Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 14 April 2014

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Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing

14 April 2014

1. Russian-backed Unrest in Eastern Ukraine

Administrative buildings were seized by pro-Russian “separatists” in several cities in Eastern Ukraine over the last 72 hours. In Kharkiv, the Oblast State Administration building and city hall have been seized; in Slovyansk (Donetsk oblast) the city hall has been seized; in Donetsk, the Oblast State Administration building, the State Security building and city hall have been seized; in Luhansk, the State Security building has been under control of “separatists” for several days; in Kramatorsk and Mariupol (Donetsk oblast) the city halls have been seized. “Separatists” have set up roadblocks on the roads into Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv. On Sunday some 50 people were injured when pro-Ukrainian demonstrators were attacked by “separatist” demonstrators. In Horlivka, “separatists” seized the city hall and police headquarters Monday. There was violence, including gunfire, between “separatists” and law enforcement in several eastern cities on Sunday. According to reports, an officer of the State Security Service was shot and killed in Slovyansk. The forces that have violently seized these buildings in Eastern Ukraine are well-armed and clearly well-trained, and many are in uniform without insignia. The militant “separatists” often have weapons of Russian origin. It is obvious that the “separatist” activists are backed, supported and controlled by Russian Federation special forces, and that the seizures of administrative buildings, are a coordinated effort by the Russian Federation to destabilize Eastern Ukraine.

2. President signs decree on anti-terrorist actions

Acting President O. Turchynov signed a decree “On urgent actions for overcoming the terrorist threat and preservation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.” The Council of National Defense and Security began an anti-terrorist action on Sunday, which included Ukraine’s armed forces.

3. State Security Service releases phone call of Russian terrorists

The State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) released a taped phone call of what appears to be a discussion between members of a diversionary group organized by Russian special forces. The SBU stated that the materials “are evidence of the fact that in the eastern part of Ukraine armed aggression by the Russian Federation is taking place, which is being realized by intelligence-diversionary groups of the Intelligence Department of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces…the goal of these diversionary groups is to terrorize the local population, [and ensuring the] failure of the Ukraine-USA-EU-Russian Federation negotiations…” The Secretary of the National Council of Security and Defense of Ukraine A. Parubiy stated that officers of the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB) and the Intelligence Department of the Russian armed forces (GRU) have been detained on Ukrainian territory; stating “There is confirmation that officers of the FSB and GRU are acting on the territory of Ukraine. Very often they are both Ukrainian and Russian citizens.”

4. UN Security Council meets to discuss Ukraine

The UN Security Council met yesterday to discuss the crisis in Ukraine, at Russia’s request. United States Permanent Representative to the UN S. Power stated that “The lives of innocent civilians are at risk, yet we are being bombarded by Russian disinformation and propaganda while the Ukrainians are being confronted by incitement and violence. Russian media and government spokespersons are spreading fiction… You have heard that there are no Russian troops in eastern Ukraine. But the fact is that many of the armed units that we’ve seen were outfitted in bullet-proof vests, camouflage uniforms with insignia removed…We know who is behind this. Indeed, the only entity in the area capable of these coordinated, professional military actions is Russia… You have heard laments about “instability” as if instability is organic. But the fact is that this is the saddest kind of instability – it is completely man-made. This “instability” was written and choreographed in and by Russia.” Power also stated that in response to Russia’s “unjustified and destabilizing actions” the US is prepared to put in place further sanctions, while continuing diplomatic efforts.

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