31 maj Nya vägspärrar byggs upp runt Dontesk av den nya styrkan Vostok Battalion

Tjetjenien tillbakavisar påståendet att de har soldater i Ukraina. Upprensning i Kiev efter protesterna på Maidan, får mindre protester att blossa upp igen. Ett 30 tal demonstranter tände eld på bildäck vilket uppmärksammats i Ryssland. Farligt om Sverige och Finland går med i Nato, säger Rysslands vice utrikesminister Titov. Finland har fått sitt ryskapåsken, då incidentberedskapen inte skickades upp när ryskt flyg kränkte deras luftrum.

Liveblogg

http://www.rferl.org/contentlive/ukraine-live-blog/25382555.html

http://www.kyivpost.com/content/news/

Sammanfattning

“– Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has again denied sending Chechen fighters to support pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine but said some could have gone ”voluntarily.”

— The White House says U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko on June 4 in Warsaw, three days before the newly elected leader is due to be inaugurated.

— NATO’s secretary-general says the alliance sees ”signs of at least a partial withdrawal” by Russian troops on Ukraine’s border, with around two-thirds of those soldiers moving out. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says there are still ”danger signs,” with evidence of trained Russians crossing into eastern Ukraine.

— The EU’s energy commissioner calls crisis gas talks with Russian and Ukrainian officials in Berlin a ”step forward,” with Kyiv saying it sent hundreds of millions of dollars to Gazprom. Follow-up talks are set for June 2.” http://www.rferl.org/contentlive/ukraine-live-blog/25382555.html

Separatist leader says six insurgents killed in attempt to collect bodies at Donetsk airport; military says they attacked

“DONETSK, Ukraine – Alexander Borodai, the self-proclaimed prime minister of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, claims that six separatist fighters were killed in the early morning hours on May 31 in an attempt to evacuate the bodies of comrades shot dead in a battle for the Donetsk airport on May 26.

”We tried to collect the bodies from the airport territory, but the Ukrainian army fired at the militiamen and an ambulance, killing six. The bodies of those killed are still there,” Interfax-Ukraine reported Borodai as saying.

His remarks contradict those of the Ukrainian military, which said that armed separatists had launched two fresh assaults on servicemen guarding the airport territory.

”There were two attempts to storm the Donetsk airport, at 5 [a.m.] and 7 o’clock in the morning. Illegal paramilitary forces attempted to seize the airport, but both attempts were repelled by paratroopers who are part of the counterterrorist forces,” military press officer Oleksiy Dmytrashkovsky told Interfax-Ukraine.

No Ukrainian servicemen sustained injuries during the attacks at the airport, Dmytrashkovsky said.

Borodai, however, insisted that his militiamen were simply trying to recover the bodies of their deceased comrades and not launching new assaults. Now the Donetsk People’s Republic leadership will ask the International Committee of the Red Cross to help retrieve the bodies from the airport territory, he said.

At least 50 armed separatists, including many rebels from the pro-Russian Vostok Battalion, were killed in the gun battle at Donetsk airport on May 26, Borodai told the Kyiv Post earlier in the week, adding that the number could be higher and that the Ukrainian side suffered ”as many” casualties, ”probably more.” However, Ukrainian authorities said that none of their servicemen were killed or wounded in the fight.

Borodai told the Kyiv Post on May 29 that 33 rebels killed were Russians. Their bodies, riddled with bullets and mangled from mortar and rocket blasts, were kept overnight in a Donetsk ice cream factory that was seized by the Vostok Battalion on May 28 before being placed in red coffins, loaded into a truck, driven across the Russian border and repatriated on May 29.

http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/separatist-leader-says-six-rebels-killed-in-attempt-to-collect-bodies-at-donetsk-airport-military-says-they-attacked-350174.html

Chechen Leader Denies Sending Fighters to Ukraine

“MOSCOW — The Kremlin-backed leader of Chechnya has denied sending fighters to support pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, but said some could have gone of their own accord.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry raised concerns with Moscow this week about reports of Chechens and other fighters crossing into Ukraine from Russia to join the rebellions against the leadership in Kiev.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who fought Russian troops in the North Caucasus province in the 1990s, echoed Moscow’s denials of involvement but said he had recognised some of the fighters in pictures from Ukraine.

