in January 2008; a cockpit fire in a parked EgyptAir777-200 at Cairo International Airport in 2011; and Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in July 2013, in which three people died. Another Malaysia Airlines 777, Flight 370(registration 9M-MRO), went missing on 8 March 2014 and was still being searched for at the time of Flight 17’s crash.

Passengers and crew

People on board by nationality[26][27]
Nation Number
 Australia 28[28] or 27 [27][c]
 Belgium 5[27]
 Canada 1[27]
 Germany 4[27]
 Indonesia 12[27]
 Ireland 1
 Israel 1[31]
 Malaysia 44[d][27]
 Netherlands 189[32][e][27]
 New Zealand 1[27]
 Philippines 3[27]
 United Kingdom 10[34] or 9[27]
 United States 1[27]
Unverified 3[27]
Total 298

There were 283 passengers and 15 crew members aboard; all perished.[35][36][37] The 15 crew members were all Malaysian. Two thirds of the passengers were from the Netherlands. Authorities initially said there were 295 people on board, having not accounted for three infants.[38][27] Among the passengers were delegates en route to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, including Joep Lange, a former president of the International AIDS Society, which organizes the conference.[39][40][41] Also on board was Dutchsenator Willem Witteveen.[42]

Crash

Route of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

Location of crash site, departure and destination airports

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Crash site
Crash site
Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Kuala LumpurInternational Airport
Location of crash site, departure and destination airports

The aircraft departed from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Gate G03 at 12:14 CEST (10:14 UTC).[43] It was due to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 11 hours and 45 minutes later at 06:00, 18 July MYT(22:00, 17 July UTC). According to Malaysia Airlines, MH17 filed a flight plan requesting to fly at 35,000 feet throughout Ukrainian airspace, but “upon entering Ukrainian airspace, MH17 was instructed by Ukrainian air traffic control to fly at 33,000 feet”.[44] Malaysia Airlines released a statement saying “it received notification from Ukrainian ATC that it had lost contact with flight MH17 at 1415 (GMT)[f] at 30 km (19 mi) from [the] TAMAK waypoint (47°51′24″N 39°13′6″E [45]), approximately 50 km (31 mi) from theRussia–Ukraine border.”[46] The plane crashed near the village of Hrabove just north of Torez, a city in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast, as it was approaching the Russian border.[11] The moment at which a fireball rose due to the impact was captured on a video clip.[47] Flightradar24 reported that a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-200ER (Flight SQ351) and an Air India Boeing 787-8 (Flight AI113) were each about 25 km (16 mi) away from the Malaysian airliner when it disappeared.[48] Photographs from the site of the crash show scattered pieces of broken fuselage and engine parts, as well as bodies and passports.[49][50] Some of the wreckage fell close to houses in Hrabove.[51] In the evening on 17 July, the lifenews.ru portal released the following statement “On July 17 near the village of Rassypnoye over the Torez city in Donetsk region an An-26 transport plane of Ukrainian Air Force was taken down, said the militia. According to them, the plane crashed somewhere near the “Progress” mine, away from residential areas. According to one of the militias, at approximately 17:30 local time an An-26 flew over the city. It was hit by a rocket, there was an explosion and the plane went to the ground, leaving a black smoke. Debris fell from the sky”.[52] ITAR-TASS and RIA Novosti had also reported that an An-26 had been shot down by the militia near Torez at around 16:00 local time.[53][54]

Closure of airspace

As a result of the incident, Ukraine closed all routes in the Eastern Ukraine airspace, at all altitudes.[55] The airspace above Donetsk Oblast had been previously closed by Ukraine on 1 July 2014 below 26,000 feet (7,900 m), and on 14 July 2014 below 32,000 feet (9,800 m).[56] Eurocontrol issued a statement in which it explained that at the time of the crash the MH17 was at Flight Level 330 (33,000 feet or 10,058.4 metres), so the aircraft was above restricted airspace.[55] A few airlines, such as QantasKorean Air Lines and British Airways, had already been avoiding the area for a number of months because of security concerns.[56][57]

Investigation

On the day of the crash, a meeting was convened in the Trilateral Contact Group (consisting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Ukrainian national government, and Russia). After they had held a video conference with representatives of the Novorossiya rebels (who control the area where the plane crashed), the rebels promised to “provide safe access and security guarantees” to “the national investigation commission” by cooperating with Ukrainian authorities and OSCE monitors.[58] However, on 18 August the militants denied the OSCE team free access to the crash site; after spending only 75 minutes on the site, the team returned to Dontesk.[59] According to National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, “all evidence being seized” by the militants who “have surrounded the crash site and SES crews work literally at gunpoint”.[60] Off-duty coal miners, along with local police and rescue crews, were assisting in the immediate response to the crash, by combing through debris and searching for survivors.[61] A senior U.S. administration official said to ABC News that FBI and NTSB officials are poised to head to Ukraine in an “advisory role” in the investigation.[62]

Events before the crash

  • On 29 June, NTV reported that separatists had access to a Buk after taking control of a Ukrainian air defence base A-1402.[63] On the same day, the Donetsk People’s Republic claimed possession of such a system in a since-deleted tweet.[64]
  • On 10 July, shorter-range vehicle-mounted 9K35 Strela-10 missiles were filmed by Russian Lifenews team near Donetsk.[65] On the other hand, high ranking Ukrainian officials have stated that rebels do not possess Buk systems.[66] Ukraine’s foreign minister, Pavlo Klimkin, additionally stated that the Ukraine did not have sophisticated surface-to-air missile systems in the area.[67]
  • On 13 July Sergey Kurginyan declared that Buk launchers taken over from Ukrainian army were going to be fixed soon by specialists from Russia.[68]
  • On 14 July, a Ukrainian military An-26 transport aircraft was shot down (confirmed to be shot using “Buk”).[69]
  • On 16 July, a Ukrainian military Sukhoi Su-25 close air support aircraft was shot down and Ukrainian government officials accused the Russian military of downing the aircraft, but a spokesman for Russia’s Defence Ministry rejected those accusations as absurd.[70][71]
  • On 17 July, an unnamed Associated Press journalist had seen a Buk launcher in Snizhne, a town in the Donetsk Oblast, roughly 10 miles southeast of the crash site. The reporter also saw seven rebel tanks at a filling station near the town.[72]

Hypotheses on cause

Buk missile launcher

External audio
 Recording released by Security Service of Ukraine Intercepted phone call, not independently verified,[73] said to be between rebels discussing which rebel militant group shot down the aircraft and initial reports it was a civilian aircraft. Audio (in Russian) released by Security Service of Ukraine with English subtitles.

Multiple sources cited a post on the VKontakte social networking service that was attributed to Igor Girkin, commander of the pro-Russian Donbass People’s Militia, in which he acknowledged shooting down an aircraft at approximately the same time that the flight was reported to have crashed in eastern Ukraine in the same area near the Russian border.[74][75][76][77] The post specifically referenced how warnings were issued for planes not to fly in their airspace and the downing of an Antonov An-26 which the Ukraine Crisis Media Center suggested was a case of misidentification with MH17.[75][77] The post was deleted later in the day and the account behind it said that Igor Girkin had no official account on that social network.[78][79][52][80] Ukrainian interior ministry official Anton Gerashchenko stated that the airliner was “shot down with a surface-to-air missile by terrorists”, referring to militants seeking to unite eastern Ukraine with Russia.[15] Later the Ukrainian President stated that Ukrainian authorities “don’t exclude” the possibility that the plane was shot down.[81] This was denied by the rebels, stating that they have no weapons capable of shooting down planes at the height the Malaysian airliner was flying.[82] A defence expert later reported that to shoot down an aircraft at such a high altitude would have required a long-range surface-to-air missile, possibly assisted by radar, or an air-to-air missile from another aircraft.[83] After the MH17 crash, the DNR said on numerous occasions that they “do not have access to weapons able to reach airplane at 10 km”.[84] Just before the MH17 crash, DNR reported having access to a Buk missile system that can fire missiles up to 22,000 metres (72,000 ft), and uses radar guidance for targeting. On 18 July, a Ukrainian newspaper said that a column of three tanks, 2 BTR vehicles and Buk transported on a lorry was photographed near Dmitrovka village.[85] Jane’s Defense Weekly and Defense24.pl stated in their analyses that a Buk missile launcher vehicle without well trained crew or without its support vehicles (command vehicle and acquisition radar vehicle) would have been unable to tell a civilian Boeing 777 from a military AN-26 aircraft, but would still would be able to hit it.[86][87] Brig. Gen. Kevin Ryan, director of the Defense and Intelligence Project at Harvard University said that without extensive training crews would be unable to hit anything at all.[88] According to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. agencies are divided over whether the plane was downed by the Russian military or by pro-Russia separatists, who may lack the expertise required. Still they insist that, “All roads lead to the Russians to some degree”.[89] On 18 July 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama said in a White House briefing that the missile was fired from a territory controlled by Russian-supported separatists.[90][91] A source from Russia’s Agency Rosaviatsia said the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine had closed its airspace over eastern Ukraine because of what it called “anti-terrorist operation[s].”[92] Shortly after the crash theInternational Air Transport Association wrote in a statement: “Based on the information currently available it is believed that the airspace that the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions.”[93] The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) published what they said were wiretaps of separatist commanders reporting that a civilian airliner had been shot down.[94][95][96] According to the recording, Flight 17 was shot down by a group of pro-Russian separatists manning a checkpoint near the village of ChornukhineLuhansk Oblast, some 80 km (50 mi) north-west ofDonetsk.[97] On 18 July, Russian Defence Ministry declared that at the time of the crash “anti-aircraft units of Russian Federation did not operate in that area”. Russia said that Ukrainian Buk-M1 units were located north-west from Donetsk and that Russian units detected their radar activity at the time of the incident.[98][99] The Ministry also stated that the Ukrainian Buk battery was deployed at a site from which it could have fired a missile at the airliner.[17] DPR representatives made a number of statements, some reporting seeing that a military An-26 transport aircraft was hit,[52] others stating they had no missiles that could reach 10 km altitude and hit an airliner [100], while LPR representatives said that they had witnessed a Ukrainian aircraft, identified as a Su-25, shoot down the Boeing.[101] Gazeta.ru pointed out that both sides of the conflict, Ukraine and DPR, have Buk missiles capable of reaching 10 km altitude, but that the service ceiling at 5 km of Su-25 aircraft make it impossible for it to shoot down a high altitude airliner.[102]

Reactions

Countries involved

  • Ukraine Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko vowed support for a Dutch probe into the crash, which he called an act of terrorism. He offered condolences for the air disaster in a telephone conversation with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.[103] Ukrainian citizens spontaneously brought flowers to the Dutch and Malaysian embassies in support.[104][105]
  • Malaysia Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister Hamzah Zainuddin said that the foreign ministry would be working closely with the Russian and Ukrainian governments with regard to the incident.[106] Prime Minister Najib Razak later said on his statement that “At this stage, however, Malaysia is unable to verify the cause of this tragedy. But we must, and we will, find out precisely what happened to this flight. No stone will be left unturned”. He also added “If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice”.[107] The Malaysian government has declared to fly the country national flagat half-mast from 18 July until 21 July.[108]

