Obama: More G7 sanctions against Russia if Ukraine conflict continues

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The G7 states are ready to implement additional Russia sanctions over Ukraine, US President Barack Obama said at the G7 summit in Bavaria on Monday.

“There is strong consensus that we need to keep pushing Russia to abide by the Mink agreement,” Obama said. He added that the Western partners also need to encourage Kiev to stick to the Minsk deal.

“There was discussion of additional steps,” if Russia “doubles the aggression on Ukraine”, however they were on a technical and not political level, he added.

READ MORE: Leaders at G7 in Bavaria in call to uphold Russia sanctions

“Our hope is that we don’t have to take additional steps,” he said.

Obama said that the sanctions are hurting the Russian economy. He added that President Vladimir Putin would have to make a decision.

“Does he continue to wreck his country’s economy and continue Russia’s isolation in pursuit of a wrong-headed desire to recreate glories of the Soviet empire, or does he recognize that Russia’s greatness does not depend on violating the territorial integrity and sovereignty of other countries?” Obama said.

The G7 summit gathered world leaders for two days in southern Germany, with the crisis in Ukraine and the Greek economy topping the agenda.

On Monday, the G7 issued a joint communiqué summing up the results of their meeting. In regard to the Ukrainian crisis, the leaders agreed “that the duration of sanctions should be clearly linked to Russia’s complete implementation of the Minsk agreements and respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

READ MORE: Russia has better things to do than start WW3 (OP-ED)

Investigative journalist Tony Gosling told RT that it seems Western politicians are being driven by the US into rhetoric about uniting against Russia.

“This is our old Cold War talk, that is really driven by the Americans, and it certainly does not represent the views of European people or business, which is a bit worrying,” he said.

Speaking to reporters Monday, French President Francois Hollande said that “there are currently no reasons” to lift sanctions against Russia. He added that the sanctions are “likely” to be extended until the end of 2015, and that the issue will be reviewed by the European Council in June.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that negotiations with Russia are taking place, adding that “international crises can be solved with the Russian Federation.”

At the opening of the G7 on Sunday, European Council President Donald Tusk said that “all of us would prefer to have Russia around the G7 table.”

However, Tusk also backed tougher sanctions against Russia, saying that he hoped they would be put in place at a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels in the end of June.

There has been a recent escalation of violence as residential areas were shelled in eastern Ukraine’s rebel-held territories. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) monitors have reported violations of the Minsk ceasefire agreements by both sides in the conflict.

Moscow has urged the implementation of the ceasefire, connecting the recent escalation with the upcoming EU summit in Brussels.

“Yes, indeed, in the past Kiev had already heated up tensions amid some large international events. This is the case, and now we are seriously concerned about the next repetition of such activity,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.

At the UN Security Council meeting on Saturday, Russia’s UN envoy, Vitaly Churkin, said that Ukraine’s “flagrant violation and blunt ignorance of the Minsk agreements” caused frustration even among the Western states “loyal to Kiev.”

Hacked Emails Expose George Soros As Ukraine Puppet-Master

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The hacktivists have published three files online

by ZERO HEDGE | JUNE 2, 2015

Just days after George Soros warned that World War 3 was imminent unless Washington backed down to China on IMF currency basket inclusion, the hacker collective CyberBerkut has exposed the billionaire as the real puppet-master behind the scenes in Ukraine. In 3 stunning documents, allegedly hacked from email correspondence between the hedge fund manager and Ukraine President Poroshenko, Soros lays out “A short and medium term comprehensive strategy for the new Ukraine,” expresses his confidence that the US should provide Ukraine with lethal military assistance, “with same level of sophistication in defense weapons to match the level of opposing force,” and finally explained Poroshenko’s “first priority must be to regain control of financial markets,” which he assures the President could be helped by The Fed adding “I am ready to call Jack Lew of the US Treasury to sound him out about the swap agreement.”

The hacking group CyberBerkut claims it has penetrated Ukraine’s presidential administration website and obtained correspondence between Soros and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko. It has subsequently posted all the intercepted pdfs on line at the following location. More details as RT earlier reported:

The hacktivists have published three files online, which include a draft of “A short and medium term comprehensive strategy for the new Ukraine” by Soros (dated March 12, 2015); an undated paper on military assistance to Kiev; and the billionaire’s letter to Poroshenko and Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, dated December 23, 2014.