”We did not send them. They are absolutely not our staff,” he said in an interview to be shown on the Russian television show Vesti on Saturday with Sergey Brilev.

”If a person voluntarily leaves (Russia), we have no right to stop him. This is his own decision.”

Läs hela artikeln på http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2014/05/31/world/europe/31reuters-ukraine-crisis-chechens-leader.html?ref=reuters&_r=0

Russian troop withdrawal brings no relief in eastern Ukraine

“DONETSK, Ukraine — For more than a month, Donetsk has braced for invasion from the east, with tens of thousands of Russian troops massed just over the border and seemingly prepared to overrun this breakaway region of Ukraine.

But confirmation from NATO on Friday that most of those troops had pulled back brought no relief to the edgy streets of Donetsk: The Russians are already here. And the invasion may still come — from Ukrainian forces to the west.

Acting Ukrainian Defense Minister Mykhilo Koval said Friday that military operations in Donetsk and the surrounding areas would continue “until these regions begin to live normally, until there is peace.”

That means taking on a separatist movement that gets more support from Russia by the day, as trucks laden with fighters and weapons rumble across a porous border that is only lightly defended by Ukrainian forces.

Despite president-elect Petro Poroshenko’s promise to crush the rebellion in the east and unite his fractured country in “hours,” even senior Ukrainian officials acknowledge that the armed forces are ill-equipped to counter what amounts to a stealth Russian invasion.

”The problem with the army is that it doesn’t have experience conducting a war,” said Konstantin Batozsky, an adviser to the governor of Donetsk, who in recent days has taken refuge in Kiev. “For 23 years, we were an absolutely peaceful country.” Läs hela artikeln på http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/uneasy-quiet-over-eastern-ukraine-after-fierce-clashes/2014/05/30/e0ff9714-e86f-4c3f-960f-1ad736f4a82a_story.html

A crowdfunding project aims to bring surveillance drones to the skies over Ukraine

“The idea is relatively straightforward. Drones can be a powerful way to surveil Russian forces encroaching upon Ukrainian land. In this type of combat, information is key. But as it stands, the Ukrainian military has not invested in aerial surveillance technology.

So far the team has raised about $20,000 for the drones from several hundred supporters on a Ukrainian crowdfuding site called The People’s Project. They’ve promoted heavily on Facebook and VK, the largest social network in the Russian-speaking world. According to Aresotvich, the first training center will be based at Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine’s fourth-largest city located southeast of Kiev.

Drones with video mounts are becoming increasingly consumer-friendly. The DJI Phantom 2, one of the most popular HD drones, can be purchased online for about $1,000. Aresotvhich says the drone his organization is seeking to build will stay in the air for approximately 60 minutes, fly at the speed of 120 kmh and operate within a radius of 25 kilometers.” Läs hela artikeln på http://www.vocativ.com/tech/infosec/ukrainians-anti-putin-strategy-drones/

ITAR-TASS Abkhazia parliament sets early presidential election for August 24

“SUKHUM, May 31 /ITAR-TASS/. Abkhazia’s parliament has appointed speaker Valery Bganba as acting president and set early presidential elections for August 24, 2014.

A resolution to this effect was supported by 24 deputies with one abstainee on Saturday.

The Abkhazian Central Election Commission has been instructed to take measures for preparing the early elections.

The parliament approved a resolution “due to [President] Alexander Ankvab’s incapacity to exercise his powers, Vice-President Mikhail Logua’s intention to leave office and on the basis of the People’s Assembly resolution on a no-confidence vote in the prime minister of the Republic of Abkhazia in order to preserve national accord and stability”.