International

  • Australia Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that if the incident was proven to be a shoot-down, it would be a crime and the perpetrators would be brought to justice. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs said the incident was a huge tragedy and that any Australians who were concerned about family members’ wellbeing should try to contact them directly. It also said it was awaiting confirmation on the number of Australian passengers on board.[116]
  • Belgium Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo said “On behalf of the Belgian government, he expressed his sincere condolences to the families and friends of the many victims of the flight of Malaysia Airlines. His thoughts are paying particular to the five Belgian victims, their families. He also spoke of his deep sympathy for the Dutch people and the Dutch authorities, as stood on his statement issued in Friday. Di Rupo wants “full clarity comes over the exact circumstances of this tragedy and those who are responsible should be quickly identified and brought to justice”.[117]
  • Canada Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that “Canada stands ready to provide whatever support it can to assist authorities in determining the cause of the crash.”[118]
  • Hungary The Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is important that an independent international body investigate the shooting and name those responsible for “this cowardly and inhumane act”.[120] Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán described the crash as “unusual, rare and shocking”, and added that “a significant influx of refugees from eastern areas of Ukraine has been registered in Transcarpathia. These movements affect the Hungarian community living there as well as Hungary itself”.[121]
  • India India Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his Twitter feedback, “Our thoughts & prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives on board Flight MH17. We stand with them in this hour of grief.”[122]
  • Indonesia Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stated that the aircraft downing is “a violation against international law and the law of war“. He asked that whoever shot down the aircraft be punished unequivocally, and offered to help with the investigation.[123]
  • Philippines Philippines Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a statement “Malacañang offer our sincerest condolences to the families of all the victims, recognising full well the enormity of their loss. At this difficult time, we stand with them in solidarity as one people and one country”.[125]
  • Russia Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his deepest condolences and his most sincere words of compassion and support to the families and friends of the victims, but said responsibility for the crash rests with “the country in whose airspace the plane was in when it crashed”, and that “the disaster wouldn’t happen if the military action in south-east of Ukraine was not reenabled”.[126][127][128]
  • United Kingdom British Prime Minister David Cameron described the crash as “an absolutely appalling, shocking, horrific incident”, and stated that “if, as seems possible, this was brought down then those responsible must be brought to account and we must lose no time in doing that”.[131] The United Kingdom has requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council.[132]
  • United States U.S. President Barack Obama said, “The U.S. will offer any assistance we can to determine what happened and why. As a country our thoughts and prayers are with all the families of the passengers, wherever they call home.”[128] In a press statement, White House spokesman Josh Earnest called for an immediate ceasefire.[133] Vice President Joe Biden said the plane appeared to have been deliberately “blown out of the sky”, and vowed U.S. assistance for the investigation into the crash.[127] U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power stated that the flight “was likely downed by a surface-to-air missile, an SA-11, operated from a separatist-held location in eastern Ukraine,” that the U.S. could not “rule out technical assistance by Russian personnel” in operating the system, and that “Russia must end this war.”[21]

Supranational

  • United Nations The UN Security Council was scheduled to hold an emergency meeting on the Ukraine crisis. A British-drafted statement calling for “a full, thorough and independent international investigation” into what caused the crash and stressing the need for “all parties to grant immediate access by investigators to the crash site to determine the cause of the incident” will be discussed.[134]

Airlines

Airline Aeroflot, Transaero, Air France, Turkish Airlines, Virgin Airlines, Lufthansa and S7 announced their intention to make flights overflew Ukraine.[135] Eurocontrol airspace closed in eastern Ukraine for civil aviation.[136]

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Breaking News: Malaysian Airline Flight MH 17 Shot Down by Surface To Air Missile — 280 Passengers and 15 Crew Dead — Videos

Posted on July 17, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, British History, Communications, Computers, Diasters, Economics, Education, Foreign Policy, Language, Law, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Rants, Raves, Resources, Technology, Video, War, Weapons | Tags: , , , , , , , |

 

 

 

Ukraine Adviser: Malaysian Airlines Jet Shot Down By Missile Near Ukraine-Russia Border

this_image_of_the_passenger_plane_crash_was_posted_on_twitter_Master

 

Mayalsia Airlines Flight crashes in Ukraine

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207cc_-_Malaysia_Airlines_Boeing_777-2H6ER

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Russia Syrian GameBUK-MISSILE-570

 

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MH17 crash

Buk-M2 SAM In Action

Malaysian Ailrner Shot Down Over Ukraine – 295 Dead

UPDATE Missile downs Malaysia Airlines MH17

Malaysia Plane crash Malaysia Airlines plane crash mh17 explode over Ukraine TRAGEDY

Malaysia Airlines flight crashes in Ukraine | BREAKING NEWS – 17 JULY 2014

Malaysian Airlines plane crash: passenger jet shot down over Ukraine, 295 dead

[y0utube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1iPi9wfc5Q]

Malaysia Airlines Plane Crash in Ukraine MH17 Flight Shot Down (17 July 2014)

Here’s The Rocket That Shot Down A Malaysian Airlines Flight

Malaysia Plane shot down over Ukraine Malaysia Plane crash video 295 dead 17 07 2014

All 295 Passengers confirmed Dead of Malaysia Airliner MH17 that shot down in eastern Ukraine

Malaysia Plane Crash: Obama Speech About Plane Shot Down | Malaysia Airlines Crash

Malaysian Airplane Shot Down over Ukraine 295 people on board Airplane Shot Down Malaysia

Malaysia Airlines Plane Shot Down And Crashes in Ukraine | VIDEO

Malaysia Airlines Passenger Jet Shot Down Over Ukraine, 295 Dead – Actual Images

BREAKING: Malaysia Plane Crash Malaysia Airlines | Plane Shot Down And Killed 280 People | VIDEO

Marketing video Russian Air Defense Systems S-400, Buk M2 and Tor M2 shooting at US Air Force

US Concludes Malaysian Airline was Shot Down, Both Russia and Ukraine Deny Involvment

US Concludes Malaysian Airline was Shot Down, Both Russia and Ukraine Deny Involvment
One radar system saw a surface-to-air missile system turn on and track an aircraft right before the plane went down Thursday, according to the official. Photo:mashable.com

The United States has concluded the Malaysian airline was shot down, a senior U.S. official told CNN’s Barbara Starr. They are analyzing the trajectory of the missile to try to learn where the attack came from.

“[US intelligence has] another asset that gives them a heat signature, an infrared heat signature that tells them there was a massive event … they put both of these pieces of information together and concluded that the plane was shot down,” Starr said.

One radar system saw a surface-to-air missile system turn on and track an aircraft right before the plane went down Thursday, according to the official. A second system saw a heat signature at the time the airliner was hit, the official said.

US intelligence is reportedly still working to determine the exact location from which the missile was fired, and whether it was on the Russian or the Ukrainian side of the border.

The UN Security Council plans to hold an emergency meeting over the shooting down of Malaysian airliner in Ukraine, and the deteriorating situation in the country. The meeting was called in by the UK, Itar-tass reports.

NATO’s chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has also urged an immediate international investigation into the crash of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane in Eastern Ukraine, RIA-Novosti news agency reports.

“No surface-to-air systems are involved in the military operation against separatists in the east, and the plane was out of reach of other Ukrainian air defence forces,” the statement from Ukraine’s Defence Ministry added.

Yet, The Ukrainian military reportedly deployed a battery of Buk surface-to-air missile systems, capable of bringing down high-flying jets, to the Donetsk region the day before the Malaysian passenger plane crashed in the area.

Itar-Tass and Interfax news agencies are citing a source familiar with the issue, who said that another battery of Buk systems is currently being prepared for shipment to Donetsk region from the Ukrainian city of Kharkov.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s state security chief accused two Russian military intelligence officers of involvement in the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane on Thursday. The SBU chief Valentin Nalivaychenko added they must be punished for their “crime.” The Ukrainian official said he based his allegation on intercepts of phone conversations between the two officers.

The purported telephone intercepts have been posted to YouTube (Russian), as have past recordings of alleged conversations between rebels, some of whom are accused of being agents with Russian agents.

In the recordings, men nicknamed “Demon”, “Mayor,” and “Grek” panic and curse as they realize they’ve shot down a passenger plane and killed civilians, describing to each other the “bodies of women and children”.

The authenticity of the recordings, however, cannot be confirmed.

IHS Jane’s Defense analyst, Nick de Larrinaga, shared the belief that the self-defense forces lack the capability to bring the Malaysian plane down.

“At normal cruising altitude a civilian passenger aircraft would be out of the range of the sort of manned portable air (defense) systems that we have seen proliferate in rebel hands in east Ukraine,” he said in a statement.

But the aircraft would be within range of Buk or other medium-range surface-to-air missile systems, he stressed.

“Both Russia and Ukraine have such SAM systems in their inventories,” the expert added.

It seems unlikely that the self-defense forces could’ve used Buk surface-to-air missile systems to down the Malaysian plane, retired Brig. Gen. Kevin Ryan, the director of the Defense and Intelligence Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, said.

“It takes a lot of training and a lot of coordination to fire one of these and hit something,” he told CNN. “This is not the kind of weapon a couple of guys are going to pull out of a garage and fire.”

According to Ryan, if the plane was really taken down then it was done by a professional military force.

http://www.independent.mk/articles/7367/US+Concludes+Malaysian+Airline+was+Shot+Down,+Both+Russia+and+Ukraine+Deny+Involvment

Ukraine Adviser: Malaysian Airlines Jet Shot Down By Missile Near Ukraine-Russia Border

A picture taken on July 17, 2014 shows wreckage of the Malaysian Airliner carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. (credit: DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

A picture taken on July 17, 2014 shows wreckage of the Malaysian Airliner carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk, in rebel-held east Ukraine. (credit: DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

Ukraine said a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down Thursday as it flew over the country, and both the government and the pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region denied any responsibility for downing the plane.

As plumes of black smoke rose up near a rebel-held village of Grabovo in eastern Ukraine, an Associated Press journalist counted at least 22 bodies at the crash site 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Russian border.

Photos: Crash Scene in Ukraine

Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, said on his Facebook page the plane was flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters (33,000 feet). He also said it was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher, which can fire missiles up to an altitude of 22,000 meters (72,000 feet).

A similar launcher was seen by Associated Press journalists near the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhne earlier Thursday.

Malaysia Airlines confirmed that it received notification from Ukrainian aviation authorities that it had lost contact with flight MH17 at 1415 GMT some 30 kilometers (20 miles) from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50 km (30 miles) from the Russia-Ukraine border.

It said the plane had 280 passengers and 15 crew aboard a Boeing 777 that left Amsterdam at 12.15 p.m. and was to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10 a.m. Friday.

CBS News had yet to confirm if the Boeing 777 was shot down.

RELATED: Stay up-to-date with our Live Blog

Interfax reports that the Ukrainian Interior Ministry says that everyone on board was killed. The Interior Ministry claims that 23 Americans were killed in the crash, according to Interfax. The State Department is looking into whether Americans were on the flight.

