Lada Ray Interview About Ukraine and Russia With Plane Truth:
The Road to Moscow Goes Through Kiev
Listen to my interview with the Time Monk Radio‘s show, The Plane Truth. It includes the analysis of the events in Ukraine; Russia, US and EU’s roles and aims; Ukraine and Russia’s history and how Ukraine became the artificial entity that it is today. Around 40:00 we talk about striking geopolitical similarities between Georgia war/Beijing Olympics and Ukraine coup/Sochi Olympics. later in the show we discuss the long-ranging predictions for Ukraine, Russia, US, EU, and more!
On Friday, March 7, 2014 I will be on the Time Monk Radio’s show PLANE TRUTH. We will be talking in detail about the situation in Ukraine, Russia’s role, USA/EU, geopolitics and my predictions.
The interview is here: The Road to Moscow Goes Through Kiev
Latest news: #G7 countries have announced a suspension of preparations for the #G8 meeting that was supposed to be held in #Sochi in June. #USA and #EU also announced they would be imposing sanctions on #Russia for “invading” their own naval base in #Crimea, protecting Russia’s own fleet and millions of Russians that were openly threatened by the #nazis taking over #Kiev.
Those who came here late, may read my prior posts with thorough analysis and video proofs of what is really happening in Ukraine. Particularly Part 4: Nazi coup succeeds. At the bottom of this post also find a link to: Dr. Paul Craig Roberts’ analysis of the Western media double standards and lies regarding Crimea and Ukraine. Also there is a link to the new leaked conversation between EU Foreign Minister and Estonian Foreign minister in which it is revealed that the snipers EU tries to pin on Yanukovich that shot demonstrators and police in Kiev were hired by the opposition.
The above news and their implications I want to discuss in this piece. However, before we start, I want to point out one of many obvious insanities of the US and EU, which will eventually result in a big problem for both. Note: in the Western news this was not reported at all, or it was twisted to appear that black was white and vice versa. Read the rest of this entry
Announcement: On Friday, March 7, 2014 I will be on the Time Monk Radio’s show PLANE TRUTH. We will be talking in detail about the situation in Ukraine, Russia’s role, USA/EU, geopolitics and my predictions.
The events in Ukraine are developing with such speed that I can’t write articles fast enough. Three days ago I said that I was planning a new article about the striking similarities of the situation during #Beijing2008 and #Sochi2014. As many would recall, during the Beijing Summer Games opening ceremony it became known that #Georgia in Caucasus had attacked a small breakaway republic of #SouthOssetia, killing in the process several Russian peacekeepers and shelling the sleeping city. #Russia responded and for four days there was something that Russia considered a small “peacekeeping operation” but what was dubbed dramatically in the West a “Georgia-Russian war.”
The striking similarities between the two situations were clear to me from the beginning. I started writing the article, which I intended to finish on weekend. By the time I sat down to finish it, some of the events I was planning on predicting in my article already took place.
Latest developments: 1. The Crimean Autonomous Republic declared that they didn’t take orders from Kiev. In a stunning show of direct democracy a 20 thousand strong crowd gathered on the main square and voted out the Kiev-installed president, voting in the new pro-Russian president. 2. Crimea also announced a referendum on whether to secede from Ukraine to occur on the day of the presidential elections in May. After Kiev militants tried to attack Interior Ministry building in the capital of Crimea, Simferopol, the referendum date was moved forward to March 30. As a result of this referendum, Crimea is certain to secede from Ukraine. 3. Russian Duma just voted unanimously to send troops to Crimea to ensure stability and peace in the region and to protect Russian population and Russian Fleet. 4. In response, Ukrainian authorities announced that they would blockade Crimea and do everything to prevent the vacationers of reaching Crimea during the beach season. Of course, vacation industry is the largest industry in Crimea. 5. Nazis Yarosh and another one, whose name I don’t recall, are now in charge of the security forces in Ukraine. While the nominal leader of Ukraine is US/EU stooge Yatseniuk, the real power and authority in Kiev and western Ukraine are the Kalashnikov-wielding nazis. 6. Oh, and this is especially adorable: Ukrainian nazis announced that in 6 months they plan to make Ukraine a nuclear state. Not a word from US or EU – looks like they believe it’s a good idea. After all, the Ukrainian nazis are pussy cats, unlike the aggressive Iran! Watch a nazi leader attacking and threatening prosecutor. They are wonderful, peaceful European nazis. How adorable indeed!
