Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 9 June, 2014, 4:00 PM Kyiv time

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Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing

9 June, 2014, 4:00 PM Kyiv time

 

 

1. Kremlin-backed violence in Eastern Ukraine

The active phase of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) in Donetsk and Luhansk continues. The State Border Service of Ukraine reports that at approximately 10:30 PM Kyiv time on 8 June, Kremlin-backed armed extremists attacked the border checkpoint Izvarene, Luhansk oblast, but when border guards returned fire, the extremists fled. At approximately midnight on 8-9 June Kyiv time, a Ukrainian armed forces base in Artemivsk, Donetsk oblast, was attacked by almost 50 Kremlin-backed armed extremists, who opened fire on the base. The Ukrainian armed forces personnel returned fire; one of the extremist was killed and a 12.7 mm machine gun and three 30 mm AGC-17 grenade launchers were taken by the Ukrainian armed forces. The Ministry of Defense reports no casualties on the Ukrainian side. 

2. New President of Ukraine Inaugurated

Ukraine’s President, P. Poroshenko, was inaugurated on 7 June. In his address, Poroshenko stated: “Freedom is not given once and forever. One needs to fight for it…The army and its rearming through efforts of the national military-industrial complex – is our highest priority…Nobody will protect us, until we learn to defend ourselves. I will use my diplomatic experience to ensure the signing of an international agreement, which will take the place of the Budapest Memorandum…Russia has occupied Crimea, which was, is and will be Ukrainian. Yesterday during a meeting in Normandy, I said this to President Putin. Crimea is Ukrainian. Period. There can be no compromise on the questions of Crimea, European choice, and the state system…Reforms as to decentralization will begin this year with changes to the Constitution…But Ukraine was, is and will be a unitary state…An important point in society’s demand for a full reset of power is early parliamentary elections…Living freely includes being able to freely use [one’s] native language. We are guided by Article 10 of the Constitution. It states that the Ukrainian language is the only state language, but guarantees the free development of Russian and other languages…The European choice of Ukraine is the heart of our national ideal…We look at the Association Agreement as only the first step towards full membership of Ukraine in the EU. Nobody has the right to veto Ukraine’s European choice…We [are] a people who were separated from our great fatherland Europe – we return to her.”

3. Contact Group on returning peace to eastern Ukraine meets

On 8 June, the first meeting of the three-sided contact group on “the realization of a peaceful plan in east Ukraine” met. The meeting was attended by Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko, Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany P. Klimkin, special representative of the Secretary General of the OSCE H. Tagliavini, and Russian Ambassador to Ukraine M. Zurabov. Poroshenko stated that “During this week we must stop the shooting. For me, every day that people die, every day that Ukraine is paying such a high price, is unacceptable.”

4. US announces more aid to Ukraine

On 7 June US Vice President J. Biden, in Ukraine for the inauguration of President Poroshenko, stated that the US will provide an additional $48 million assistance package to Ukraine, pending Congressional approval. The aid will, among other areas, be provided to assist in carrying out reforms needed for the IMF and World Bank programs, Constitutional reforms, and “confidence-building measure that enhance national unity, particularly in the east and south,” “Strengthen Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service,” and “Help Ukraine diversify its trade and enhance its energy security.”

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