A source told Interfax that the plane “began to drop, afterwards it was found burning on the ground on Ukrainian territory.”

Reuters reports that body parts have been scattered seven miles within the crash site, an indication that the plane came apart mid-air. A Ukrainian Emergency Ministry official told Reuters that first responders have found at least 100 bodies.

Ukrainian pro-separatists have denied responsibility for the Malaysian Airlines civilian jet crash as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says his country’s military did not shoot down the plane.

“We do not exclude that this plane was shot down, and we stress that the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not take action against any airborne targets,” Poroshenko stated.

Poroshenko said “we are sure that those who are guilty in this tragedy will be held responsible.”

According to Interfax, Poroshenko called it a “terrorist act.”

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry claims in a statement obtained by CBS News that Russia is complicit, if not responsible, for the downing of the plane.

“The plane was shot down, because the Russian air defense systems was affording protection to Russian mercenaries and terrorists in this area,” the statement read.

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, told The Guardian that allegations that Russia was behind the crash was just sheer “stupidity.”

CBS News reports that President Barack Obama has been briefed on the crash. Obama has instructed his team to be in touch with Ukrainian authorities.

“The world is watching reports of a downed passenger jet at the Russia-Ukraine border and it looks like it might be a terrible tragedy,” Obama said during an event held in Wilmington, Del., adding that the U.S. is working on confirming if Americans were on the flight.

During a phone call with Obama Thursday morning to express his dissatisfaction to the latest economic sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin brought up that there were early reports of a downed Malaysian Airlines jet in Ukraine, CBS News reports.

The Federal Aviation Administration tells CBS News that the agency prohibited U.S. carriers from flying through this region.

It was the second time that a Malaysia Airlines plane was lost in less than six months. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared in March while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It has not been found, but the search has been concentrated in the Indian Ocean far west of Australia.

Malaysian Defense Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said on Twitter there’s no confirmation that Thursday’s plane was shot down. He said he has instructed the country’s military to check and get confirmation.

The Donetsk region government said Thursday’s plane crashed near a village called Grabovo, which it said is currently under the control of armed pro-Russian separatists. The region where the flight was lost has seen severe fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatist rebels in recent days.

A launcher similar to the Buk missile system was seen by Associated Press journalists near the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhne, which is held by pro-Russia rebels, earlier Thursday.

On Wednesday evening, a Ukrainian fighter jet was shot down by an air-to-air missile from a Russian plane, Ukrainian authorities said Thursday, adding to what Kiev says is mounting evidence that Moscow is directly supporting the separatist insurgents in eastern Ukraine. Security Council spokesman Andrei Lysenko said the pilot of the Sukhoi-25 jet hit by the air-to-air missile was forced to bail after his jet was shot down.

Pro-Russia rebels, meanwhile, claimed responsibility for strikes Wednesday on two Ukrainian Sukhoi-25 jets. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said the second jet was hit by a portable surface-to-air missile, but added the pilot was unscathed and managed to land his plane safely

Moscow denies Western charges that is supporting the separatists or sowing unrest in its neighbor. The Russian Defense Ministry couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday about the Ukrainian jet and Russia’s foreign ministry didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.

Earlier this week, Ukraine said a military transport plane was shot down Monday by a missile fired from Russian territory.

The Malaysia Airlines plane is a Boeing 777-200ER, which was delivered to Malaysia Airlines on July 30, 1997, according to Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets, which sells and tracks information about aircraft. It has more than 43,000 hours of flight time and 6,950 takeoffs and landings.

If the plane was shot down, it would be the fourth commercial airliner to face such a fate. The previous three were:

– April 20, 1978: Korean Airlines Flight 902, which diverted from its planned course on a flight from Paris to Seoul and strayed over the Soviet Union. After being fired upon by an interceptor aircraft, the crew made a forced landing at night on the surface of a frozen lake. Two of the 97 passengers were killed by the hostile fire.

– Sept. 1, 1983: Korean Air Lines Flight 007 shot down by at least one Soviet air-to-air missile after the 747 had strayed into Soviet airspace. All 240 passengers and 29 crew were killed.

– July 3, 1988: Iran Air Flight 655 Aircraft was shot down by a surface to air missile from the American naval vessel U.S.S. Vincennes. All 16 crew and 274 passengers were killed

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Diplomatic Agreement — The Budapest Memorandum — Will It Lead To US War With Russia Over Ukraine or More Obama Appeasement? — Videos

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Story 3: Diplomatic Agreement — The Budapest Memorandum — Will It Lead To US War With Russia Over Ukraine or More Obama Appeasement? — Videos

Donald Rumsfeld on Russia, Ukraine, Obama !

Russian Roulette: The Invasion of Ukraine (Dispatch Two)

Russian Roulette: The Invasion of Ukraine (Dispatch One)

Russia fires first shots of Crimea invasion – Ukraine update – Truthloader

The Alex Jones Show(VIDEO Commercial Free) Sunday March 2 2014: Ukraine Mobilizes For War

Headlines: Hillary Clinton compares Russia’s actions in Ukraine to Nazi Germany

Obama: ‘Russia on the Wrong Side of History’

WW3 UPDATE: Ukrainian FORCES MOBILISING As RUSSIA Approves MILITARY ACTION In Ukraine

Russia Expands Its Natural Gas Infrastructure (Agenda)

Videographic: Sidestepping Russia’s gas monopoly

Ukrainian Protests and Russian Influence (Dispatch)

Crimea in the middlegaspipelines

Story 3: Diplomatic Agreement — The Budapest Memorandum — Will It Lead To US War With Russia Over Ukraine or More Obama Appeasement? — Videos

On 1 March 2014, the White House released a press release stating that Russia had breached its obligations to Ukraine under the Budapest Memorandum:

President Obama expressed his deep concern over Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is a breach of international law, including Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter, and of its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine, and which is inconsistent with the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and the Helsinki Final Act. The United States condemns Russia’s military intervention into Ukrainian territory.

—Office of the Press Secretary

Budapest Memorandums on Security Assurances, 1994

Published December 5, 1994

The Presidents of Ukraine, Russian Federation and United States of America, and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom signed three memorandums (UN Document A/49/765) on December 5, 1994, with the accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Through this agreement, these countries (later to include China and France in individual statements) gave national security assurances to Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The Joint Declaration by the Russian Federation and the United States of America of December 4, 2009 confirmed their commitment.

Excerpt:

“Welcoming the accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear-weapon State,

Taking into account the commitment of Ukraine to eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a specified period of time,

Noting the changes in the world-wide security situation, including the end of the cold war, which have brought about conditions for deep reductions in nuclear forces,

Confirm the following:

1. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine;

2. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or

political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;

3. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty and thus to secure advantages of any kind;

4. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action to provide assistance to Ukraine, as a non-nuclear-weapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, if Ukraine should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear

weapons are used;

5. The Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America reaffirm, in the case of Ukraine, their commitment not to use nuclear weapons against any non-nuclearweapon State party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,

except in the case of an attack on themselves, their territories or dependent territories, their armed forces, or their allies, by such a State in association or alliance with a nuclear-weapon State;

6. Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America will consult in the event a situation arises that raises a question concerning these commitments.

This Memorandum will become applicable upon signature.

Signed in four copies having equal validity in the Ukrainian, English and Russian languages.

For Ukraine:

(Signed) Leonid D. KUCHMA

For the Russian Federation:

(Signed) Boris N. YELTSIN

For the United Kingdom of Great

Britain and Northern Ireland:

(Signed) John MAJOR

For the United States of America:

(Signed) William J. CLINTON

U.S./U.K./Ukraine Press Statement on the Budapest Memorandum Meeting

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 5, 2014

On 5 March 2014, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hosted a meeting in Paris with the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, William Hague, and the Acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Andriy Deshchytsia.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the urgent question of the Budapest Memorandum, the agreement signed by the Governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Russia in 1994. The United States had conveyed an invitation to the Russian Federation to the meeting. We deeply regret that the Russian Federation declined to attend.

The Budapest Memorandum sets out the obligations of signatories in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons. Under its terms, the three parties commit to refrain from the threat or use of force against Ukraine’s territorial integrity. The Memorandum also obliges the UK, US and Russia to consult in the event of a situation arising where the memorandum commitments are questioned.

Ukraine voluntarily surrendered the world’s third largest nuclear weapons arsenal in exchange for these assurances. The three Governments treat these assurances with utmost seriousness, and expect Russia to as well. Russia has chosen to act unilaterally and militarily. The United Kingdom and United States will continue to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and we commend the new Ukrainian government for not taking actions that might escalate the situation. Russia’s continued violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity can only degrade Russia’s international standing and lead to greater political and economic consequences.

In the meeting, the Governments of the United States, United Kingdom and Ukraine discussed steps needed to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity and called on Russia to engage in consultations with Ukraine as they have committed to in the Budapest memorandum.

The United States, United Kingdom and Ukraine agreed that direct talks between Ukraine and Russia, facilitated as needed by members of the international community, are crucial to resolving the current situation. They also agreed that international observers should be deployed immediately in Ukraine, especially in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. The three governments reaffirmed the importance of protecting the rights of all Ukrainian citizens, and believed that international observers would help address any concerns regarding irregular forces, military activity and the treatment of all Ukrainians irrespective of their ethnicity or spoken language.

 http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/03/222949.htm

The Budapest Memorandum and Crimea

With tensions rising in Crimea and pro-Russian forces controlling the peninsula’s main airports, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has called on Russia to “not violate the Budapest Memorandum.” So what is the “Budapest Memorandum” and what does it have to do with Crimea?

What exactly is the “Budapest Memorandum”?

The “Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances” is a diplomatic memorandum that was signed in December 1994 by Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

It is not a formal treaty, but rather, a diplomatic document under which signatories made promises to each other as part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Under the memorandum, Ukraine promised to remove all Soviet-era nuclear weapons from its territory, send them to disarmament facilities in Russia, and sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Ukraine kept these promises.

In return, Russia and the Western signatory countries essentially consecrated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine as an independent state. They did so by applying the principles of territorial integrity and nonintervention in 1975 Helsinki Final Act — a Cold War-era treaty signed by 35 states including the Soviet Union — to an independent post-Soviet Ukraine.

Which principles in the Helsinki Final Act, reiterated in the “Budapest Memorandum,” are relevant to the current situation in the Crimea?

In the “Budapest Memorandum,” Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States promised that none of them would ever threaten or use force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine. They also pledged that none of them would ever use economic coercion to subordinate Ukraine to their own interest.

They specifically pledged they would refrain from making each other’s territory the object of military occupation or engage in other uses of force in violation of international law.

All sides agreed that no such occupation or acquisition will be recognized as legal and that the signatories would “consult in the event a situation arises which raises a question concerning these commitments.”

Is there anything legally binding about the “Budapest Memorandum” regarding Russia’s obligations to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity?

“That’s actually a much more complex question than it may sound. It is binding in international law, but that doesn’t mean it has any means of enforcement,” says Barry Kellman, a professor of law and director of the International Weapons Control Center at DePaul University’s College of Law.