More news: A day or two ago, we found out that IMF and EU offered the new government of Ukraine a package of $20 bln. Washington has offered additional $1bln in “pro-reform aid.” Note: USA’s neocon Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria #Nuland admitted in December to USA spending $5.5bln on subverting Ukraine and preparing for the coup (more in Part 1). But to aid Ukraine’s stabilization after the coup they only have $1bln. Meanwhile, the new Ukraine government insists they need $35bln to avoid bankruptcy.
So, here is the spread: EU had NO money to give Yanukovich when he was supposed to sign the EU association agreement. All EU offered in exchange for Yanukovich surrendering his country’s independence and destroying its industry was an insulting $600 mln, citing economic difficulties in Europe. IF EU really wanted Yanukovich to sign that worthless EU association agreement, wouldn’t they have come up with at least a decent amount? They knew back then, as they know now, that the country was in pre-bankruptcy state and that in 2013 it asked for a $20bln loan. So, why did they offer such a laughable amount?
The answer is simple, they never intended for Yanukovich to sign the EU association agreement. If they are able to come up with $20bln + 1 right now, what has changed between now and then? If they wanted Ukraine to be a part of the EU sphere of influence as they were stating all along, then why not give Yanukovich a carrot? Why so obviously insult him? The answer is simple: so he would NOT sign the EU association agreement. That agreement was un-signable – it was never meant to be signed. Instead, it was meant to be rejected, which was supposed to lead to the coup d’etat based on “popular uprising” of “peaceful” protestors armed to their teeth with automatic weapons while Russia was preoccupied with Sochi Olympics. The protesting students, grannies and other local dupes were just a convenient decoration. Their role was to convince the world that this was indeed a public protest, while the nazi thugs were doing what they were trained and hired to do.
This is a very clear proof that I was right and that the EU association agreement was a set up. In Part 2 and Part 3 of this series I said that the signing of the EU association agreement was timed precisely before the Sochi Olympics so Russia would not be able to interfere for fear of boycott and US/UK disrupting the Olympics in which they had invested so much. The EU association agreement red herring was necessary to start the coup d’etat, while Russia’s hands were tied.
This scenario is nothing new. Similar events happened time and again since Gorbachev came to power, as well as before him, and I could recite quite a few of them. However, we don’t have to look too deep into history. Let’s just take a look at something as recent as 2008 #BeijingOlympics. When put in perspective, it becomes exceedingly clear who and why started the so-called “Georgian war” to coincide precisely with the opening ceremony of the Beijing Games. On the night of August 8, 2008, Georgian army suddenly attacked the sleeping breakaway republic of South Ossetia and the Russian peacekeepers on the border. The similarities between Sochi 2014 – Ukraine and Beijing 2008 – Georgia are apparent.
Let’s examine the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics – Georgian “war”
Shortly before Georgian president Saakashvili ordered attack on South Ossetia, Condoleezza Rice gave him a visit. By giving the green light for the Georgian attack of South Ossetia, US was pursuing several goals:
1. Take the spotlight away from the Beijing Games and try to distract Chinese organizers. Basically, your run of the mill sabotage.
2. Put a wedge between China and Russia. It was possible that the Chinese would take an insult at Russia for conducting military activity during the first and only Chinese Olympic games, in which China invested so much (the cost was the official $40bln). US tried to mess with Chinese minds here. Thankfully, both Russians and Chinese understood what games were being played and a rift US was hoping for, never occurred. Instead, Russian-Chinese relationship kept getting stronger.
3. It was a test for the Russian armed forces. US wanted to see their readiness.
4. It was a test for Russian leadership – how decisive will they be? Particularly, it was a provocation against Dmitry Medvedev, who just recently became Russia’s president and who was seen as a very soft man.
5. If Russia got stuck in Georgia, or, if anything at all went wrong, there would be a wealth of opportunities to malign and attack Russia for ages.
6. Regardless of the outcome, it was a fabulous opportunity to start a global anti-Russian media campaign. This campaign succeeded for at least a year.