Ankvab disagrees with parliament resolution

Abkhazia’s President Alexander Ankvab has disagreed with the parliament’s resolution on a no-confidence vote to the government and his resignation.

“I categorically disagree. Such decisions cannot be taken under pressure and in terms of an ultimatum,” Ankvab said on Saturday. “Any proposals can be subject to talks,” he said.

“I’ve heard the requirements. But these are not the requirements by the majority of our citizens,” Ankvab said.

“The fate of the country, including of the president, cannot be decided at rallies with the participation of 2,000, 3,000 or 4,000 people. This is the matter of the nation,” he said.

Abkhazia’s Premier Leonid Lakerbaya has described the parliament’s resolution on early presidential elections as “anti-constitutional and revolutionary”. http://en.itar-tass.com/world/734181

ITAR-TASS Ukraine introduces ban on Russian military products supplies – Russian military official

“Ukraine has introduced a ban on supplies of Russian arms, military hardware and its components since March, Russia’s top military official has said.

“Russia cannot receive arms that were earlier paid for,” Russian Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov said on Saturday.

Such policy will affect Ukrainian enterprises. “Where will they find sales markets?” he asked.

Russian enterprises are successfully coping with the task although the situation causes certain difficulties. “We are to revise all positions of our cooperation. A plane cannot be sold without gear wheels,” Borisov said.

At present, the amount of supplies of Russia’s military-industrial complex reaches about 50 billion roubles, he said.” http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/734182

 

Ryska RT News rapporterar idag stort att demonstrationerna är igång igen i Kiev. Vad jag har förstått under dagen var detta inte stora protester, utan mer fulla demonstranter som nu får lämna sina platser där de demonstrerat sedan protesterna startade för ett halvår sedan. Men som sagt, detta slås upp kraftigt i den ryska propaganda maskinen.

RT-News – Back to burning: Maidan activists set tires on fire to protest eviction

“Nauseous black smoke from burning tires is back in Central Kiev. A group of Maidan activists set them on fire in a gesture of protest against an order from Kiev’s elected Mayor Vladimir Klitshchko’s to remove the barricades.

The protest is more a symbolic reminder of the scale that anti-government protest reached four months ago. Some 30 angry activists ignited several tires with a Molotov cocktail and wouldn’t allow a fire crew to out the flames out.

They threatened to start “a third Maidan” (following the 2004 protest during the “orange revolution” and the second one in November 2013-February 2014), unless the order to dismantle the barricades in the Ukrainian capital is rescinded.

Klitshchko, one of the three prime political leaders of the second Maidan, was elected the new mayor of Kiev on Sunday, on the same day that Ukrainians voted for their new president. One of his first public statements after securing office was a call to Maidan activists still residing in the city center to leave.

“The key goal of the Maidan – ousting the dictator – has been reached, so the barricades should be dismantled,” he said.

Similar statements came from the elected president, Petro Poroshenko.

“No Maidans would affect the president, no matter how much anyone would want it. Otherwise Maidan would no longer be the will of the people and would turn into a common spin technique. I know how to deal with such techniques,” he said.

The calls however were not heeded at Maidan, where some activists criticized Klitshchko for not taking into account their opinion on whether Maidan should be dismantled or not.

http://rt.com/news/162748-kiev-maidan-tires-burning/

The Voice of Russia Donetsk People’s Republic has evidence that Kiev uses foreign mercenaries

“The authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic claim to have evidence that Kiev recruits foreign mercenaries to conduct the special operation in the south-east, Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Borodai said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

”We hear the English language on the air (radio communications interception), we have seen lists (of people), who were captured in the airport. Judging by the names, the people put down for allowances are obviously of foreign origin. They are Anglo-Saxon. It is not clear – American or Britons. They have snipers; and good ones. Their manners, their weapons make it easy to define them as foreigners…They are clearly not Ukrainian military,” said Borodai

According to Borodai, Kiev ”could hire foreign private military companies.” ”I’m not talking about a foreign intervention. The world market for such specialists is wide,” said the Prime Minister of the DPR. He says this information was confirmed by the Ukrainian military. ”Those who graduated from Ukrainian military academies, who served in the ranks of the Ukrainian armed forces, are now fighting on the side of the DPR. There are ties between our guys and our enemies. There are people who do not want war and don’t want to kill their brothers… They speak with us on the telephone and on walkie-talkies. They say it themselves. They say: guys, we are sorry, we don’t control the situation, we’re not commanders,” said Borodai.

