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Archive for Ukraine

Newsline: Ukrainians Pay Tribute At Dutch Embassy In Kiev

Ukrainians turned out at the Dutch embassy in Kiev to pay tribute to the hundreds of people killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over separatist-held territory in eastern Ukraine. A somber crowd of mourners presented wreaths and messages outside the embassy. One took the moment to make a political statement with a sign that read: “[Russian President Vladimir] Putin is a terrorist.” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte ordered all Dutch flags to fly at half-mast following the tragedy. “The whole of the Netherlands is in mourning,” Rutte said. Coming just months after Flight MH370 disappeared on a trip from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March, this is the second loss for Malaysia Airlines in a year. Reports differ on the number of passengers on board the plane. Reuters has reported that 295 people on board the plane have been killed while Associated Press has put the number at 298.


Newsline: Embassy in Ukraine evacuates Vietnamese from Donetsk

Vietnam’s embassy in Ukraine has started to evacuate nearly 300 Vietnamese from Donetsk due to the national government’s plan take back the rebel-occupied city in what many anticipate to be a bloody siege. The embassy has asked Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Transport to help evacuate any person in need. Several Vietnamese students have been brought to Kiev in the past week, and offered places to eat and sleep by community evacuation officials from Vietnam’s embassy. Many businesses and shopping malls owned by Vietnamese expatriates in Kiev have helped shelter the refugees. Nguyen Phuong Thao, a community official from the embassy, said the first Vietnamese evacuees were mostly women and children as men tried to stay behind to protect the family’s property for as long as possible. Vietnam’s ambassador to Ukraine, Nguyen Minh Tri, has visited the evacuees and called for all Vietnamese to leave Donetsk as soon as possible, noting that the conflict could escalate in unpredictable and complex ways.


Newsline: US Embassy Tells Russia to Release Female Ukraine Pilot

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow has called for the immediate release of Nadezhda Savchenko, a Ukrainian helicopter pilot currently being held in a Russian detention facility on suspicion of having abetted the killings of two Russian journalists. Savchenko was captured by separatists in Luhansk in June. She is now being held in the southern Russian city of Voronezh. Ukrainian officials maintain that she was illegally trafficked across the border by Russian intelligence officers, while Russia maintains that she crossed the border voluntarily under the guise of a refugee. Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said on Wednesday that Savchenko was believed to have provided crucial information that led to the deaths of journalists Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin of Russian public broadcaster VGTRK, who were killed by shelling in Luhansk on June 17. Citing court orders, Markin said that Savchenko would remain behind bars until the end of August as an investigation runs its course. The U.S. Embassy condemned Savchenko’s “kidnapping by separatists, her illegal transfer to Russian authorities and her prolonged detention,” U.S. Embassy Press Secretary Joseph Kruzich told Kommersant. The embassy’s condemnation echoed that of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s, which described Savchenko’s transfer to Russia as “illegal trafficking” in a statement.


Newsline: Ukrainian FM chants ‘Putin – f**ker’ at vandalized Russian embassy in Kiev

In an incident that may be a first in diplomatic history, Kiev’s top diplomat publicly ‘effed’ the head of another state. Foreign Minister Andrey Deshchitsa chanted “Putin’s a f**ker” with a cheering crowd that earlier vandalized the Russian embassy. Deshchitsa arrived at the scene of the heated protest – which involved overturning cars belonging to embassy staff, the desecration of a Russian flag and pelting the building with firecrackers and paint – in an apparent attempt to defuse the crowd. He confronted some of the protesters – or rather sided with them. Footage of the encounter shows the minister saying he is all for the protest and its goals. “I would stand up here with you can say, Russia, get out of Ukraine,” he said. “Putin’s a f**ker, right!” This treasure of Kiev-style diplomatic language was met with a joyous cheer among the crowd, which erupted in a concerted chant. The profane phrase comes from a chant of Ukrainian radical football fans and is very popular among anti-Russian-minded Ukrainians at the moment. The minister looks a bit astounded by the overwhelmingly welcoming response and even sings a bit along with the protesters.


Newsline: Russian police prevent attack on Ukrainian embassy in Moscow

Four young men have been arrested in Moscow for intending to throw a pyrotechnical item at the embassy of Ukraine at 10 a.m. on Monday. The offenders were arrested by the police and taken to a department of the interior ministry for punishment according to the law. On June 14th the Russian embassy was attacked in Kiev.


Newsline: Russia, US condemn embassy attack in Ukraine

Moscow has angrily condemned a violent protest outside its embassy in Kyiv, which saw windows smashed, cars overturned and the Russian flag being torn down. A crowd of around a 100 demonstrators gathered outside calling on Russia to go home. The protest followed the shooting down, earlier on Saturday, of a Ukrainian military aircraft, killing 40 paratroopers and nine crew. Russia has accused Ukraine’s police of doing nothing to stop the embassy attack. Representatives of the protesters were later allowed inside the embassy, along with some media, including euronews. During the meeting they called for Russia, among other things, to officially acknowledge its undeclared war in Ukraine. The US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki on Saturday condemned the attack on the Russian Embassy in Kiev.


Newsline: Russia’s top diplomat concedes separatist alliance in Ukraine

Russia’s top diplomat acknowledged Wednesday for the first time an official relationship with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, the same day one of their top leaders made a surprise appearance in Moscow to whip up support for his cause. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that, after Ukrainian leaders declined Moscow’s request in late May to allow Russian humanitarian aid into eastern Ukraine, Russia started to send it in anyway – via pro-Russian separatist forces who earlier this month punched gaping holes into the border between eastern Ukraine and Russia. “We are trying to provide humanitarian aid to those who have not left the conflict zone yet,” Lavrov told Lamberto Zannier, the secretary general of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, at a meeting in Moscow. “We applied to the Ukrainian authorities with a request in late May for permission to deliver such aid. We were refused with an official note, so we are providing aid with the support of self-defense forces, who are worried about their fathers, mothers, wives, and children.” Lavrov did not give details, and a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry declined to comment.



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