The war: it took Russia several hours to defeat the American and Israeli trained, financed and armed to the teeth Georgian army. It took Russia 4 days to conclude the “almost war” with Georgia. In that timeframe, Russian troops made a brief, incision-like excursion into Georgian territory. The result was the destruction of the AMERICAN military bases, airfields and military port in Poti, which received and stored AMERICAN tanks, planes and other equipment.
It also resulted in a huge black eye for the US who, in their perpetual arrogance, could not believe Russians would dare to destroy THEIR property. Clearly, they never learn.
Why did US maintain bases and military equipment on Georgian territory you ask? In 2008, the US was preparing the invasion of #Iran; Georgia, with its bought-and-paid-for puppet president #Saakashvili was designated as USA’s unsinkable carrier for the Iran attack. That’s why US financed so lavishly this tiny country with no economy to speak of. It was necessary to buy up the entire population of the unsinkable carrier.
If you look at the map, Georgian territory is located within strikingly small distance of Iran. It was the most convenient place you could find in all of Eurasia in order to launch an attack against Iran. Americans and Israelis renovated the port of Poti, also, they built roads, bases and infrastructure, in order to accommodate a large influx of American forces once the invasion of Iran started in earnest. Iran invasion was being prepared for later in 2008 or 2009.
What happened during Condi Rice visit to Georgia? Two scenarios are possible: One: Condi actually gave green light to Saakashvili to test Russian troops readiness to respond before going into Iran. A litmus test, so to speak. The question that needed answering was: should we, or should we not, expect any trouble from Russians when we go into Iran? Two: Condi encouraged, or somehow hinted Saakashvili that he could go and retake the breakaway South Ossetia, assuring him that US would be behind him and that Russia would not respond. Whether Condi played Saakashvili, or gave him direct order – which scenario is more true only those who were there would know.
Either way, USA and Georgia believed that Russia’s response to their provocation would be weak. Their intelligence was telling them that Russian army was unprepared, poorly organized and equipped, that in fact it never got past the destructive tendencies of the 1990s. How wrong they were!
I recall a conversation I recently had with one of my readers, who was skeptical as to what Russia could possibly do to stop the invasion of the West into east Ukraine and Crimea. Here is what I said: “One of Russia’s strengths, always underestimated by the West and all invaders, is its incredible ability to rise from the ashes. It is because of this ability that Russia gets out of crises much faster than anyone predicts. This ability is why phoenix (Russian Firebird) is considered such a powerful symbol.”
So Russia, the country that has undoubtedly one of the best intelligences in the world, knew what USA was up to on Georgian territory. After unsuccessful Georgian invasion attempt into South Ossetia, Russia took the opportunity to go in and “clean up” American military bases. They neatly destroyed the bases, infrastructure built by Americans, and the Poti military port. Saakashvili, per reports, was trembling expecting Russian tanks to roll into the capital Tbilisi any moment. At that point, having done what they came for, Russian army neatly withdrew back to South Ossetia, announcing that they have recognized South Ossetian, and by association, Abkhazian independence, and that they would station Russian troops on South Ossetian territory to prevent the possibility of future invasions by Georgia.
Western press was predictably howling for over a year, photos and reports were falsified daily depicting suffering of innocent Georgian bystanders – read hired actors, who were painted with red paint signifying blood and who were dying from non-existent wounds. Those who remember those days, may recall that Saakashvili was on CNN, NBC, Fox, BBC 24/7 giving interviews, blaming Russia for attacking poor, little, defenceless Georgia, for destroying the city of Poti and killing its population. In fact, there were no civilian casualties in Georgia proper. However, Georgians left quite a few dead bodies in South Ossetia, including those of Russian peacekeepers. Lots of staged photos were used with ONE (!) apartment building full of bullet holes. Falsified photos were submitted to the UN, World Tribunal in Hague and other organizations. Photo after photo, they showed the same actors pretending to be wounded and killed in different poses and in different places. They apparently would die, then resurrect, walk to another spot and die again. The job was so shoddy that the UN and other organizations had to throw out these bogus complaints.