Läs hela artikeln på http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_05_31/Donetsk-Peoples-Republic-has-evidence-that-Kiev-uses-foreign-mercenaries-in-Ukraines-south-east-0891/

På Twitter kan man följa den svenske https://twitter.com/MikaelSkillt som enligt sin profil är i Ukrania som ”Operativt ansvarig för Ukrainafrivilliga.”

Han senaste tweet är följande:

 

DN: Fri efter fem år hos talibanerna

”Den amerikanske soldaten Bowe Bergdahl, 28, som hållits fängslad av afghanska talibaner i nästan fem år är nu befriad, meddelade USA:s president Barack Obama på lördagen.

Obama förklarade samtidigt att fem fångar vid det amerikanska Guantanamofängelset på Kuba överlämnats till myndigheterna i Qatar i samband med Bergdahls frigivning.” Läs hela artikeln på http://www.dn.se/nyheter/varlden/fri-efter-fem-ar-hos-talibanerna/ och läs twitterflödet här nedan.

DN Ryssland: Farligt om Sverige och Finland går med i Nato

”Farliga, negativa förändringar” skulle bli följden om Sverige och Finland går med i Nato. Det skriver Rysslands utrikesdepartement i ett uttalande på lördagen, enligt den statliga ryska nyhetsbyrån Itar-Tass.

Det ryska utspelet kommer bara några timmar efter att Finlands president Sauli Niinistö öppnat för en folkomröstning om ett Nato-medlemskap.

– Om frågan blir aktuell är det nog läge för en folkomröstning, sade Niinistö till finsk tv på lördagsmorgonen, och lade till att det nu är dags för finländarna att inleda en bred debatt i frågan utan tabun.

Redan i fredags träffade Rysslands vice utrikesminister Vladimir Titov ambassadörer och diplomater från Sverige, Finland, Norge, Danmark, Island, Estland, Lettland och Litauen i Helsingfors. Exakt vad som sades där är oklart, men i en redogörelse av mötet skriver ryska UD på lördagen att den nordisk-baltiska regionen ”traditionellt sett kännetecknats av låga militära och politiska spänningar”, men att Ryssland också har ”ett ansvar att skydda sina landsmän och deras kultur” – framförallt i de baltiska staterna – och att ett svenskt eller finskt Nato-medlemskap skulle ge upphov till ”farliga, negativa förändringar” i regionen. Läs hela artikeln på http://www.dn.se/nyheter/varlden/ryssland-farligt-om-sverige-och-finland-gar-med-i-nato/

Här kan du läsa en översatt rysk artikel om uttalandet https://translate.google.se/translate?hl=&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rbc.ru%2Frbcfreenews%2F20140531121832.shtml

DN Agrell: En återgång till kallakrigspolitik

”Wilhelm Agrell, professor i underrättelseanalys vid Lunds universitet, säger till DN att Rysslands varning om ”farliga, negativa förändringar” om Sverige och Finland blir Natomedlemmar ska ses mot bakgrund av Ukrainakrisen.

Hur ska man tolka lördagens ryska uttalande?

– Ryssland återgår allt tydligare till Sovjetunionens sätt att beskriva världen och det egna landets per definition berättigade geostrategiska intressen. Västledares – senast Obamas – uttalande att vi inte befinner oss i ett nytt kallt krig framstår alltmer som en besvärjelse. För hur skall man då benämna en utveckling där Ryssland tillämpar det kalla krigets maktpolitiska tänkande i termer av intressesfärer?

