Six Big Lies About The Ukraine: Washington’s Narrative Is Pure Propaganda
There is a virtual news blackout with regard to Ukraine in the West

Six Big Lies About The Ukraine: Washington’s Narrative Is Pure Propaganda

Image Credits: Horia Varlan via Flickr

by Cluborlov | August 28, 2014

 

With regard to the goings-on in Ukraine, I have heard quite a few European and American voices piping in, saying that, yes, Washington and Kiev are fabricating an entirely fictional version of events for propaganda purposes, but then so are the Russians. They appear to assume that if their corporate media is infested with mendacious, incompetent buffoons who are only too happy to repeat the party line, then the Russians must be same or worse.

The reality is quite different. While there is a virtual news blackout with regard to Ukraine in the West, with little being shown beyond pictures of talking heads in Washington and Kiev, the media coverage in Russia is relentless, with daily bulletins describing troop movements, up-to-date maps of the conflict zones, and lots of eye-witness testimony, commentary and analysis. There is also a lively rumor mill on Russian and international social networks, which I tend to disregard because it’s mostly just that: rumor. In this environment, those who would attempt to fabricate a fictional narrative, as the officials in Washington and Kiev attempt to do, do not survive very long.

There is a great deal to say on the subject, but here I want to limit myself to rectifying some really, really basic misconceptions that Washington has attempted to impose on you via its various corporate media mouthpieces.

1. They would like you to think that there is a Russian invasion in the East of Ukraine. What’s actually happening is a civil war between the government of Western Ukraine (which no longer rules the east in any definable way) and the Russian population of Eastern Ukraine. Ukraine has been falling apart for decades—ever since independence. The eventual break-up was inevitable, but the catalyst for it was the military overthrow of Ukraine’s legitimate government and its replacement with cadres hand-picked in Washington.

2. They would like you to think that the Russian government stands behind Lugansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic—the two regions which, based on referendum results, have chosen to break away from Kiev. In fact, the Russian government has refused to recognize these republics. They have received no official political support from Moscow, which asked for the referendums to be postponed, and repeatedly asked for a cease-fire and an international, negotiated settlement to the crisis. The leadership of LPR and DPR has refused, and now aims for an outright military victory.

3. They would like you to believe that the Russian government is arming the “rebels” in Eastern Ukraine. To the contrary, the Russian government has withheld all military support, limiting itself to providing humanitarian supplies to the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been destroyed by artillery and rocket fire coming from the Ukrainian forces. The weapons in the “rebels’” arsenal are trophies, which they seized from the retreating Ukrainian forces. That said, the “rebels” are indeed being supported—but by the Russian people, not the Russian government. Remember, these are all Russians, on both sides of the border, and the Ukrainian government no longer controls any of it.

4. They want to convince you that Russia poses a threat to peace in Europe, and that the crisis in Ukraine is part of an imperialist Russian strategy to resurrect the USSR. Nothing could be further from the truth. The overarching Russian ambition is for Russia to be a normal country, subject of international law, at peace with the whole world, and integrated into the global economy. The Russian government is doing next to nothing to prevent Russians in areas that were once part of Russia from being slaughtered right in their homes using artillery and rocket fire. This makes for a distressing spectacle, but the Russian people understand that enlarging the military conflict beyond the by now purely notional borders of Ukraine is not the answer.

5. They want to assure you that Kiev will eventually prevail in the conflict. In fact, the Ukrainian military is being systematically destroyed. Shelling civilians is the only activity which they have been able to carry out successfully. The government in Kiev has instituted three mobilizations, one after the other, sending into battle boys and old men (maximum draft age is now 60). Those who refuse to be drafted were at first threatened with incarceration, but this no longer works, so they are now threatened with murder. The unofficial “fee” for getting out of being drafted is several thousand dollars. These soldiers are badly armed, badly trained, completely demoralized, and they mostly refuse to fight. Ukraine is quickly running out of tanks and APCs, which are all old Soviet-era and have been rusting for decades. It appears that Ukraine no longer has an air force at all. The casualties run into the tens of thousands. Over just one week in July, 1400 Ukrainian soldiers were killed; on the other side the figure is 10. The kill ratio is 140:1 and that one number tells almost the whole story. The war is far from over, but now, for the first time, LPR and DPR actually have something resembling an army, and that army is going on attack. Once the Ukrainian military collapses altogether, there is still the mercenary force maintained by the oligarch Kolomoisky, who runs Dnepropetrovsk Region as a personal fiefdom, and has recently decided to take charge of other neighboring regions as well. But mercenaries don’t like getting killed and, beyond a certain point, will simply run away. In all, it seems increasingly likely that Kiev will lose and that Ukraine will cease to exist.