“The ‘Budapest Memorandum’ follows the Helsinki Final Act and essentially reiterates its provisions. There are confidence building measures and then a host of other broader obligations – primarily negative obligations. Don’t interfere.”

Kellman concludes that there are a host of other sources of international law that oblige Russia to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity — including the provisions of the CSCE treaty and the UN Charter.

http://www.voanews.com/content/the-budapest-memorandum-and-crimea/1862439.html

: The forgotten treaty which could drag the US and UK into WAR with Russia if Putin’s troops intervene in Ukraine

  • The agreement sees signatories promise to protect Ukraine’s borders
  • It was signed by Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma in 1994
  • Ukrainian parliament has now reached out directly to all the countries who signed the treaty
  • Putin currently has 150,000 troops on Ukraine’s borders and it is reported some have crossed into the country
  • President Obama says he is ‘deeply concerned’ by the news
  • The US and Britain have both made ‘crisis calls’ to President Putin to warn him to respect territorial boundaries

By JILL REILLY and LIZZIE EDMONDS

A treaty signed in 1994 by the US and Britain could pull both countries into a war to protect Ukraine if President Putin’s troops cross into the country.

Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma – the then-rulers of the USA, UK, Russia and Ukraine – agreed to the The Budapest Memorandum as part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Technically it means that if Russia has invaded Ukraine then it would be difficult for the US and Britain to avoid going to war.

The revelation comes as reports suggest the Kremlin was moving up to 2,000 troops across the Black Sea from Novorossiysk to their fleet base at Sevastopol.

At least 20 men wearing the uniform of the Russian fleet and carrying automatic rifles surrounded a Ukrainian border guard post in a standoff near the port yesterday.

Last night it was still unclear the exact scale of Russian boots on the ground in Crimea or the identity of gunmen who have taken over airports in Simferopol and Sevastopol – though reports suggest they are Russian marines or Moscow- controlled militias.

The action came as President Obama delivered blunt warnings to Moscow.

‘We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine,’ he told reporters at the White House.

‘Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing,’ he said in a brief appearance.

‘The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.’

U.S. officials also said the President could scrap plans to attend an international summit in Russia and take negotiations on deepening trade ties with the country off the table in response to Russian involvement in the Ukraine.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel added: “This could be a very dangerous situation if this continues in a provocative way.”

Asked about options in a CBS News interview, he said that “We’re trying to deal with a diplomatic focus, that’s the appropriate, responsible approach.”

Both the U.S. and the UK are advising against all non-essential trips to Ukraine – especially Crimea.

former British Ambassador to Moscow Sir Tony Brenton, who served as British Ambassador from 2004 to 2008, said in an interview that war could be an option 'if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding.'

former British Ambassador to Moscow Sir Tony Brenton, who served as British Ambassador from 2004 to 2008, said in an interview that war could be an option ‘if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding.’

NATO also asked Russia not to take action that could escalate tension. However Moscow responded by telling the organization to ‘refrain’ from provocative statements on Ukraine and respect its ‘non-bloc’ status.

Sir Tony Brenton, who served as British Ambassador from 2004 to 2008, said that war could be an option ‘if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding.’

It promises to protect Ukraine’s borders, in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons.

Kiev has demanded the agreement is activated after insisting their borders had been violated.

In response Mr Brenton said in a BBC radio interview: ‘If indeed this is a Russian invasion of Crimea and if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding then it’s very difficult to avoid the conclusion that we’re going to go to war with Russia’.

Ukraine accused Russia of a ‘military invasion and occupation’, saying Russian troops have taken up positions around a coast guard base and two airports on its strategic Crimea peninsula.

Russia kept silent on the accusations, as the crisis deepened between two of Europe’s largest countries.

Any Russian military incursion in Crimea would dramatically raise the stakes in Ukraine’s conflict, which saw pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych flee last weekend after three months of anti-government protests. Yanukovych vowed Friday at a news conference in Russia to ‘keep fighting for the future of Ukraine,’ though he called any military action ‘unacceptable.’

Moscow has vowed to protect Russian-speaking Ukrainians in Crimea, where it has a major naval base, and Ukraine and the West have warned Russia to stay away.

Russia did not confirm its troops were involved in Friday’s action in Crimea, which would be a major escalation.

In Kiev, Ukraine’s parliament adopted a resolution demanding that Russia halt steps it says are aimed against Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and called for a U.N. Security Council meeting on the crisis.

THE BUDAPEST REFERENDUM

Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances was a international treaty signed on February, 5, 1994, in Budapest.

The diplomatic document saw signatories make promises to each other as part of the denuclearization of former Soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

It was signed by Bill Clinton, John Major, Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma – the then-rulers of the USA, UK, Russia and Ukraine.

The agreement promises to protest Ukraine’s borders in return for Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons.

It is not a formal treaty, but rather, a diplomatic document.

It was an unprecedented case in contemporary international life and international law.

Whether is it legally binding in complex.

‘It is binding in international law, but that doesn’t mean it has any means of enforcement,’ says Barry Kellman is a professor of law and director of the International Weapons Control Center at DePaul University’s College of Law told Radio Free Europe.

‘I can only describe this as a military invasion and occupation,’ Ukraine’s newly named interior minister, Arsen Avakov, wrote in a Facebook post.

The chief of Ukraine’s security council, Andriy Parubiy, seemed to strike a less strident tone later in the day, saying gunmen had tried to ‘seize’ the airports in the Crimean cities of Simferopol and Sevastopol but insisting in comments to the Interfax news agency that ‘de-facto the airports are controlled by the law enforcement bodies of Ukraine.’

Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service also said about 30 Russian marines from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet – which is based in Sevastopol – had taken up position outside the Ukrainian Coast Guard base in the area. It said the marines said they were there to prevent any weapons at the base from being seized by extremists.

Russia’s defense ministry had no comment.

Yanukovych made his first public appearance since fleeing Ukraine in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, not far from the Ukrainian border. It was the first confirmation that he had left the country, and he said he was ‘forced’ to do so only after his family received threats.

‘I intend to keep fighting for the future of Ukraine,’ he said.

Yanukovych said he supports Crimea’s residents who are worried about ‘nationalists’ in Kiev and added that Russia cannot stand by while events in Ukraine unfold. He denied, however, that this amounts to a call for military intervention.

‘Any military action in this situation is unacceptable,’ he said. 

Tensions rising: A Russian soldier on an armoured personnel carrier halted on a road in Ukraine around 20 miles from Sebastapol, where there is a large Russian military presence

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Tensions rising: A Russian soldier on an armoured personnel carrier halted on a road in Ukraine around 20 miles from Sebastapol, where there is a large Russian military presence

The prosecutor-general’s office in Kiev said it would seek Yanukovych’s extradition to Ukraine, where he is wanted on suspicion of mass murder in last week’s violent clashes between protesters and police, during which over 80 people were killed.

At the airport serving Simferopol, commercial flights were landing and taking off despite dozens of armed men in military uniforms without markings patrolling with assault rifles. They didn’t stop or search people leaving or entering the airport, and refused to talk to journalists.

One man who identified himself only as Vladimir said the men were part of the Crimean People’s Brigade, which he described as a self-defense unit ensuring that no ‘radicals and fascists’ arrive from other parts of Ukraine. There was no way to verify his account.

The airport deployments came a day after masked gunmen with rocket-propelled grenades and sniper rifles seized the parliament and government offices in Simferopol and raised the Russian flag. Ukrainian police cordoned off the area but didn’t confront the gunmen. They remained in control of the buildings Friday.

The Russian foreign and defense ministries had no comment. Russia’s state RIA Novosti and Interfax cited an unnamed official from the Russian Black Sea Fleet denying involvement, saying Russian servicemen stationed in Crimea have not moved into the airports and denying that the Russian military was in control there.

Tensions between the two countries were high, however. Russia continued with massive combat readiness exercises involving most of its troops in western and southern Russia that it said were unrelated to the Ukraine conflict. The moves were reminiscent of Cold War brinksmanship.

Russian military forces are blockading an airport in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol in Crimea, an act Ukraine's new interior minister has announced branded an 'armed invasion'

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Russian military forces are blockading an airport in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol in Crimea, an act Ukraine’s new interior minister has announced branded an ‘armed invasion’

As events in the Crimea region heighten tensions with neighboring Russia, this morning armed men also took over the other main Crimean airport, Simferopol, according to a Facebook post by Mr Avakov

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As events in the Crimea region heighten tensions with neighboring Russia, this morning armed men also took over the other main Crimean airport, Simferopol, according to a Facebook post by Mr Avakov

Dozens of armed men in military uniforms without markings were seen patrolling the airport in Simferopol, the capital of Crimea

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Dozens of armed men in military uniforms without markings were seen patrolling the airport in Simferopol, the capital of Crimea

The move came as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told Ukraine's new prime minister that the U.S. welcomes the formation of the country's new government

+11

The move came as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told Ukraine’s new prime minister that the U.S. welcomes the formation of the country’s new government

The Kremlin, in a statement published late Thursday, said President Vladimir Putin had instructed the government to ‘maintain contacts with the counterparts in Kiev in what concerns trade and economic ties between Russia and Ukraine.’

Moscow has been sending mixed signals about Ukraine but pledged to respect its territorial integrity. Putin has long dreamed of pulling Ukraine, a country of 46 million people considered the cradle of Russian civilization, closer into Moscow’s orbit.

Meanwhile, Swiss prosecutors announced they had launched a criminal investigation against Yanukovych and his son Aleksander over ‘aggravated money laundering.’

They said police and Geneva’s chief prosecutor conducted a search and seized documents Thursday at the premises of a company owned by Aleksander Yanukovych.

Ukraine's ex-President Yanukovych has made his first public appearance since being ousted, telling a news conference that he was going to fight for his country's future

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Ukraine’s ex-President Yanukovych has made his first public appearance since being ousted, telling a news conference that he was going to fight for his country’s future

Switzerland and Austria both said they would freeze any assets Yanukovych and his entourage might have in those countries.

Ukraine’s population is divided in loyalties between Russia and the West, with much of western Ukraine advocating closer ties with the European Union while eastern and southern regions look to Russia for support.

Crimea, a southeastern peninsula of Ukraine that has semi-autonomous status, was seized by Russian forces in the 18th century under Catherine the Great, and was once the crown jewel in Russian and then Soviet empires.

It became part of Ukraine in 1954 when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred jurisdiction from Russia, a move that was a mere formality until the 1991 Soviet collapse meant Crimea landed in an independent Ukraine.

In a bid to shore up Ukraine’s fledgling administration, the International Monetary Fund has said it is ‘ready to respond’ to Ukraine’s bid for financial assistance; Ukraine’s finance ministry has said it needs $35 billion over the next two years to avoid default.

The European Union is also considering emergency loans for a country that is the chief conduit of Russian natural gas to western Europe.

And Putin, in his statement, asked his government to ‘hold consultations with foreign partners including the IMF and the G8 nations to provide financial aid to Ukraine.’

Associated Press journalists approaching the Sevastopol airport found the road leading up to it blocked by two military trucks and a handful of gunmen wearing camouflage uniforms and carrying assault rifles.

