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Ukrainian soldiers cross border into Russia


By LAURA MILLS
Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) -- A Russian border security official said more than 400 Ukrainian soldiers crossed into Russia, according to a report from the Interfax news agency. It wasn't immediately clear why the soldiers entered Russia, with both sides giving conflicting accounts.

The Russian official said the soldiers deserted the Kiev government and the Russian side opened a safe corridor, while a Ukrainian military official said the soldiers, without giving a number, were forced into Russian territory by rebel fire after running out of ammunition.

Vasily Malayev, head of the Federal Security Service's border patrol in the Rostov region, told Interfax that 438 Ukrainian soldiers had reached Russia on Monday. He said the Russian side had allowed the soldiers to safely enter the country.

Russia's Defense Ministry couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The Ukrainian military confirmed that part of a brigade had most likely crossed into Russian territory, although it disputed Russia's version of events and wouldn't say how many soldiers went over.

A spokesman for the Ukrainian military operation in the east, Oleksiy Dmitrashkovsky, said troops from the army's 72nd brigade were penned into their position and came under a sustained barrage of fire from separatist forces. Rebel fighters used tanks, mortars, artillery and Grad missile launchers over four hours, Dmitrashkovsky said, and eventually the brigade was forced to divide up into two sections.

"One was meant to break out and join forces with a support unit. The other unit had the task of providing fire cover," Dmitrashkovsky said. "In doing that they fired their weapons until no ammunition remained, after which they abandoned their position and reached a place near a border crossing on Russian territory."

Dmitrashkovsky said it was too early to confirm how many soldiers had crossed into Russia.

"We do not have such information. The Russians are capable of claiming anything they want," he said.

Earlier Monday, Interfax reported that Russia's air force began military drills in central and western regions of the country, a move that could spark further fears that Moscow is ready to flex its military muscle in Ukraine.

The drills will start Monday and last through Friday, air force chief Igor Klimov was reported as saying, and will involve more than 100 fighter jets and helicopters.

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have been battling the Kiev government since April, a conflict that has claimed at least 1,129 civilian casualties, according to a U.N. estimate. Ukraine and Western countries have accused Russia of providing the rebels with equipment and expertise, a claim that the Russian government has repeatedly denied.



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Camp Bulldog August 04 2014 at 12:03 PM

How, I wondered, could such historical amnesia afflict so many? For Jews and Armenians, the genocides their people suffered are vivid, living memories that influence their daily lives. Yet today, on the 70th anniversary of the destruction of a quarter of Ukraine's population, this titanic crime has almost vanished into history's black hole.

So has the extermination of the Don Cossacks by the communists in the 1920s, the Volga Germans in 1941 and mass executions and deportations to concentration camps of Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians and Poles. At the end of World War II, Stalin's gulag held 5.5 million prisoners, 23% of them Ukrainians and 6% Baltic peoples.

Almost unknown is the genocide of two million of the USSR's Muslim peoples: Chechens, Ingush, Crimean Tatars, Tajiks, Bashkirs and Kazaks. The Chechen independence fighters who today are branded as "terrorists" by the U.S. and Russia are the grandchildren of survivors of Soviet concentration camps.

Add to this list of forgotten atrocities the murder in Eastern Europe from 1945-47 of at least two million ethnic Germans, mostly women and children, and the violent expulsion of 15 million more Germans, during which two million German girls and women were raped.

Among these monstrous crimes, Ukraine stands out as the worst in terms of numbers. Stalin declared war on his own people in 1932, sending Commissars V. Molotov and Lazar Kaganovitch and NKVD secret police chief Genrikh Yagoda to crush the resistance of Ukrainian farmers to forced collectivization.

Ukraine was sealed off. All food supplies and livestock were confiscated. NKVD death squads executed "anti-party elements." Furious that insufficient Ukrainians were being shot, Kaganovitch - virtually the Soviet Union's Adolf Eichmann - set a quota of 10,000 executions a week. Eighty percent of Ukrainian intellectuals were shot.