According to the leaked documents, Soros supports Barack Obama’s stance on Ukraine, but believes that the US should do even more.

He is confident that the US should provide Ukraine with lethal military assistance, “with same level of sophistication in defense weapons to match the level of opposing force.”

“In poker terms, the US will ‘meet, but not raise,” the 84-year-old businessman explained, supposedly signing one of the letters as “a self-appointed advocate of the new Ukraine.”

The Western backers want Kiev to “restore the fighting capacity of Ukraine without violating the Minsk agreement,” Soros wrote.

Among other things, the leaked documents claim that the Ukrainian authorities were also asked to “restore some semblance of currency stability and functioning banking system” and “maintain unity among the various branches of government” in order to receive assistance from foreign allies.

Soros believes that it’s up to the EU to support Kiev with financial aid, stressing that “Europe must reach a new framework agreement that will allow the European Commission to allocate up to $1 billion annually to Ukraine.”

As for the current state of economy, the billionaire wrote that former Chilean finance minister, Andres Velasco, after visiting Ukraine on his request, returned with “a dire view of financial situation.”

“The new Ukraine is literally on the verge of collapse” due to the national bank’s lack of hard currency reserves, Soros warned Poroshenko.

The correspondence shows that the billionaire has been in constant touch with the authorities in Kiev and consulting them.

Digging into the details of the documents, we find one intriguing snippet:

As you know, I asked Andrés Velasco, a prominent economist who was Chile’s very successful minister of finance from 2006-2010 to visit Kyiv where he met the Prime Minister; the President was in Warsaw at the time. Velasco came back with a dire view of the financial situation. The National Bank of Ukraine has practically no hard currency reserves. That means that the hryvnia has no anchor. If a panic occurred and the currency collapsed as it did in Russia, the National Bank could not stabilize the exchange rate even if only temporarily as Russia did by injecting $90 billion.

Your first priority must be to regain control over the financial markets—bank deposits and exchange rates. Unless you do, you will have no way to embark on deeper reforms. I believe the situation could be stabilized by getting the European Council to make a commitment in principle that they will pull together the new $15 billion package that the IMF requires in order to release the next tranche of its original package at the end of January 2015. Based on that commitment the Federal Reserve could be asked to extend a $15 billion three months swap arrangement with the National Bank of Ukraine. That would reassure the markets and avoid a panic.

I am ready to call Jack Lew of the US Treasury to sound him out about the swap agreement.

One wonders what other matters of national importance involve George Soros getting on the line with the US Treasury Secretary to arrange virtually unlimited funds courtesy of the US Federal Reserve just to promote one person’s ulterior agenda?

And just like that, conspiracy Theory becomes Conspiracy Fact once again.

The full documents are below:

Ironically, the first document laying out the “short and medium-term comprehensive strategy for new Ukraine” and signed by George Soros, “a self-appointed advocate of the New Ukraine”, was ironically created by Tamiko Bolton, the 40 year old who became Soros’ third wife several years ago.

Soros Ukraine Strategy

https://www.scribd.com/doc/267364428/Soros-Ukraine-Strategy

<p style=” margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;”> <a title=”View Soros Ukraine Strategy on Scribd” href=”http://www.scribd.com/doc/267364428&#8243; style=”text-decoration: underline;” >Soros Ukraine Strategy</a></p>https://www.scribd.com/embeds/267364428/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&show_recommendations=true

The next letter, one directly sent by Soros to Ukraine’s president Poroshenko and prime minister Yatseniuk, comes courtesy of a pdf created by Douglas York, Soros’ personal assistant.

Priority To Fix Financial Markets

https://www.scribd.com/doc/267364476/Priority-To-Fix-Financial-Markets

<p style=” margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;”> <a title=”View Priority To Fix Financial Markets on Scribd” href=”http://www.scribd.com/doc/267364476&#8243; style=”text-decoration: underline;” >Priority To Fix Financial Markets</a></p>https://www.scribd.com/embeds/267364476/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&show_recommendations=true

Finally, a letter (authored by Yasin Yaqubie of the International Crisis Group based on its pdf metadata properties), which lobbies the US “to do more.”

