Russian woman in Aleppo shields children against explosion, loses leg & hand

From RT

August 4, 2014

A Russian woman was seriously injured when a huge explosion rocked her relatives’ house in Aleppo, Syria. Irina Barakyat heard a terrible roar outside and rushed to cover her daughter and son from the bomb. Saving their lives cost her a leg and a hand.

Barakyat is married to a Syrian man and has been living in Aleppo for the past 13 years. She was asked by her mother-in-law to come by to give an injection to her husband, who recently had a stroke. Barakyat agreed, taking her three children with her with a plan to stay overnight.

“When we woke up in the morning, I heard a terrible roar. I’ve never heard anything like that before. I realized I had to act without losing any time. My elder son and daughter stood nearby. I jumped on them, stretching my arm and leg, covering my kids. I heard a rumble, then saw my father-in-law lying on the floor. He was not breathing. My mother-in-law was injured. My children stayed alive because I had covered them. My son only broke a limb, and my daughter didn’t sustain any injuries. My middle son had been sleeping in his room when the bomb went off.”

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US-backed Syrian rebels responsible for toxic gas attack in Aleppo – Russian military

Barakyat had her right leg amputated below the knee. Her left leg also sustained serious injuries, but will heal, her doctor says. She also had to part with her hand.

The injured woman says she doesn’t want her five-year-old daughter and two sons, aged 13 and 10, to visit her in hospital.

“I don’t want them to see me in this state,” she says, looking exhausted and frail. “My daughter is at my friend’s place. My sons are staying with their uncle.” Barakyat’s friends want to send her to Russia to get better treatment at a hospital in Moscow.

Last week, Russia and Syria launched a large-scale humanitarian operation for Aleppo residents, opening three humanitarian corridors for civilians and one for the passage of fighters.

Opposition fighters willing to “lay down arms” were promised amnesty by Syrian government forces. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu noted that the fourth corridor was set up only because the US failed to provide Russia with data on Al-Nusra Front terrorist group, which has recently been attempting to merge with other armed opposition groups in Syria.

At least seven civilians died and 25 more were injured on Tuesday as terrorists fired shells, some containing toxic gas, at Aleppo, local health officials said as cited by Syria’s official SANA news agency. The shelling occurred amid an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the city. The violence comes amid a dire humanitarian crisis in Aleppo which “is on the verge of running out of food and other essential supplies,” a recent statement by Amnesty International said.

Despite the increasing number of settlements adhering to the Russia-US brokered ceasefire regime, which came into force on February 27 this year, not all the groups claiming to belong to the “moderate” opposition are observing the truce. In June, militants from an Al-Qaeda-linked group, Jaysh Al-Islam, shelled a UN humanitarian convoy near Damascus, according to reports from the Russian Defense Ministry.


Moscow’s position on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine: Vladimir Putin meets with members of Russia’s Security Council

Source: The Kremlin
January 30, 2015

Vladimir Putin held a meeting with permanent members of the Security Council to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

Taking part in the meeting were Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Federation Council SpeakerValentina Matviyenko, State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Ivanov, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Director of the Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Mikhail Fradkov, Deputy Secretary of the Security Council Rashid Nurgaliyev and permanent member of the Security Council Boris Gryzlov.

PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, colleagues.

We are witnessing a dramatic deterioration of the situation in southeastern Ukraine, in Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic. In this connection I would like to inform you again that a week ago, on Thursday, I sent a letter to the President of Ukraine, a written proposal to withdraw heavy weapons – artillery and multiple rocket launchers – to such a distance from which it would be impossible to fire at populated areas.

I would like to inform you further that this proposal almost completely coincided with the requirements of the official Kiev. You know that there may be one disputed area along the line of separation between the parties to the conflict. So we suggested that weapons and heavy equipment should be withdrawn to the line that Kiev authorities themselves consider fair and corresponding to the agreements reached in Minsk on September 19, 2014.

Unfortunately, we received no clear answer to our proposal; in fact, we also saw the reverse action, namely the Kiev government has given an official order to launch large-scale combat operations along almost the entire perimeter of contact between the opposing sides.

The result: dozens of dead and wounded, and not only among servicemen on both sides, but, even more tragically, there has been loss of life among the civilian population, including children, the elderly and women. The artillery, multiple rocket launchers and aircraft are firing indiscriminately, directly at densely populated areas.

All of this is happening to the accompaniment of propaganda slogans about the quest for peace and the search for those responsible. The responsibility is borne by those who issue such criminal orders. The people who do this should know that there is no other way to solve such conflicts but through peace negotiations and political means. We often hear, including from today’s official Kiev, that this is their preferred method of addressing issues, but the reality is quite different. I hope that common sense will eventually triumph.

I would like to call for a moment of silence to honour the victims, including those who died at a bus stop in Donetsk.

(Moment of silence.)

Thank you.

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More than 80 people died from hunger in the Donbass

More than 80 people died from hunger in Donbas  | Русская весна

From Russiya Vesna, December 30, 2014

Kyiv District Administrative Court postponed a decision on restoration of payments of pensions and other social benefits for civilians of war-torn Donbas region until the end of January next year.

«According to lawsuit against the Cabinet of Ministers should be reviewed within a month. But, despite the fact that millions of people in the conflict zone depend on this decision, the court postponed the review of the suit until January 29. This civil suit was joined and supported by hundreds of pensioners, veterans, Chernobyl liquidators across Ukraine.

Judge showed especial cynicism by congratulating everyone with the upcoming New Year celebration. It was done at the time when his decision affected the lives of millions of people, whether they will perish of hunger or not in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions»- said one of the opposition leaders Alexander Vilkul.

Official Kiev does not confirm information about the facts of starvation in the Donbas. But according to local residents and volunteers the population is in a dire situation. It is reported by German media company Deutsche Welle (DW).

Social structures are destroyed. Salaries, pensions and social benefits on the territory uncontrolled by Kiev government were not paid for several months. Attempts to organize financial assistance from a new government for multimillion Donbas residents did not significantly improve social tensions. Particularly difficult situation is in small towns and villages. An ongoing hostility despite Minsk agreement further complicates the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians.

The anti-crisis media center AKMTS (coordinating headquarter is located in Dnepropetrovsk) reports the death toll of at least 80 people from hunger by December 19. They base their information on the reports of the organizers of the soup kitchens for the poor in Donbass. Cases of death from hunger were recorded in Krasnopartizansk, Snezhnoe and Kirov.

People waiting for humanitarian aid. It is frosty in Donetsk right now.

The extent of the humanitarian catastrophe is extremely difficult to determine accurately according to Deutsche Welle representatives of the Ukrainian authorities in Donetsk region, which is now housed in Kramatorsk. Volunteers shared their personal impression with the representative of Deutsche Welle.

«According to our data, three- quarters of the population of small towns of Donbass experience acute shortage of food» said Natalia Kirkach, the coordinator of the volunteer organization «The Slavic Heart».