Despite the fact that Russians submitted undeniable proof of the Georgian attack and it became clear who the real perpetrators were, the witch hunt against Russia in the Western press only died down after a year or two. That’s when Russia finally got fed up and organized RT – Russia Today, which in a short couple of years became the most watched news channel on YouTube, easily bypassing all the CNNs and BBCs of the world. I was sickened by the overt lies and rusophobic witch hunt in the US media. As a volunteer, I participated in the informal pilot group that did initial work on rt.com forum to help shape RT as it is today. One of my suggestions that they took to heart was that Russia finally needed to stop being reactive; it needed to stop just responding and meekly explaining things every time they were attacked by Western media. I told them that it was by far the worst place to be. Instead, they needed to become proactive in promotion of their worldview and their point of view. I am happy to say that RT has developed very nicely and that the approach I proposed played a major role in their success.
As we well know, after the 2008 Russian incursion into Georgia, US was never able to invade Iran – and it wasn’t for the lack of trying. They were given a very clear message that it wouldn’t work.
Now let’s look at the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 – Ukraine
Just like in Beijing, before and during #Sochi it was hoped Russia would do something stupid, or at least get distracted/ broadsided by #Ukraine events. The Ukraine show was also designed to overshadow and steal the spotlight from the Sochi Games.
Moreover, it has to be understood that Ukraine is not just Russia’s closest neighbor; in fact, Russians regard Ukrainians as their brothers/sisters, and many consider themselves one people. Ukrainians read the same books and watch same TV shows as Russians. Millions of Ukrainians work in Russia as guest workers because they cannot find jobs within their own country and because they get paid much more in Russia. The mutual economical and cultural penetration is very, very deep. Therefore, just like in the Georgian war of 2008, when US was hoping to put a wedge between China and Russia, the Urkaine 2014 scenario was supposed to create animosity and distrust between the two extremely close, brotherly peoples!
I can tell you that they partially succeded, aided by EU and Poland. Unfortunately, there is distrust and animosity that was artificially created in the past 20 years of anti-Russian propaganda in Ukraine, especially on the Ukrainian side. However, Russian leadership, many Russians and Ukrainians, just like in the case of China, see through the lies.
My prediction: long term this isn’t going to work because cultural/ethnic ties eventually will win over – after all, blood is thicker than any propaganda, so to speak. In the process, the myopic US/EU are creating a future trouble for themselves. When enough people in Ukraine understand that they had been duped by Western propaganda, this will invariably give rise to the US/EU hatred and backlash. So, congrats, US/EU! As they say in Russia: don’t dig a grave for someone else – you’ll end up in it yourself. More about Ukraine and Russia ties below.
Now that the coup d’etat was accomplished on time – a day before the end of the Sochi Olympics, the question became: what will Russia do? Again, voices sounding from different corners of the Western spectrum declared that Russia wouldn’t do anything because Russia was weak. This reminds me of the walking-dead senator #McCain saying: “I guarantee Russia won’t intervene if USA invades #Syria.”
I wonder who guaranteed #Obama that Russia wouldn’t do anything in Ukraine? Must be McCain. Obviously, US, and EU as their poodle, are replaying the 2008 Georgia scenario, albeit this time, with much higher stakes. Ukraine is much closer to Russia – geographically, economically and culturally. There is a huge Russian population in Ukraine. By some estimates, up to 70% of people there consider themselves Russian, and up to 90% speak Russian on daily basis. So, the split is not 50-50 between Russian and Ukrainian parts, as is always portrayed in the Western media – the percentage of the Russian population is much higher.
Just like Georgia during Soviet times, Ukraine was an artificially slapped together entity that never existed as a successful independent state. South Ossetia and Abkhazia were “given” to Georgia over objections of its population by #Stalin – a native Georgian. East and south were given to Ukraine by #Lenin, while Crimea was “gifted” illegally to Ukraine by #Khrushchev – a native Ukrainian. Of course, none of them in their worst nightmare could imagine that the country that was united for many years would one day split up. This came as a nasty shock to all of the Russian speaking population of Ukraine as well.
So, the similarities are obvious: both Ukraine and Georgia are artificial entities that couldn’t stay intact as independent states outside of Russia; the Olympics; Western media war on Russia; using proxies; bought-and-paid-for army (Georgia) or militants (Ukraine); falsification of documents and vilifying Russia; testing Russian leaders resolve and preparedness of its army, trying to put a wedge and/or create animosity between Russia/Georgia and Russia/China in 2008 and Russia/Ukraine and Russia/EU in 2014, and so on.