6. They want you to think that the government in Kiev is legitimate, popular and stable. In fact, there are huge protests going on in Kiev at this very moment. The entire country is beyond bankrupt and is falling apart in real time, not just in the east, but everywhere. The people are beyond angry. The military units retreating from the east are in a foul mood, and may soon decide to turn their weapons against those who ordered them into battle. The people are beyond angry, and it seems probable that another revolution, only half a year since the last one, is in the works.

I hope that you can absorb this basic information and use it to filter out the propaganda that you read in Western newspapers and hear on the nightly news (if they mention Ukraine at all). Don’t automatically assume that if your side is full of it, then the other side is too. You don’t have to settle for lies.

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Russia denies rumors of ‘invasion’ of Ukraine
"The Russian authorities clearly said many times there are no regular Russian troops there," says Russian diplomatic source

Russia denies rumors of 'invasion' of Ukraine

Image Credits: Pavel Kazachkov / Flickr

by Pravda.ru | August 28, 2014

In Russia, officials deny the rumors about the invasion of Russian troops in Ukraine.

Russian military men and hardware do not take any participation in the events in Ukraine, Russian Permanent Representative to the OSCE Andrei Kelin told Itar-Tass after the meeting of the Permanent Council of organization: “We have clearly stated before that there is no participation of Russian troops, we do not deliver any hardware to Ukraine either,” he said.

“We’ve heard many statements from the Ukrainian leadership that quickly turned out to be a lie. Now we are witnessing another hoax, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security, Yevgeny Serebrennikov told RIA Novosti.

“Lies has become an integral feature of the so-called Kiev authorities, so Mr. Poroshenko will not surprise anyone either in Russia or in the West. I can only say that there are no grounds for such words, as the junta still continues blame-shifting,” head of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Leonid Slutsky said.

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“Zero Proof” — The “Russian Invasion” Of Ukraine
Translation error or an intentional Poroshenko ‘screw up’

by Moon of Alabama | August 28, 2014


One author of the NYT piece is Michael Gordon, who, together with Judith Miller, wrote sensational reports about proof of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

https://i1.wp.com/hw.infowars.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/miller-wmd.jpg

The authors of this NYT piece, Ukraine Reports Russian Invasion on a New Front, are not really convincing when presenting these reports by the Ukrainian government as truthful:

The latest incursion, which Ukraine’s military said included five armored personnel carriers, was at least the third movement of troops and weapons from Russia across the southeast part of the border this week, further blunting the momentum Ukrainian forces have made in weakening the insurgents in their redoubts of Donetsk and Luhansk farther north. Evidence of a possible turn was seen in the panicky retreat of Ukrainian soldiers on Tuesday from a force they said had come over the Russian border.

Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian military in Kiev, said the Russian armored column entered the town of Amvrosiyivka, south of Donetsk, expanding what Western and Ukrainian officials have described as one of the main fronts in a multipronged counteroffensive directed by Russia.

The “momentum” the Ukrainian troops had was never as big as the Ukrainian government had claimed. A few motorized brigades ran through open territory held by few insurgents and when coming to a halt at their primary target were immediately cut off and surrounded. Their moral is bad, their equipment old, ammunition is low and the entire aim of their campaign is dubious. Now even a few weak counterattacks, the “counteroffensive”, have them on the run.

While the piece repeats the Ukrainian claim that Russian material, including ammunition, passed over the border the third picture shows some 20+ wooden boxes of RPGs and the caption says:

“A villager opened a box of rocket-propelled grenades left by the Ukrainian Army in Starobecheve, southeast of Donetsk. Pro-Russia rebels took over the town after the military withdrew.”

