Posts Tagged ‘Trump’

U.S. Official’s Diplomatic Line in Mexico Differs From Trump’s

February 23, 2017

Mexico Angry Over New U.S. Immigration, Deportation Rules

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Updated Feb. 23, 2017 3:08 p.m. ET

MEXICO CITY—U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Thursday the U.S. wouldn’t use military force in immigration operations, even though President Donald Trump earlier in the day described U.S. efforts to enforce immigration laws as “a military operation.”

Mr. Kelly spoke to reporters Thursday

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-officials-on-tough-trip-in-mexico-trump-says-1487871849

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Homeland Security Secretary Kelly: No use of US military to enforce immigration

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By Josh Lederman
The Associated Press

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly pledged Thursday that America won’t enlist its military to enforce immigration laws and that there will be “no mass deportations.”

The declarations came as senior Trump administration officials sought to temper Latin American concerns about a new U.S. immigration crackdown.

Kelly, speaking in Mexico City after he and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with their Mexican counterparts, said all deportations will honor human rights and the U.S. legal system. That includes multiple appeals offered to those facing deportation. Kelly said the U.S. approach will involve “close coordination” with Mexico’s government.

“There will be no use of military forces in immigration,” Kelly said. “There will be no — repeat, no — mass deportations.”

Only hours earlier, President Donald Trump suggested the opposite. He said the U.S. is “getting really bad dudes out of this country at a rate nobody has ever seen before.”

“It’s a military operation,” Trump said Thursday at the White House during a meeting with manufacturing CEOs. “Because what has been allowed to come into our country, when you see gang violence that you’ve read about like never before and all of the things, much of that is people who are here illegally. And they’re rough and they’re tough, but they’re not tough like our people. So we’re getting them out.”

Mexico and other Latin American nations have been on edge over Trump’s plan to target millions of people in the U.S. illegally for potential deportation — including many Mexicans.

Trump spoke during the presidential campaign about using a “deportation force,” and his Homeland Security Department at one point considered using the National Guard to help with deportations, although the White House has said that idea has been ruled out.

Kelly, Tillerson and their Mexican counterparts spoke before the two Americans planned to meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, an outspoken opponent of Trump’s immigration plans, which include making Mexico pay for a border wall along the border.

Tillerson acknowledged the disputes that have damaged U.S.-Mexico relations in recent weeks. But he said the two countries were committed to working through their disagreements.

“In a relationship filled with vibrant colors, two strong sovereign countries from time to time will have differences,” Tillerson said. “We listened closely and carefully to each other as we respectfully and patiently raised our respective concerns.”

Copyright © 2017, Chicago Tribune
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John Kelly promises ‘no mass deportations’ in immigration crackdown

Homeland Security Secretary’s comments come as Donald Trump calls plans to arrest and deport more illegal immigrants ‘a military operation’

By Katie Forster
  The Independent

The US Secretary of Homeland Security has said there will be “no mass deportations” during Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration.

John Kelly told reporters in Mexico City there would be “no use of military force for immigration operations” and said enforcing new policies would be done legally and with respect for human rights.

Mr Trump has promised to build a wall at the border between Mexico and the US and said he plans to deport two to three million undocumented immigrants with criminal records.

Mr Kelly’s comments came as the President termed new efforts to arrest and deport more illegal immigrants “a military operation”.

“We’re getting drug lords out,” he said at a White House meeting with business executives. “We’re getting really bad dudes out of this country, at a rate that nobody’s ever seen before.”

There are around 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US, according to the Pew Research Centre. More than half of those living in America illegally are from Mexico, found the organisation in a recent report.

Donald Trump’s Mexico wall: At what cost, and how long?
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According to US government estimates, there are 1.9 million “removeable criminal aliens”, or non-US citizens who have committed crimes and are eligible for deportation, in the country.

But this figure is not limited to illegal immigrants, and includes people from other countries living in the US legally – green card holders, for instance – who could still be sent home for breaking the law.

However, the President appears to have taken a somewhat liberal approach to these estimates.

