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With 40+ dead, Ukrainian and Russian officials trade barbs

May 27th, 2014
03:54 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

On a day when at least 40 people were killed in eastern Ukraine, a Russian and Ukrainian official traded accusations in separate interviews with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

“What we keep asking and demanding from Russia: ‘Stop feeding terrorism and separatism in Ukraine,’” Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.N. Yuriy Sergeyev told Amanpour.

Those separatists, Russian Senator Andrey Klimov also told Amanpour, “are not under Moscow’s control.”

“They are not members of my army or our special forces but they are citizens of that country,” he said. “The problem is not in Moscow. The problem is inside [the] Ukrainian state and their society.”

Russia: 'The problem is inside Ukraine'

A battle between pro-Russia separatists and government forces at Donetsk airport in eastern Ukraine has claimed 40 lives, authorities said Tuesday, in the deadliest outbreak of violence yet in the flashpoint city.

An additional 31 people have been injured, including four civilians, according to the website of the Donetsk mayor, Alexander Lukyanchenko. Two of the fatalities are civilians.

The violence comes just two days after Petro Poroshenko claimed victory in presidential elections. Whether he can unite an incredibly fractious country remains an open question.

“We need reconciliation, we need peace, we need stability,” Ambassador Sergeyev said.

Klimov, who is deputy chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the upper house of Russia’s parliament, said that there are legitimate grievances within Ukraine that the government in Kiev needs to address.

Some, he said, want more independence within Ukraine, some want their own independent state, and some want to outright join Russia.

“But this is their idea; it’s not our one. We never told them to split [the] country. Never.”

“We don’t trust the words; we trust the deeds,” Ambassador Sergeyev said. “Still we have the huge amount of the military forces on our borders, despite the promises of President Putin. Still we have the provocations on our borders. That’s why we are awaiting deeds.”

Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Latest Episode • Russia • Ukraine
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. menisino

    And who was the problem in Crimea? Evert single Russian government official from Putin; "Lavrov The Liar" on down just lie thru their teeth. Russian Chechians & other Russian military from other Federations are being paid as mercenaries by Putin & His Killers to further cause terror in Ukraine. They ask Ukraine to stop "aggression" against terrorists that try to take control of airports & other sites. What would Putin do if that happened in Chechnya? Well we all know the answer to that, don't we? And once again we have Obama ,Merkel, Cameron, Hollande sleeping at the wheel & nothing but pointless , worthless words by NATO. Obama has to be the worlds worst "democracy" leader a country mile. What a shameful man he is or pretends to be.

    May 27, 2014 at 5:21 pm | Reply
    • Jay

      In case you forgot, Russia gave Chechnya independence for 2 years until Australian telecoms workers were decapitated. That is the problem with you americans, you do not know history. Ukraine borders Russia, is home to ethnic russians, and Russia has every right to address it's interests. USA is on the other side of the planet, and needs butt out, . USA already refuses to pick up 36 dead US mercenary citizens in Slavyansk. They refuse to admit they are involved in UKR.

      May 27, 2014 at 6:25 pm | Reply
      • Just a Gem

        You're full of it Jay.

        May 27, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
      • H. B.

        No country has the right to butt into the internal affairs of another nation, no matter how many "ethnic" Russians there may be in Ukraine. Russia has no responsibility for them unless they're Russian CITIZENS. If they are, Russia can recommend that they return to Mother Russia, and even facilitate them in doing it. INVADING Ukraine and stealing Crimea is NOT the work of a Russian leader who is worried about the welfare of ethnic Russians OR Russian citizens. It's the work of a thug.

        Which is why the only "friends" Russia still has in the world are other nations that are also pariahs.

        May 27, 2014 at 9:00 pm |
      • menisino

        so then tell me Jay, why is it that Hungary, Poland, Romania, The Czech Rep., Slovakia, Slovania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Among others aren't siding with Russia or have joined NATO or the E.U.? Is it because they just love Russia so much & love their people so much? Yes, please do read up on history. Read , learn & listen before you go & have another shot of vodka, your aimless moron.