Obviously the fleeing Ukrainian troops are leaving a lot of goodies behind.

Then there is this:

The separatists have asserted that they are using captured Ukrainian equipment. But American officials say they are confident that the artillery in the Krasnodon area of Ukraine is Russia’s since Ukrainian forces have not penetrated that deeply into that separatist-controlled region. American officials also say the separatists have no experience in using such weaponry.

That bold part is of course utter bullshit. The Donetsk miners and volunteers from Russia all have had regular military service. They surely will be able to handle Grad systems, little evolved from World War II, and other artillery.

The United States has photographs that show the Russian artillery moved into Ukraine, American officials say. One photo dated last Thursday, shown to a New York Times reporter, shows Russian military units moving self-propelled artillery into Ukraine. Another photo, dated Saturday, shows the artillery in firing positions in Ukraine.

“Shown to one NYT reporter” who likely can not differentiate a Grad system from a pipe organ is hardly any proof. Why doesn’t the U.S. publish the picture?

On the highway in Novoazovsk on Tuesday, Sgt. Ihor Sharapov, a soldier with the Ukrainian border patrol unit, said he had seen tanks drive across the border, although they were marked with flags of the Donetsk People’s Republic. Others suggested the flags were a ruse.

“I tell you they are Russians, but this is what proof I have,” said Sgt. Aleksei Panko, holding up his thumb and index finger to form a zero.

Zero proof – indeed. I have absolutely no doubt that Russian volunteers are fighting on the insurgency side. I have no doubt that some ammunition is coming from Russia. But judging from pictures of equipment and ammunition the insurgents use nearly all of it seems to be the same Soviet era stuff the Ukrainian army is using. I have yet to see and big updated Russian equipment in their hands. The big Russian invasion the Ukrainian government claims is very unlikely to have happened.

Update

This is a quite amazing “information operation” without doubt of U.S. origin.

Consider: The Ukrainian President talks about Russian affiliated insurgents in east-Ukraine and Reuters and others distribute this as “invasion”. After all major news-entities repeated the “invasion” claim and the public damage is done they simply take it back.

Consider this from Tagesschau, the highest rated German TV news show:

ukraine truth

Translation:

On #Ukraine there was a translation error by the agency Reuters: According to the correction Poroshenko did not talk of an invasion.

So there was an “invasion”, distributed by major news agencies, which then turns out to have been a translation error or an intentional Poroshenko ‘screw up’.

Notice that one author of the NYT piece above is Michael Gordon, who, together with Judith Miller, wrote sensational reports about proof of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The current head of NATO who is promoting war against Russia, Fog-of-war Rassmussen, said 11 years ago: “Iraq has WMDs. It is not something we think, it is something we know”.

These folks and the western news agencies that promoted the WMD in Iraq claims are now claiming a Russian “invasion” in Ukraine only to retract it when the damage is done. Warmongers. All of them.

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UN Security Council members lament Ukraine crisis

By Associated Press

Published: 22:00 GMT, 28 August 2014 | Updated: 22:00 GMT, 28 August 2014

 UN Security Council meets on Ukraine crisis

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on Thursday accused Moscow of having "outright lied" about its role in Ukraine, as alarmed members of the Security Council demanded that Russia remove its fighters from a new front in the unfolding crisis and threatened sanctions.

A top U.N. official told the emergency meeting that the spread of violence in southeastern Ukraine marked a dangerous escalation, but that the international body had no way of independently verifying the latest reports of Russia sending in troops and tanks.

The meeting came hours after a top Ukrainian official said two columns of Russian tanks and military vehicles fired missiles at a Ukraine border post, then rolled into the country.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said the council was meeting for the 24th time on Ukraine and the fighting between pro-Russia separatists and the new Ukrainian government.

"Every single one has sent a straightforward, unified message: ‘Russia, stop this conflict. Russia is not listening,’" she said, adding that Russia’s force along the border with Ukraine is the largest it’s been since it started deploying there in late May.

