Putin on Kiev op: ‘Tanks, jets against own people?! Are they nuts?!’

Activists block a collumn of Ukrainian men riding on Armoured Personnel Carriers in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk on April 16, 2014 (AFP Photo / Anatoly Stepanov)

Putin has criticized Ukraine’s coup-appointed government for using tanks and jets against its own people, during a live Q&A session. Branding Kiev’s approach as a “crime,” Putin said they must open dialogue with eastern Ukraine.

“Have they lost their minds!?” said Putin during his annual question and answer session. “They are deploying tanks, armored vehicles and weaponry! Against whom?! Are they nuts?!”

The Russian president said he thought that asking activists in the southeast of Ukraine to hand in their weapons was the right approach, but this measure should also be applied to armed Ukrainian nationalist groups.

Putin went on to say the crisis in Ukraine can only be solved through a compromise in the interests of the Ukrainian people.

“The coup-appointed government in Kiev needs to come to its senses before we can negotiate,” said Putin.

In spite of the fact the interim government is illegitimate, Russia is still prepared to open dialogue with them, said Putin. Ukraine’s interim government came to power on February 22 after weeks of violent protests on Kiev’s Independence Square. They ousted President Viktor Yanukovich and declared elections in May, something that violates the Ukrainian constitution.

NATO’s reinforcement of its presence in eastern Europe was also touched upon during Putin’s Q&A session. Head of Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya, Dmitry Kiselev, said that he felt like NATO was “suffocating him” and described the organization as “a cancerous tumor.”

Dmitry Kiselev was included in the list of Russian politicians who were hit by Western sanctions following the Crimean referendum that led to the region’s integration with Russia.

In a tongue-in-cheek response, Putin told Kiselev not to be afraid of NATO, assuring him that “Russia would suffocate everyone else.”

NATO has accused Russia of attempting to destabilize Ukraine, something that Russia categorically denied. Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov told the press on Monday that Russia had no interest in promoting crisis in Ukraine, and the West needs to produce evidence to support its accusations.

Source: Russia Today

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Israel may strike at ship allegedly carrying Iranian rockets to Gaza – report

Israel has reportedly vowed to destroy rockets and other weapons being sent to Gaza by Iran. Tel Aviv issued this threat despite a recent ceasefire following eight days of bitter conflict between Gaza and Israel.

Israeli spy satellites spotted a cargo vessel in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas that was allegedly Gaza-bound and carrying arms, the Sunday Times reported.

“Regardless of the ceasefire agreement, we will attack and destroy any shipment of arms to Gaza once we have spotted it,” an Israeli defense official told the newspaper.

The vessel reportedly began its voyage last week just as Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire ending eight days of violence in Gaza, in which over 150 Palestinians died. The cargo is believed to include Fajr-5 rockets, similar to those used by Hamas in the conflict, and Shahab-3 ballistic missiles.

The ship is set to travel through the Red Sea, Sudan and Egypt, according to the Sunday Times report. Later, the weapons will be transported across the desert, disassembled and then smuggled through Sinai tunnels into Gaza. There, the arms will be reassembled by Hamas forces.

The Sunday Times’ report comes a day after the Hamas leadership announced they aren’t ready to stop arming themselves, despite the recently-agreed truce and ceasefire.

“We have no choice but to continue to bring in weapons by all possible means,” senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar told reporters, adding that he expected Tehran would “increase its military and financial support to Hamas.”

Earlier on Wednesday, exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal thanked Shia-majority Iran for what he described as arms and funding. Continue reading

Siege of Bani Walid: Foreign fighters, phosphorus bombs and nerve gas (Graphic images)

The besieged Libyan city of Bani Walid has been plunged into chaos. Several sources told RT the former Gaddafi regime stronghold is under attack by militias bolstered by foreign mercenaries, and they used banned weapons like white phosphorous.

The sources denied reports of the last few days that Bani Walid was retaken by the Libyan government. Residents said that militia forces have continued their assault, while preventing the refugees who fled from reentering the city.

A man who claimed his relatives are trapped inside the besieged city spoke with RT, saying, “There is no food; there is nothing to support the life of people. And the militia does not allow anyone to come back to their homes.”

“They are demolishing homes with machinery and tanks. There is no communication or internet so people are not able to connect with each other,” the source said. He is currently in Egypt, and refuses to reveal his identity over fears of personal safety.

He believes the real reason for the inoperable communications is that many people have been killed inside Bani Walid by the forces besieging the city and now they are trying to prevent information about the killings to be leaked outside.

The militia attackers have claimed they are battling ‘pro-Gaddafi’ forces, but the source slammed that motive as a “lie and a dirty game.”

“They use foreign snipers, I think from Qatar or Turkey, with Qatar covering all the costs,” he said. He claimed that a ship with weapons and other equipment recently docked in the port city of Misrata, where the assault on Bani Walid is allegedly being directed.

“There is no government in Libya. Groups of militia control everything. They don’t care about Libya, they don’t care about the nation,” he said, adding allegations that the majority of militia fighters have dual citizenship or passports from other countries.