A car with Russian military plates was stopped at the roadblock. A man wearing a military uniform with a Russian flag on his sleeve got out of the car and was allowed to enter on foot after a brief discussion with the gunmen.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2570335/Former-British-Ambassador-Moscow-warns-Russia-invaded-Ukraine-difficult-avoid-going-war.html

Fact Check: Could a Little-Known International Agreement With Ukraine Force U.S., Britain Into War With Russia?

The United States and Britain “reaffirmed” their commitment to protect Ukraine’s borders in exchange for the nation giving up its nuclear weapons in a little-known agreement known as the “Budapest Memorandum signed by former President Bill Clinton in 1994.

The Daily Mail notes reports “if Russia has invaded Ukraine then it would be difficult for the US and Britain to avoid going to war.”

Sir Tony Brenton, who served as a British ambassador from 2004 to 2008, said war is certainly on the table if it’s determined that the Budapest Memorandum is “legally binding.”

According to the Daily Mail, Kiev has asked that the agreement be honored as it claims its borders have been violated.

“If indeed this is a Russian invasion of Crimea and if we do conclude the [Budapest] Memorandum is legally binding then it’s very difficult to avoid the conclusion that we’re going to go to war with Russia,” Brenton told BBC radio.

Ukraine has accused Russia of a “military invasion,” though details are still coming in.

The unsettling news comes after President Barack Obama warned Russia about military action in Ukraine on Friday.

But a closer look at the Budapest Memorandum shows the specifics might be more complex than some are assuming. Article one of the agreement states:

The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine … to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.

Reaffirming a “commitment” to Ukraine’s borders and being legally required to go to war are two very different ideas.

There will surely be much debate over whether the Budapest Memorandum is a legally binding agreement requiring action. The U.S. going to war with Russia is likely a last resort for the Obama administration.

According to rferl.org, the Budapest Memorandum is a diplomatic memorandum, not an official treaty.

Barry Kellman, a professor of law and director of the International Weapons Control Center at DePaul University’s College of Law, told the website that the answers to questions about whether the agreement is binding are “complex.”

“That’s actually a much more complex question than it may sound. It is binding in international law, but that doesn’t mean it has any means of enforcement,” he said.

“The ‘Budapest Memorandum’ follows the Helsinki Final Act and essentially reiterates its provisions. There are confidence building measures and then a host of other broader obligations – primarily negative obligations. Don’t interfere,” the professor added.

Armed men described as Russian troops took control of key airports in Crimea on Friday and Russian transport planes flew into the strategic region, Ukrainian officials said, an ominous sign of the Kremlin’s iron hand in Ukraine. President Barack Obama bluntly warned Moscow “there will be costs” if it intervenes militarily.

The sudden arrival of men in military uniforms patrolling key strategic facilities prompted Ukraine to accuse Russia of a “military invasion and occupation” – a claim that brought an alarming new dimension to the crisis.

Unidentified armed men patrol outside of Simferopol airport, on February 28, 2014. Ukraine accused today Russia of staging an 'armed invasion' of Crimea and appealed to the West to guarantee its territorial integrity after pro-Moscow gunmen took control of the peninsula's main airport. (Source: AFP PHOTO / VIKTOR DRACHEV VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)

Unidentified armed men patrol outside of Simferopol airport, on February 28, 2014. Ukraine accused today Russia of staging an ‘armed invasion’ of Crimea and appealed to the West to guarantee its territorial integrity after pro-Moscow gunmen took control of the peninsula’s main airport. (Source: AFP PHOTO / VIKTOR DRACHEV VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)

Obama urged Russia to respect the independence and territory of Ukraine and not try to take advantage of its neighbor, which is undergoing political upheaval.

“Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing,” Obama said.

“Just days after the world came to Russia for the Olympic Games, that would invite the condemnation of nations around the world,” he continued. “The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.”

He did not say what those costs might be.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/02/28/fact-check-could-a-little-known-international-agreement-force-u-s-britain-into-war-with-russia/#

Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances

The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances is an international treaty signed on 5 December 1994, providing security assurances by its signatories relating to Ukraine‘s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Memorandum was originally signed by three nuclear-powers, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom. China and France later gave individual statements of assurance as well.[1][clarification needed]

The memorandum included security assurances against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine as well as those of Belarus and Kazakhstan. As a result Ukraine gave up the world’s third largest nuclear weapons stockpile between 1994 and 1996.[2][3]

Following the 2014 Crimean crisis, the US stated that Russian involvement is in breach of its obligations to Ukraine under the Budapest Memorandum, and in clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity.[4][5]


According to the memorandum, Russia, the US, and the UK confirmed, in recognition of Ukraine becoming party to the 
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and in effect abandoning its nuclear arsenal to Russia, that they would:

  1. Respect Ukrainian independence and sovereignty within its existing borders.
  2. Refrain from the threat or use of force against Ukraine.
  3. Refrain from using economic pressure on Ukraine in order to influence its politics.
  4. Seek United Nations Security Council action if nuclear weapons are used against Ukraine.
  5. Refrain from the use of nuclear arms against Ukraine.
  6. Consult with one another if questions arise regarding these commitments.[6]

Analyse

Under the treaty, the signatories offered Ukraine “security assurances” in exchange for its adhesion to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The memorandum bundled together a set of assurances that Ukraine already held from the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) Final Act, United Nations Charter and Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Ukrainian government nevertheless found it politically valuable to have these assurances in a Ukraine-specific document. [7] [8]

The Budapest Memorandum was negotiated as a political agreement. It refers to assurances, not defined, but less than a military guarantee of intervention. According to Stephen MacFarlane, a professor of international relations “It gives signatories justification if they take action, but it does not force anyone to act in Ukraine.”[7][8]

Issues

Tuzla Island crisis

Main article: Tuzla Island

Ukraine gave up the world’s third largest nuclear weapons stockpile between 1994 and 1996 in return for “security assurances” from five nuclear powers, including Russia who was seen by Ukraine as the main threat to its territorial integrity.[2] In 2003, Russian construction efforts were seen as an attempt to annex Tuzla Island off the Crimean coast of Ukraine.[2] The Russian threat to Tuzla led to the Ukrainian leadership appealing to NATO for consultations on security, as outlined in the 1997 NATO-Ukraine Charter, without result.[2] The dispute led to negotiations over delimitation of the maritime borders. In a 2012 preliminary agreement, Ukraine and Russia agreed that Tuzla Island would be considered Ukraine’s territory.[9][needs update]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia after hosting the Budapest Memorandum Ministerial on the Ukraine crisis in Paris, France, on March 5, 2014.

2014 Crimean crisis

Main article: 2014 Crimean crisis

In February 2014, unidentified troops seized or blockaded various airports, as well as other strategic sites throughout Crimea.[10] Official Ukrainian sources have said that the troops are Russian, attached to the Russian Black Sea Fleet stationed in Crimea,[11] likely placing Russia in violation of the Budapest Memorandum. The Russian Foreign Ministry has confirmed the movement of armoured units attached to the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, but asserts that they are acting within the scope of the various agreements between the two countries. Other official Russian sources deny that the units in the area of Sevastopol International Airport, specifically, are attached to the Black Sea Fleet.[12]

On 1 March 2014, the White House released a press release stating that Russia had breached its obligations to Ukraine under the Budapest Memorandum:

President Obama expressed his deep concern over Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is a breach of international law, including Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter, and of its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine, and which is inconsistent with the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and the Helsinki Final Act. The United States condemns Russia’s military intervention into Ukrainian territory.

—Office of the Press Secretary[4]

[5]

In response to the crisis, the Ukrainian parliament has requested that the Memorandum’s signatories reaffirm their commitment to the principles enshrined in the treaty, and further asked that they hold consultations with Ukraine to ease tensions.[13]

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ “Budapest Memorandums on Security Assurances, 1994”. Council on Foreign Relations. December 5, 1994. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  2. Jump up to:a b c d The Crimea:Europe’s Next Flashpoint, By Taras Kuzio, November 2010
  3. Jump up^ [1]
  4. Jump up to:a b Office of the Press Secretary. “Readout of President Obama’s Call with President Putin”. whitehouse.gov.
  5. Jump up to:a b Washington Post Editorial Board. “Condemnation isn’t enough for Russian actions in Crimea”. Washington Post.
  6. Jump up^ Memorandum on Security Assurances [2]
  7. Jump up to:a b Are the US and the UK bound to intervene in Ukraine?france24, 03-03-2014
  8. Jump up to:a b Ukraine crisis’ impact on nuclear weapons, 4-March-2014
  9. Jump up^ http://en.ria.ru/russia/20120713/174576071.html
  10. Jump up^ Higgins, Andrew; Reevell, Patrick (28 February 2014). “Armed, masked men appear at airports in Crimea”The Boston Globe. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  11. Jump up^ Booth, William; DeYoung, Karen (28 February 2014). “Reports of Russian military activity in Crimea prompts stern warning from Obama”The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  12. Jump up^ “Movement of Russian armored vehicles in Crimea fully complies with agreements – Foreign Ministry”. RT. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  13. Jump up^ “Ukrainian parliament appeals to Budapest Memorandum signatories”. Interfax Ukraine. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.

External links

Ukraine – The Birth of a Nation. Part 1 of 4. From Rus to Ukraine

Ukraine – The Birth of a Nation. Part 2 of 4. Ukraine or Little Russia?

Ukraine – The Birth of a Nation. Part 3 of 4. Together Forever

Ukraine – The Birth of a Nation. Part 4 of 4. Independence

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The Economics of Russian Imperialism in Ukraine: Russia Goes Around Ukraine with Gas Pipelines — Videos

Posted on March 5, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Communications, Economics, Employment, European History, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Security, Talk Radio, Taxes, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: The Economics of Russian Imperialism in Ukraine: Russia Goes Around Ukraine with Gas Pipelines — Videos

map-ugs-2_(1)gaspipelinesSouth Stream gas pipeline project

Gazprom-Serbia-Discuss-South-Stream-Progress

Pro-Russia Forces Storm Ukraine Centers | The New York Times

Russia Demands Surrender Of Ukraine’s Crimea Forces 04.03.2014

BBC News – Russia demands surrender of Ukraine Crimea forces

Russia demands SURRENDER of Ukraine’s Crimea forces or face an ASSAULT

Russian Forces Officially Enter the Crimea Region of UkraineBuild up to WW3 – PUTIN is Ready To React

Tatars in Crimea will never accept Russian rule in Ukraine

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Putin’s strategy is to provoke overreaction by Ukraine in Crimea, K

Russian military ATTACK HELICOPTERS INVADE UKRANE

Apocalypse Now – Smell of Napalm HD

Gold, Silver and Crude Oil Rise as Russia-Ukraine Tensions Climb

Russia Reinforces Key Areas in Crimea – Putin UNFASED by WARNINGS

Build up to WW3 as RUSSIA Begins MILITARY EXERCISES Amid UKRAINE Tensions

Russian markets, currency hit by Ukraine war threat

Ukraine goes nuclear. Kiev gunmen. MP from Kiev jeered and chased. US warships on standby.