Police powers under Trump’s new immigration rules are shocking

In his first interview after his election victory, Mr Trump told CBS News he was going to “get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers.”

“A lot of these people, probably two million – it could be even three million – we are getting them out of the country or we are going to incarcerate,” he said.

Mr Kelly and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met their Mexican counterparts in the capital. He said actions will occur in close coordination with Mexico’s government.

Mr Trump is also expected to issue a new travel ban, replacing the directive suspending access to the US to citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries, next week.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has called the revised order a “more streamlined version” of the original travel ban, which sparked widespread confusion and mass protests.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/john-kelly-no-mass-deportations-donald-trump-mexico-immigration-crackdown-illegal-us-rex-tillerson-a7596541.html

Philippines to defend President Duterte’s drug war at U.N. rights body

February 23, 2017

Reuters

Thu Feb 23, 2017 | 6:46am EST

The Philippine foreign minister on Thursday said he would tell a United Nations rights body that the killings in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs were not state-sponsored.

More than 7,700 people have been killed since Duterte unleashed the drugs war in June, about 2,500 in what police say are shootouts during raids and sting operations.

Most of the rest are under investigation and activists believe many were extrajudicial killings. Police blame the killings on vigilante groups over which they have no control.

Perfecto Yasay said he would address the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council, comprised of 47 nations, during a session set to run from Monday until March 24.

“Our justice system does not tolerate violations of human rights, does not tolerate any state-sponsored extrajudicial killings,” Yasay told reporters. “That’s the truth.”

Last month, Duterte dismantled police anti-drug units after a South Korean businessman was killed inside the national police headquarters, but vowed to forge ahead with his war on drugs until the last day of his term.

“Divisive fear-mongering” has become a dangerous force in the world, the secretary general of rights group Amnesty International, Salil Shetty, said in a statement this week.

He described leaders like Duterte, U.S. President Donald Trump, and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan as “wielding a toxic agenda that hounds, scapegoats and dehumanizes entire groups of people”.

(Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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Sweden’s King wants balanced approach in news reporting — Three days after immigrants riot in Stockholm suburb

February 23, 2017

AFP


© TT News Agency/AFP/File | Several cars were set ablaze in a riot in a suburb outside Stockholm on the night of February 20, 2017

STOCKHOLM (AFP) – Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf has urged news organisations to report objectively on the Nordic nation, after US President Donald Trump drew attention to the country’s immigration challenges.

In an interview with the Sydsvenskan newspaper published on Thursday, three days after a riot broke out in a Stockholm suburb with a large immigrant population, the monarch called for a balanced approach in news reporting.

“It’s important for Sweden’s image in the world to report about the good examples,” the 70-year-old king told the daily.

“It won’t happen without a serious and well-sourced media,” he said.

Images of the violence spread like wildfire around the world, blurring Sweden’s response to Trump and the Fox News channel’s report linking rising crime to immigration to which he had referred.

The king praised Sweden for its research on immigration.

“A lot of good research on integration issues is being conducted at the University of Malmo,” he said after a visit on Wednesday to Sweden’s third city, which is also home to many immigrants.

“(Sweden) has succeeded well with education and research within these sectors. And it is important to get out information about the research that’s being conducted,” he added.

Trump’s remarks touched a raw nerve in Sweden, which is idealised by liberals for its social welfare and immigration policies but also targeted by the alternative right movement.

Trump’s opponents argue that crime levels have not surged since Sweden took in the highest number of asylum seekers per capita in Europe between 2014-2015, and insist that socio-economic factors are the real challenge.

But others see a Sweden where foreigners are twice as likely to appear in crime statistics, are more frequently unemployed, and more often involved in underworld settling of scores.

“It’s important to not give up. I’ve been working with this for more than 40 years,” the king said.

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On Monday night, dozens of youths clashed with police after they arrested a suspected drug dealer in Rinkeby. The rioters threw stones at police, burned cars and looted shops.A police officer fired live ammunition to disperse the mob, Stockholm police spokesman Lars Bystrom told AFP.

