viernes, 22 de mayo de 2015

The images appear to provide further evidence of direct Russian involvement in the conflict

Evidence Mounts of Russian Action in Ukraine, Serbian Defense Chief Accused of Corruption

by Barbara Frye, Evgeny Deulin

Plus, the Kremlin says the West is destabilizing Macedonia, and Kyrgyzstan joins the Eurasian Union.

1. Shot-down drones, captured soldiers point to Russian hand in Ukraine

The Ukrainian military has published photos of wreckage of what it says is the second Russian spy drone to be shot down over eastern Ukraine this month. Combined with an independent observer mission’s report that two men recently captured by Ukrainian troops have admitted to being Russian soldiers, the images appear to provide further evidence of direct Russian involvement in the conflict, which the Kremlin has steadfastly denied.

“This is additional proof that Russia is carrying out aggression against our country,” Markian Lubkivsky, an adviser to the director of Ukraine’s SBU security agency, said at a briefing in Kyiv, UNIAN reports.

A member of the Dnipro Battalion stands next to wreckage that Ukrainian officials and some experts say is a drone made in Russia. Photo from the battalion's Facebook page.

According to Lubkivsky, the drone was made in Russia under license from Israel. Ukraine’s Dnipro Battalion, which shot down the second drone near Donetsk this week, claims Russia had only 11 craft of this kind, at a price of $6 million each.

The announcement comes shortly after Ukraine’s capture of two Russians, who Ukrainian intelligence believes were on a mission to sabotage a heat and power plant in the town of Shchastya near Luhansk.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s monitoring mission on the conflictreported it had interviewed the two detained men in a military hospital, without the presence of Ukrainian authorities. Both confirmed they were members of a Russian military unit sent to Ukraine on reconnaissance. They also said they had been in Ukraine on such missions before.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has said the men “were not active servicemen in the Russian armed forces at the moment of their capture,” with the careful wording possibly reflecting the Russian military’s alleged practice of discharging soldiers before sending them to Ukraine.

In a BBC interview, Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, said recent events show his country is in a “real war” with Russia. He urged the West to extend sanctions against the Kremlin in preparation for a new offensive.

In a related development, some politicians in Lithuania are urging President Dalia Grybauskaite to launch a case against Russia at the International Court of Justice for violations of human rights and international law in Crimea, The Baltic Times reports. Backers of the move contend Lithuania could muster support for a resolution in the UN General Assembly “demanding [a] legal assessment” of Russia’s actions with view to compensation.

2. Serbian defense minister’s media links probed .....
3. Russian minister Lavrov sees foreign hand in Macedonia tumult ....
4. Atambaev signs treaty for Kyrgyzstan’s EEU entry .....
5. Russia, China eye high-speed rail link in Far East ....


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