“We ask the envoy [Special Representative] of the Secretary-General of the United Nations [for Libya] Mr. Tarik Mitri – where is he now?” he said. “Where is the United Nations? Where is the EU? Where is the Human Rights Watch? We ask for an intervention now as soon as possible – please!”

In an October 23 UN session, the US blocked a statement on the violence in Bani Walid drafted by Russia, which condemned the ongoing conflict in the city and calling for a peaceful resolution.

RT Photo from Bani Walid. RT source. The photo could not be independently verified.

Witnesses claim militia used chemical weapons in Bani Walid

“I can confirm that pro-government militias used internationally prohibited weapons. They used phosphorus bombs and nerve gas. We have documented all this in videos, we recorded the missiles they used and the white phosphorus raining down from these missiles,” Bani Walid-based activist and lawyer Afaf Yusef told RT. Continue reading

Muhammad Sadek Al Hussaini revealed info discussed between Iran & Syria

The Iranian strategic expert “Muhammad Sadek Al Hussaini”, revealed that the information, documents and papers accumulated by the Iranians,conveyed and discussed by the first man in the Iranian National Security in Tehran “Saeed Jalili” with the Syrians in details, stating that there is a US-NATO decision to turn Northern Syria into an “Al Qaeda” block in the face of the Russian and Chinese influence, similar to the days of fight against the Soviet influence in Afghanistan.. Along with the attempt to open another front against the growing Iranian influence on the base of what Iran calls “the Islamic awakening”, and the West call “The Arab Spring” after the failure of all the attempts of a foreign intervention against Syria.

Al Husseini confirmed that Jalili discussed with the Syrian command, the prospects of a Western dash toward igniting an open regional war prepared by the West and committed by Turkey to be as a”Trap” to Er

dogan’s government.

The strategic expert revealed that Jalili confirmed to president Assad Iran’s willingness to stand firmly and without any hesitation toward any plot to manipulate the Syrian national security, and the plan to overthrow Syria is considered by Iran as a direct threat to her national security, not just losing a resistant strategic ally. Continue reading

‘Don’t be duped by Western humanitarian rhetoric on Syria’ – Russia’s UN ambassador

Russia and China have for the third time vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on Syria which would entail tragic consequences for Damascus. Russia’s ambassador to the UN told RT why a diplomatic solution to the crisis remains the only option.

In an exclusive interview with RT, Vitaly Churkin gave his explanation of what is going on in Syria and why he thinks the conflict has spread beyond that country’s borders.

RT: Russia’s decision to veto this latest resolution has caused consternation and widespread criticism of Moscow’s stance – is Russia supporting the Assad regime?

Vitaly Churkin: Of course not. It is all about what needs to be done in order to settle the crisis. Unfortunately, the strategy of our Western colleagues seems to be to try to whip up tensions in and around Syria at every opportunity. And this time they took the occasion of the need to extend the mandate of the monitoring mission in Syria and attached a number of unacceptable clauses to their draft resolution. So, we needed to veto together with China that unacceptable draft to allow Kofi Annan more space to work on the document which was adopted by foreign ministers of a number of countries of the so-called “action group”, which calls for setting up transitional national body and that requires of course the dialogue between various parties. So, in this context, to introduce a resolution which would only entail pressure and almost inevitable sanctions on the Syrian government did not look like a good idea to us at all and we blocked the decision, which in our view was counter-productive. Continue reading

President al-Assad: the Political Process is Moving Forward, National Security is a Red Line

Source: Sana

DAMASCUS, (SANA)- President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday paid tribute to the souls of the innocent martyrs of the civilians and the military who have lost their lives since the early days of the events, stressing that their blood will not go in vain.

President al-Assad, addressing the People’s Assembly on the occasion of its first legislative term, eferring to the martyrs of the parliamentary candidates who were supposed to be part of “this big national workshop” on “this historic day”.

“To their souls and the souls of all innocent civilian and military martyrs who fell since the early days of the events, we stand in honor and high regard and send their families greetings and love and say to them ‘Their blood won’t go in vain’, and this is not be out of spite but out of the right as right is never lost unless it is abandoned by its holder.”

“Our only solace is that our homeland recovers and its sons Continue reading

Obama’s dirty dozen: Secret Service men behaving badly in Colombia

Barack Obama (L), surrounded by US Secret Service agents (AFP Photo / Saul Loeb)

Eleven Secret Service agents have been relieved from their duties in light of claims they spent time set aside for planning President Obama’s visit drinking and visiting prostitutes.

They were on location in Cartagena, Colombia, preparing for Obama’s arrival and participation in the Summit of the Americas. But instead, they engaged in activities that caused a scandal that could possibly overshadow the summit itself.

US Secret Service Assistant Director Paul Morrissey noted that allegations of misconduct were made against 11 Secret Service members, including both special agents and Uniformed Division officers. However, he did not specify exactly what kind of misconduct it was.

The nature of the allegations, coupled with a zero tolerance policy on personal misconduct, resulted in the Secret Service taking the decisive action to relieve these individuals of their assignment, return them to their place of duty and replace them with additional Secret Service personnel,” Morrissey said in a statement. Continue reading