Tuesday, March 31, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Ukraine sees Russia as source of insurgent threat

By
From page A10 | May 29, 2014 |

DONETSK, Ukraine — As separatists conceded that militants from Russia’s province of Chechnya had joined the rebellion, a Ukrainian government official cautioned Wednesday that its borders had become a “front line” in the crisis.

Chechnya’s Moscow-backed strongman brushed away allegations he had dispatched paramilitary forces under his command to Ukraine, saying he was powerless to stop fellow Chechens from joining the fight.

While there is no immediate indication that the Kremlin is enabling or supporting combatants from Russia crossing into Ukraine, Moscow may have to dispel suspicions it is waging a proxy war if it is to avoid more Western sanctions.

In a wide-ranging foreign policy speech at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, President Barack Obama addressed the crisis in Ukraine by saying, “Russia’s recent actions recall the days when Soviet tanks rolled into Eastern Europe.”

The Kremlin welcomed the election Sunday of billionaire Petro Poroshenko as the president of Ukraine. An advocate of strong ties with Europe, Poroshenko also favors mending relations with Russia.

He replaced the pro-Moscow leader who was driven from office in February. That ouster led to Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in southern Ukraine — which triggered the sanctions — and a violent pro-Moscow insurgency in the east.

Reports circulate almost daily of truckloads of gunmen crossing from Russia, and authorities believe they are a vital reinforcement to the armed rebel force that has repeatedly thwarted government security operations. Intense fighting from a government offensive Monday to dislodge rebels from the Donetsk airport appeared to have died down, with only sporadic violence reported Wednesday.

Ukrainian border service head Mykola Lytvyn said he has deployed all reserves to the eastern and southern frontiers.

“Our border, especially in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, has become a front line that various terrorists are trying to break through,” Lytvyn said at a news conference in Kiev. “Daily fighting with terrorists and groups of criminals near the Ukrainian and Russian border have become our routine reality.”

Russians who cross into Ukraine by road must go through passport and customs control on both sides of the border, a procedure that usually takes several hours. But these controls would be virtually nonexistent for those who drive across fields.

The Kiev government condemns the roiling insurgency as the work of “terrorists” bent on destroying the country, while rebels insist they are only protecting the interests of the Russian-speaking population of the east.

Russia denies mass border crossings are taking place, although separatist leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic now freely admit their ragtag army has many foreigners, including some from the Russian province of Chechnya.

Alexander Borodai, who calls himself the prime minister of the republic, said the fighters from the northern Caucasus, although not ethnically Russian, “share much of the same ideology.”

“And you know, sometimes, representatives of the North Caucasus turn out to be even more Russian than (ethnic) Russians themselves,” he added.

The militia of the Donetsk People’s Republic is a force of uncertain strength, composed of units of varied provenance and abilities.

At least one militiaman participating in a parade Sunday in central Donetsk wore a patch identifying him as belonging to a Cossack unit from southern Russia. Others were identified as members of a division calling itself the Russian Orthodox Army. Many of those questioned insist they are either local or from Crimea.

Donetsk Mayor Oleksandr Lukyanchenko said that some fighters admitted for treatment after Monday’s clashes were from cities in Chechnya.

It is this Chechen contingent that has aroused the most alarm in Ukraine.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov was a former rebel who fought Russian forces in the first of two devastating separatist wars and switched sides during the second campaign, when his father became the region’s pro-Russia leader. Following his father’s death in a rebel bombing, Kadyrov stabilized the region, relying on generous Kremlin funding and his ruthless paramilitary forces, which have been blamed for extrajudicial killings, torture and other abuses.

Kadyrov’s forces, known for their warrior spirit and deadly efficiency, helped Russia win a quick victory in a 2008 war with Georgia. The 37-year-old leader has vowed an unswerving fealty to Russian President Vladimir Putin and praised his policy in Ukraine.

The Chechen leader has derided allegations that he dispatched militias to Ukraine, but also undermined such assertions by peppering them with veiled threats.

“If the Ukrainian authorities want so much to see ‘Chechen units’ in Donetsk, why go to Donetsk if there is a good highway to Kiev?” he said in a statement posted Wednesday on his Instagram account.

Although the presence in Ukraine of an unspecified number of armed Russians is now confirmed, it is far from evident that they have Moscow’s outright blessing.

Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs Magazine, wrote this week that Moscow is aware that support for insurgents in Ukraine could translate into punitive Western action. He argued Moscow would instead likely seek guarantees that Ukraine will not join NATO.

“Our neighbor’s complete fragmentation in a bid to prevent that would be too expensive, risky and unpredictable,” Lukyanov wrote in a commentary posted on online Gazeta.ru.

But Gleb Pavlovsky, a political strategist who has advised the Kremlin, warned that the insurgency has gained enough momentum to keep going without Moscow’s orders.

“It shouldn’t be seen as being controlled by one button. You can push this button once, but you can’t push it again to recall the command,” he said on Ekho Moskvy radio.

Still, it is unclear what a realistic ultimate goal might be for the insurgency, since even Russia has proven reluctant to publicly grant its patronage.

Russia has supported a Swiss-brokered peace plan of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe that calls for ending hostilities and launching a political dialogue. It accuses Ukraine of failing to observe it.

Donetsk was calm but tense Wednesday, as Ukrainian fighter jets flew overhead around midday. The airport, about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the heart of the city, was the scene of heavy fighting Monday, with dozens of rebels killed after being pushed out of the terminal.