During the bitter winter of 1932-33, 25,000 Ukrainians per day were being shot or died of starvation and cold. Cannibalism became common. Ukraine, writes historian Robert Conquest, looked like a giant version of the future Bergen-Belsen death camp.

The mass murder of seven million Ukrainians, three million of them children, and deportation to the gulag of two million more (where most died) was hidden by Soviet propaganda. Pro-communist westerners, like The New York Times' Walter Duranty, British writers Sidney and Beatrice Webb and French Prime Minister Edouard Herriot, toured Ukraine, denied reports of genocide, and applauded what they called Soviet "agrarian reform." Those who spoke out against the genocide were branded "fascist agents."

The U.S., British, and Canadian governments, however, were well aware of the genocide, but closed their eyes, even blocking aid groups from going to Ukraine.

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12 replies
MICHAEL August 04 2014 at 10:32 AM

meanwhile, the dead bodies of the people the russians shot down are still rotting in a field with no proper investigation and yes, i know some have been flown home, but there are still 80 unaccounted for bodies out there and they cant stop their childish behavior long enough to allow investigators to do a proper investigation. someone needs to intervene. the u.s. and europe would be a nice start.

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5 replies
USS Titanic August 04 2014 at 10:29 AM

I go with the Ukraine version...That number of 'deserters' in an organized move is virtually unheard of...

You just get tired of all this Soviet nonsense...

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7 replies
furchaserdave August 04 2014 at 12:06 PM

the Ukrainian government is a false government put in place by a violent American backed uprising. WE overthrew a democratically elected government because we didn't like how they favored Russia instead of NATO. we openly had the CIA push the minority into a violent uprising. over 70% of the nation considers Russia their fatherland. they are tied to Russia in every way. thousands of Ukrainian soldiers have defected. somehow Obummer's administration has the nerve to call Russia the aggressors, yet we are the aggressors. they call the people who are pissed off about having their vote for their democracy voided because we didn't want them to stay with Russia, the terrorists? and now the real reason we overthrew their government is in the open, that POS Biden has his son raping the nation of it's natural resources. Russia has done nothing except protect itself and a huge majority of people who consider themselves Russian. we ruined their country, we are raping their natural resources

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7 replies
ronbo681 August 04 2014 at 12:06 PM

The Ukrainian Army has 136,000 troops not counting militias. At most there are 12,000 rebels fighting them. The Ukrainian army has to defeat the rebels before winter or face a stalemate which will only benefit the rebels. It will be a cold winter in Europe without Russian gas. The Ukrainians can't even pay there gas bill now. It has been cut off 4 times since 2005 for non-payment.

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2 replies
Camp Bulldog ronbo681 August 04 2014 at 12:13 PM

This military operation is set to be over by the end of August....enjoy the snow... ; )

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2 replies
PeopleSmoks Camp Bulldog August 04 2014 at 1:44 PM

Chuckles... two months ago, Poroshenko announced it would be over in July! Now his "redline" is September and he's instituted a 3rd draft.

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qtip771 Camp Bulldog August 04 2014 at 3:44 PM

I really doubt this will be over by the end of August, for Kiev ran out of money as of August 1st and can no longer pay it's soldiers. Funny how this article doesn't mention this fact at all, because if you're trying to figure out why these 400 or so men really left for Russia, no longer getting paid is a big factor.

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Leonid ronbo681 August 04 2014 at 7:36 PM

Remember ISIS 12000 fighters kicked butts of 350000 Iraqi army armed to the teeth? That may happen again in Ukraine.

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Welcome Justin August 04 2014 at 1:47 PM

a Ukrainian military official said the soldiers, without giving a number, were forced into Russian territory by rebel fire after running out of ammunition.

If Russia was really supporting these separatists, then would running into Russia to get away from the separatists be counter productive ? Why can the Ukrainians not even issue logical statements ?

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1 reply
PeopleSmoks Welcome Justin August 04 2014 at 3:01 PM

FYI... Russia IS supporting them, but in much the same way we supported the Mujahideen in 1987/ 88. There are a very few Russian advisers on the ground, but not the massive numbers some claim. They ARE supplying some weapons, medical supplies and food. Some of the heavy weapons were actually captured from Ukrainian military bases in the regions and from active units that ran away, including tanks. And trust me, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to drive an old Russian tank, which is what the Ukraine uses.