        May 27, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
      • disgustingtohear

        So you are suggesting thr Russians who are not happy with the Western Ukranians to leave Ukraine for Russia. Is that so, why don't you suggest the Western Ukranians to migrate to Europe if they are not happy with East Ukrainians. Firstly, who are you advise another country. this has been the habit of US meddling in other peoples affairs. this is a problem of neighbours. They are the one should slove it. Why is US getting involved? Why is US getting involved in the Middle East and telling many countries what they should do and behave? Why is US meddling with the affairs of the Latin Americas? What saying whatever US do and say correct is the whole and only truth and others are bad. First, follow your own theory before preaching others. Have you seen the vote in UN regarding Crimea? It was almost a tie and those voted in favour of US-how much sincere they were? Do you really have good friends? Britian, France, Isrealies and Germany. Read thier history-Went around conquering and stealing resources from other countries. Funny a thief is calling another thief. Look at your own back first before commenting on others.

        May 27, 2014 at 11:59 pm |
      • disgustingtohear

        The message was to HB

        May 28, 2014 at 12:00 am |
      • qryber

        @mensino: strike serbia from your list, we know NATO "democracy to the stone age"...most of others from your list actually supports Russia side, but their corrupt governments are NATO vassals and they would say whatever USA Evil Empire asks them to...
        @HB: please, be kind to contact NATO and tell them that, and ask them to leave Serbia, part of its territory is currently under NATO occupation for 15 years...

        May 28, 2014 at 2:56 am |
      • Kriss

        Well, the problem Jay or whatever name you bear is that you russians or pro-russians understand history as you like, i would like to correct you that after Soviet Union collapse
        Chechenya along with Tatarastan announced their independence that lasted until 1994 when Russion Federation did not want to recognize their independence and started a war against Chechenya,
        1996 treaty was a result of a victory of the chechens and not as you saying the genreous will of the Russia. Now they are appealing to Ukrainians to respect the will of minority i stress minority
        – its ridiculous and cynical. Go to school or read the history

        May 28, 2014 at 8:13 am |
      • Kriss

        i want to add that official Russian justification of the wars in chechenya was to defence of the "teritorial integrity" !!! Its not a joke unfortunately ....

        May 28, 2014 at 8:20 am |

        The world is convinced the U.S. and NATO remain an irritant to Russia and Belarus, a source of division of Eastern Europe. Through his illegal actions in Ukraine, Obama has reminded us that leaders of great countries are most dangerous when they make up their own facts. Obama’s worldview is coloured by toxic fictions.

        Obama’s ultra-imperialistic instinct has fueled the furnaces of anti-Russian hostility. The U.S. has acquired territory but lost credibility. Obama has bought himself a pile of problems at the cost of international trust the U.S. needs to recover economically. He has betrayed America’s best resource- its people – who will eventually realized his rhetoric is nothing more than a fantasy inside a delusion wrapped in a tissue of lies. To some Obama has won Ukraine. Will he recognize his victory is Pyrrhic – or try to repeat it ? To cause a full scale civil war in Belarus and even in Russia ? History is filled with aggressors who triumphed for a moment. Then failed.

        May 28, 2014 at 11:27 am |
    • Just a Gem

      Amen Menisino....The belief that Russia isn't perpetrating this is beyond ridiculous. This whole matter reeks of his antics - and to think he gets people to point fingers at the U.S. - beyond ridiculous.

      May 27, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Reply
      • Somenick

        Jay is entirely correct. Chechnya was given a de-facto independence in 1996 as a result of Khasavyurt Accords – feel free to look them up. Of course, Chechen terrorists violated the terms in 1999 when they invaded a neighboring region.

        And so far no Russian soldiers or agents were captured in Ukraine. Let me repeat: NO RUSSIAN SOLDIERS WERE CAPTURED.

        May 27, 2014 at 8:50 pm |
    • Tadpole

      I'm asking this very openly; What do you think he (obama) should have done? Please be as detailed as possible.

      May 27, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Reply
      • Jtom

        and now all you hear are crickets. funny how that works isn't it

        May 27, 2014 at 9:11 pm |
      • Maxim

        Do not support Maidan violence (and Nazi there) but insist on free elections and might be some sanctions on Yanukovich. But express support for peaceful solution in Feb.

        May 28, 2014 at 3:24 am |
      • VS

        What Obama should have done is stay out of it. Not giving encouragement to the junta, no feeding cookies to the violent mob in Maidan, not bully and provoke Russia with sanctins and threats. This way it wouldn't have all got so out of control, as it has now. Why do you think Eastern Russia are pushing for separation – because they feel threatenned, as an ethnic group and feel they have to protect themselves! Why do you think Ukranian government feels it's ok to kill its own people – because they've been given permission by US and EU !

