Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 25 June, 2014, 7 PM Kyiv time

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Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing

25 June, 2014, 7 PM Kyiv time

1. Kremlin-backed violence in Eastern Ukraine

Despite promises by the self-proclaimed “representatives” of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk “Peoples’ Republics” to abide by a ceasefire until 27 June, Kremlin-backed armed extremists continued to attack Ukrainian armed forces checkpoints and positions. On 24 June, near Sverdlovsk, Luhansk oblast, Kremlin-backed armed extremists attacked a Ukrainian security forces position. The attack was repelled, but there were casualties on the Ukrainian side. On 25 June, from 4 to 6 am Kyiv time, battles took place at checkpoints and positions near Ukrainian border points near Biryukovo and Dykovo, Luhansk oblast, which were attacked with mortars. There were no casualties on the Ukrainian side. The State Border Service of Ukraine reports that at the Izvaryne, Luhansk oblast border crossing, which was closed yesterday by Ukraine, “terrorists, with the assistance of the Russian side, continue to let people through the border.” As a result, the defense of the border in the area has been strengthened with Ukrainian armed forces checkpoints, a few kilometers from the border crossing. The National Security and Defense Council reports that near the Putliv bridge in Donetsk, at a “terrorist roadblock, a local resident’s car was shot at, which was moving in the direction of the airport and didn’t stop at the demand of the militants.” A 34-year-old woman was killed. The Council reports that in Horlivka, Donetsk oblast, Kremlin-backed armed extremists attacked and robbed the Novohorlivka machinery factory, on the orders of “one of the leaders of the terrorists, ‘Bez.’”

2. Ukraine President does not rule out early end to ceasefire

Ukraine President P. Poroshenko stated on the evening of 24 June that he does not rule out an early end to the ceasefire, “because of its continuous violation by externally controlled militants.” The President also stated on 24 June that he considers the consultations of the Trilateral Contact Group that took place in Donetsk on 23 June to be the first step to a peaceful dialogue to the resolution of the situation in eastern Ukraine. He stated, “I know that the very fact of these consultations [received mixed reviews] in society. So-called ‘hawks’ want quick, harsh military action, others are demanding large-scale compromises – to avoid war [at any cost]. I will answer both sides: our goal – is not war. Not we, not Ukraine, started this. Our goal – is peace. But I underline, peace not at any price, and not under any conditions.”

3. Ukraine President’s phone call with Merkel, Hollande, Putin

Ukraine President Poroshenko spoke with German Chancellor Merkel, French President Hollande, and Russian President Putin on the realization of the President’s peace plan. Chancellor Merkel “proposed that the functions of the mediator for the Trilateral Contact group of L. Kuchma [Ukraine], H. Tagliavini [OSCE], and M. Zurabov [Russia] should be carried out by V. Medvedchuk. The President of Ukraine and other participants of the discussion agreed to Angela Merkel’s proposal.” The Trilateral Contact group will meet on 26 June.

4. NATO announces support package for Ukraine

NATO Foreign Ministers endorsed a support package for Ukraine “to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to defend itself. This includes the creation of new trust funds to support defence capacity building in critical areas such as command and control, cyber defence and to help retired military personnel to adapt to civilian life.” NATO Secretary General A. F. Rasmussen stated that NATO fully supports Poroshenko’s peace plan and called on Russia to “create conditions for the implementation of the peace plan, to end its support for separatist troops and to stop the flow of weapons and fighters across its border.”

 


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