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Do you agree that the rights of the Russian speakers are violated in Ukraine?
2014.04.20 01:16:10

Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KMIS) published the results of a public opinion poll on the views and political] expectations among the residents of Southeastern Ukraine. The study was done in the region on April 8-16.

Do you agree that the rights of the Russian speakers are violated in Ukraine?

Yes - 23.1% of residents of the Southeast (Donetsk region - 39.9%, Luhansk - 29.5%, Kharkiv - 24.8%, Odessa - 24.8%)

No - 71.5% overall (Donetsk region  57.2%, Luhansk - 60.8%, Kharkiv - 71.8%, Odessa - 72.1%, Dnipropetrovsk - 79.7%, Zaporizhzhya - 82.2%, Mykolayiv - 87.6%, Kherson - 86.1%)



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Ukraine's pro-Russian protest hub Donetsk
2014.04.20 01:14:37

A majority of inhabitants in Ukraine's pro-Russian protest hub Donetsk do not want to join Russia but consider the government in Kiev to be illegitimate, according to a poll published on Saturday.

52.2 percent of people questioned in the region, the focal point of separatist unrest that has seen pro-Moscow militants seize a string of towns, said they were against joining Russia while 27.5 percent favored rule from Ukraine's former Soviet master Moscow.

Among the 3,200 respondents across Ukraine's entire Russian-speaking southeast, the number of those opposed to Moscow taking control rose to 69.7 percent, according to the poll from Kiev's Institute for International Sociology published in the Russian-language Weekly Mirror newspaper. [AFP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Russia and the West
2014.04.20 01:13:29

President Vladimir Putin on Saturday said nothing should impede the normalization of relations between Russia and the West, after ties hit a post-Cold War low due to the standoff over Ukraine.

"It does not depend on us. Or does not only depend on us. It depends on our partners. I think that there is nothing that should stand in the way of a normalization (of relations) and normal cooperation," Putin said in comments released by Russian news agencies from a state television interview to be broadcast later Saturday.

[AFP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Russian-language television channel
2014.04.20 01:08:09

Europe's Baltic states are in talks to set up their own Russian-language television channel in a bid to counter the deluge of propaganda aimed at their ethnic Russian populations by Moscow-backed media.

Numerous Russian-language media outlets already exist in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania but most emanate from Russia and toe its line on politics and history - sensitive issues in a region that endured half a century of Soviet occupation.

This month, Latvia and Lithuania each suspended the television channel Russia RTR for "inciting ethnic hatred". Vilnius had already taken two other stations off the air. [AFP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Pro-Russian demonstrators
2014.04.20 01:07:11

Hundreds of pro-Russian demonstrators gathered in Lenin Square in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, on Friday to voice their support for fighters refusing to disarm and vacate local government buildings, despite international pressure.

They also demanded a referendum they hope would pave the way for secession from Ukraine.

Pro-Russian insurgents have occupied government buildings in more than 10 Ukrainian cities and have vowed to remain until the country's interim government resigns.

But in clear defiance of Thursday's agreement between Ukraine and Russia, armed men patrolled Slovyansk in tanks and armored vehicles seized from Ukraine's military forces.

[AP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Dmitry Peskov
2014.04.19 02:55:23

"Our Western colleagues are trying to push responsibility (for implementing the deal) towards our side. But it must be underlined: it is a collective responsibility."

Dmitry Peskov



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Tymoshenko wants to hear the demands of people in Donetsk
2014.04.19 02:54:37

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko arrived on Friday in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, in a bid to defuse tensions and hear "the demands of Ukrainians who live in Donetsk for the central government."

"I'd like to listen to these demands by myself and find out how serious they are, so that one could find the necessary compromise between the east and the west that will allow us to unite the country," she said.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Kiev warns separatists of 'actions' next week
2014.04.19 02:50:36

The Ukrainian government warned on Friday it could take "more concrete actions" next week if pro-Russian separatists do not end their occupations of public buildings under the terms of an international accord.