Ukraine Is Critical for Russia’s Oil Trade: Jeff Sachs

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Ukraine and Russia’s gas wrangle ignites again

What stands in way of Ukraine-EU deal?

Russia and Ukraine strike $15bln deal

New Pipeline To Europe Ends Ukraine’s Blackmail And Thievery Of Russian Gas

Russian-Ukrainian Conflict Spilling Beyond Borders And Into Natural Gas Markets

 

Ken Silverstein

Contributor

The Russian and Ukrainian conflict is about freedom — not just to political expression but also to explore new economic ties with the western world, which includes finding additional access to lucrative natural gas supplies.

It’s a battle that extends well beyond the walls of the former Soviet Bloc and into the heart of Europe that has long relied on Russian natural gas to provide about a quarter of its needs and which a third of it flows through Ukraine’s pipelines. Now that Russia has taken military control of the Crimean section of Ukraine, those conduits are in peril.

Russia, meantime, provides anywhere from one-third to one-half of Ukraine’s natural gas. And, since 2006, the two nations have had legitimate battles over how to value that vital product. During the early years of that dispute, Russia had wanted to quadruple prices to Ukraine. Recently, though, those natural gas prices are tied to global oil prices and have sold at much greater rates, which has cut Ukraine’s consumption of Russian natural gas.

Ukraine still subsidizes the gas that it does buy for its own citizens, noting that without such help, its already recession-ridden country would go into an economic tailspin. The International Monetary Fund is reporting that energy subsidies made up 7.5 percent of Ukraine’s 2012 gross domestic product.

“The Ukrainian economy has been in recession since mid-2012, and the outlook remains challenging. In January–September 2013 GDP contracted by 1.25 percent year-over-year, reflecting lower demand for Ukrainian exports and falling investments,” says the IMF’s December 2013 analysis.

For the moment, Ukraine — and Europe as well — have gotten a minor reprieve because each has had a mild winter. Europe is also warming to U.S. natural gas imports in the form of liquefied natural gas, which can sell for a premium there. Its also been shying away, lately, from Russian gas and using more coal.

Europe, too, has also won access to a number of new pipeline routes, or ones that are able to bypass Ukraine and enter the continent other ways. Among them: Pipelines are linking the Caspian Sea, Middle East and North Africa with Continental Europe. Algeria, for example, is increasing the capacity of its export routes that carry gas into Italy and efforts are also underway to do the same for routes into France and Germany.

Ukraine could ultimately break loose of the natural gas shackles from which Russia has help it captive. A Washington Post story says that Ukraine has signed deals with Chevron Corp and Royal Dutch Shell to invest as much as $10 billion into shale gas development in the western part of the country. ExxonMobil, meantime, wants to drill for oil and gas in the deep water of the Black Sea there — something that the paper says will have to wait given the uncertainties.

 

It’s accurate to say that the distrust that permeated during Cold War era still exists. But Russia can still be counted on — to act in its self interest. And in this case, the need to grow its own economy and to continue to market its natural gas to both Eastern and Western Europe could help soothe things.

Many Europeans say that Russia needs the revenues from selling its natural gas as much as the West needs those supplies. They maintain that the former Communist state is as reliable of a partner as the nations of the Middle East or Northern Africa. Other nations made up of mostly the former Soviet Bloc argue that Russia leverages its natural gas domination as a way to earn economic clout.

There’s no disagreement that Russia holds vast natural gas reserves. According to theU.S. Energy Information Administration, it possesses 27.5 percent of the world’s gas supply. About half of its own needs are met with natural gas while it provides about 23 percent of Europe’s demand.

Russia’s prized national asset is the natural gas company Gazprom, which is an outgrowth of the old Soviet empire. Today, though, Gazprom suffers from aging fields, state regulation and monopolistic control.

While Russia has been investing in its natural gas sector, it lacks the know-how or the capital to vastly increase its production. For that, it has been in talks with some western enterprises that consist of ConocoPhilips and Norsk Hydro of Norway to develop the gas-rich Shtokman fields in the Barents Sea. To become an energy leader, the U.S. Energy Information Administration says that between $173 billion and $203 billion must be invested in Russia’s gas sector by 2020.

Therein is the western world’s leverage with Russia, which needs the capital and technology to increase its international status. The crisis in Ukraine, however, is challenging the whole geo-political-economic paradigm. Russia needs Ukraine both culturally and economically. But it also needs to refurbish its image and to ingratiate itself with the world community.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2014/03/03/russian-ukrainian-conflict-spilling-beyond-borders-and-into-natural-gas-markets/

Russia Moves to Deploy Troops in Ukraine

In Phone Call, Obama Urges Putin to De-escalate Tensions

By

ALAN CULLISON in Sevastopol,
PAUL SONNE in Simferopol and
GREGORY L. WHITE in Moscow

The American and Russian presidents spoke on the phone for 90 minutes on Saturday after Russia’s parliament voted unanimously to deploy troops in Ukraine, defying warnings from Western leaders not to intervene.

In his conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin , U.S. President Barack Obamaexpressed “his deep concern over Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Mr. Obama urged Russia to de-escalate tensions by withdrawing its forces back to bases in Crimea and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine.

Saturday’s developments come as Russian troops and their local allies have already largely taken control of Crimea, a restive province of Ukraine that belonged to Russia until 1954 and remains predominantly pro-Russian.

In a statement after the call between Mr. Putin and Mr. Obama, the White House said the U.S. “condemns Russia’s military intervention into Ukrainian territory.”

Mr. Putin told Mr. Obama that Russia reserved the right to intervene in Ukraine to protect its interests and those of the Russian-speaking population there, according to a statement from the Kremlin.

Mr. Putin also spoke of “provocations, crimes by ultranationalist elements, essentially supported by the current authorities in Kiev.” It wasn’t clear what incidents Mr. Putin was referring to.

n Moscow, Russian lawmakers also asked Mr. Putin to recall the country’s ambassador to the U.S. On Friday, Mr. Obama had publicly warned Russia that there would be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.

Western officials expressed alarm and cautioned Russia to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

French President François Hollande also spoke with Mr. Putin Saturday and urged him to avoid any use of force in Ukraine. The French leader held a round of phone calls with Mr. Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that aimed to forge a common position between the allies.

“I deplore today’s decision by Russia on the use of armed forces in Ukraine. This is an unwarranted escalation of tensions,” said European Union foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he is “gravely concerned about the deterioration of the situation” in Ukraine.

In an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Saturday that the regional Crimean government had formally requested Russian military assistance to restore stability to the peninsula. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power denounced the Russian decision to intervene as “dangerous as it is destabilizing” and said it was taken without legal basis. “The Russian military must stand down,” Ms. Power said.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu. U.S. defense officials wouldn’t immediately provide any details of the call and didn’t say whether Mr. Hagel delivered any warning or caution.

In Brussels, ambassadors to the main political decision-making body of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are set to meet Sunday to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. Afterward, the ambassadors will meet with the Ukrainian ambassador to NATO in a format called the NATO-Ukraine Council.

Meanwhile, skirmishes broke out in other regions of Ukraine, raising concern about broader unrest.

The new government in Kiev called an urgent session of its security council Saturday evening and set a special parliamentary meeting for Sunday to discuss the Russian move.

Vitali Klitschko, the former boxing champion who is one of the protest movement’s most prominent leaders, called on parliament to call a “general mobilization” to respond to the threat, apparently referring to Ukraine’s military.

Heavily armed troops, many from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, which is based in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, surrounded key facilities across the region in the past day. The newly installed pro-Russian leader of Crimea Saturday formally asked Russia to deploy its troops to help secure the region.

Mr. Putin’s request didn’t specify how many troops might be sent. It said they would be deployed “until the normalization of the social-political situation in the country.”

The request cited the “threat to the lives of Russian citizens” living in Crimea, as well as the personnel of the Black Sea Fleet.

The approval of Mr. Putin’s request doesn’t necessarily mean troops will be dispatched immediately, an official said.

“Having the right (to deploy forces) doesn’t mean immediately, momentarily exercising that. So we will hope that the situation will go according to a better scenario and won’t continue to be exacerbated as it is now,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a radio interview.

Mr. Peskov said in the interview that no decision had been made yet on deploying forces to Ukraine or on recall of the ambassador.

Sergei Aksyonov, who was appointed prime minister of Crimea after armed men took over the regional parliament this week, said troops from the Black Sea Fleet are guarding vital facilities in the region and helping with patrols to ensure public order. Mr. Aksyonov, who is pro-Russian, said he was taking command of the peninsula’s police and army.

In the economically important eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, hundreds of pro-Russian protesters massed Saturday in the main square and took over a main government administration building, and raised the Russian flag, according to local residents and news outlets. It was unclear whether the protesters were local residents. The number of protesters was also unclear; Russian and Ukrainian media had wildly different estimates of crowd strength.

The Donetsk city council issued a statement demanding a referendum over whether the mining region with strong ties to Russia should remain part of Ukraine.

By nightfall, the area around the Donetsk main square was quiet. A reporter from Ukrainian national television said that the protesters remained inside the building, drinking tea and planning new pro-Russia protests for Monday.

In Kharkiv, protests erupted Saturday between crowds of mostly young men who have been camped out at different sides of the city’s main square—Europe’s largest city square—for weeks now.

The groups, one which is pro-Kiev and the other which is pro-Moscow, are mostly local youth, some of which are supporters of the local football team, who appear to have more personal grievances with each other rather than deeply held political agendas, according to local residents who know several of the people at the demonstration.

Interfax reported that about 100 people were injured in the disorder Saturday, though that figure couldn’t immediately be confirmed.

Ukraine military bases were quickly surrounded and sealed off Saturday by Russian forces in Crimea as the Kremlin made preparations for a larger-scale landing of troops.

Russian troops were posted near the gates and around the perimeters of several bases near Sevastopol. When asked why they were there, officers replied that they were providing security to the bases, to stop any pro-Russian citizens who might try to take them.

The troops posted around the base had no markings on their uniforms. Their commander, when asked if he could reveal their nationality, said “of course not.” Others admitted they were Russian. Ukrainian officials at the base said the Russians were allowing food and provisions to be brought in.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry accused the government in Kiev of trying to destabilize the region and directing gunmen to capture Crimea’s ministry of internal affairs building overnight. It said the attack, which couldn’t be verified, was averted with “decisive action.”

Five people who live in the buildings next to the ministry building in Simferopol said everything was peaceful Friday night and they heard nothing. There were no signs of struggle at the building complex.

Vladimir Krashevsky, a top official at the Simferopol-based division of the local berkut, or riot police, said there was no attack by Kiev-allied gunmen on the building, where he gave an impromptu news conference Saturday.

“There was no attack here and there won’t be one,” he said.

The resolution authorizing the use of force in Ukraine cited the threat to Russian citizens there, but officials in Moscow repeatedly suggested that the Kremlin was coming to the defense of ethnic Russians in Ukraine, even if they hold Ukrainian citizenship.

“There is a threat today to the lives and safety of our fellow citizens, of Russian speakers, of ethnic Russians,” Valentina Matvienko, speaker of the upper house of parliament, told reporters after the vote. “We can’t remain indifferent.”