Men varför riktar det sig just mot Sverige och Finland?

– Det ryska uttalandet innebär att Finland och Sverige nu tillsammans med de baltiska staterna definieras som ett område där Ryssland hävdar legitima säkerhetsintressen, i de baltiska staternas fall med samma argument som i Ukrainafallet i Finlands och Sveriges fall som en preventiv varning mot en Natoanslutning. —” Läs hela artikeln på http://www.dn.se/nyheter/varlden/agrell-en-atergang-till-kallakrigspolitik/

Haglund: Hornetplanen är inte trafikpoliser

” Försvarsmaktens Hornetplan ryckte ut alldeles för sent för att kunna ingripa vid luftrumskränkningarna förra veckan. Det kommenterar president Sauli Niinistö till Yle Nyheter. Men försvarsminister Carl Haglund avvisar uppgifterna.

Två ryska plan rörde sig oanmälda i finskt luftrum samma dag och de finska planen kom till platsen först fyra timmar efter larmet om att luftrummet hade kränkts. President Sauli Niinistö bekräftar det här.

– Faktiskt, då Hornetplanen hann på plats var det först i samband med den tredje möjliga kränkningen, som ändå inte inträffade. Men man hade märkt att ett av de plan som tidigare hade kränkt vårt luftrum kom tillbaka från Kaliningrad och man var färdig att titta lite närmare på det om det skulle komma inom finskt luftrum på nytt. Men det gjorde det inte.

Stridsplanen var inte i full beredskap. Det berodde på att en intensiv övningsperiod veckan innan hade gett stridspiloterna mycket övertid och man därför sänkt utryckningsberedskapen tillfälligt.

– Nu säger man att det var brist på pengar, och att man diskuterar ju nu mycket om resurser, men kanske man också borde diskutera lite om prioriteringar. Finland måste vara i ständig utryckningsberedskap.

I en intervju för Yle Nyheter avvisar Haglund ändå uppgifterna om att Hornetplanen startade rejält försenat. Enligt försvarsministern var planens beredskap exakt sådan som den ska vara – de startar då något flygplan inte kan identifieras.

– Flygtrafiken i det internationella luftrummet i vårt närområde övervakas idag med hjälp av radar och andra tekniska hjälpmedel som finns och det gör att man har en bra helhetsbild över vilka flygplan som rör sig i vårt närområde och på samma sätt alla flyg som finns i det finska luftrummet och som ska finnas där. De här två ifrågavarande ryska planen kände man till på förhand och sen råkade det sig tyvärr så att de för en stund avvek från sina flygrutter och kom in i det finska luftrummet. Det är mycket beklagligt och om det har Utrikesministeriet nu bett om en utredning från Moskva. Läs hela artikeln på http://svenska.yle.fi/artikel/2014/05/31/haglund-hornetplanen-ar-inte-trafikpoliser

 

Robotbloggen visar de senaste nyhetsartiklarna om utvecklingen i Ukraina kl 6, 9, 12 och 18

Glöm inte att titta in på min robotblogg http://oroande2.blogspot.com Där uppdateras nyheter om Ukrainakrisen från många av världens tidningar. Jag har idag gjort om layouten, och nu även infört en sökfunktion.

Följ Oroande utveckling på Twitter. https://twitter.com/oroande

NYHET Du kan även följa Oroande Utveckling på Facebook.

Sök på Oroande Utveckling så hittar du sidan. Du får en liten ”blänkare” i din Timeline när jag publicerat ett nytt inlägg på https://oroande.wordpress.com

Dagens Twitter

 

 

 

 

30 maj 33 stycken döda ryska soldater hemskickade till Ryssland. Ytterligare ett OSCE team kidnappat i Ö Ukraina

Idag så skickades 33 ryska kroppar hem från bårhusen i Donetsk. De ryska soldaterna dog under striderna i måndags. Interna stridigheter mellan olika pro-ryska grupper i Donetsk, nya styrkor kastar ut plundrande pro-ryssar från ockuperad byggnad.