"Hopefully, if those people are ready to leave the buildings, to surrender weapons, today, tomorrow, so we can encourage the OSCE mission to negotiate, to mediate and implement this. But if this will not start in a few days, I think that after Easter there will more concrete actions."

Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Pro-Russia group demands resignation of government in Kiev
2014.04.19 02:41:33

As well as their previous demands that pro-Ukraine groups vacate buildings before they move, occupiers of Donetsk's regional administration buildings have also stated they will not vacate the premises until the interim government in Kiev has resigned.

The group, under Denis Pushylin, maintain the cabinet and president in Kiev are illegal.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukrain
2014.04.19 02:40:42

The self-declared leader of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, Denis Pushilin, on Friday said that he did not consider his men to be bound by an agreement between Russia and Ukraine to disarm and vacate occupied buildings.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei "Lavrov did not sign anything for us, he signed on behalf of the Russian Federation," Pushilin, head of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, told journalists in Donetsk.



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Bilal al Habshi mosque
2014.04.19 02:39:37

A bomb went off in front of a mosque and killed 14 people in Homs, Syrian state television said on Friday, with forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad looking close to wresting the symbolic central city back from rebels.

"Fourteen people were killed and dozens wounded in a terrorist bomb in front of the Bilal al Habshi mosque ... as people left the mosque," state television said. The mosque is in a government-controlled part of Homs.

Syrian authorities generally refer to attacks by rebels as "terrorist", but there was no way to verify who was responsible for the blast. The Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV station, which has reporters in Syria, said it was a car bomb.

[Reuters]



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Ajnad Misr, claimed a series of attacks
2014.04.19 02:38:42

A little-known armed group, Ajnad Misr, claimed a series of attacks and vowed new ones targeting Egyptian security forces in a video posted on its Twitter account on Thursday.

In the video titled "Retaliation is life", the group said that it had carried out eight attacks in Cairo since November 20, 2013.

It also said it would launch new attacks as revenge against the abuses inflicted by security forces on women protesters supporting ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

"Our honor is screaming and asking whether there is a man to retaliate or has manhood died?", the video said. [AFP]



Tags: Egypt | Muslim Brotherhood | Mohamed Morsi

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Syrian refugees in Jordan
2014.04.19 02:37:31

AFP's Mussa Hattar writes that Syrian refugees in Jordan are so miserable that they would rather face "inevitable death" in their war-torn country than live in conditions that have sparked riots.

With Syria's war now in its fourth year, many of the 100,000 refugees in the sprawling desert Zaatari camp in northern Jordan feel the world has forgotten their struggle to survive.

"Syrian refugees would rather go home and face inevitable death than swallow the bitterness of displacement," Abu Isam, 52, told AFP before his cousins and other refugees boarded a bus back to Syria.



Tags: Syria | Jordan

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Pro-Russian militia
2014.04.19 00:43:51

Pro-Russian militiamen who control government buildings in eastern Ukraine are showing no sign of relenting despite a deal between Moscow and Kiev.

Ukraine and Russia agreed on Thursday to take tentative steps toward calming tensions along their shared border after more than a month of bloodshed. The surprise agreement, brokered by the United States and the European Union, appeared to tamp down the immediate crisis but offered no assurances for a long-term resolution.

The deal calls for the immediate return of all government buildings seized by pro-Russian militia. But none of the government buildings seized across eastern Ukraine has yet been vacated, according to local media on Friday. [AP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Russian shares surged
2014.04.19 00:33:46

Russian shares surged on Friday after a deal struck by Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union boosted hopes of a peaceful resolution
to the crisis in Ukraine.

At 0700 GMT the dollar-denominated RTS index was up 2.8 percent at 1,206 points while the ruble-denominated MICEX rose 2.3 percent to 1,360 points.