        May 28, 2014 at 7:25 am |
  2. Paulo

    Send helicopters and fighter planes against "own people" a beautiful picture of democracy according to some people!! What a shame.

    May 27, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Reply
    • Socrates

      They are pro-Russia terrorists but NOT civilians.If they are innocent, they would NOT have occupied Government offices by forces.Russian tyrants have been behind them all the way till now.Russia wants to destabilize Ukraine to deter it from joining EU.... Putin wants Ukraine under his in USSR era.

      May 28, 2014 at 3:24 am | Reply
      • ironore068

        @ Socrates. You mean just like the terrorists in Syria that Obama now says he is nearly ready to train and arm if Assad wins the election? Typical!

        May 28, 2014 at 8:20 am |
  3. SkampXx

    From the post is see in previous news about this , it's looking like ww3 needs to happen,
    seems people have forgotten what war is all about,
    both sides making provoking arguments with little or no respect,
    keep in mind if war does happen, things it could include :
    -loss of friends
    -loss of family members (could be your children/parents)
    -daily hunger because the food supply breaks down
    -bad hygiene
    -no heat or electric power
    -psychological damage from bombings and gunfire
    and with in the current age, if it where nuclear radioactive fallout,
    I don't think anyone sane want's that so try and restrain your anger or hate a bit,
    somehow we all have to get along on this planet.

    May 27, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Reply
    • Jtom

      well said

      May 27, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Reply
    • Martin

      July 8th. WWW3

      June 1, 2014 at 2:01 am | Reply
  4. Just a Gem

    PBS/Frontline (called Battle Zones) is covering two things tonight - Syria and Ukraine. They have a way of reporting in an unbiased way - so, for those that want to watch good programming on good topics....They can also be watched on the web.

    May 27, 2014 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  5. H. B.

    Russia may not be controlling them like marionettes, but when their propaganda and hate feeds treason, they might as well be. And they know it, too.

    Guess what, Putin? WE KNOW IT, TOO. We've SEEN it going on. We've READ the propaganda you've fed to these so-called "separatists," and we know precisely what you're doing to motivate all the violence.

    Old rhetoric may have worked once, long ago, but it doesn't work now. It falls FLAT.

    You might as well just barge your way into Ukraine and take it over by force, since that's your goal, Putin, because these worn-out ploys of yours are totally transparent. And when you DO take Ukraine by force, the world will watch you as you do it.

    And they'll REMEMBER.

    May 27, 2014 at 8:10 pm | Reply
    • Somenick

      So today State Department affirmed once more that it's OK for Ukraine to use heavy weapons on civilians. Is it a propaganda or what?

      May 27, 2014 at 8:52 pm | Reply

      Putin is a saint compared to those corrupted politicians on Capitol Hill. Their unrelenting attempt at disinformation and lies to demonize Russia and character assassinate Putin to draw the American people's attention away from their customary misfeasance isn't going to wash.

      May 28, 2014 at 11:24 am | Reply
  6. menisino

    Putin calls Eastern Ukraine `White Russia`. Now that's a good one....nothing is ever white about Russia...just darkness. Led by a mental midget & followed by the masses of Russians , as always. Just ask Germany, their people followed & believed in the devil & what did it get themÉ The people are also to blame as they follow with absolute stupidity & blindness. It seems they just never learn from history. Ukrainians are a peace loving people who have suffered sooo much...they know about wars but Putin, the little creep, knows nothing about sufferings & wars, only a mentally distorted Russian history.

    May 27, 2014 at 10:55 pm | Reply
    • Pozdrave

      All, just a thought and maybe I am being naive. With so much at stake in terms of which side is telling the truth in the Ukraine dilema, would it it not be reasonable for the spokesperson of each side to agree to a UN sponsored polygraph test. He/she who declines would presumably be representing the lying side.

      May 28, 2014 at 11:23 am | Reply
  7. disgustingtohear

    The message was to HB

    May 28, 2014 at 12:00 am | Reply
  8. lachman k chandiramani

    The United Nations, and the United States should warn Russia, to lift off it's dirty hands from Ukraine.

    May 28, 2014 at 12:43 am | Reply
    • magicmirror

      .....but keep US "clean hands" wherever they like.
      good thinking Iachman, that's why we need russia and china.