Ukraine Letter to Potus – Lethal Aid

https://www.scribd.com/doc/267364558/Ukraine-Letter-to-Potus-Lethal-Aid

<p style=” margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;”> <a title=”View Ukraine Letter to Potus – Lethal Aid on Scribd” href=”http://www.scribd.com/doc/267364558&#8243; style=”text-decoration: underline;” >Ukraine Letter to Potus – Lethal Aid</a></p>https://www.scribd.com/embeds/267364558/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&show_recommendations=true

To sum up: Soros is basically lobbying on behalf of Ukraine, pushing for cash and guns, to oppose Putin in every way possible.

If genuine, and based on their meta data, they appear to be just that, these lettes show how Soros is trying to weasel around the Minsk agreements (for instance, how to train Ukrainian soldiers without having a visible NATO presence in Ukraine). The documents link up Nuland with Soros, and clears up who is truly pulling the strings of the US State Department.

Finally, while the documents don’t mention what Soros has in store for Ukraine, one can use their imagination.

‘Self-appointed advocate of new Ukraine’: Soros emails leaked by anti-Kiev hackers

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George Soros advocates EU financial aid and military assistance to Ukraine to restore Kiev’s fighting capacity without violating the Minsk peace deal, claim anti-Kiev hackers citing leaked emails between the billionaire and Ukraine’s president.

The hacking group CyberBerkut claims it has penetrated Ukraine’s presidential administration website and obtained correspondence between Soros and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko.

The hacktivists have published three files online, which include a draft of “A short and medium term comprehensive strategy for the new Ukraine” by Soros (dated March 12, 2015); an undated paper on military assistance to Kiev; and the billionaire’s letter to Poroshenko and Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, dated December 23, 2014.

According to the leaked documents, Soros supports Barack Obama’s stance on Ukraine, but believes that the US should do even more.

He is confident that the US should provide Ukraine with lethal military assistance, “with same level of sophistication in defense weapons to match the level of opposing force.”

“In poker terms, the US will ‘meet, but not raise,” the 84-year-old businessman explained, supposedly signing one of the letters as “a self-appointed advocate of the new Ukraine.”

The Western backers want Kiev to “restore the fighting capacity of Ukraine without violating the Minsk agreement,” Soros wrote.

Retired US general Wesley Clark, who commanded the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, and Polish ex-general, Waldemar Skrzypczak, will be among those advising Poroshenko on how to fulfil this task, he added.

In mid-February, after a year of fighting, Kiev and rebels from the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk signed a peace deal calling for a ceasefire, heavy weapons withdrawal, and prisoner exchanges between the sides.

Among other things, the leaked documents claim that the Ukrainian authorities were also asked to “restore some semblance of currency stability and functioning banking system” and “maintain unity among the various branches of government” in order to receive assistance from foreign allies.

Soros believes that it’s up to the EU to support Kiev with financial aid, stressing that “Europe must reach a new framework agreement that will allow the European Commission to allocate up to $1 billion annually to Ukraine.”

As for the current state of economy, the billionaire wrote that former Chilean finance minister, Andres Velasco, after visiting Ukraine on his request, returned with “a dire view of financial situation.”

“The new Ukraine is literally on the verge of collapse” due to the national bank’s lack of hard currency reserves, Soros warned Poroshenko.

The correspondence shows that the billionaire has been in constant touch with the authorities in Kiev and consulting them.

George Soros advocates EU financial aid and military assistance to Ukraine to restore Kiev’s fighting capacity without violating the Minsk peace deal, claim anti-Kiev hackers citing leaked emails between the billionaire and Ukraine’s president.

The hacking group CyberBerkut claims it has penetrated Ukraine’s presidential administration website and obtained correspondence between Soros and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko.

The hacktivists have published three files online, which include a draft of “A short and medium term comprehensive strategy for the new Ukraine” by Soros (dated March 12, 2015); an undated paper on military assistance to Kiev; and the billionaire’s letter to Poroshenko and Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, dated December 23, 2014.