Liveblogg

http://www.rferl.org/contentlive/ukraine-live-blog/25382555.html

http://www.interpretermag.com/ukraine-liveblog-day-102-has-the-vostok-battalion-taken-charge-in-donetsk/

Sammanfattning

” — Ukraine’s government says that it will press on with an offensive to restore peace and order, with acting Defense Minister Mykhaylo Koval saying government forces have ”completely cleared” pro-Russian rebels from parts of the separatist east.

— The OSCE says another team of monitors has been detained in separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine. The team of four international monitors and a Ukrainian language assistant was stopped by gunmen in the town of Severodonetsk,100 kilometers north of Luhansk.

— Ukraine’s crisis is the main item on the agenda for lawmakers from 28 NATO member countries who are gathering in Vilnius for the spring session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. The gathering comes amid heightened concerns in the Baltic states and Eastern Europe about Russia’s role in Ukraine’s crisis.

— Officials from the European Union, Russia, and Ukraine are due to meet in Berlin today to try to resolve a natural-gas dispute between Moscow and Kyiv.

— In an apparent sign of infighting, one faction of pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine has reportedly evicted another faction from the regional administration building in Donetsk, which has served as the separatists’ headquarters. Members of the so-called Vostok Battalion were reportedly upset after other rebels looted a supermarket near the Donetsk airport after a deadly battle on May 26.

— U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Russian troops massed on Ukraine’s borders are moving back toward Moscow, but there are still ”danger signs” — with evidence of trained Russians crossing into eastern Ukraine. He said evidence shows ”trained personnel from Chechnya, trained in Russia” are infiltrating Ukraine ”to stir things up, to engage in fighting.”

http://www.rferl.org/contentlive/ukraine-live-blog/25382555.html

Vostok Battalion, A Powerful New Player In Eastern Ukraine

“Rumors that battle-hardened Chechen fighters from Russia’s notorious Vostok Battalion are active in eastern Ukraine have been swirling for weeks.

They unexpectedly materialized on May 29 when dozens of heavily armed men identifying themselves as members of the Vostok Battalion stormed the separatists’ headquarters in central Donetsk, evicting the motley band of pro-Russian rebels that had occupied the building since March.

The brazen raid, conducted in broad daylight, has plunged the region into new uncertainty. The emergence of such a widely recognizable Russian military structure in eastern Ukraine has also raised questions about Moscow’s role in the conflict.

The Vostok fighters in Donetsk say they want to put an end to the rebels’ looting of groceries from local supermarkets.

Their raid on the separatists’ headquarters, however, is widely seen as an attempt by a group of Moscow-connected separatists to rid the insurgency of ragtag elements and assert control over eastern Ukraine.

This group is led by Igor Girkin, who goes by the pseudonym ”Strelkov” and commands the separatists’ military operations in Slovyansk, and Aleksandr Borodai, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed ”Donetsk People’s Republic.”

Girkin — who the Kyiv government says is a Russian military intelligence officer — has himself taken a tough stand against indiscipline within rebel ranks, recently ordering the execution of two looters.

The Donetsk raid was obviously aimed at shaming the militants who had established quarters there, analysts say.

Vostok fighters actually led Western journalists through the reclaimed building, vigorously breaking down doors and showing off the groceries, cigarettes, and alcohol looted by the previous occupiers.

This adds weight to the notion that Moscow, after tacitly fueling separatist unrest for weeks, is now eager to rein in the spiraling anarchy unleashed in eastern Ukraine.

Galeotti says the battalion was ”clearly either directly created by Russian military intelligence or at the very least blessed by it.”