Russia "has manipulated. It has obfuscated. It has outright lied," Power said. She said the U.S. will work with its G7 and European partners "to ratchet up the consequences on Russia." France also warned of increased sanctions if the escalation continues.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin offered a spirited defense, saying Kiev "is waging war against its own people."

Churkin did deny not the presence of Russian fighters.

"There are Russian volunteers in eastern parts of Ukraine. No one is hiding that," he said. But he questioned the presence of Western advisers in the country and asked where Ukrainian troops were getting weapons.

Churkin said he wanted to "send a message to Washington: Stop interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign states."

Moscow has been virtually isolated in the Security Council meetings on the Ukrainian crisis, but because of Russia’s veto power as one of the council’s five permanent members, the body has been unable to act.

Statements from NATO, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, the separatists, the United States and the president of the Security Council on Thursday left no doubt that Russia had crossed the border into Ukraine. The various statements cited internal reports, satellite imagery of armored vehicles and even photographs from Russian troops, including one by a soldier who showed himself operating military hardware.

As of Thursday, the separatist arsenal included up to 100 tanks, 80 armored personnel carriers, 500 anti-tank weapons and more than 100 artillery pieces, said British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, the council president this month. Russia has directly supplied almost all of this equipment, Lyall Grant said.

"Now we see irrefutable evidence of regular Russian forces operating inside Ukraine," he said.

The new southeastern front raised fears that the separatists are seeking to create a land link between Russia and Crimea, which Russia annexed in March.

U.N. Undersecretary-General of Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told council members that the U.N. could not verify on its own the latest reports of Russian troops inside Ukraine.

Ukraine’s deputy ambassador to the U.N., Oleksandr Pavlichenko, wondered aloud if the world will ignore the apparent invasion or act.

"How many more red lines have to be crossed before this challenge can be addressed?" Pavlichenko asked the council.

As the final council member spoke, the German mission to the U.N. tweeted, "All but one #UNSC members condemn recent military escalation, call for restraint. Just one member has very different narrative."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-2736808/UN-Security-Council-members-lament-Ukraine-crisis.html#ixzz3Bl4W3HXO
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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And now a piece of CNN Mainstream Media Bullshit Propaganda Story

U.S. official says 1,000 Russian troops have entered Ukraine

By Victoria Butenko, Laura Smith-Spark and Diana Magnay, CNN

updated 12:17 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014

Source: CNN

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • NEW: President Barack Obama says Russia’s actions will have costs, consequences
  • Russia’s ambassador to the United States blames Kiev for the current escalation
  • Ukraine says it will reinstate compulsory military service in the fall
  • Donetsk rebel leader: Up to 4,000 Russians are fighting; some are active servicemen

Kiev, Ukraine (CNN) — A top Ukrainian army officer said a "full-scale invasion" of his country was under way Thursday, as a U.S. official said up to 1,000 Russian troops had crossed Ukraine’s southern border to fight alongside pro-Russian rebels.

U.S. officials said Russian troops were directly involved in the latest fighting, despite Moscow’s denials.

Rebels backed by Russian tanks and armored personnel carriers fought Ukrainian forces on two fronts Thursday: southeast of rebel-held Donetsk, and along the nation’s southern coast in the town of Novoazovsk, about 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the Russian border, said Mykhailo Lysenko, the deputy commander of the Ukrainian Donbas battalion.

"This is a full-scale invasion," Lysenko said, referring to the fighting in the south.

Obama: Russia behind violence in Ukraine

Intelligence now indicates that up to 1,000 Russian troops have moved into southern Ukraine with heavy weapons and are fighting there, a U.S. official told CNN on Thursday.

NATO provided what it said is evidence: satellite images showing Russian troops engaged in military operations inside Ukraine.

"The images, captured in late August, depict Russian self-propelled artillery units moving in a convoy through the Ukrainian countryside and then preparing for action by establishing firing positions in the area of Krasnodon, Ukraine," NATO said in a news release.

See the NATO satellite images

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Commercial satellite imagery shows the same, according to a British security source with detailed knowledge of UK intelligence estimates. One image that British intelligence has analyzed, dated Tuesday, shows 15 heavy trucks, at least seven armored vehicles and at least nine artillery positions.

