Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 12 June, 2014, 7PM Kyiv time

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing

12 June, 2014, 7PM Kyiv time


1. Kremlin-backed violence in Eastern Ukraine

The active phase of the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) in Donetsk and Luhansk continues. The Minister of Internal Affairs, A. Avakov, stated that a column of military materiel (armored personnel carriers, artillery instruments) have moved through from the Russian Federation through border points seized by armed Kremlin-backed extremists, towards Snizhne, Donetsk oblast and moved towards Horlivka, where they were attacked by Ukrainian armed forces. The column of Kremlin-backed extremists includes three tanks. As of 5 pm Kyiv time the battle is ongoing, a part of the column has been destroyed, and according to the website of Ukraine’s president, the situation has been brought under control. Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko held an emergency meeting with the heads of the security agencies; the Ukrainian military has regained control of more than 100 km of the border. The self-proclaimed “mayor” of Mariupol, O. Fomenko, was detained by National Guard forces, along with two “activists” of the self-proclaimed Donetsk “Peoples’ Republic.” According to reports, a conflict amongst the Kremlin-backed extremists in Lysychansk, Luhansk oblast, has occurred, and another “Peoples’ Republic” has been proclaimed in that city. There are now two self-proclaimed “Peoples’ Republics” in the oblast. Battles between ATO forces and armed Kremlin-backed extremists continue in and around Slovyansk, Donetsk oblast. The State Security Service (SBU) of Ukraine states that the Anti-terrorism Centre at the SBU is continuing preparations for the establishment of a corridor through which civilians can leave the region in which the ATO is being carried out.

2. Donetsk oblast State Administration: “DNR” trying to forcibly take children to Russia

The Donetsk Oblast State Administration stated that armed representatives of the so-called Donetsk “Peoples’ Republic” tried to forcibly take 25 children from Snizhne, Donetsk oblast, 23 of whom are orphans. The children were being taken to Dnipropetrovsk oblast when the armed men forced the driver to change course towards the Russian border. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has sent a note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in which they noted that in the event the children are indeed in Russia, “the lack of permits/documents for taking the children over a border; because of this their displacement to the Russian Federation will be qualified as international abduction of children, with the appropriate legal consequences for the perpetrators and other parties, with whose assistance this crime has been committed.”

3. Poroshenko speaks to Putin

Ukraine President P. Poroshenko spoke with Russian President V. Putin, about the “plan of Petro Poroshenko regarding the resolution of the situation in east Ukraine.” The presidents also discussed “steps that must be taken to ceasefire and resolve the situation peacefully.” Poroshenko also spoke with German Chancellor A. Merkel; the discussed the “coordination of efforts to de-escalate the situation in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts…”

4. US National Security AdvisorRussia must halt support for violent separatists and seal border

US National Security Advisor Susan Rice stated on 11 June that sanctions imposed by the US, EU and other partners are “biting the Russian economy…Russia’s economy contracted in the first quarter, and the IMF has declared that the country is likely in recession. Its credit now rates just above junk status…With our closest partners – Europe, the G7 and other key allies – we continue to send a common message: Russia must cease aggression against Ukraine, halt support for violent separatists in the East, seal the border and recognize the newly elected Ukrainian government. If Russia does not, it faces the very real prospect of greater pressure and significant additional sanctions.”

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