Newscast Media KIEV—The Ukrainian interim government has sent an elite national
guard unit to the volatile port city of Odessa. The deployment on Monday is
reportedly part of efforts to take back control of the eastern and southern regions.
The move came after anti-government demonstrators in the Black Sea port city of
Odessa pledged to occupy official buildings three days after nearly 40 people were
killed in a fire at a trade union building allegedly set by pro-Kiev activists.
Earlier in the day, pro-Russian activists and Ukrainian troops clashed on the outskirts
of the country’s eastern city of Slavyansk.
Pro-Russian activists said more than 20 armed members were killed and 15 others
injured during the Ukrainian forces’ renewed crackdown on the pro-Russian stronghold
of Slavyansk on Monday.
In a statement, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry also said four government troops were
killed and 30 others wounded in the clashes.
On April 17, Kiev’s interim government together with the US, Russia and the European
Union reached an agreement in the Swiss city of Geneva, calling for all sides to ease
the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine.
Nevertheless, a few days later, the Kiev government ordered a re-launch of its
controversial “anti-terrorist operations” in the eastern and southern regions in a bid to
root out the pro-Russian demonstrations.
Pro-Moscow protesters continue to occupy a number of government, police and
other administrative buildings in a dozen cities and towns in the region, demanding
integration into neighboring Russia.
Source: Press TV
Newscast Media LONDON—Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov are holding talks in London on the Ukraine crisis.
Kerry, who has warned that the West would take “very serious steps” if Russia goes
ahead with the annexation of Crimea, said before the meeting the two would discuss
how best to smooth over their differences.
“Obviously, we have a lot to talk about. I look forward to an opportunity to dig into
the issues and possibilities that we may be able to find about how to move forward
together to resolve some of the differences between us,” Kerry said.
Kerry was expected to tell Lavrov that Russia risks concerted international sanctions
because of the March 16 referendum on Crimea joining Russia.
Lavrov told reporters in London that precious time has been wasted in resolving the
crisis: “I am also satisfied to have this meeting today. This is a difficult situation we
are in. Many events have happened and a lot of time has been lost, so now we have
to see what can be done.”
Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that overnight violence in
eastern Ukraine demonstrates that authorities in Kiev are losing control and that
Russia reserves the right to protect its citizens.
Source: Radio Free Europe
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—As the Republicans have set the stage to sweep the
November mid-term elections, and expert predictions point to reclaiming the White
House in the 2016 presidential election, Barack Obama’s popularity and approval
ratings continue to drop nationwide.
According to the most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, Americans surveyed said
they were less inclined to support a candidate if the person had been endorsed by
Mr. Obama or was a “solid supporter” of his administration. Approval of Mr. Obama is
particularly weak in the South and Midwest, regions where Democrats could have a
tough time defending Senate seats. CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLE>>
Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russian airborne paratroopers have begun large-scale
exercises in the aftermath of the coup that happened in Ukraine.
According to Ria Novosti, The Defense Ministry said units of the 98th Guards Airborne
Division, based in Ivanovo, a city east of Moscow, were put on high alert and moved
to unspecified locations to “check readiness” in simulated combat conditions.
Four thousand troops, 36 military transport aircraft and an unspecified number of
combat vehicles are taking part in the exercises, which will run until March 14. The
drills will include a massive simultaneous paradrop involving 3,500 servicemen, the
Russia says the drills are not linked to the turmoil in Crimea.
Meanwhile, ousted President Viktor Yanukovych asserts he is still the president of
Ukraine and that the occupiers of his office are doing so illegally.
Having studied the Ukrainian Constitution, this journalist can confidently say, without
fear of contradiction, that Yanukovych makes a valid point.
Title V, Article 103 of the Ukrainian Constitution says: “The President of Ukraine
shall be elected by the citizens of Ukraine for a five-year period on the basis of
universal, equal, and direct suffrage by secret ballot.”
Title V, Article 105: “The President of Ukraine shall enjoy the right of immunity for
the period of his authority.
“Persons guilty of infringing upon the honour and dignity of the President of Ukraine
shall be liable according to law.
“The title of the President of Ukraine shall be protected by law and shall be reserved
for the President for life, unless the President of Ukraine has been removed from the
office in compliance with a procedure of impeachment.”
Title V, Article 111 describes the legal impeachment process. It says nothing about
forcefully removing the president using a band of thugs, then concocting an
If you look at Title I, Article 5 it says: “No one shall usurp the State power.”
The law is clear-cut, and since the Constitution, which is the Law of the Land was
abrogated, by sundown on Sunday March 16, it will come as no surprise if the people
of Crimea vote to become part of Russia.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The democratically-elected Crimean parliament has
cast its vote to become part of Russia, a move that was predicted last week after
the coup in Ukraine occurred.
Now Barack Obama believes that even though the Crimean government, which was
elected democratically has cast a legitimate vote, the referendum to be held within
the next 10 days that will consummate the final act will be illegitimate.
On the other hand, Obama believes the current Ukrainian government that violated
the constitution by the way it seized power, is the legitimate government, even
though Crimeans beg to differ.
“Any discussion about the future of Ukraine must include the legitimate government of
Ukraine,” Obama said.
In the eyes of Crimeans, no legitimate Ukrainian government exists, and they want to
hold their referendum on their future, yet Obama says it is an international crime?
“The proposed referendum on the future of Crimea would violate the Ukrainian
constitution and violate international law,” Obama told reporters at the White House.
Perhaps Obama is forgetting that during the Kosovo war, the U.S backed a plan by
U.N. special envoy and former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, to break away from
Serbia, an action that Russia vehemently opposed.
After Kosovo eventually broke away and declared independence, Russia demanded an
emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to proclaim the declaration
“null and void,” but the meeting produced no resolution.
The breaking away by Crimea from Ukraine to join Mother Russia, is payback time for
Russia, and it’s Putin’s way of saying to the West: “Checkmate.”
Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russia is taking additional steps to ensure security at its
naval facilities on the Crimean Peninsula amid the growing political unrest in Ukraine,
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday.
“We are carefully monitoring the situation in Ukraine and around the Black Sea Fleet,”
Shoigu told reporters in Moscow.
“We are taking measures to ensure security of the fleet’s facilities, infrastructure and
arsenals,” he said without specifying such measures.
A Russian military source said earlier on Wednesday that security check points at
several Black Sea Fleet facilities had been strengthened with armored vehicles.
Shoigu’s statement follows reports of scuffles that broke out Wednesday in the
southern Ukrainian city of Simferopol as large crowds of opponents of the newly
installed national authorities faced off against representatives of the Crimean Tatar
community outside the local parliament.
Until Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954 transferred Crimea to what was then the
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, the territory was officially a part of Russia.
The Black Sea Fleet maintains its main base in the port of Sevastopol and several
auxiliary naval installations around the peninsula.
During the tenure of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, which began in early 2010
and ended with his ouster on Saturday, the country renewed Russia’s lease on the
naval facilities in Crimea until 2042.
Source: Ria Novosti