According to the leaked documents, Soros supports Barack Obama’s stance on Ukraine, but believes that the US should do even more.

He is confident that the US should provide Ukraine with lethal military assistance, “with same level of sophistication in defense weapons to match the level of opposing force.”

“In poker terms, the US will ‘meet, but not raise,” the 84-year-old businessman explained, supposedly signing one of the letters as “a self-appointed advocate of the new Ukraine.”

Read moreGeorge Soros makes hush-hush trip to Kiev

The Western backers want Kiev to “restore the fighting capacity of Ukraine without violating the Minsk agreement,” Soros wrote.

Retired US general Wesley Clark, who commanded the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, and Polish ex-general, Waldemar Skrzypczak, will be among those advising Poroshenko on how to fulfil this task, he added.

In mid-February, after a year of fighting, Kiev and rebels from the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk signed a peace deal calling for a ceasefire, heavy weapons withdrawal, and prisoner exchanges between the sides.

Among other things, the leaked documents claim that the Ukrainian authorities were also asked to “restore some semblance of currency stability and functioning banking system” and “maintain unity among the various branches of government” in order to receive assistance from foreign allies.

Soros believes that it’s up to the EU to support Kiev with financial aid, stressing that “Europe must reach a new framework agreement that will allow the European Commission to allocate up to $1 billion annually to Ukraine.”

As for the current state of economy, the billionaire wrote that former Chilean finance minister, Andres Velasco, after visiting Ukraine on his request, returned with “a dire view of financial situation.”

“The new Ukraine is literally on the verge of collapse” due to the national bank’s lack of hard currency reserves, Soros warned Poroshenko.

The correspondence shows that the billionaire has been in constant touch with the authorities in Kiev and consulting them.

Soros has been involved in Ukraine since 1989, when he founded the Ukrainian International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) that provided more than $100 million to Ukrainian NGOs two years before the fall of the Soviet Union.

The billionaire is connected to several non-governmental organizations in Ukraine that advocate closer ties to the EU and aided the EuroMaidan movement that toppled Viktor Yanukovich’s government last February.

In March, he criticized the EU for paying too much attention to Greece’s economic problems and promised to invest $1 billion of his own money in Ukraine.

‘Clinton Cash’ book alleges foreign donations to family foundation linked to political favors

A new book accuses the Clinton Foundation — run by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, her husband Bill Clinton, and their daughter Chelsea — of accepting quid pro quo donations from foreign sources while Mrs Clinton was secretary of state.

The book — “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich” — will no doubt ignite a new level of scrutiny over the political ambitions of Hillary Clinton, currently the lone candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

Clinton’s campaign has asserted that the 186-page investigation by Peter Schweizer, a fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution, is yet another right-wing hatchet job that leans on bias and innuendo.

Under the microscope are cash infusions to the charitable Clinton Foundation, as well as speaking fees incurred by former US president Bill Clinton, during Hillary Clinton’s four years as secretary of the US State Department under President Barack Obama’s administration.

“We will see a pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable U.S. policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds,” Schweizer wrote in the book, according to the New York Times, which gained access to an advanced copy.

The Clintons’ income was at least $136.5 million between 2001 and 2012, Schweizer wrote in the book, echoing a figure reported by the Washington Post. The Post, New York Times, and Fox News all have agreements with Schweizer to expand further on the storylines he pursued in the book, the Times reported.

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“During Hillary’s years of public service, the Clintons have conducted or facilitated hundreds of large transactions” with foreign governments and wealthy individuals, he added.

“Some of these transactions have put millions in their own pockets.”

While Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, payments to Bill Clinton for speeches went up: “Of the 13 Clinton speeches that fetched $500,000 or more, only two occurred during the years his wife was not secretary of state,” Schweizer wrote.

Read more

Hillary Clinton: What to know about her recent controversies, scandals

In 2011, for example, Bill Clinton made $13.3 million for 54 speeches, most of them made overseas, the book reported.

Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton’s young presidential campaign, said Schweizer’s book is part of the conservative attack machine that will certainly continue to target Clinton with unrelenting fervor.

