Windows were shattered and homes shaken in Donetsk after a huge blast rocked the vicinity of a city chemical plant which was under rebel control. Kiev and the militants accuse each other of causing the blast.
The powerful explosion took place at 10:50pm local time on Sunday. Local militia reported that a military chemical plant DKZHI was the target of Kiev’s artillery shelling.
Witnesses saw the sky lit up by the explosion, some nearby living residents had their windows broken by the blast’s shockwave and many others felt the ground shake, RIA Novosti reported. Even those living in nearby towns said they felt the tremor.
“The center of the blast was near DKZHI,” co-chairman of the anti-Kiev People’s Front Konstantin Dolgov said on his Facebook page. The factory is known for producing chemical products used for industrial explosives, ammunition and equipment artillery bombs. This is not the first time the plant has been the target of a Kiev attack. It was also hit with artillery rockets in September and November.
The militia forces would not immediately confirm if there were casualties, either among militiamen or civilians. But they said the fire, which started after the explosion, poses no threat of a chemical spill, which is a cause of great concern at the plant, as it handles toxic compounds in producing explosives.
“The fire has been contained. There is not threat of chemical spill… Most likely it was a high-caliber artillery shell,” said an official from the Donetsk People's Republic.
The spokesman for Kiev's Anti-Terrorist Operation said that rebels were at fault for the accident.
"This was caused by a dropped cigarette butt," Andrey Lysenko told the media on Monday.
"Accidents often happen in factories where no one is responsible for fire safety. Well, it's chaos, and they are barbarians."
Not all pro-Kiev officials agreed.
The Ukrainian military deployed a Smerch (the BM-30 Tornado) multiple rocket system to shell the area in the city, Boris Filatov, former deputy head of the industrial Dnepropetrovsk Region and a member of the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada), said on his Facebook page.
According to Filatov, the men who fired the missiles “do not know what they hit because they were shooting based on coordinates.”
Earlier, Ukrainian far-right politician and paramilitary commander Dmitry Yarosh, who is involved in the Kiev military action in southeastern Ukraine, confirmed on his Facebook page that the explosion was caused by Ukrainian artillery.
Yarosh, who is wanted by Interpol on charges of inciting terrorism, was elected to the Rada in October 2014. He played a key role in the protests on Maidan (Kiev’s Independence Square), which led to the toppling of Viktor Yanukovich’s government earlier that year. Back in May, the Right Sector leader received less than 1 percent of the vote in Ukraine’s presidential election.
Meanwhile, the situation in southeastern Ukraine has been rapidly worsening since January 18, when Ukrainian troops have launched a massive assault on militia-held territories after an order from Kiev.
Shelling of the rebel-controlled towns has been witnessed on a daily basis, including the city of Donetsk, with both sides blaming each other for violence. Meanwhile, the indiscriminate shelling of residential areas by Kiev, at times with internationally-prohibited arms, has even been confirmed by the Ukrainian government’s strongest supporter – Washington.
John McCain, US Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, said Kiev used cluster bombs – claiming it’s because Ukrainian troops did not have better weapons delivered to them by the US.
Reports from Donetsk coincided with the latest report from the German intelligence service, which estimates the real losses in the Ukrainian civil war at 50,000 dead (civilians and servicemen). This reported figure is nearly 10 times higher than the death toll named by the Kiev authorities.
The latest breakthrough was announced on Sunday with plans for ‘Normandy Four’ format peace talks. The meeting may be held in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, as early as Wednesday, the German government said, following a phone call between Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French leader Francois Hollande.
This year’s Munich Security Conference features a shocking but unsurprising drumbeat of anti-Russian hate-mongering.
RT International called proceedings a Russian “hate fest.” An outrageous display of US-led Western cynicism, Russia-bashing, and Big Lies heading things toward East/West confrontation.
Vice President Joe Biden shames the office he holds. He’s a caricature of a high US official and then some.
“Europe is the cornerstone of US engagement around the world,” he said. Code language for US-dominated NATO global aggression.