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Sweden took in more refugees per capita than any other country in Europe last year. Getty

Trump Rescinds Obama Transgender Bathroom Rules

February 23, 2017

Education, Justice departments say local school districts and state governments should have ‘primary role’ in setting policy

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A bathroom sign in Durham, North Carolina, protests a 2015 law restricting transgender bathroom access.

By LOUISE RADNOFSKY and REBECCA BALLHAUS
The wall Street Journal
Updated Feb. 22, 2017 10:43 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Wednesday formally withdrew Obama administration rules granting transgender individuals access to the sex-segregated facilities of their choice, including bathrooms.

In an official letter to the civil-rights divisions of the departments of Justice and Education, Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights T.E. Wheeler and Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Sandra Battle wrote that the administration was withdrawing the Obama rules because they didn’t “contain extensive legal analysis or explain how the position is consistent with the express language of Title IX, nor did they undergo any formal public process.”

They added that former President Barack Obama’s rules had set off “significant litigation,” in particular as courts differed over the definition of the term “sex.” The letter also emphasized the agencies’ preference that states and local school districts be given a “primary role” in setting education policy.

Last year, the Obama administration had warned states, including North Carolina, that such requirements violated the Civil Rights Act, which broadly bars discrimination on the basis of sex. The guidance staked a position in a contentious debate about transgender rights, including whether schools and states can require people to use sex-segregated facilities, including bathrooms, that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates.

 https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-administration-set-to-rescind-obama-rules-on-transgender-bathroom-use-1487790631

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

Trudeau defends plans to give more powers to U.S. border agents stationed in Canada — Groups say U.S. border guards are already racially profiling Canadians

February 23, 2017

Reuters

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday defended plans to give more powers to U.S. border agents stationed in Canada, saying travelers would at all times be protected by domestic laws.

As part of a 2015 deal between Canada and the United States, Trudeau’s government has introduced draft legislation allowing U.S. border agents based in Canada more leeway to question and search people wishing to enter the United States.

Critics say this increases the chance of abuse at a time when the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is cracking down on immigrants, prompting dozens of people to cross the border into Canada every week.

“Canadian laws are in place, so there is extra protection when Canadians go through American customs in Canada,” Trudeau told reporters.

U.S. border agents have been working in Canada since the 1950s, pre-clearing would-be visitors and addressing potential security threats. The agents are currently based at eight Canadian airports and under the 2015 deal, the program will be expanded to two more airports as well as Montreal train station.

Travelers who change their minds and decide not to enter the United States are currently allowed to leave. The new law permits U.S. agents to question and if need be strip search people seeking not to enter the United States.

Officials say the new tougher provisions are needed to deter militants probing for weaknesses at U.S.-operated border facilities.

Trudeau is under pressure in Parliament from the left-leaning opposition New Democrats, who say U.S. border guards are already racially profiling Canadians who wish to enter the United States.

“What will the government do to secure clear assurances for Canadians who wish to cross the border? When will the Prime Minister stand up for Canadians … will he stand up to the bully?” asked Jenny Kwan, the party’s spokeswoman for immigration, referring to Trump.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Alistair Bell)

Donald Trump Would Reconsider Bannon’s Role on National Security Council If Asked, White House Says

February 22, 2017

Press secretary Sean Spicer says president would consider removing strategist if new national security adviser asked

Steve Bannon, chief strategist for President Donald Trump, listens during a news conference in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday. Both Republicans and Democrats have questioned whether Mr. Bannon’s addition to the National Security Council’s principals committee would insert domestic politics into national-security decision-making.

Steve Bannon, chief strategist for President Donald Trump, listens during a news conference in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday. Both Republicans and Democrats have questioned whether Mr. Bannon’s addition to the National Security Council’s principals committee would insert domestic politics into national-security decision-making. PHOTO: PETE MAROVICH/BLOOMBERG NEWS

WASHINGTON—White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that if President Donald Trump’s newly appointed national security adviser wanted to remove chief strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council’s principals committee, the president would “take that under serious consideration.”

“The president has made clear to him he’s got full authority to structure the national security team the way he wants,” Mr. Spicer said of Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, whom Mr. Trump appointed Monday as his new national security adviser. Mr. Spicer made the remarks in the daily White House press briefing.

