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Monday, 17 November 2014

Ukraine now ready for total war with pro-Russian rebels: President......

UKRAINIAN President Petro Poroshenko claimed his country was “prepared for total war” as fighting continued yesterday around the rebel stronghold of Donetsk and workers started recovering debris from the MH17 crash site.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who held lengthy talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Brisbane, called on the West not to lose hope in what may be a long struggle with Russia, but vowed that the Kremlin “will not prevail” in Ukraine.
Ukraine ‘ready for all-out war’
After a week in which Kiev said several unmarked armoured convoys of troops crossed the Russian border to reinforce rebels in the east, Mr Poroshenko toughened his rhetoric, telling the German daily Bild: “I am not afraid of a war with Russian troops.”
“We are prepared for a scenario of total war ... We don’t want war, we want peace and we are fighting for European values. But Russia does not respect any agreement,” he said in an interview published last night.
Kiev was better prepared to face a rumoured rebel offensive.
“Our army is now in a better state than it was five months ago and we are being supported by the entire world,” he told the paper.
Workers started winching debris from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 at the remote crash site near the village of Grabove, paving the way for its eventual return to The Netherlands four months after it was downed, killing 298 people, including 38 Australian residents and citizens.
A crew from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic — the pro-Moscow separatists who hold the territory — supervised by Dutch experts used metal saws to cut up the wreckage before it was lifted on to trucks.
Pieces of the engine, cabin and a seat were clearly identifiable among the charred wreckage of the doomed Boeing 777.
After being collected, the debris will be transported to the government-controlled city of Kharkiv and then flown to the Netherlands, were experts intend to reconstruct a section of the doomed airliner.
A rebel official said the crew of some 15 people from Donetsk’s emergency ministry hoped to finish the operations in the next 10 days.
The team faces a race to complete the recovery effort before harsh winter conditions in the former Soviet state make it difficult to continue.
Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of supplying pro-Moscow rebels with the missile that shot down the aircraft on July17. Russia and the separatists deny it, blaming Ukrainian forces instead.
Mr Putin, who also denies providing military support to the separatists, came under fresh pressure over Ukraine and MH17 at the G20 summit in Brisbane.
After a series of frosty exchanges with fellow leaders, Mr Putin left the summit early on Sunday, saying he needed to catch up on some sleep.
Delivering a speech in Sydney, Ms Merkel said Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March “called the whole of the European peaceful order into question, and it has continued by Russia exporting its influence to destabilise eastern Ukraine”.
“Who would’ve thought that 25 years after the fall of the Wall, after the end of the Cold War, after the end of the division of Europe and the end of the world being divided in two, something like that can happen right at heart of Europe?” she said.
“Old thinking, thinking in terms of theories of influence, where international law is violated, this must not be allowed to prevail. I’m convinced it will not prevail.”