Russia’s military actions in eastern Ukraine "must cease immediately," British Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday.

"I’m extremely concerned by mounting evidence that Russian troops have made large-scale incursions into South Eastern Ukraine, completely disregarding the sovereignty of a neighbor," Cameron said. "The international community has already warned Russia that such provocative actions would be completely unacceptable and illegal."

As the Russian presence grows, so does its influence over the separatist leadership in Ukraine, the British security source told CNN.

According to the source, the UK has determined that Russian artillery and rockets — across the border and from within Ukraine — have been fired against the Ukrainian military.

Two SA-22A gun/missile air defense systems were observed in separatist-controlled parts of Luhansk province on August 2, the source said. This system is not in Ukraine’s inventory but is used by the Russian military.

Ukraine’s National Defense and Security Council said that Russian forces were in full control of Novoazovsk as of Wednesday afternoon.

Russia’s military fired Grad rockets into the town and its suburbs before sending in two convoys of tanks and armored personnel carriers from Russia’s Rostov region, it said in a statement

"Ukrainian troops were ordered to pull out to save their lives. By late afternoon both Russian convoys had entered the town. Ukraine is now fortifying nearby Mariupol to the west," the NDSC said.

A number of villages in the Novoazovsk, Starobeshiv and Amvrosiiv districts were also seized, it said.

The NDSC also warned that a rebel counterattack is expected in the area where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down in July. Ukrainian and Western officials say they believe it was downed by rebels armed with Russian-made weapons.

Novoazovsk is strategically important because it lies on the main road leading from the Russian border to Ukraine’s Crimea region, which Russia annexed in March. Separatist leaders in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions then declared independence from Kiev.

U.N. Security Council meets

As international concern mounted over the apparent escalation in fighting, the U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting on Ukraine.

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, accused Russia of lying.

"It has manipulated. It has obfuscated. It has outright lied. So we have learned to measure Russia by its actions and not by its words," Power said, calling for "serious negotiations."

"In the face of this threat, the cost of inaction is unacceptable," she warned.

According to Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, more than 2,000 people have been killed in the conflict and more than 800,000 have been displaced.

He blamed the current escalation on the "reckless policy" of Kiev.

"The Kiev authorities have torpedoed all political agreements on resolving the crisis," Churkin told the Security Council meeting. "The only thing we’re seeing is a fight against dissent."

Ukraine’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, meanwhile, put his colleagues on alert.

"The world is challenged by a military-nuclear might, ignoring universal principles and craving absolute power," Oleksandr Pavlichenko said about Russia. "How many more red lines have to be crossed before this challenge is addressed?" he asked.

The latest flare-up comes despite a meeting between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Belarus on Tuesday at which some progress appeared to have been made toward finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Poroshenko canceled a planned trip to Turkey on Thursday "due to sharp aggravation of the situation in Donetsk region … as Russian troops were brought into Ukraine," a statement from his office said.

In a Cabinet meeting, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that Russia "has very much increased its military presence in Ukraine" and that tougher measures may be needed to curb Russia’s support for the rebels.

"Unfortunately, the sanctions were unhelpful as to de-escalating the situation in Ukraine," he said, referring to the economic sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union against Russian individuals and companies.

Yatsenyuk suggested one way to halt "Russian aggression" could be to freeze all assets and ban all Russian bank transactions until Russia "pulls out all its military, equipment and agents" from Ukraine.

"Vladimir Putin has purposely started a war in Europe. It is impossible to hide from the fact," he said.

President Barack Obama, similarly, placed blame for the violence in Ukraine on Russia.

"The violence is encouraged by Russia. The separatists are trained by Russia; they are armed by Russia; they are funded by Russia," he told reporters in Washington.

Calling sanctions against Russia already in place "effective," he said it would face additional costs and consequences for its ongoing incursion.

"Russia is already more isolated than at any time since the end of the Cold War," Obama said.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the flow of weapons is hindering efforts.

"This remains a key obstacle to the de-escalation of the situation on the ground, as arms and heavy weaponry reportedly continue to flow unabated into Ukraine from Russia," Ban said. "There is an urgent need to ensure a secure border between the two countries, with international verification."