When asked if Gen. McMaster’s control over his team would extend to control of the principals committee and the potential removal of the chief strategist, Mr. Spicer said that Gen. McMaster “would come to the president and make that recommendation, but the president would take that under high—you know, serious consideration.”

Mr. Spicer added that in meetings with people for the position of national security adviser over the weekend, “The president made it very clear with [Gen. McMaster] and the other candidates that they had 100% control and authority over the national security committee.”

Gen. McMaster hasn’t indicated any changes he would like to make regarding the National Security Council.

Mr. Spicer said that Gen. McMaster, currently a three-star lieutenant general, would remain on active duty while serving as national security adviser. As such, if he retains his three-star rank, his appointment would be subject to Senate confirmation, according to a statement from a Senate Armed Services Committee aide. If he moves down a notch to a two-star major general, he wouldn’t be subject to Senate confirmation, the aide said.

One week after President Trump fired his first national security adviser, Mike Flynn, he announced Monday his replacement for the role, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, currently director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center at Fort Eustis, Va. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

In the briefing, Mr. Spicer didn’t indicate which path the administration would take. The White House didn’t respond to a request for additional comment later Tuesday.

Mr. Trump last month took the unusual step of adding Mr. Bannon, a former media and financial executive who was an architect of the president’s campaign strategy, to the National Security Council’s principals committee while downgrading the status of the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The move—which meant Mr. Bannon would be invited to all council meetings—drew criticism from both Republicans and Democrats, who questioned whether Mr. Bannon’s addition would insert domestic politics into national-security decision-making.

Questions were raised about Gen. McMaster’s authority as national security adviser after retired Vice Adm. Bob Harward last week turned down Mr. Trump’s offer to fill the position. Adm. Harward had expressed a preference for hiring his own staff at the National Security Council but was rebuffed, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Mr. Spicer on Tuesday said Adm. Harward had declined the position due to “financial and family concerns” and that he had expressed a desire to serve the administration in the future.

Gen. McMaster’s appointment caps weeks of turmoil over the National Security Council. Mike Flynn, who previously served as national security adviser, resigned last week under increasing fire over his conflicting statements about his contacts with Russian officials before the inauguration.

In a news conference days later, Mr. Trump said he didn’t fire Mr. Flynn because he did anything wrong in talking about U.S. sanctions against Russia with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. “If anything he did something right,” Mr. Trump said. He said he fired Mr. Flynn because he misled Vice President Mike Pence about the content of his conversation with the ambassador.

Over the weekend, the White House also dismissed a senior national security aide after he criticized Mr. Trump and administration officials.

Write to Rebecca Ballhaus at Rebecca.Ballhaus@wsj.com and Ted Mann at ted.mann@wsj.com

Ukraine leader praises ‘effective’ dialogue with Trump

February 22, 2017

AFP


© AFP | Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko (left) claims he had a “very important meeting” with US Vice President Mike Pence in Munich, on February 18
KIEV (AFP) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Wednesday he has had two “very effective” conversations with US counterpart Donald Trump and was confident of building strong relations with Washington.Much of Ukraine’s establishment had feared that Trump’s unexpected rise to power and praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin would come at their country’s expense.

Kiev and its allies accuse Moscow of sparking and backing a 34-month war in Ukraine’s separatist east aimed at keeping the ex-Soviet republic under its thumb — a charge that Russia denies.

Poroshenko told a meeting of Ukraine’s top brass that he “had two very effective conversations with US President Donald Trump.”

Poroshenko added he had a “very important meeting” with US Vice President Mike Pence on the sidelines of this weekend’s Munich Security Conference.

He said he also spoke by phone with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

“At the moment, I am happy how we are building bridges (with Washington), and how our dialogue is working out for the best with the US administration,” Poroshenko said.

Trump had previously shown a certain lack of knowledge about Ukraine — particularly Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 — and heaped repeated praise on Putin.

But Russia’s media has in recent days scaled back fawning coverage of the US leader.