Russia bashing followed. Biden lied claiming Moscow aims “to redraw the map of Europe by force.” Seeks “to divide Ukraine between east and west.”
“(S)ought to keep secret its little green men and…tanks” used to invade Ukraine. “(W)e have…incontrovertible proof that they exist.”
Note: whenever US officials are asked for verifiable proof of Moscow’s involvement, silence follows. Russia didn’t invade Ukraine.
Not now or earlier. No evidence whatever suggests it. Biden lied. So does Obama, John Kerry, other US officials and EU ones.
Washington invaded Ukraine. First by long-planned coup d’etat last February. Replacing democracy with fascist tyranny.
CIA, FBI and other US operatives infest Kiev. Making, implementing and directing war policy.
US combat troops are in Western Ukraine. Involved in arming, training and directing Kiev’s military. Perhaps readying to head east.
Biden admitted Washington supplies Ukraine with weapons. Using code language saying:
“We will continue providing Ukraine with security assistance…to allow Ukraine to defend itself.” Washington considers US-planned, implemented and directed Kiev aggression self-defense.
At the same time, Biden asserted “Russia has (no) right to do what they’re doing.” Putin, Lavrov and other Moscow officials continue going all-out for peaceful conflict resolution.
Impossible because Washington wants war. Moscow peace talks accomplished nothing. Fighting continues.
Poroshenko vows to crush Donbas freedom fighters. He talks peace while waging war. In late January, he said “(b)reak Donetsk at any cost.”
Anti-war Ukrainians face possible arrest. For now, they’re being detained, interrogated, finger-printed and photographed. Kiev considers anyone against war a provocateur.
Proposed finance ministry legislation contains provisions on confiscating individual and business bank deposits.
Language states “in the event of martial law and a moratorium on disbursement of bank deposits, such deposits may be used in order to satisfy the needs of the state during the special period by including such a proportion as will be determined by the cabinet of ministers into the state budget.”
Seizing bank accounts to wage naked aggression against its own people gives grand theft new meaning.
Merkel admitted it’s “uncertain whether (peace talks) will be successful.” Perhaps acknowledging they already failed.
“G)et out of Ukraine or face continued isolation and growing economic costs at home,” Biden hyperventilated.
“…Russia needs to understand that as long as it continues its current course, the United States…all of Europe, and the international community will continue to impose costs…”
A previous article discussed NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s Munich Russia-bashing address.
Indefensible beginning-to-end disinformation, distortions and Big Lies. Other Munich speeches featured similar rubbish. Drumbeat anti-Russian hate-mongering.
Lavrov again displayed his world-class diplomatic credentials. Shaming his Western counterparts. To no avail. His straight talk fell on deaf ears.
Saying European stability, “based on the UN Charter and the Helsinki (Accords) principles, was long ago undermined by the actions of the US and its allies in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, by NATO expansion to the East, (and) the creation of new lines of separation.”
“The project of building a ‘common European home’ failed because our partners in the West were guided not by the interests of building an open architecture of security with mutual respect for interests, but illusions and beliefs of the winners in the ‘Cold War.’ “
Washington irresponsibly blames Russia for “(e)ach difficult situation (it) created…”
What’s ongoing reflects US-led NATO’s “last quarter-century (efforts) to capture by any means (its) dominance in world affairs, to capture the geopolitical space in Europe.”
Russian/EU “strategic partnership” failed “because (European nations) chose a confrontational path of development of the mechanisms for mutually beneficial interaction.”
“(A)t each stage of the development of (Ukrainian crisis conditions, Washington), and under (its) influence the European Union, took steps leading to escalat(e)” conflict.
Western nations “repeatedly (offer) indulgences to Kiev authorities…”
“(I)nstead of fulfilling the promises of starting (meaningful) national dialogue, began a large-scale military operation, declaring their own citizens (called ‘terrorists’) for disagreeing with the unconstitutional change of government and a rampage of ultra-nationalists.”