The book, he said, consists of “twisting previously known facts into absurd conspiracy theories,” and that “it will not be the first work of partisan-fueled fiction about the Clintons’ record, and we know it will not be the last.”

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Recent books on the Clintons’ political dealings — including “Blood Feud” and “Clinton Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine” — have been accused of being thinly-veiled attack efforts that are low on credibility. “Clinton Cash,” however, relied on extensive investigative reporting with detailed source citations to tax records, government documents, and the like, the Times reported. Though Schweizer also makes clear in the book he is no fan of the Clintons.

This is not the first time the Clinton Foundation donors and their relationship to the most powerful family in US politics have been questioned.

As RT has reported, from 2009 up to 2013, the year the Ukrainian crisis erupted, the Clinton Foundation received at least $8.6 million from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, which is headquartered in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, calling into question whether the donations were an attempt to curry favor from the US State Dept. Several alumni of oligarch Pinchuk’s program have already graduated into the ranks of Ukraine’s parliament, while a former Clinton pollster went to work as a lobbyist for Pinchuk at the same time Clinton was working in government.

According to the International Business Times, the Clinton Foundation accepted million of dollars from a Colombian oil company before then-Secretary of State Clinton changed her previous position and supported a US-Colombia trade deal, controversial for its links to human rights violations. In addition, after the deal was finalized, Clinton’s State Department “never criticized or took action against the Colombian government for alleged violations of labor rights at Pacific Rubiales,” the oil company “at the center of Colombia’s labor strife,” IBT reported.

In early April, McClatchy News Service reported that, since 2001, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates — governments that have been maligned for their dismal human rights records and for ties to terror funding throughout the Middle East — gave as much as $40 million to the Clinton Foundation.

In March, it was reported by the Wall Street Journal that the Clinton Foundation had accepted as much as $68 million from elite donors with close ties to foreign governments and state-run companies while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. The conflict-of-interest allegations were denied by the Clintons, who said the donations were part and parcel of building coalitions to tackle the world’s most pressing issues.

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Amid mounting criticism, the Clinton Foundation announced last week that it would revise its policy of accepting donations from Germany, Britain, Canada, and other nations, while curbing money from Middle Eastern countries.

US military instructors deployed to Ukraine to train local forces

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Paratroopers of the US 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vincenza, Italy, have arrived in western Ukraine to provide training for Ukrainian government troops.

The announcement came on US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt’s twitter account. The diplomat posted pictures of the US paratroopers marching through the airport in the western Ukrainian city of Lvov.

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Pyatt has not given the exact number of the servicemen deployed in Ukraine, but according to a Facebook post by Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, there should be some 290 US paratroopers. Avakov said that, under an agreement with the US State Department, long-term joint drills of US paratroopers and combat units of the Ukrainian National Guard, as well as training will take place at Yavorivky.

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The joint drills were agreed by Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and US Vice-President Joe Biden early in spring. The US paratroopers’ training will last for 24 weeks and involve some 900 servicemen, from several Ukrainian National Guard units.

In March, the UK started its training mission in Ukraine. It was planned that up to 75 troops at a time would be engaged in a six-month-long mission, training Kiev’s military “to strengthen the defensive capability of the Ukrainian armed forces and build the resilience that they need.”

Read more

UK troops start training Ukraine’s army, US confirms own mission

Russia has expressed its concerns over the military training of Ukrainian forces, saying such actions do not support conflict settlement in the east of the country.

“The presence of foreign instructors in Ukraine, where an internal conflict remains unresolved in southeast and where problems arise with the implementation of the Minsk peace agreement, does not help in settling the conflict and producing an environment beneficial for it. On the contrary, it destabilizes the situations,” said Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman.

Kiev and rebel forces signed a ceasefire deal in February, which involves the pullout of heavy weapons and a profound reform, which would address the grievances of the dissenting regions and reintegrate them into Ukraine. The deal has more or less held so far, with the level of violence in eastern Ukraine dropping significantly, OSCE monitors on the ground have reported.

READ MORE: US govt issues logistics support tender for 300 military personnel in Ukraine

But there is a high level of mistrust remaining among the rebels toward Kiev. The Ukrainian authorities don’t appear to be willing to resume social payments in the areas they don’t control, a measure specified in the ceasefire agreement.