Some analysts believe that Putin is unsure about what precise international course the new US leader intends to take.

Ukraine’s former pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych, who was toppled by a 2014 pro-European uprising, on Wednesday released a letter to Trump urging the US leader to “take urgent and exhaustive measures” to end the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine.

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More than 200 anti-Trump demonstrators have been charged with rioting over Inauguration Day protests

February 22, 2017

  • A grand jury in Washington, DC, charged five individuals on Tuesday in connection to protests that broke out on Inauguration day
  • Another 209 defendants were indicted on rioting charges earlier this month
  • Police originally arrested 230 people and charged them with felony rioting
  • The US Attorney’s Office said three other cases were also dropped on Tuesday
  • Those indicted face up to ten years in prison and a fine up to $25,000

A total of 214 people have been indicted on felony rioting charges in connection to protests that broke out in downtown Washington, DC, on Inauguration day.

Police originally arrested 230 people and charged them with felony rioting after protesters smashed storefronts and bus stops, launched rocks at police and set fire to a limousine on January 20. Six police officers were injured in the riots.

A grand jury in DC charged five individuals on Tuesday, in addition to the 209 defendants who were indicted on rioting charges earlier this month.

Those who have been indicted face up to ten years in prison and a fine up to $25,000.

A grand jury in Washington, DC, charged five individuals on Tuesday in connection to protests that broke out on Inauguration day. Another 209 defendants were indicted on rioting charges earlier this month

A grand jury in Washington, DC, charged five individuals on Tuesday in connection to protests that broke out on Inauguration day. Another 209 defendants were indicted on rioting charges earlier this month

Police originally arrested 230 people and charged them with felony rioting after protesters smashed storefronts and bus stops, launched rocks at police and set fire to a limousine on January 20

The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia also announced on Tuesday that it was dropping three more cases.

The office did not say why the cases were dismissed but prosecutors have said they’re working with police to review evidence related to the Inauguration Day arrests.

Some of the dismissed cases have involved journalists arrested while chronicling the actions of a group of self-described anarchists.

The indictment accuses the 209 charged of using a tactic called ‘Black Bloc’ to conceal their identities by wearing black clothing and face coverings, according to CNN.

The rioters destroyed a government vehicle, assaulted a limousine driver, smashed storefront windows and committed ‘violent and destructive acts’, according to the indictment.

Just before the Inauguration Day parade started, clashes broke out between more than 400 stone-throwing protesters and riot police in McPherson Square – just blocks from the parade in honor of newly sworn-in president.

The protest broke out just blocks from where President Donald Trump was being inaugurated (pictured above) 

The protest broke out just blocks from where President Donald Trump was being inaugurated (pictured above)

The US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia also announced on Tuesday that it was dropping three more cases, but did not give reason as to why the cases were being dropped

The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia also announced on Tuesday that it was dropping three more cases, but did not give reason as to why the cases were being dropped

As Trump’s motorcade wound its way up Pennsylvania Avenue in the parade to the White House, protesters also descended on Franklin Square Park where they graffitied a stretch limo before setting the vehicle ablaze right outside the Washington Post building.

Court paperwork from January the group of rioters did more than $100,000 in damage.

Those who have been charged had their phones seized by DC Police, who have been holding on to the devices since the arrests.

Some individuals have been targeted as part of a social media investigation into their Facebook activity by police.

Depending on which legal process Facebook chose to use for the arrestees depends in terms of how much data they can seize for investigation.

A search warrant would allow Facebook to give away information including ‘messages, photos, videos, timeline posts, and location information’, according to Facebook’s guidelines.

A subpoena would include the person’s ‘name, length of service, credit card information, email address(es), and a recent login/logout IP address(es)’.

IP data points could show where the arrestees were the day of the protests.

Iran ready to give U.S. “slap in the face” – commander

February 22, 2017

DUBAI, Feb 22 (Reuters) – The United States should expect a “strong slap in the face” if it underestimates Iran’s defensive capabilities, a commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday, as Tehran concluded war games.

