JNN 06 May 2014 Kiev : “A large number of Wahabi Takfiri terrorist ( Mercenaries ) fighters in Syria, who bear Saudi and Chechnian nationalities and receive financial and military backup from the Saudi intelligence agency, have been transferred to the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on several planes to help the Ukrainian army in its fight against the pro-Russian population,” an Arab security official told FNA on Sunday on the condition of anonymity due to the secrecy of the issue.
“The forces have been immediately dispatched to Kramatosk city in Eastern Ukraine, and are now fighting beside the Ukrainian army forces against the pro-Russians under the name of militias who support the government,” the source added.
The source explained that Saudi Arabia seeks to take revenge from Russia and pro-Russian people in Ukraine due to Moscow’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the war on rebel groups.
Last Summer, former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar reportedly offered Russian President Putin a deal, saying if Russia abandoned Syria, Saudi Arabia would protect the Sochi Olympics from Islamic terrorists. Putin angrily rebuffed the offer. In January, two terrorist bombings, for which the Saudis were blamed, happened only 400 miles away from the site of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
According to the leaked diplomatic account of last summer’s meeting, Bandar sought Russia’s cooperation on several Mideast concerns, including Syria, and told Putin, “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us.”
Putin reportedly responded, “We know that you have supported the Chechen terrorist groups for a decade. And that support, which you have frankly talked about just now, is completely incompatible with the common objectives of fighting global terrorism that you mentioned. We are interested in developing friendly relations according to clear and strong principles.”
Besides safety for the Sochi Olympics, Bandar raised the potential of Saudi cooperation with Russia on oil and other investment matters, saying, “Let us examine how to put together a unified Russian-Saudi strategy on the subject of oil. The aim is to agree on the price of oil and production quantities that keep the price stable in global oil markets,” according to the diplomatic account.
A source close to the Russian government said in January that this mix of overt inducements and implied threats infuriated Putin who barely kept his anger in check through the end of the meeting with Bandar. Putin viewed Bandar’s offer to protect the Sochi Olympics as something akin to a Mafia don shaking down a shopkeeper for protection money by saying, “nice little business you got here, I’d hate to see anything happen to it.”
Putin then redoubled his support for the Syrian government in response to Bandar’s blend of bribes and warnings. The source said Russia also issued its own thinly veiled threats against the Saudis. The Saudis may have substantial “soft power” – with their oil and money – but Russia has its own formidable “hard power,” including a huge military, the source said.
However Ukraine’s military has blocked the main road to the eastern city of Slavyansk, tightening its siege on the troubled city.
According to Press TV on Sunday, the army setup checkpoints and cut off the main road to Slavyansk.
Pro-Russia protesters say that Slavyansk is now fully under siege by Ukrainian army troops.
Also on Sunday, pro-Russian protesters attacked government buildings in at least two Ukrainian cities.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people who say they belong to the People’s Republic of Donetsk have seized the city’s military prosecutor’s office.
Pro-Russia protesters have taken several other state institutions in the city under their control.
The protesters have also blocked the police headquarters in Ukraine’s southern city of Odessa, demanding the release of anti-government activists.
Ukraine army helicopter shot down in Slavyansk
Mon May 5, 2014 5:50PM GMT
A military helicopter has been shot down in the volatile eastern city of Slavyansk, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry says.
The ministry said in a statement that an Mi-24 helicopter crashed into a river in Slavyansk at 14:30 local time (11:30 GMT) after it came under fire from a heavy machine gun.
The ministry also added that the pilots of the chopper have survived.
Meanwhile, Slavyansk city hospital reported that out of seven injured people admitted to the medical center, two of them with gunshot wounds have died.
Pro-Russian activists say they have lost more than 20 members while Ukrainian officials say four government troops have been killed during the Kiev forces’ renewed crackdown on the pro-Moscow stronghold of Slavyansk.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has offered to mediate in the worsening Ukrainian crisis and called on all sides involved to help resolve the turmoil peacefully.
“I am urging these four parties (the US, the EU, Russia and Ukraine’s interim government) to solve this problem through peaceful means and I’m ready to provide my own role if necessary,” AFP news agency quoted Ban as saying on Monday.
On May 2, the Kiev authorities expanded their controversial military operations against pro-Russian protesters in the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine.
Pro-Moscow demonstrations gained momentum in Ukraine after Crimea declared independence from Kiev and formally applied to become part of the Russian Federation in a referendum in March.