Separatists’ barricades have been erected at a crossroads near the airport, and sporadic gunfights were reported in the area. An Associated Press Television News crew saw as one man dragged away by a pro-Russian militia in a nearby residential zone.

In Slovyansk, a city about 90 kilometers (55 miles) north of Donetsk that has seen constant clashes recently, residential areas came under mortar shelling from government forces. Several people were wounded and some building damaged in the attack.

Authorities accuse insurgents of placing firing positions in inhabited areas, forcing the army to endanger civilians by returning fire. Although Ukrainian troops may outnumber the rebels and enjoy the advantage of air support, their edge is dulled by poor coordination and apparent anxiety about engaging in urban combat.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Records detail shooting victim’s court history

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
Bleeding on the street on a Sunday afternoon

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Free Healthier Living workshops begin this week

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Frazier to deliver keynote at Solano EDC event

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10

 
25th annual Rush Ranch Open House on April calendar

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2

 
Helen Mirren film set for debut

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9 | Gallery

16 months for man who fled Fairfield police

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

 
Authorities release names of Sunday crash victims

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

Commission eyes 7-acre Vacaville park site

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

 
Saturday Club schedules Shower of Flowers event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

WIB to host regional career fair

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
Group plans Haiti missions fundraisers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

Travel presentation ready to roll in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

 
.

US / World

Bookkeeper, armored driver accused of stealing brothel money

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US offer for climate treaty: Up to 28 percent emissions cut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

24 percent of voters registered without political preference

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ex-FBI agent sentenced to 10 years in Afghan kickback scheme

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Police: Missing college athlete died on Los Angeles freeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
BNSF railroad adds new safety rules for crude oil trains

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Pharmacists’ group discourages providing execution drugs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
National parks call on Americans to ‘Find Your Park’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

California leaders routinely use private email

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Endangered bighorn sheep moved to Yosemite, Sequoia parks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

An apple a day may not keep the doctor away, study says

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Church van crashes into canal, killing 8 and injuring 10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tennessee pastor, son who saved 3 boys among Carnegie Heroes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Pentagon chief considers easing of enlistment standards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
NSA: Car smashes into police vehicle at Fort Meade; 1 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Former Israeli Premier Olmert convicted in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Prosecutors: Co-pilot treated for suicidal tendencies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Guinea shuts border with Sierra Leone in effort to end Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Saudi-led forces strike Yemen rebels, blockade ports

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Iran nuclear talks near deadline; differences remain

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Prosecution rests its case against Boston Marathon bomber

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Opinion

Rebuild Gaza to avert next war

By Former President Jimmy Carter | From Page: A13

 
Reid’s US Senate legacy: Obstruction

By Jennifer Rubin | From Page: A13

State moves up national school spending chart

By Dan Walters | From Page: A13

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: March 31, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

NBC, Cirque du Soleil bringing ‘The Wiz’ to TV, Broadway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Animal Planet lives wild with its new programming slate

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Attorney: Robin Williams’ wife wants to keep wedding tuxedo

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Eliane Elias enjoys musical homecoming on new CD

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
No ‘narsisstics': Music festivals ban fans’ selfie sticks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

5 things to know about new ‘Daily Show’ anchor Trevor Noah

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
TVGrid March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Four No. 1 seeds in the women’s Final Four

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
UConn reaches 8th straight Final Four with win over Dayton

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Grizzlies beat Kings 97-83 to end three-game skid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cauley-Stein, Kaminsky, Okafor among Wooden Award finalists

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Hendricks’ shutout streak ends, Cubs top Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Lawrie hits 2 homers as A’s rout Rockies 11-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Montoya has swagger back, but also shows softer side

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A year later than expected, Michigan St back in Final Four

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Connecticut governor: move ’16 Final Four unless law changes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders re-sign free agent defensive lineman C.J. Wilson

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

2 Alabama players arrested in separate weekend cases

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Falcons fined, lose draft pick for pumping in fake noise

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Racial quotas controversy re-emerges in South African sport

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
NFL suspends Browns GM for texting, team holds onto picks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Kaminsky, Okafor lead 2014-15 AP All-America team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Ex-NASCAR driver gets jail after 3-state high-speed chase

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Nebraska, winner in 14 of last 15, at front of Big Ten surge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
McGraw appreciates Notre Dame women’s run more than ever

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Gonzaga’s great season ends in Elite Eight but more ahead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
StubHub files lawsuit against Ticketmaster

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Judge again rules Joe Paterno can’t sue for contract breach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Free agent linebacker Lance Briggs visiting with 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Fiancee says she discarded box at Aaron Hernandez’s request

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
.

Business

US consumer spending edges up 0.1 percent in February

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
UnitedHealth bulks up for prescription drug cost battle

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Business forecasters boost 2-year outlook for US economy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Amazon.com offering to help get jobs done around the house

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

McDonald’s to test all-day breakfast beginning in April

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
SEC files fraud charges against Lynn Tilton, firms

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

US university, foundation invested in frozen Chinese stocks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Regulators plan to drop case at closed California nuke plant

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Michigan entrepreneur claiming idea for Heinz Dip & Squeeze

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

For Better or Worse March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Garfield March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Zits March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Get Fuzzy March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

Bridge March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Sudoku March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

Baby Blues March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Frank and Ernest March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

B.C. March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Blondie March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Peanuts March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Baldo March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Beetle Bailey March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Dilbert March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
Sally Forth March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Pickles March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Wizard of Id March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Rose is Rose March 31

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7