The gains were broad-based, with gas giant Gazprom up 2.9 percent, Sberbank 2 percent, oil major Lukoil 1.9 percent, and telco MTS 3.2 percent. [Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Obama conveyed skepticism
2014.04.19 00:31:41

President Barack Obama conveyed skepticism Thursday about Russian promises to de-escalate a volatile situation in Ukraine, and said the United State and its allies are ready to impose fresh sanctions if Moscow doesn't make good on its commitments.

"My hope is we do see follow-through," Obama said at an impromptu news conference at the White House a few hours after Secretary of State John Kerry wrapped up a meeting in Geneva with diplomats from Russia, Ukraine and the European Union. [Associated Press]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | United States | Barack Obama

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Donetsk residents rally
2014.04.19 00:18:06

Donetsk residents held a rally on Thursday to support unity with Kiev and national integrity of Ukraine as pro-Russia activists continue to occupy government buildings in the eastern Ukrainian city.

Over 2,000 residents took part in the rally to express their Ukrainian patriotism.

"We are gathering here and want to say that Donetsk is a part of Ukraine, we love our country. Ukraine is indivisible and independent, and most importantly, it is united," said Anton, a Donetsk resident.

Residents like Anton say they don't want to see the federalization of Ukraine, and they also don't think a referendum should be conducted in Donetsk.

"The decision of a referendum should be made by the whole country, not only in Donetsk," said Anton.

"Basically, no one worries about the deterioration of our relationship with Russia. All people here hope for peace, and they want to live peacefully with people from Russia, western Ukraine and any other countries," said Vlad, another Donetsk resident.

Security forces were strengthened out of concern for potential clashes between residents and pro-Russia activists, but no conflict broke out in the rally which lasted for one hour and 15 minutes.

Unrest erupted earlier this month in the country's east after pro-Russia activists seized administrative buildings in several eastern cities, demanding a referendum on autonomy and closer ties with Russia.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Obama uncertain on Ukraine deal
2014.04.19 00:17:05

The United States, European Union, Russia and Ukraine have reached an agreement on immediate steps to be implemented to ease the crisis in Ukraine, but US President Barack Obama cautioned it was uncertain if Moscow would stand by the deal.

"The question now becomes, will in fact they use the influence that they've exerted in a disruptive way to restore some order so that Ukrainians can carry out an election, move forward with the decentralization reforms that they've proposed, stabilize their economy and start getting back on the path of growth and democracy and that their sovereignty will be respected?"

Click here to continue reading this story



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | United States | Barack Obama

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Kerry met U.N. Special Representative
2014.04.18 11:39:18

S. Secretary of State John Kerry met U.N. Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in Switzerland on Thursday, where talks focused on Syria's devastating civil war.

Brahimi said that a deal between trapped fighters and civilians in Homs city and the Syrian authorities had broken down, as government forces appeared close to retaking the besieged opposition area.

Homs, a religiously-mixed city, was the scene of early protests against President Bashar al-Assad in 2011 and has become a symbol of the destructive nature of Syria's civil war, with many of its neighborhoods leveled by army shells.

A deal agreed at peace talks in Geneva this year allowed some civilians to leave but further negotiations broke down following heavy fighting this week.

Brahimi issued a statement Thursday, apologizing for the break down in talks.

"It is a matter of deep regret that negotiations were brutally stopped and violence is now rife again when a comprehensive agreement seemed close at hand," Brahimi said in a statement.

"It is alarming that Homs, whose people have suffered so much throughout these past three years is again the theater of death and destruction."

[AP]



Tags: Syria | United States

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Canada voices concern on Brotherhood
2014.04.18 11:38:06

Canada has expressed concern about the Muslim Brotherhood just months after British Prime Minister, David Cameron, ordered an inquiry in to the group.

"We are tremendously concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood" Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird told a press conference in Cairo.

[AFP]



Tags: Egypt | Muslim Brotherhood | Canada

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