Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 13 May 2014, 6PM Kyiv time

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Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing

13 May 2014, 6PM Kyiv time

 

 

1. Kremlin-backed “separatism” in Eastern Ukraine

The Ministry of Defense reports that 20 km from Kramatorsk, a Ukrainian armed forces column was ambushed by armed “separatists,” who used a grenade launcher to attack a personnel carrier. 6 Ukrainian servicemen were killed and 8 were wounded in the firefight. The active phase of the anti-terrorist operation in Donetsk and Luhansk continues. According to reports from several media sources, Kremlin-backed “separatists” have unblocked the centre of Mariupol, Donetsk oblast, and two roadblocks on Lenin and Metalurhiv streets in the city have been cleared, after negotiations with city authorities. 2 armed “separatists” were detained by Ministry of Defense troops in Luhansk oblast. During the night of 12-13 May armed “separatists” in Slovyansk (Donetsk oblast) opened fire on a television tower and on positions held by Ukraine’s law enforcement troops.  The head of the Mariupol police Department, V. Andrushchak, who was taken hostage on 9 May by armed “separatists,” was freed from captivity on 12 May. He underwent surgery for his wounds on 12 May, and remains in critical condition. Two District Election Commissions, responsible for organizing the presidential elections in their respective districts – in Horlivka and Starobeshev, Donetsk oblast, have been blocked from working by “separatists.”

2. NATO: Russia still massing troops on Ukraine’s border

The US State Department released photographs taken on 12 May, which show that despite Russian President’s Putin claim that Russian armed forces have been withdrawn, Russian troops are still massed near Ukraine’s borders.

3. Ukraine, EU sign aid deal

In Brussels, Ukraine’s Prime Minister, A. Yatseniuk and European Commission President J. Barroso signed the conclusion of the Memorandum of Assistance, which gives effect to the 1 billion Euro ($1.37 billion) aid deal – the Macro Financial Assistance Loan Program, as well as a “State Building Contract” program, (355 million Euro), plus 10 million Euro in support for civil society, which is aimed at stabilization and the implementation of governance reforms, transparency and anti-corruption measures.

4. Parliament creates Commission on Odesa and Mariupol; passes series of EU visa measures

Ukraine’s parliament established a Temporary Commission on Investigating facts of mass deaths in Odesa, Mariupol, Krasnoarmiysk, and other cities in eastern and southern Ukraine. The head of the Commission will be A. Kisse; the Commission is scheduled to work for two months, and will present a report on completed work to Parliament not later than 15 June 2014. 263 MPs supported the resolution. Parliament also passed a series of laws, including anti-corruption and anti-discrimination legislation that brings Ukraine’s legislation in line with liberalization of the visa regime with the European Union

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