Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 2 July, 2014, 7 PM Kyiv time

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Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing

2 July, 2014, 7 PM Kyiv time

1. Kremlin-backed violence in Eastern Ukraine

On the night of 30 June-1 July, Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko ordered the resumption of offensive operations by Ukrainian armed forces against positions held by Kremlin-backed armed extremists. The National Security and Defense Council reports that since the resumption of the active phase of the Anti-terrorism Operation (ATO) in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, three towns have been liberated – Zakotne, Staryi Karavan and Druzivka. As of 12 PM Kyiv time, Kremlin-backed armed extremists are trying to break out of encirclements and attacked positions held by ATO forces near Karachunska hora, and near Slovyansk, Donetsk oblast. All attacks were repelled. One Ukrainian soldier was killed and 10 wounded. Kremlin-backed armed extremists attacked ATO positions near Porichya, Kryva Luka, Dyakove, Olenivka, Svatove, Slovyansk, Kramatorsk, and My’love. 3 Ukrainian soldiers were killed, 10 wounded. The National Security and Defense Council reports that the casualties on the side of the Kremlin-backed armed extremists number in the hundreds. The Council reports that as of 12 PM Kyiv time, Kremlin-backed armed extremists are evacuating the Donetsk Oblast State Administration building that had been previously seized; according to the Council the building is being guarded by mercenaries from Chechnya.  The State Border Service of Ukraine reports that on 1 July, control of the border crossing Dovzhansky, Luhansk oblast, was re-established. On the night of 1-2 July, Kremlin-backed armed extremists fired mortars at the border point Novoazovsk, Donetsk oblast.  The National Security and Defense Council stated that the Russian Federation closed three border crossings on 1 July. The checkpoints are equipped with heavy armored vehicles, and that there is evidence that the Russian side is prohibiting armed militants who are trying to flee Ukraine from entering Russia. Two Ukrainian journalists taken hostage on 30 June by Kremlin-backed armed extremists were released.

2. OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Resolution

On 1 July, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, by a vote of 92 for, 30 against and 27 abstentions, passed a resolution, “Clear, Gross and Uncorrected Violations of Helsinki Principles by the Russian Federation,” which states that the OSCE PA “Condemns the clear, gross and uncorrected violation of the Helsinki principles by the Russian Federation with respect to Ukraine, including the particularly egregious violation of that country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity;  Considers these actions, which include military aggression as well as various forms of  coercion designed to subordinate the rights inherent in Ukraine’s sovereignty to the Russian Federation’s own interests, to have been unprovoked, and to be based on completely unfounded premises and pretexts;  Expresses unequivocal support for the sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine as defined by the country’s Constitution and within its internationally recognized borders; 

Deplores the armed intervention by forces under the control of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, and the human rights violations that they continue to cause;…Calls on the Russian Federation to end its intervention in Ukraine and to bring itself into compliance with the Helsinki principles in its relations with Ukraine and with all other participating States…” The full text of the resolution is available at http://www.oscepa.org/meetings/annual-sessions/2014-baku-annual-session/supplementary-items.

3. US State Department on the end of ceasefire

US State Department spokesperson M. Harf stated on 1 July that “it takes two to keep a ceasefire, right. So President Poroshenko put in place a seven-day ceasefire. He abided by it. He extended it for three days, but the fact remained that the separatists, many of them weren’t adhering to it, and he has a right to defend his country…He did say he was still committed to a peace plan. So the ultimate goal here is to get back to a ceasefire, get back to a peace plan, but it takes two parties to put that in place and to keep it in place.”

 


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