      May 28, 2014 at 3:27 am | Reply

        The U.S. and NATO want to conquer and occupy Eastern Europe, formerly the Warsaw Pact. Ukraine is taken over by American backed junta of fascistic puppets who have taken over the government buildings in Kiev. They are now facing revolt from fellow Ukrainians in Kiev. But the American people and the West are kept totally in the dark. While Western Europeans have woken up to America's military expansionism Americans have not, yet. That is because the liberal bias media and the administration have been dishing out a distorted and one-sided view of events in Ukraine and U.S. confrontational policy for Eastern Europe.

        May 28, 2014 at 11:22 am |
  9. Sergey

    "Those separatists, Russian Senator Andrey Klimov also told Amanpour, “are not under Moscow’s control.”
    It's a lie. Russians are used to lies, and see no other way of communication. Lie is a weapon of the information war. 95% of Russia's stories and broadcasts on and about Ukraine is an outrageous lie. Remember, how Mr Putin lied to the UN, EU and the whole world that there were no Russian troops in Crimea, and after the territory had been annexed, admitted there actually were "some', with a winsome smile.
    Russian citizens are amoung terminated and living terrorosts, comprising their major part. They give interviews, telling their names, and confessing: we are from Russia. Mr Kadyrov, the Chechen leader, utterly loyal to Putin, sends his most skilled troops to Ukraine, and speaks of this freely. Terrorists are armed with Russian modern weapon, from anti-aircraft missiles, to helmets. Ukrainian border guards report of daily breakthroughs of numerous trucks with hundreds of armed people in them, from the Russian side. These people inflict terror upon civilians, robbing, raping and killing them, make fire nests in their apartments, hide behind women and children, and fight professionally with Ukraininan troops, that come to help. At the same time Russian media goes on with its vicious propaganda, naming Ukrainian troops and patriots, who try to protect their country, "fascists", accusing them of war crimes, that are predominantly committed by the Russian terrorists. Thus Russian politicians, journalists and local trolls are mere accomplices of terrorism.
    This is no internal Ukrianian issue, though somebody does his best to persuade the West it is . This is a clandestine war, initiated by Russia against sovereign state, Ukrainian people, which ousted the pro-Russian criminal president ( who fled to Russia, btw), overthrew the corrupt regime, and turned its face toward Europe, hoping for good changes. It's not even a civil war, because the separatists gain extremely low support from local people. It's an agression. Foul, cruel, hybrid and loathsome war.

    May 28, 2014 at 2:44 am | Reply
    • Sergey

      Why would I believe a person ( or a country ) that constantly lies?

      May 28, 2014 at 2:56 am | Reply
      • Miron

        Lie with what, their gas, warming up your home at 1/100 cost of your compatriot in fine city of Berlin.

        I get it that you have an opinion. A very free opinion, or if I may, extremely well subsidized opinion by people you consider extremely bad. But why do you want to bite the hand that is feeding you, Is that really opinion or alcoholic fumes that you will cry over on the shoulder of "understanding Russian brother" tomorrow.

        May 28, 2014 at 5:38 am |
      • Miron

        What the hell Obama is doing in White House, sending US generals to Ukrain.

        I hope every American clearly understands that what will come back will look like inside of the planes that flew into Twin Towers, only on the scale of a country, and justly so.

        June 3, 2014 at 12:06 am |
    • Garry

      I wish. Really wish good luck to those who fighting for their rights in Donetsk. Zapadyncy always been an animal like. From Ukrainian officials we never heard of peaceful deal-it's all about killing. Killing! You people wake up!!! You never anything else! There no trust to you. And stop lying! You killing innocent people every freaking day! No trust. Ukraine it's done! Remember one thing! Russians never give up! Never give up for the truth and rights!

      May 28, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  10. Markus

    Why does the US get involved in a country 9000 km from its borders ?

    "Added recently has been a promise from the IMF of $17 billion to Ukraine under a specific condition: get rid of the control of these Eastern cities by Russian supporters. This is a condition that has been placed on them, so it’s not a surprise that seemingly all of a sudden we are seeing more aggressive activity by the Western Ukrainians to try to conquer these cities."

    May 28, 2014 at 2:46 am | Reply
    • Sergey

      "are seeing more aggressive activity by the Western Ukrainians to try to conquer these cities".
      Manipulative lie again. There's no war of western against eastern Ukrainains, or vice versa I'm a Ukrainian myself, and live in the east of the country. This war is about Russia, trying to "conquer these cities". Moreover, 65% of Ukrainian army consists of the eastern Ukrainians, thus such propaganda stuff looks weird, at least for us. Too bad only a few people in America understand what's actually going on here.