U.S. ambassador: Russia is directly involved

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt also said Thursday that Russian soldiers were directly involved in the fighting, alongside the pro-Russian rebels.

"Russian-supplied tanks, armored vehicles, artillery and multiple rocket launchers have been insufficient to defeat Ukraine’s armed forces, so now an increasing number of Russian troops are intervening directly in the fighting on Ukrainian territory," he said on Twitter.

"Russia has also sent its newest air defense systems including the SA-22 into eastern Ukraine and is now directly involved in the fighting."

Moscow denies supporting and arming the pro-Russian rebels. It has also repeatedly denied allegations by Kiev that it has sent troops over the border.

A Russian senator and the deputy head of the Committee on Defense and Security in Russia’s upper house of Parliament, Evgeny Serebrennikov, dismissed the latest reports of a Russian incursion as untrue.

"We’ve heard many statements from the government of Ukraine, which turned out to be a lie. What we can see now is just another lie," he said to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

Russian lawmaker Leonid Slutsky also accused Kiev of lies, in comments to RIA Novosti.

"I can only say that there’s no ground for claims like this, and the junta tries to lay its own fault at someone else’s door," he said, referring to the Kiev government.

Moscow regards it as illegitimate because it took charge after Ukraine’s pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in February.

Russian soldiers detained in Ukraine; leaders meet in Minsk

Rebel leader: 3,000 to 4,000 Russians in our ranks

However, the Prime Minister of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, acknowledged Thursday that there are current Russian servicemen fighting in the rebels’ ranks in eastern Ukraine.

In his statement, televised on state-run Russia 24, Zakharchenko said the rebels have never concealed that many Russians are fighting with them. He said up until now there were 3,000 to 4,000 volunteers, some of whom are retired Russian servicemen.

Zakharchenko went on to reveal that the Russian servicemen currently fighting in their ranks are active, "as they came to us to struggle for our freedom instead of their vacations."

On Tuesday, Ukraine’s Security Service said it had detained 10 Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

Russian state media cited a source in the Russian Defense Ministry as saying the soldiers had been patrolling the border and "most likely crossed by accident" at an unmarked point.

The NDSC said Thursday that Ukraine’s Security Service detained another Russian serviceman who testified that his unit was supplying heavy military equipment to militants.

Six questions — what’s happening in Ukraine?

Separately, Ukraine announced Thursday that it would reinstate compulsory military service in the fall. Fresh recruits will not be sent to the country’s area of conflict in the east, Mihaylo Koval, the deputy secretary of the National Defense and Security Council, told reporters.

Ukrainian volunteers retreat from Mariupol area

Pro-Kiev forces apparently already have engaged with rebel forces between Novoazovsk and Mariupol, the Sea of Azov port city 35 kilometers (22 miles) to the west that the country’s security council said was being fortified.

A CNN crew north of Mariupol saw a ragged convoy of about 25 vehicles, some with their windows smashed out, belonging to pro-Kiev volunteer fighters heading away from the city Thursday afternoon.

The volunteers, including two from the country of Georgia, said they’d been involved in fighting in the Mariupol area but didn’t provide details.

Earlier Thursday and farther north, the CNN crew was near Donetsk city, which Ukrainian forces have been trying to wrest from rebels for weeks. Heavy Ukrainian artillery fire targeted areas near Donetsk’s southern suburbs amid a heavy downpour of rain.

The main highway 9 miles (15 kilometers) south of Donetsk was deserted. With return fire coming from Donetsk, villagers in the area said they’d been taking shelter indoors or underground, coming out only for an hour or two a day to get supplies.

The city of Luhansk, a rebel stronghold, has also been at the center of fighting for days, prompting a humanitarian crisis. The NDSC said it remained without water, power or phone connections Thursday.

Ukraine’s secret weapon: Funding from the country’s millionaires

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Journalist Victoria Butenko reported from Kiev and CNN’s Diana Magnay from eastern Ukraine, while Laura Smith-Spark wrote and reported in London. CNN’s Susannah Palk, Max Foster, Tim Lister, Alla Eshchenko and Ariana Williams contributed to this report.

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