”I think this represents an attempt to put in a force that is more disciplined but above all that looks to Moscow for orders,” he adds.” Läs hela artikeln på http://www.rferl.org/content/vostok-battalion-a-powerful-new-player-in-eastern-ukraine/25404785.html

NATO: Readiness in focus during NATO Secretary General visit to Lithuania and address to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly

“ NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Friday (29 May 2014) thanked President Dalia Grybauskaitė for Lithuania’s strong commitment as it marks ten years since it joined the Alliance. During a visit to Vilnius, Mr Fogh Rasmussen said: “We are grateful for your contributions to NATO operations, particularly in Afghanistan, for your role in Smart Defence projects for key capabilities such as surveillance, intelligence and reconnaissance, and for your leadership on energy security.”

Describing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine as a ”game-changer,” the Secretary General stressed: ”What does not change is NATO’s core task: to defend and protect our Allies against attack. And make no mistake: NATO will defend every part of the Alliance. No Ally stands alone.” He highlighted the measures already taken to reinforce collective defences, with a strong focus on the Baltic region, and stated: ”Every single plane, ship and exercise shows that NATO is serious about defending our Allies. And today I can announce that every single Ally is contributing in different ways. One for all, all for one. 28 for 28. This is true solidarity in action.”

Asked by Lithuanian media if he had seen signs of a Russian withdrawal from Ukraine’s borders, the Secretary General said: ”We have seen some signs of a start of Russian withdrawal. Actually, maybe around two thirds have now pulled back – and of course we welcome that. However there are still quite a number of Russian troops ready to take action if a political decision is taken. So we continue to call on Russia to stop supporting armed pro-Russian gangs and seal the border, so that we don’t see arms and fighters crossing into Ukraine.”

During the visit, President Grybauskaitė granted the NATO Secretary General one of Lithuania’s highest honours, the Order of Vytautas the Great.

The Secretary General also addressed the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Spring Session in Vilnius on the long-term implications of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine on Alliance security. “Next week, with Allied Defence Ministers, we will discuss a readiness action plan in preparation for our Summit in September,” he said. ”This includes a review of our defence plans, of our force posture, of the size, scenarios and schedule for our exercises, and of the possibility of additional deployments.” The Secretary General stressed that these measures are entirely defensive, in line with NATO’s duty to defend and deter against any threat, and with the Alliance’s international obligations and commitments.

At the end of the visit the NATO Secretary General will be awarded the title of the Honorary Doctor of the Kaunas University of Technology.” http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_110505.htm

BBC: Is Russia orchestrating east Ukraine violence?

“Russia is widely accused of orchestrating the separatist insurgency in Ukraine’s eastern provinces despite the Kremlin’s attempts to portray it as a home-grown movement and its repeated denials of involvement.

After two months of fighting and the loss of hundreds of lives, Moscow’s strong propaganda campaign against the new leadership in Kiev now comes with mounting evidence of Russian military engagement in the two provinces just across its border, Donetsk and Luhansk” Läs hela den intressanta genomgången på http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-27633117

Separatist ‘Mayor’ of Slavyansk Says OSCE Observers Held by ‘Non-Slavic’ Fighters 14:53 (GMT)

“The Moscow Times reports that the self-proclaimed ‘people’s mayor’ of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, told Echo Mosky radio yesterday that the 4 detained OSCE observers are being held by Chechen fighters.

Speaking of the OSCE observers, Ponomaryov said:

”I told them not to go anywhere for a week,” Ponomaryov said. ”But they ignored [it], well, I’m sorry. Especially since they hit upon non-Slavic resistance fighters.”

The Moscow Times notes that this remark seems to refer to Chechen fighters.

While Ponomaryov did not further identify the group, the only ”non-Slavic” force that has emerged in eastern Ukraine recently is a militia of Chechen natives, who have reportedly come from Russia — though Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov has denied sending or controlling the forces.

The report says that Ponomaryov had previously given assurances on the state of the captives that day, but that he now appeared to be backtracking:

Ponomayov told Interfax earlier Thursday that the OSCE monitors — a Dane, an Estonian, a Swiss, and a Turk — were fine and that his administration knew where they were being held. But in the Thursday afternoon interview with Ekho Moskvy, he brushed off concerns about ”some four strange people” and any chance that he would help secure their release.