It has to be noted that the additional side-effect of the active EU/Germany participation in Ukraine’s subversion and coup resulted in a damage to the very important relations between EU, and especially #Germany, and Russia. This was done also by design, to prevent EU/Germany and Russia from getting closer. It doesn’t help that the EU and German leadership are not what I’d call intelligent. Unlike China in 2008, gullible EU/Germany took the bait and swallowed the hook in the process. This is a very important issue and I will write a separate article about that.
Another amazing similarity is that US and their allies are just as badly informed and grossly unprepared to deal with the fallout of the monster they had created. And just as short-sighted as before. They really never learn!
I have said in previous posts that Russia possesses a plethora of peaceful and QUIET means of dealing with the problem in Ukraine, and they will use them all. I also said that Russia would never allow the base of the Russian Fleet in Crimea to fall into the hands of the nazis, NATO, US and EU. Russia will also do what’s necessary to protect Russians living in Ukraine.
As we already know, the Russian Duma has voted to send “stabilization troops” to Ukraine. Their mandate starts immediately.
Incidentally, Ukrainian de-facto nazi government (because #Yatseniuk and others are stooges with no real power), called on #Chechen terrorist Doku #Umarov to start terror against Russia. Doku Umarov is the best friend of #westernUkraine #nazis. These nazis helped Doku fight against Russian troops in #Chechnya as it turns out. Umarov is Russia’s most wanted for mass murder, extortion and terrorism, who was responsible for the bombings in Russian Metro and airport. (Incidentally, in my thriller Gold Train (Accidental Spy Russia Adventure), which you can find on Amazon and BN, I write about Chechen terrorists. Action in the book includes the tragic bombing scenes and the intelligence work to prevent more of these from happening.)
Now, does all this mean there will be a war between Russia and Ukraine? What will US do? How far will Russia go? I realize that I am at a disadvantage here as the situation is changing very quickly, and by the time I publish this post, there may be news that I don’t know yet.
However, I will try to present my opinion based on everything we know:
1. As I pointed out in my previous post, US and EU simply cannot afford a direct confrontation with Russia, period! Moreover, if US tries to send American troops to Ukraine, in my opinion, their own people and their own army will rebel. I keep hearing from various people on social media that the US army is fed up with its reckless and myopic leaders. EU has much less capability to confront Russia, and for them it would mean suicide, plain and simple. This will never happen. Of course, the howling in the Western press will go on forever and Russia will be vilified for as long as possible – again.
2. Will Ukraine try to send troops to Crimea or eastern Ukraine? It is possible. However, Ukrainian army is not very good, nor is it significant. Plus it is demoralized after recent events. Will they take orders from the nazis? Doubtful. Of course, western Ukraine nazis themselves are EXTREMELY well-trained thanks to US/EU financing and training in western Ukraine camps – similar to Al Qaeda training camps. However, they cannot leave Kiev because by the time they get back, they may be surprised by a big change there. Besides, they may be heroes against police that was given orders not to defend themselves, but they would not be able to go against Russian Army.
Crimean peninsula is almost an island and is very difficult to get into. Because of the tiny sliver of land connecting it to mainland, it is easy to defend and not that easy to cross over. Instead, they could use ships, but the Russian Fleet is right there. In any event, should there be a confrontation with Ukrainian forces of any sort, it is likely to end the same way as the Georgian conflict 2008.
As we know, the result of the Georgian conflict was that South Ossetia and Abkhazia seceded permanently from Georgia. After several years of difficult relations, Georgia and Russia are now slowly getting back to more normal and friendly relations. Saakashvili was voted out of the office and the new government, while still pro-Western, is friendlier to Russia. My prediction: eventually, Russia/Georgia relations will normalize even more, although it will be a delicate process. But Georgia will never get South Ossetia and Abkhazia back. Who won and who lost here, what do you think?
Now, let’s see what’s likely to occur in Ukraine’s case. Ukraine will permanently lose Crimea (it is already lost to them, in fact). I said previously that Russian government’s preference has been not to split up Ukraine. However, if Ukrainian government continues provoking conflict with the Russian-speaking population, Russian government will act to protect it. Ukraine may also lose Donbass, or possibly the entire eastern Ukraine.