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1 reply
Welcome Justin PeopleSmoks August 04 2014 at 4:37 PM

I am well aware of how most of the weapons the separatists have was captured of handed over by the Ukrainian military. Now, it would not surprise me to learn that Russia is in some way supporting the separatists, but as of yet, there has not been any proof of such. What bothers me is how so many ignorant Americans will swear by Obama and Kerry's accusations, but can offer nothing to back them up. Beliefs, assumptions, and speculation are not facts. And even if Russia is supporting them, well then that makes the sides even since America and the EU are supporting the new Ukrainian gov.

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PeopleSmoks August 04 2014 at 1:40 PM

Poroshenko has lost the support of the Ukrainian people!

Most Ukrainians were not involved in the euromaidanya coup and just went with it. But now, a war is killing fellow Ukrainians who revolted against the Nazi coup.

Now, Poroshenko has secretly signed a 3rd military draft to send the sons and husbands of Ukrainian women to go murder fellow Ukrainians in a war they do NOT support!

The Nazis in Kiev will say anything to keep this quiet and secure western backing.

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4 replies
cruz.159 August 04 2014 at 1:29 PM

The Russian official said the soldiers deserted the Kiev government and the Russian side opened a safe corridor, while a Ukrainian military official said the soldiers, without giving a number, were forced into Russian territory by rebel fire after running out of ammunition.

So, what is the controversy here? Soldiers had run out of ammunition, asked for a safe corridor to Russia, and deserted. It’s not like it’s the first time they do so. On two previous occasions 12 wounded soldiers and some 40+ soldiers asked for a safe corridor to Russia. Russian authorities not only provided a safe corridor, but provided medical services to wounded soldiers, and sent them back to Ukraine. It’s Ukrainian authorities who put them under arrest, accused them in deserting, and now they are facing jail time.

The soldiers saw it’s safe to go to Russia. I guess they sought it’s better to be in jail, than dead.

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2 replies
yomkippur888 cruz.159 August 04 2014 at 5:18 PM

They remember the tradition of great sacrifices by the Russians in world war 1 against the Austro Hungarians and in world war 2 against the Nazis.

The west must remember that Ukrainian Nazis will not only be defeated they will be crucified this time in a lesson they and Svoboda will never ever forget.

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itchy1958 cruz.159 August 04 2014 at 9:46 PM

Yomkipper? That sounds like a resturant.
I will have bacon and eggs for breakfast, with a side order of pork sasuage.

For lunch, I would like some lobster, and for dinner, some fried catfish.

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julius August 04 2014 at 11:18 AM

Did anyone who commented here check youtube from Ukranian citizens and Russian news. All over Ukraine mothers are burning military deployment requests for their sons. This war isn't popular in Ukraine. It is only popular inside presidential palace and Ukranian parlamient. Both sides have lied to some degress. However, Ukranian lies are more outrageous. If the one will check Ukranian news - everything is totally OK. All battles are won. Music is playing, everybody are happy.

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5 replies
PeopleSmoks August 04 2014 at 1:04 PM

Not reported here is that there have been many desertions. The Nazis imposed a draft! A lot of young men did not volunteer and refuse to murder fellow Ukrainians.

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1 reply
borisiak PeopleSmoks August 04 2014 at 1:28 PM

Not reported either is the illegal use of white phosphorus ammunition by the Ukrainians. I thought that only went unreported when we did it or Israel, but I see our "media" has extended "ally" Ukraine the same courtesy.

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2 replies
PeopleSmoks borisiak August 04 2014 at 1:33 PM

Much is not told from the other side in this war for some reason. Even in Gaza, we see reports from inside, but in Donbas, there's nothing about the civilian dead or shelling and bombing of residential neighborhoods.

Flag +2 rate up
Welcome Justin borisiak August 04 2014 at 4:40 PM

PeopleSmoks

You can learn about all of those things through the international media, however the American media omits them since those acts are perpetrated by the people we are currently backing.

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