Instead, they are investing heavily into rearming and training of the Ukrainian Army and National Guard. Combined with belligerent rhetoric dominating the political discourse in Ukraine, there is rising fear that Kiev plans a new offensive, instead of sticking to the peace plan.

‘Reuters lied’: MH17 witness says reporter falsified testimony

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A Lugansk Region resident, whom Reuters cites as saying he saw evidence of a surface-to-air missile launched from rebel-held territory on the day MH17 was downed, told RT the news agency gave a false report of his interview.

As a part of a March report on the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 tragedy Reuters talked to Pyotr Fedotov, a 58-year-old resident of the village Chervonniy Zhovten in the Lugansk Region of eastern Ukraine.

When interviewed by Reuters, Fedotov, the witness who described the ‘wiggling’ rocket, at first said on camera that it was fired from territory held by the Ukrainian army. Later, off camera, he said it was launched from a nearby rebel area. Asked why he had originally said the opposite, he said it was because he was afraid of the rebels,” the news agency said.

RT contacted Fedotov and he said that Reuters correspondent Anton Zverev was “less than accurate” with his testimony.

When we talked about the Boeing on camera, I explained everything as it was. The things that I allegedly said off-camera were just made up by the journalist. It’s all lies. Off-camera, we never discussed the Boeing, Fedotov told RT.

He added that the Reuters journalist contacted him after taking the interview, but never showed him a draft of the article. Instead he was asking whether Fedotov had got into trouble for speaking to him.

“The journalist called me and asked if I was in trouble. I was really surprised. Why would I be in trouble if I told the truth? And then my friends told me in the article I was saying different things when the cameras were on and off. That’s when I understood why he was asking if I was in trouble,” the witness explained.

So it’s mere fantasy from the journalist or maybe he was doing it for his own benefit, he added.

RT’s request to Reuters for comments on the controversy and raw footage of Fedotov’s interview was not replied to as of publication of this article.

Read more

Lavrov condemns Reuters report on MH17 crash, calls for ‘unbiased, professional’ investigation

Reuters’ reporting was not based solely on Fedotov’s testimony. The agency cited three other eyewitnesses from the village, but only Fedotov was cited as pointing to either side of the conflict as firing the missile. The report emphasized that the eyewitness accounts didn’t conclusively prove that the rocket they saw was the one that downed Flight MH17.

Earlier in March, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov condemned the Reuters report of witnesses’ statements, saying it “looked like a stovepiping.” The top diplomat also then said that questions posed by Russia’s officials remained unanswered, saying there have been no promised images from American satellites or recordings of Ukrainian air traffic controllers’ communications with the plane.

The Malaysian Boeing 777 airliner was downed over eastern Ukraine on July 17 last year, killing 298 people on board. The incident became an instant controversy, with Ukraine and its Western backers accused rebel forces and Russia of being behind the downing.

Read more

Ukraine media falsely claim Dutch prosecutors accused Russia of MH17 downing

An investigation into the incident is being conducted by the Netherlands, but the preliminary report released last year didn’t point even to a kind of weapon used in the downing of the aircraft, only that an outside force destroyed it mid-air.

Russia called not to jump to conclusions and made military radar data public which indicated the presence of Ukrainian surface-to-air batteries and warplanes in the area on the day of the Boeing shooting.

Earlier Ukrainian media falsely claimed that Dutch investigators concluded that MH17 had been shot down by the rebels with a Buk missile, citing a report in the Dutch media that outlined the popular theory, but didn’t claim it to be proven. Dutch prosecutors told RT at the time that the investigation had not been concluded.

(THESE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT OBAMA IS HELPING.) ‘It’s his personal ideology’: USA Today finds Nazis among Kiev’s volunteer brigade

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An Azov Battalion sergeant has confessed to USA Today of praising Nazi ideology. He also pledged a march on the Ukrainian capital after the war. A spokesman for the pro-Kiev brigade insists this is a ‘personal choice’ of no more than a fifth of the unit.