Will it also lose southern Ukraine? Very possibly. According to the Russian-Ukrainian analyst Anatoly Vasserman (who’s from Odessa), Odessa, as the main city in the south, manages to keep nazis from Kiev out. Demonstrations pro-unification with Russia and against maidan have been actively happening there. Will they act to assert their autonomy? Odessans are lovers and traders, not fighters; however, if they feel threatened or under attack as happened during Word War II, they can rise to the occasion marvelously. I grew up in Odessa as my readers may know. For more about that, read here. Also read my mini-series: Odessa, The Pearl of the Black Sea.
Another important wild card is this breaking news: pro-Russian governor of Kharkov, Ukraine’s second largest city, has resigned his post and announced that he’s running for Ukraine’s president in May 2014. The elections will probably be heavily rigged. However, the very fact of him running signals that Russia is still trying to keep most of Ukraine together. I’ll explain: in case of even semi-decent elections, he has a good chance of winning as all Russian-speaking population will vote for him, and that’s the majority!
So, As I said in previous posts, Russia is still buying time, while using a multi-prong strategy in Ukraine. If however, it becomes obvious that the Russian-speaking candidate has no way of winning the presidential election due to falsifications and to perhaps intimidation by nazis, then Russia will act to help the population of the east to determine its future accordingly.
I continue thinking that Russia will use a whole system of influences – both carrots and sticks, to stabilize this region that is so important to Russia. They have certain leverage with the EU, and it will be used as well.
As a result of this very delicate and very volatile situation, Russia will emerge stronger and Ukraine will lose part of its territory that didn’t belong to it in the first place.
The imbecilism of #Washington is such that they have again started a game they simply cannot win. Just like in Georgia 2008 example, or like in Syria 2013, they will again end up with an egg on their face, and it will be there for the whole world to see.
Prediction: Generally, #Putin / #Lavrov can run circles around #Obama / #Kerry, therefore, time is on Russia’s side as they will simply watch US/EU bury themselves deeper and deeper, like in #Afghanistan and #Iraq. Then, US/EU will be required to clean up the mess they had created. In the end, the chess match that Russia never asked for will end in Putin/Lavrov/Russia’s favor.
P.S. 1. Let’s hope that one day Europe’s people and politicians grasp that they are being played and that their future is with Russia, not against it. And hopefully, they will get it sooner rather than later. 2. Let us also hope that US/EU stupidity has limits and the real war can be prevented.
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FOLLOW LADA RAY’S WORK:
- What is Really Happening in Ukraine? Part 5: US, EU, Civil War and Bankruptcy
- What is Really Happening in Ukraine? Part 4: Nazi Coup Succeeds
- What is Really Happening in Ukraine? Part 3: Ukraine’s Future
- What is Really Happening in Ukraine? Part 2: Predictions
- What is Really Happening in Ukraine? Part 1: Analysis
New FT Category added in 2016 Geopolitics of Sport & Olympics!
For the full picture in the new lows of hybrid war against Russia, and on how Olympics have become an ugly proxy in the global geopolitical struggle to preserve the dying US Empire, read my complete article compilation on Olympics, doping in sport, and Brazil!
I stated in Part 2 that #US and #EU had to hurry to violently remove Yanukovich from power while Russia was busy with the #SochiOlympics. They succeeded too well. And this is the result they have achieved so far:
1. Ukraine is having trouble forming transitional government after illegal overthrow of the previous government and president, as the main opposition leaders, boxer #Klitchko and Yulia #Tymoshenko, decline participation in this government.
2. To paraphrase George Bush: What does democracy have to do with any of this?
Western #Ukraine neo-nazi #RigthSector leader, #Yarosh, who wants to eliminate and deport all NON-UKRAINIANS (read: Russians and Jews) is tipped for a position of vice-Minister of Interior, in other words, in charge of police and judiciary. He qualifies just fine: after all, he is very good at handling machine guns and for years he’d trained his militants in western Ukraine’s neo-nazi training camps. These camps were financed by the $5 bln US had spent on subverting Ukraine, and by undisclosed sums from #Brussels as well as certain EU countries individually. US interference and expenditure in Ukraine was admitted by Victoria #Nuland at Press Club in December, 2013. Also, listen to leaked Victoria Nuland conversation re. USA role in Ukraine. Read the rest of this entry
This is what one of my Twitter followers, who resides in Kiev, has tweeted:
1.”Ukraine is now captured by nationalistic extremists & started terror against Russian-speaking population.”