”These people are not held by us,” Ponomaryov told Ekho Moskvy, adding that his powers did not extend to freeing the monitors: ”I am not a military commander-in-chief, I’m not the head of some service.” http://pressimus.com/Interpreter_Mag/press/2952

US Defense Department Says Russian Troops Withdrawing

“A source in the U.S. defense department has told the Associated Press that seven Russian battalions remain on the border, but most have withdrawn. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel also made comments on the withdrawal:

”They are not where they need to be and won’t be until all of their troops that they positioned along that border a couple of months ago are gone,” Hagel said.

”We do know that thousands of Russian troops have been pulled back and are moving away. But we also know that there are still thousands of Russian troops still there that have not yet moved,” Hagel said.” http://pressimus.com/Interpreter_Mag/press/2949

The Moscow Times: Another Team of OSCE Ukraine Monitors Detained

“Another team of monitors of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has been detained in eastern Ukraine, the Vienna-based OSCE said on Friday.

The OSCE said the team of four international monitors and a Ukrainian language assistant was stopped in the town of Severodonetsk, 100 kilometers north of Luhansk by armed men.

It said it had lost contact with the team at around 7 p.m. on Thursday.

The detained team from the OSCE’s special monitoring mission is in addition to another team still missing in the east of the country, which was last heard from on the evening of May 26, the OSCE said. Läs hela artikeln på http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/another-team-of-osce-ukraine-monitors-detained/501211.html

SvD: Kistor med ryssar lämnade Donetsk

” Striderna om flygplatsen i Donetsk i Ukraina i måndags krävde många dödsoffer. Men 33 av de dödade separatisterna var i själva verket ryska medborgare vars kvarlevor nu transporteras till sina anhöriga i Ryssland, uppger brittiska The Daily Telegraph.

Dess reporter Roland Oliphant i Donetsk bevittnade på torsdagskvällen hur likkistor med döda ryssar transporterades till Ryssland.

Detta skedde i konvoj med kyltransportbilar, eskorterad av polis. Den gick från Donetsk i östra Ukraina till staden Rostov vid Don i Ryssland. Lastbilarna med de döda sprejades på taket och sidorna med röda kors och med ”200”. Den siffran uppgavs vara en sovjetisk militär kod för transport av avlidna. Detta för att konvojen inte skulle angripas av ukrainsk militär.

”Rebellernas ledare säger att de ryska krigarna alla var frivilliga, och inte medlemmar av de reguljära ryska styrkorna. De upprepade sin förhoppning att president Vladimir Putin slutligen skulle sända in trupper för att hjälpa dem. Det öppna medgivandet av att främmande krigare finns här är en anmärkningsvärd förändring eftersom separatisterna tidigare hävdat att deras styrkor helt och hållet bestått av ortsbor”, rapporterar The Thelgraph.” Läs hela artikeln på http://www.svd.se/nyheter/utrikes/presidentvalet-i-ukraina_3584204.svd?sidan=17

DN: Ryssland hotar stoppa gasen redan på måndag

” Under fredagen måste Ukraina betala minst 13 miljarder kronor till det ryskägda energibolaget Gazprom – annars skruvar Ryssland åt gaskranen efter helgen. Följden kan bli brist på gas i stora delar av Europa.” Läs hela artikeln på http://www.dn.se/ekonomi/ryssland-hotar-stoppa-gasen-redan-pa-mandag/

Robotbloggen visar de senaste nyhetsartiklarna om utvecklingen i Ukraina kl 6, 9, 12 och 18

Glöm inte att titta in på min robotblogg http://oroande2.blogspot.se Där uppdateras nyheter om Ukrainakrisen från många av världens tidningar. Jag har idag gjort om layouten, och nu även infört en sökfunktion.

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Lång intervju med Rysslands FN ambassadör Churkin