OSCE observers, journalists under fire in E. Ukraine
Published time: 27 Dec, 2015 19:27
OSCE observers have come under fire in the Donetsk Region of Ukraine and had to abort their inspection of the village of Kominternovo on Sunday, the watchdog said, adding that none of its staff had been injured in the incident.
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine said it “confirms that an incident involving small arms fire took place, today, 27 December, at 11:20 in the vicinity of Kominternove.”
There were no injuries among the mission’s members or damage done to OSCE vehicles in the attack, it added.
According to the watchdog, the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) observers had to “evacuate the area immediately” and return to their base in the city of Donetsk, held by the forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).
The DPR’s Deputy Head of General Staff, Eduard Basurin, and the Russian TV crew was accompanying the monitors when the shots were fired.
"Fortunately, there were no victims among the journalists and OSCE mission members. Eduard Basurin also avoided injuries,” a DPR military representative told Interfax.
The Rossiya 24 channel said none of its crew, who were filming in Kominternovo, were hurt.
"As soon as the OSCE began its inspection, we heard separate shots. The military later told us that it was sound of the sniper rifles. It was followed by machinegun fire,” Andrey Rudenko, Rossiya 24 correspondent, said on air.
“After driving around a kilometer away from the scene, we’ve heard that shells, which were presumably fired from mortars, began exploding on the very spot,” he added.
Rudenko stressed the area where the attack took place is controlled by the Right Sector ultranationalist group.
The fire came from the direction of Ukrainian military positions, according to Basurin.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said the attack on the OSCE observers was a provocation staged by the self-defense forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
The OSCE observers are working in eastern Ukraine to monitor the implementation of the Minsk peace deal, which was signed in February between Kiev and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
The accord has led to a sharp decrease in the fighting, which has been going on since April 2014 and took over 9,000 lives.
The agreement, which envisaged a ceasefire, prisoner exchanges and the withdrawal of heavy weaponry, led to a drastic decrease in violence in the area, but has not been fully implemented by either side.
The attack on the OSCE observers wasn’t the only incident in the Donetsk People's Republic on Sunday, with Basurin saying that two people were killed in the shelling of the village of Zaytsevo by Ukrainian forces.
source:Russia said Friday that it was giving Ukraine a “discount” on natural gas prices, but further declines in energy prices will likely make the $17.8 savings a moot point anyway. Bonus for trying to be nice to Kyiv, though, Gazprom.
Russia’s main supplier to Ukraine, Gazprom, will charge $230 per 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas for first quarter deliveries. The price is locked in and was signed by decree by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on New Year’s Eve. Russia and Ukraine have been locking horns on gas prices all year. European moderators have been forced to mediate the dispute, which has often led Gazprom to stop deliveries of gas to Ukraine.
The lower price is mostly reflected by falling natural gas futures in the market and not Moscow subsidies, as in the olden days when the two countries were on speaking terms. Ukraine will likely end up paying a bit more than market rate because energy prices are seeing falling to the low $30s in the first half of next year anyway. Lower oil prices tend to translate into lower natural gas prices as well.
BP CEO Bob Dudley said in a BBC interview this weekend that oil futures will hit their “low point” in the first quarter of 2016 before stabilizing by the end of the year. “Prices are going to stay lower for longer, we have said it and I think we are in this for a couple of years. For sure, there is a boom-and-bust cycle here,” Dudley said. Oil prices fell 34% in 2015 due to prolonged global oversupply and lackluster demand from China.
February oil futures are $37, having fallen in December to their lowest point since the Great Recession. The Russian ruble continues to track oil. The currency weakened to 73 to the dollar, its lowest level ever.
Meanwhile, Ukraine continues to deal with the Russians in East Ukraine. Crimea is essentially fully sanctioned by the U.S. government, and Ukraine is forced with paying the Russians — the bane of their existence nowadays — some $3 billion in overdue debts.
Naftogaz said last week that it’s been getting a lot of its gas and oil supplies from Europe, but the origin of that fuel is likely to be Russian.
Russia’s Finance Ministry is filing a lawsuit against Ukraine for failing to pay off its $3 billion debt to Russia before the December 31 deadline. This means that Ukraine is now officially in a state of default, the ministry added.
“Ukraine has not made the payment of $3.075 billion in repayment and servicing of external bonds owned by Russia during the grace period, which expired on December 31, 2015. Thus, Ukraine is in a state of default now,” the ministry said in a statement.
yesterday Separatists' Field Commander "Cat" killed by a sniper in downtown Donetsk, so Ukrainians were blamed:Jan 11, 2015
EDIT examples:... but I'll try to follow "small beer"
Separatists' Field Commander "Batman" and his bodyguard ambushed, killed:
Separatists' Field Commander Mozgovoy survived the assassination attempt:
Separatists' Field Commander Mozgovoy assassinated:
and this is from the older Ukraine-Thread (can't quote it directly):
Oct 15, 2014
... Dryomov assassinated today:
... and yesterday Ukraine turned down the offer, as the price is lower in Western Europe, Russians announcedRussia cut back the price of natural gas for Ukraine most recently