Asked about possible western counter-intervention, she said there was no ground for it. “With all due respect to the United States, where is the U.S. located and where is Russia? This is happening on Russia’s border.”

Alexander Chekalin, a senator, spoke before the vote, saying, “we are one people, speaking one language, following one faith and sharing one history.” The eastern and southern parts of Ukraine have a large number of Russian-speakers who are members of the Orthodox church.

On Friday, armed men surrounded Crimea’s two main airports, took command of its state television network and set up checkpoints along the key roads connecting the peninsula to the rest of Ukraine. On Saturday, professional military men in unmarked green camouflage uniforms appeared outside the Crimean parliament building in Simferopol.

Ukrainian officials said the well-equipped men—many of whom carried sophisticated automatic weapons—were Russian soldiers.

The leader of the Crimean Tatars, the ethnic minority that accounts for 12% of Crimea and supports the new government in Kiev, sought to dispel the notion that the seizure of government buildings in Crimea had grown out of a citizen uprising.

“These buildings were seized by specially trained people acting on military orders,” said Refat Chubarov, the Tatar leader and deputy in the parliament, at a news conference Saturday.

Ukraine’s new prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, called the continuing militarization in Crimea a provocation intended to draw in Ukraine militarily. He demanded Russian forces return to their base in Sevastopol.

“The presence of Russian troops is nothing more than a violation of the agreement for the Black Sea Fleet to be in Ukraine,” Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted him as saying. “We urge the Russian government to withdraw their troops and return them to their base.”

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303801304579412380376851854

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Ukraine People vs. Russia — USA Response — Absolutely Nothing! — Videos

Posted on March 3, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Diasters, Economics, Education, European History, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Natural Gas, Oil, People, Philosophy, Politics, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Resources, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Technology, Terrorism, Transportation, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 220: February 27, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 190: January 10, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 184: December 19, 2013

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

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 Story 2: Ukraine People vs. Russia — USA Response — Absolutely Nothing! — Videos

Ukraine_Political

map

Hagel Urges Russia to Act Cautiously on Ukraine

Russia Readies 140,000 TROOPS for possible INVASION of UKRAINE

Ukraine’s Yanukovich says he’s still president, asks Russia to ensure his safety

Clashes in Ukraine create tension for U.S. and Russia

Obama Criticizes Putin Over Ukraine, Syria

Russia Questions Legitimacy Of New Acting Government In Ukraine – America’s Newsroom

Ukraine: Pro-Russia protesters break police cordon, rally outside Crimean parliament

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The New York Times–Walter Duranty–Useful Idiots–Denial of the Holodomor–Ukraine Famine Genocide–Videos

Posted on April 22, 2012. Filed under: Agriculture, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Education, European History, Food, Foreign Policy, government spending, history, Language, Links, media, Philosophy, Politics, Raves, Religion, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Kyiv Holodomor Memorial

Holodomor English

How Stalin Starved His Own People in 1932-1933. Holodomor in the UKRAINE

The Terrible Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33

The dreadful famine that engulfed Ukraine, the northern Caucasus, and the lower Volga River area in 1932-1933 was the result of the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin’s policy of forced collectivization. The heaviest losses occurred in Ukraine, which had been the most productive agricultural area of the Soviet Union. Stalin was determined to crush all vestiges of Ukrainian nationalism. Thus, the famine was accompanied by a devastating purge of the Ukrainian intelligentsia and the Ukrainian Communist party itself. The famine broke the peasants’ will to resist collectivization and left Ukraine politically, socially, and psychologically traumatized.

The policy of all-out collectivization instituted by Stalin in 1929 to finance industrialization had a disastrous effect on agricultural productivity. Nevertheless, in 1932 Stalin raised Ukraine’s grain procurement quotas by 44%. This meant that there would not be enough grain to feed the peasants, since Soviet law required that no grain from a collective farm could be given to the members of the farm until the government’s quota was met. Stalin’s decision and the methods used to implement it condemned millions of peasants to death by starvation. Party officials, with the aid of regular troops and secret police units, waged a merciless war of attrition against peasants who refused to give up their grain. Even indispensable seed grain was forcibly confiscated from peasant households. Any man, woman, or child caught taking even a handful of grain from a collective farm could be, and often was, executed or deported. Those who did not appear to be starving were often suspected of hoarding grain. Peasants were prevented from leaving their villages by the NKVD (secret police) and a system of internal passports.

The death toll from the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine has been estimated at between 6 to 7 Million. According to a Soviet author, “Before they died, people often lost their senses and ceased to be human beings.” Yet one of Stalin’s lieutenants in Ukraine stated in 1933 that the famine was a great success. It showed the peasants “who is the master here. It cost millions of lives, but the collective farm system is here to stay.”

New York Times Concealed Ukrainian Genocide

Talking Through My Hat Burning Down The New York Times Act 1

Burning Down The New York Times: Act II “What Holocaust?”

Burning Down The New York Times in Three Acts

New York Times Concealed Ukrainian Genocide

Holodomor English

The Ukraine Famine 1932-1933

Holodomor Ukraine 1933 (the real holocaust)

“…The killing of 10 million Christians by the jewish bolsheviks under Joseph Stalin 1932-1933 in Ukraine. These events are also known as Holodomor. …”

Ukraine famine genocide survivor interviews

Useful Idiots

Ukrainian Genocide

Background Articles and Videos

1915 AGHET – The Armenian Genocide (In English)

AGHET — A Genocide [produced by NDR (German public television)] is a new award-winning documentary made by German filmmaker Eric Friedler which compellingly proves the truth of the genocide of the Armenian people. Using the actual words of 23 German, American and other nationals who witnessed the events, and armed with archival materials, AGHET expertly takes on the challenge that PM Erdogan hurled at the world by stating: »Prove it.«
AGHET incorporates never-before-seen footage and documents — making it one of the best researched and presented documentaries on the Armenian Genocide. More than just a historic retelling of the Genocide, the film also delves into the ongoing campaign of denial that the Turkish government has mounted since these events occurred in World War I.

AGHET was debuted on NDR in April, 2010. Friedler has assembled an impeccable cast, who bring to life the original texts of German and U.S. diplomatic dispatches and eyewitness accounts, interspersed with never-before-seen footage of the Genocide and its political aftermath. The film, applauded by Nobel Prize laureate Gunter Grass, has sparked renewed debate throughout Europe. It is now being showcased around the world on television, in major film festivals and has been seen by members of the U.S. Congress.

AGHET represents a significant contribution to political and cultural awareness not only for Armenians worldwide, but also more importantly for the non-Armenian world community.

Genocide: Worse Than War | Full-length documentary | PBS

“By the most fundamental measure — the number of people killed — the perpetrators of mass murder since the beginning of the twentieth century have taken the lives of more people than have died in military conflict. So genocide is worse than war,” reiterates Goldhagen. “This is a little-known fact that should be a central focus of international politics, because once you know it, the world, international politics, and what we need to do all begin to look substantially different from how they are typically conceived.”

WORSE THAN WAR documents Goldhagen¹s travels, teachings, and interviews in nine countries around the world, bringing viewers on an unprecedented journey of insight and analysis. In a film that is highly cinematic and evocative throughout, he speaks with victims, perpetrators, witnesses, politicians, diplomats, historians, humanitarian aid workers, and journalists, all with the purpose of explaining and understanding the critical features of genocide and how to finally stop it.

History of Genocides

The Holocaust and Genocide – part 1

The Holocaust and Genocide – part 2

What is the Definition of Genocide?

Denial of the Holodomor

“…Denial of the Holodomor (Ukrainian: Заперечення Голодомору, Russian: Отрицание Голодомора) is the assertion that the 1932-1933 Holodomor, a supposedly artificial famine in Soviet Ukraine,[1] recognized as a crime against humanity by the European Parliament,[2] did not occur.[3][4][5][6]

This denial and suppression was made in official Soviet propaganda from the very beginning and until the 1980s. It was supported by some Western journalists and intellectuals.[4][5][7][8][9] It was echoed at the time of the famine by some prominent Western journalists, including Walter Duranty and Louis Fischer. The denial of the famine was a highly successful and well orchestrated disinformation campaign by the Soviet government.[3][4][5] Stalin “had achieved the impossible: he had silenced all the talk of hunger… Millions were dying, but the nation hymned the praises of collectivization”, said historian and writer Edvard Radzinsky.[5]

According to Robert Conquest, that was the first major instance of Soviet authorities adopting Hitler’s Big Lie propaganda technique to sway world opinion, to be followed by similar campaigns over the Moscow Trials and denial of the Gulag labor camp system.[10]

The famine’s existence is still disputed by some, despite a general consensus. The causes, nature and extent of the Holodomor remain topics of controversy and active scholarship.

Soviet Union

 Cover-up of the famine

Soviet leadership undertook extensive efforts to prevent the spread of any information about the famine by keeping state communications top secret and taking other measures to prevent word of the famine from spreading. When Ukrainian peasants traveled north to Russia seeking bread, Joseph Stalin and Vyacheslav Molotov sent a secret telegram to the party and provincial police chiefs with instructions to turn them back,[11] alleging Polish agents were attempting to create a famine scare. OGPU chairman Genrikh Yagoda subsequently reported that over 200,000 peasants had been turned back.

Stalin’s wife, Nadezhda Allilueva, learned about the famine from Ukrainian students at the technical school she was attending. They described acts of cannibalism[12] and bands of orphaned children. Allilueva complained to Stalin, who then ordered the OGPU to purge all the college students who had taken part in collectivization.[13]

Soviet President Mikhail Kalinin responded to Western offers of food by telling of “political cheats who offer to help the starving Ukraine,” and commented that, “only the most decadent classes are capable of producing such cynical elements.”[6][14]

In an interview with Gareth Jones in March 1933, Soviet Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov stated, “Well, there is no famine”, and went on to say, “You must take a longer view. The present hunger is temporary. In writing books you must have a longer view. It would be difficult to describe it as hunger.”[15]

On instructions from Litvinov, Boris Skvirsky, embassy counselor of the recently opened Soviet Embassy in the United States, published a letter on January 3, 1934, in response to a pamphlet about the famine.[16] In his letter, Skvirsky stated that the idea that the Soviet government was “deliberately killing the population of the Ukraine” “wholly grotesque.” He claimed that the Ukrainian population had been increasing at an annual rate of 2 percent during the preceding five years and asserted that the death rate in Ukraine “was the lowest of that of any of the constituent republics composing the Soviet Union”, concluding that it “was about 35 percent lower than the pre-war death rate of tsarist days.”[17]

Mention of the famine was criminalized, punishable with a five-year term in the Gulag labor camps. Blaming the authorities was punishable by death.[6]

Falsification and suppression of evidence

The true number of dead was concealed. At the Kiev Medical Inspectorate, for example, the actual number of corpses, 9,472, was recorded as only 3,997. The GPU was directly involved in the deliberate destruction of actual birth and death records, as well as the fabrication of false information to cover up information regarding the causes and scale of death in Ukraine.[18] Similar falsifications of official records were widespread.[6]

The January 1937 census, the first in 11 years, was intended to reflect the achievements of Stalin’s rule. It became evident that population growth particularly in Ukraine failed to meet official targets—evidence of the mortality resulting from the famine and from associated indirect demographic losses. Those collecting the data, senior statisticians with decades of experience, were arrested and executed, including three successive heads of the Soviet Central Statistical Administration. The census data itself was locked away for half a century in the Russian State Archive of the Economy.[19][20]

The subsequent 1939 census was organized in a manner that certainly inflated data on population numbers. It showed a population figure of 170.6 million people, manipulated so as to match the numbers stated by Joseph Stalin in his report to the 18th Congress of the All-Union Communist Party that March. No other census in the Soviet Union was conducted until 1959.