Washington and EU partners “close their eyes to everything” Kiev says and does. “(I)ncluding inciting xenophobic sentiments” with statements like:
“Ukrainian social-nationalism considers the Ukrainian nation a blood-racial community.”
“The question of total Ukranization in the future social-nationalist state will be resolved within three to six months with strict and prudent state policy.”
Code language for eliminating all opposition to hardline fascist rule. Lavrov called Kiev governance a “danger(ous) neo-Nazi virus.”
Its actions evoke no responsible reaction from Western leaders.
Conflict in Donbas “cannot be resolved by military force,” Lavrov stressed. At the same time, Washington and “some (other) Western nations (call for) ‘pump(ing)’ Ukraine with deadly weapons and pull(ing) it into NATO.”
“Russia will continue to seek to establish peace. We consistently advocate for the cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of heavy weapons, the beginning of direct negotiations of Kiev with Donetsk and Lugansk about specific ways to restore the common economic, social and political space within the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
Seventy years after WW II ended, Lavrov reminded conference participants of the “responsibility that rests on all of us.”
A testy Q & A session followed. Subjecting Lavrov to irresponsible derision. Including scoffing laughter and scattered howls from Western officials.
In response, Lavrov said “I guess it’s funny. I also found many things (others said) funny, but I controlled myself.”
He correctly explained last February’s events in Kiev as a Western-sponsored coup.
Not according to German parliamentarian Elmar Brok. “It was not a coup,” he said – to the applause of Western officials infesting Munich’s audience.
Lavrov accused Brok of double standards hypocrisy. Saying “(i)t’s one thing if you want to give angry speeches (to) bolster your political position…”
“If you want to talk, then let’s sit down and reaffirm all of the Helsinki principles and see why you think they were violated in some cases and not in others.”
Conference chairman Wolfgang Ischinger called “issues we are discussing here…no laughing matter…”
Washington bears full responsibility for Ukrainian crisis conditions. Rogue EU partners share it. Outrageously blaming Russia for its high crimes.
At stake is world peace. America’s rage for war heads things perilously closer to open confrontation with Russia.
The madness of possible nuclear war. Ukraine is a flashpoint of conflict potentially able to end life on earth. Lunatics in Washington risk it.
Reports suggest Pentagon officials may position cruise missiles and other heavy US weapons in Ukraine targeting Russia.
Doing so ups the ante for war. Obama bears full responsibility for risking the unthinkable.
A potential shocking East/West clash none of his predecessors dared imagine. Ukraine is ground zero. Washington spurns peace.
Conflict keeps escalating. Possibly heading toward direct US involvement. Close to Russia’s border.
Ukraine is the pretext. Russia the target. Regime change the objective. Will Washington wage war to achieve it?
Will nuclear confrontation follow? At stake is humanity’s survival.
For the first time in world history it’s up for grabs. Lunatics in Washington threaten everyone.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
“At every stage of the Ukrainian crisis Washington has been taking steps that “only promoted further aggravation of the situation.”
“We cannot understand why in Afghanistan, Yemen and Mali the West is calling on the governments to hold talks with the opposition, in some cases even with extremists, whereas in regard to the Ukrainian crisis, the West is indulging Kiev in its military operation.”
“Russia is set to promote the peace process in Ukraine.We consistently stand against further warring, we advocate withdrawal of heavy weapons and initiating direct talks between Kiev and the militia in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.”
“There is no military solution to the Ukrainian crisis. This was proved last summer when the situation on the battlefield forced [Kiev] to sign the Minsk agreement. It is being proved now that another attempt to gain a military victory is withering away.”
“European security is based on the UN Charter and Helsinki Declaration principles, long sabotaged by the actions of the US and its allies.”
“We would like to understand if our partners share our point of view or if they prefer to continue the course of deepening the split in the pan-European space and contrasting fragments. Do they want to create an architectural security with Russia, without Russia, or against Russia?”