Since taking office last month, U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to get tough with Iran, warning the Islamic Republic after its ballistic missile test on Jan. 29 that it was playing with fire and all U.S. options were on the table.

“The enemy should not be mistaken in its assessments, and it will receive a strong slap in the face if it does make such a mistake,” said General Mohammad Pakpour, head of the Guards´ ground forces, quoted by the Guards’ website Sepahnews.

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Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour

On Wednesday, the Revolutionary Guards concluded three days of exercises with rockets, artillery, tanks and helicopters, weeks after Trump warned that he had put Tehran “on notice” over the missile launch.

“The message of these exercises … for world arrogance is not to do anything stupid,” said Pakpour, quoted by the semi-official news agency Tasnim.

“Everyone could see today what power we have on the ground.”

The Guards said they test-fired “advanced rockets” and used drones in the three-day exercises which were held in central and eastern Iran.

As tensions also mounted with Israel, a military analyst at Tasnim said that Iran-allied Hezbollah could use Iranian made Fateh 110 missiles to attack the Israeli nuclear reactor at Dimona from inside Lebanon.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said last Thursday that his group, which played a major role in ending Israel’s occupation of Lebanon, could strike Dimona.

“Since Lebanon’s Hezbollah is one of the chief holders of the Fateh 110, this missile is one of main alternatives for targeting the Dimona installations,” Hossein Dalirian said in a commentary carried by Tasnim.

Iran says its missile programme is defensive and not linked to its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. During the U.S. election race, Trump branded the accord “the worst deal ever negotiated”, telling voters he would either rip it up or seek a better agreement. (Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Sami Aboudi and Alison Williams)

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-4248766/Iran-ready-U-S–slap-face–commander.html#ixzz4ZPk8WTnN
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Ex-Ukraine leader urges Trump to end war in east

February 22, 2017

AFP


© AFP / by Maria PANINA | In his letter, Viktor Yanukovych urged Trump to take ‘urgent’ measures to stop the war in eastern Ukraine
MOSCOW (AFP) – Former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych has urged US President Donald Trump to act to stop the war in eastern Ukraine that he blamed on “irresponsible actions” by Kiev and the West.In the letter, which was made public on Wednesday, Yanukovych urges the US leader to “take urgent and exhaustive measures to stop the war.”

“I wrote to President Trump and told him the war needs to end,” he told reporters in Moscow ahead of the letter’s release.

The pro-Moscow president, who now lives in Russia, blames the conflict on “short-sighted and irresponsible actions by the Ukrainian and Western politicians.”

The armed conflict in eastern Ukraine which was sparked by pro-Russian separatists in March 2014 has now killed more than 10,0000 people.

“I request you take action in defence of… human rights in Ukraine, restoration of democracy and rule of law,” he wrote.

Yanukovych was toppled by a pro-European uprising in February 2014 and fled the country with help from Moscow after parliament declared he had failed to fulfil his duties as president.

Protesters had begun gathering on Kiev’s central square, known as Maidan, in November 2013 after Yanukovych rejected an association agreement with the European Union and opted to align himself more closely with Moscow.

The Maidan protests lasted three months and culminated in a bloody crackdown by riot police that claimed the lives of more than 100 largely unarmed people and about 20 police.

– Letters to Putin, Merkel –

In his letter to Trump, Yanukovych repeated his claims that “unidentified snipers” attacked both police and protesters.

“I have additional evidence and data that can help to identify the real masterminds of the mass killings on Maidan,” he said.

After pro-European leaders took over in Ukraine, Russia annexed Crimea and a separatist conflict broke out in the mainly Russian-speaking east.

Yanukovych told Trump that officials from then-president Barack Obama’s administration had “actively interfered in the situation, taking the side of the protesters.”

He said he had sent similar letters to Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Council of Europe chief Thorbjorn Jagland.

Yanukovych said he now lives in the Rostov region of southern Russia, where he gave news conferences soon after leaving Ukraine. His Moscow press event took place under heavy security.

“I don’t want to take revenge on anyone,” Yanukovych said. “I dream of Ukraine being at peace and of normal life starting there.”

by Maria PANINA