      May 28, 2014 at 3:10 am | Reply
  11. magicmirror

    CNN readers comments never mention US interference abroad.

    May 28, 2014 at 3:24 am | Reply
  12. Miron

    Why not ask people of Donetsk, what they want.

    Russians, to the extent I am hearing, merely trying to protect their, in my humble opinion, G-d given right to speak their mind and not being fired at from heavy weaponry.

    Their first demands, to the extent I red what's available, is right to speak Russian and deal in business using Russian language on equal footing with Ukrainian language. Is that worth killing people for?

    Their second demand is to have a political dialog about distribution of powers and legitimacy of people in Kiev. Is that worth killing people for?

    In fact as much as I read the posts, the elephant in the room is "who is for killing people of Donetsk". So far I don't see a single person voting "eye".

    Why is Barak Obama voting "eye"? Last time I read CNN, he is voting "eye" to murder people out of "challenge to Putin".

    Is he that dumb and malicious?

    May 28, 2014 at 4:22 am | Reply
  13. Madex

    Gaddafi was accused of using air and ground attack against NATO backed rebels and No Fly Zone was imposed and Libya bombarded for several months against African Union advise, now Ukraine does same and it is justified.

    Africans beware: Never again trust a western leader, it is their interest that matters, they will never love you as they claim.

    May 28, 2014 at 5:00 am | Reply
  14. Lica


    May 28, 2014 at 6:05 am | Reply
  15. George

    TO Somennick:

    Huge amount of Russian soldiers and special forces, agent were CAPTURED by Ukrainians. Even russian government confirm it. This real war made by one person czar Vladimir.

    May 28, 2014 at 6:24 am | Reply

      The British people have given a landslide victory to UKIP and the French to the National Front not only against immigration and the E.U but mainly because the lies and propaganda their government in conspiracy with the U.S. have been telling them, demonizing Russia and character assassinating Putin. Fortunately Russia has been very restrained. Russia will not touch Ukraine with a barge pole despite U.S. and NATO provocation. Russia is not that stupid to take the bait. When the U.S Ambassador Matthew Barzun appears on BBC to insult the intelligence of the British people, he is only making things worse for the U.S.

      May 28, 2014 at 11:18 am | Reply
  16. Paul

    Power is more important than any other thing,and that's why the Mankind is so unhappy...

    May 28, 2014 at 7:20 am | Reply

    Because of their propaganda against Russia and lies they have been telling the British people about Ukraine the British government of Conservatives and Liberals have hemorrhaged supporters and members to the level headed and reasonably pro Russia United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) which has won a landslide victory in the Euro election. Demonizing Russia and character assassinating Putin have in fact backfired on Cameron and Hague. British people are not gullible like Americans, they see things for what they are, whereas Americans see things for what they want them to be and believe what they are told.

    May 28, 2014 at 11:16 am | Reply
  18. saladin

    The neo Nazi government slaughtering its own people is the one causing terror.

    May 28, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  19. nika

    putin you are busterd men

    May 28, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  20. sara montoya

    May 28, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  21. Mit

    " Peaceful protestors are under fire " – Russia says .
    Meanwhile 2 Ukrainian helicopters , delivering info-papers , without any weapons on board, have been shot down by " peaceful protestors " in Slavyansk ....... Add comments , lets discuss.

    May 28, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Reply
    • Ruslana

      This does the helicopter which has been brought down:
      Also Ukrainian military killed 6 persons, which wanted to take the killed to bury. So all these dead persons lie near the airport since May, 26th.

      May 31, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  22. Ruslana

    To understand what fuels such cruelty you need to talk to ukranians. First they do not distinguish between Russia and ethnic russians in ukraine. Second the level of these racial hatred towards both these groups is above any reason. They do not consider russian are human as well. They are ready to kill them all. How many russian kids and women have to die for the west stop us big ukranians as the only source of info. It is time to call ethnic cleansing for what it is and distance from this ugly murder! Please see it:

    May 31, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Reply
  23. Stanislav

    CNN why are you silent about what is possible on the Donbas humanitarian disaster?
    Ukrainian government:
    – No humannity corridors for peaceful population
    – Children must walk to cross the border to be saved (the buses are not available)
    – The city are not allowed the machine with medications
    Yesterday Ukrainian military was shelled orphanage.

    June 1, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Reply
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