Campaigns of disinformation

The Soviet Union denied all existence of the famine until its 50th anniversary, in 1983, when the world-wide Ukrainian community coordinated famine remembrance. The Ukrainian diaspora exerted significant pressure on the media and various governments, including the United States and Canada, to raise the issue of the famine with the government of the Soviet Union.

While the Soviet government admitted that some peasantry died, it also sought to launch a disinformation campaign, in February 1983, to blame drought. The head of the directorate for relations with foreign countries for the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), A. Merkulov, charged Leonid Kravchuk, the chief idealogue for the Communist Party in Ukraine, with finding rainfall evidence for the Great Famine. This new evidence was to be sent to the Novosti press centers in the U.S. and Canada, denouncing the “antidemocratic base of the Ukrainian bourgeois Nationalists, the collaboration of the Banderists and the Hitlerite Fascists during the Second World War.”[21] Kravchuk’s inquiry into the rainfalls for the 1932-1933 period found that they were within normal parameters.[22] Nevertheless, the official position regarding drought did not change.

The United States Congress created the Commission on the Ukraine Famine in 1986. Soviet authorities were correct in their expectation that the commission would lay responsibility for the famine on the Soviet state.[23]

Increased international awareness of the famine did not dissuade Soviet authorities from further disinformation in anticipation of the 55th anniversary of the famine. In Canada, the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians (a cultural and educational organization founded in 1918 and still preserving its original pro-Communist leanings) published numerous articles denying the famine in its publications, available to the public through its bookstore outlets. In 2007, newly released correspondence confirmed instructions for the content of these materials had come directly from Soviet authorities.

Ultimately, as President of Ukraine, Kravchuk exposed the official cover-up attempts and came out in support of recognizing the famine, named the “Holodomor,”[24] as genocide.[22]

From glasnost to post-Soviet standoff

In an open letter to Mikhail Gorbachev in August 1987, veteran dissident Viacheslav Chornovil wrote about the denial of the famine:[25]

“The biggest and most infamous blank spot in the Soviet history of Ukraine is the hollow silence for over 50 years about the genocide of the Ukrainian nation organized by Stalin and his henchmen … The Great Famine of 1932-33, which took millions of human lives. In one year—1933—my people lost more than throughout all of World War II, which ravaged our land.”

It was during this period of glasnost that Soviet authorities admitted that agricultural policies played a direct role in the causing the famine.

In the post Soviet era, an independent Ukraine has officially condemned the Holodomor as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people. The Russian Foreign Ministry counters that not only Ukrainians died in the Great Famine, that to single out Ukrainians as victims insults others who died, that the

“declaration of the tragic events of that time as act of genocide against the Ukrainian nation is a unilateral misinterpretation of history in favor of modern conformist political and ideological principles.”[26]

Contemporary denial outside of the USSR

Walter Duranty and The New York Times

According to Patrick Wright,[27] Robert C. Tucker,[28] Eugene Lyons,[29] Mona Charen[30] and Thomas Woods [31] one of the first Western Holodomor deniers was Walter Duranty, the winner of the 1932 Pulitzer prize in journalism in the category of correspondence, for his dispatches on Soviet Union (called incorrectly Russia) and the working out of the Five Year Plan.[32] While the famine was raging, he wrote in the pages of The New York Times that “Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda”, and that “There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation, but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition.”[29]

In his reports, Duranty downplayed the impact of food shortages in Ukraine, although in private he told Eugene Lyons and reported to the British Embassy that the population of Ukraine and Lower Volga had “decreased” by six to seven million.[33] While other Western reporters reported the famine conditions as best they could due to Soviet censorship and restrictions on visiting areas affected by the famine, Duranty’s reports frequently echoed the official Soviet view. As Duranty wrote in a dispatch from Moscow in March 1933, “Conditions are bad, but there is no famine… But—to put it brutally—you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.”[34]

Duranty wrote articles denying that the Holodomor was taking place in Ukraine. He also wrote denunciations of those who wrote about the famine, accusing them of being reactionaries and anti-Bolshevik propagandists. Duranty repeated Soviet propaganda without verifying its veracity. As the New York Times notes: “Taking Soviet propaganda at face value this way was completely misleading, as talking with ordinary Russians might have revealed even at the time.”[34]

In August 1933, Cardinal Theodor Innitzer of Vienna called for relief efforts, stating that the Ukrainian famine was claiming lives “likely… numbered… by the millions” and driving those still alive to infanticide and cannibalism. The New York Times, August 20, 1933, reported Innitzer’s charge and published an official Soviet denial: “in the Soviet Union we have neither cannibals nor cardinals”. The next day, the Times added Duranty’s own denial.

Some historians consider Duranty’s reports from Moscow to be crucial in the decision taken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to grant the Soviet Union diplomatic recognition in 1933.[35] Bolshevik Karl Radek said that was indeed the case.[4]

British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge (who went hopefully to live in the New Civilization in 1932, but soon became disillusioned) said of Duranty that he “always enjoyed his company; there was something vigorous, vivacious, preposterous, about his unscrupulousness which made his persistent lying somehow absorbing” [36] Muggeridge characterised Duranty as “the greatest liar of any journalist I have met in 50 years of journalism.”[37] Others have characterized Duranty as “the number one Useful Idiot for Lenin first, and later for Stalin.[38]

Campaigns were launched in 1986 for the retraction of the Pulitzer Prize given to The New York Times. The paper, however, declined to relinquish it, arguing that Duranty received the prize for his reporting several years before the occurrence of the famine.[39] While conceding that Duranty’s coverage of the famine has since been “largely discredited”, the Times noted that:

Duranty’s cabled dispatches had to pass Soviet censorship, and Stalin’s propaganda machine was powerful and omnipresent. Duranty’s analyses relied on official sources as his primary source of information, accounting for the most significant flaw in his coverage – his consistent underestimation of Stalin’s brutality.

The New York Times also acknowledges that “some of Duranty’s editors criticized his reporting as tendentious”, and that “collectivization was the main cause of a famine that killed millions of people in Ukraine, the Soviet breadbasket, in 1932 and 1933 – two years after Duranty won his prize.”[34]

Louis Fischer and The Nation

Next to Duranty, the American reporter most consistently willing to gloss Soviet reality was Louis Fischer, who had a deep ideological commitment to Soviet communism dating back to 1920. When Fischer traveled to Ukraine in October and November 1932, for The Nation, he was alarmed at what he saw. “In the Poltava, Vinnitsa, Podolsk and Kiev regions, conditions will be hard”, he wrote, “I think there is no starvation anywhere in Ukraine now — after all they have just gathered in the harvest, but it was a bad harvest.”

Initially critical of the Soviet grain procurement program because it created the food problem, Fischer by February 1933 adopted the official Soviet government view, which blamed the problem on Ukrainian counter-revolutionary nationalist “wreckers.” It seemed “whole villages” had been “contaminated” by such men, who had to be deported to “lumbering camps and mining areas in distant agricultural areas which are now just entering upon their pioneering stage.” These steps were forced upon the Kremlin, Fischer wrote, but the Soviets were, nevertheless, learning how to rule wisely.

Fischer was on a lecture tour in the United States when Gareth Jones’ famine story broke. Speaking to a college audience in Oakland, California, a week later, Fischer stated emphatically: “There is no starvation in Russia.” He spent the spring of 1933 campaigning for American diplomatic recognition of the Soviet Union. As rumors of a famine in the USSR reached American shores, Fischer vociferously denied the reports.

Fischer’s article entitled “Russia’s Last Hard Year”, stated, “The first half of 1933 was very difficult indeed. Many people simply did not have sufficient nourishment.” Fischer blamed poor weather and the refusal of peasants to harvest the grain, which then rotted in the fields. Government requisitions drained the countryside of food, he admitted, but military needs (a potential conflict with Japan) explained the need for such deadly thoroughness in grain collections.[40]

Fischer maintained his general optimism about the Soviet Union through the publication of his Soviet Journey in 1935. The book devoted three pages to a discussion of the famine of 1932-1933, in which Fischer described his October travels through Ukraine. He told of food left rotting in the fields as the result of peasants’ “passive resistance.” Fischer blamed the peasants directly for having “brought the calamity upon themselves.” Fischer stressed the positive results ensuing from Bolshevik victory in the countryside, and connected the famine to peasant action (or inaction).[40]

 Holodomor denial by prominent visitors to the USSR

Prominent British writers who visited the Soviet Union in 1934, such as George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells, are also on record as denying the existence of the Famine in Ukraine.[5][41]

In 1934 the British Foreign Office in the House of Lords stated that there was no evidence to support the allegations against the Soviet government regarding the Famine in Ukraine, based on the testimony of Sir John Maynard, a renowned famine expert who visited Ukraine in the summer of 1933 and rejected “tales of famine-genocide propagated by the Ukrainian Nationalists”.[citation needed]

The height of manipulation was reached during a visit to Ukraine carried out between August 26 and September 9, 1933, by French Prime Minister Édouard Herriot, who denied accounts of the famine and said that Soviet Ukraine was “like a garden in full bloom”.[3] The day before his arrival, all beggars, homeless children and starving people were removed from the streets. Shop windows in local stores were filled with food, but purchases were forbidden, and anyone coming too close to the stores was arrested. The streets were washed. Just like all other Western visitors, Herriot met fake “peasants”, all selected Communists or Komsomol members, who showed him healthy cattle.[42] Herriot declared to the press that there was no famine in Ukraine, that he did not see any trace of it, and that this showed adversaries of the Soviet Union were spreading the rumour. “When one believes that the Ukraine is devastated by famine, allow me to shrug my shoulders”, he declared. The September 13, 1933 issue of Pravda was able to write that Herriot “categorically contradicted the lies of the bourgeoisie press in connection with a famine in the USSR.”[43]

The lack of knowledge of the famine was observed by English writer George Orwell, who commented that “huge events like the Ukraine famine of 1933, involving the deaths of millions of people, have actually escaped the attention of the majority of English Russophiles”.[44] In 1945, Orwell wrote,

[I]t was considered equally proper to publicise famines when they happened in India and to conceal them when they happened in the Ukraine. And if this was true before the war, the intellectual atmosphere is certainly no better now.[45]

Nigel Colley has written on the influence of the Ukrainian Famine, and the Holodomor denial of Duranty, on Orwell’s book Animal Farm.[46]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial_of_the_Holodomor

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