Guardian: 30 Killed, 97 Wounded In Offensive In Eastern Ukraine


According to The Guardian: “Pro-Russian rebels announced a major new offensive in Ukraine on Saturday after missiles killed at least 30 people in Mariupol, a strategic city linking rebel territory with Russian-occupied Crimea.

The mayor’s office in Mariupol said 97 people were also wounded in the attack, which struck a crowded residential district early in the morning and then again shortly after midday.

Sources claim that Rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko said on Friday that he had withdrawn from all peace talks with “pro-western leaders” in Kiev.

On Saturday he said his forces had started “an offensive against Mariupol” but did not accept direct responsibility for the earlier rocket attack.

The European Union condemned the attacks and warned that the resurgence in fighting would harm EU-Russia relations.

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said the attack “would inevitably lead to a further grave deterioration of relations between the EU and Russia.”,

The Chief Monitor of the U.N. Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe for Ukraine, Ertuğrul Apakan, called for an immediate ceasefire.

“Ukraine and its people need and deserve peace. The parties must return to the negotiating table without further delay,” said Apakan.

Turkish President: Charlie Hebdo Guilty Of Provoking Muslims, Inciting Racial Hatred

The Turkish President Erdogan, continues to make waves with his public comments in the wake of the Paris terrorist atrocities last week.

Erdogan was quoted by the AFP news agency as telling a group of businessmen in Ankara that Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical newspaper whose cartoonists and writers were targeted by jihadist gunmen last week, was guilty of “wreaking terror by intervening in the freedom space of others.”

According to the Jerusalem Post, the first edition of Charlie Hebdo since the killing of 12 of its staff members at its central Paris offices last week aroused anger across the Muslim world, since it depicts the Prophet Mohammed shedding a tear while holding a sign that reads, “Je suis Charlie.”

“This magazine (is) notorious for its provocative publications about Muslims, about Christians, about everyone,” Erdogan is reported to have said.

The Turkish leader said that Charlie Hebdo abused its freedom of expression in order to insult an entire religious group.

“They may be atheists,” Erdogan said of the Charlie Hebdo journalists. “If they are, they will respect what is sacred to me. If they do not, it means provocation which is punishable by laws. What they do is to incite hatred, racism.”