USA Today visited the Azov Battalion stationed in the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol and spoke to a number of servicemen of the unit, which is sponsored by Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoysky.

READ MORE: Wolfsangel in E. Ukraine: Foreign Policy talks to deputy leader of ‘pro-govt’ Azov Battalion

A drill sergeant who identified himself as Alex told the newspaper that he supports Nazi-style strong leadership for Ukraine but does not share Nazis’ genocide agenda against Jews, as long as minorities “don’t demand special privileges.”

Alex insisted that once the war is over, he and others from the Azov Battalion will go back to Kiev to oust the corrupt government and nationalize the property of wealthy oligarchs.

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Officers of higher ranks in the battalion denied the presence of a large number of neo-Nazis among servicemen.

READ MORE: Right Sector refuses to obey Ukraine’s Defense Ministry – presidential aid

I know Alex is a Nazi, but it’s his personal ideology. It has nothing to do with the official ideology of the Azov,” said Andrey Dyachenko, a spokesman for the Azov Battalion. However, he did state that “only 10 percent to 20 percent of the group’s members are Nazis.”

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The Azov Battalion’s deputy commander, Oleg Odnorozhenko, insisted that the drill sergeant does not speak for the group. “If he has his own sympathies, it’s his own matter,” Odnorozhenko said, adding that Alex “will be dealt with severely for his lack of discipline.”

Ideas like going to Kiev to change the government in an illegal way should be nipped in the bud,” Odnorozhenko said, adding that Alex is a “good drill sergeant and a good instructor for tactics and weapons skills,” so his future in the unit is probably as bright as it gets.

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A member of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Kiev, Col. Oleksy Nozdrachov, defended the Azov fighters as patriots. “They are volunteers who decided to sacrifice their lives to the country,” he said.

They are tough and fierce in battle who stand and fight and won’t give up soil.”

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Kiev-controlled volunteer battalions and the Ukrainian Security Service are involved in an increasing number of human rights violations, including torture and forced disappearances of those suspected of “separatism,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a December 2014 report.

READ MORE: UN rights watchdog accuses Kiev forces of torture, inhumane treatment of civilians

The report – which covered a period of just one month, from November 1-30 – said the Office of the Military Prosecutor had not taken any actions to investigate the “considerable” number of allegations of human rights violations, “including looting, arbitrary detention and ill-treatment by members of certain voluntary battalions such as Aidar, Azov, Slobozhanshchina and Shakhtarsk.”

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In September last year, another international report confirmed that war crimes – including abductions, executions, and extortion – were committed by the Ukrainian Aidar volunteer battalion in the Lugansk region in eastern Ukraine.

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The recent interview is not the first time that Ukraine battalion volunteers have openly supported Nazi ideology. Last year, troops from the Ukrainian Azov and Donbass battalions were reportedly noticed wearing swastikas and SS badges.

According to a video on German TV station ZDF, Ukrainian soldiers were shown wearing swastikas and the “SS runes” of Adolph Hitler’s elite corps. The footage was shot by a camera team from Norwegian broadcaster TV2.

https://youtu.be/5SBo0akeDMY

A year ago, BBC Newsnight journalist Gabriel Gatehouse visited Kiev to investigate the links between the new Ukrainian government and Neo-nazis. Having reported “groups of armed men strut through the [Maidan] square with dubious iconography” – including German symbols used by SS divisions during WWII – the British journalistic investigation found that “the most organized and perhaps the most effective were a small number of far right groups,” adding that “when it came to confrontation with the police, it was often the nationalists who were the loudest and the most violent.”

READ MORE: Ukraine ultranationalist leader rejects Minsk peace deal, vows ‘to continue war’

National Socialist themes are popular amongst some of us…I like the idea of one nation. A clean nation…Not like under Hitler, but in our own way, a little bit like that,” a member of Ukraine’s Right Sector told the BBC reporter, who concluded that “the influence of the far right in Ukraine is growing.”

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In February, Right Sector leader Dmitry Yarosh said the party’s paramilitary units in eastern Ukraine will continue “active fighting” despite the ceasefire, as the radical movement did not recognize the Minsk peace deal agreed upon by Ukraine, France, Germany, and Russia after 16 hours of talks.