Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
19 May 2014, 8PM Kyiv time
1. Kremlin-backed “separatism” in Eastern Ukraine
The active phase of the anti-terrorist operation in Donetsk and Luhansk continues. The Ministry of Defense reports that near Amvrosiyivka, Donetsk oblast, over 50 armed “separatists” attacked an Armed forces checkpoint; the Ukrainian army responded with gunfire and the “separatists” fled. One armed “separatist” was killed, 7 wounded and one detained. The Ministry reports no casualties on the Ukrainian side. In Slovyansk one Ukrainian soldier was killed in a firefight with armed “separatists.” The Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that because of violent attacks on post offices, armored vehicles and banks in Slovyansk and Kramatorsk, Donetsk oblast, the payment of wages to civil servants and pensions in those cities has become impossible. The money owed will be held until such time as normal delivery of funds becomes possible. The Ministry of Defense reported that armed “separatists” have been firing on helicopters marked with red crosses, and ambulances.
2. Commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatar People
18 May was the day of commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatar People. Some 30,000 people attended a mass meeting in Simferopol, in occupied Crimea, despite the banning until June 6 of mass meetings by the illegal and illegitimate Crimean “authorities.” R. Chubarov, Chairman of Mejlis, stated that “Somebody in this state is lying. We hear declarations, that security, respect for the Crimean Tatars will be at the forefront. In addition we have heard that our rights will be restored. That’s on one side. On the other – we have problems with holding memorial events to commemorate victims of the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people. They wanted to destroy our memory. No nation can exist without its historical memory.”
3. Turchynov asks Ministry of Justice to investigate Communist Party
In a request to the Ministry of Justice, acting President O. Turchynov asked that the Communist Party of Ukraine be investigated for anti-constitutional activities, and whether the party should be banned. Turchynov stated that according to information from the Security Service of Ukraine “leaders of the Communist Party and its representatives are engaging in actions detrimental to the state interests of Ukraine.” According to evidence from the SBU, Communist party leaders in the South Eastern regions of Ukraine are providing not only verbal support, but also material and technical assistance to representatives of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk “People’s Repblics” as well as to Russian Special forces and paramilitary structures.”
4. Government and CEC form joint headquarters on election
The Government of Ukraine and the Central Election Commission formed an operational headquarters to protect the security of the election process. The headquarters will be headed by First Deputy Prime Minister V. Yarema. The deadline for registration of international observers for the presidential election was 19 May. The CEC registered 2191 international observers.
5. NATO Secretary General: 25 May elections are the vote that counts
NATO Secretary General A. F. Rasmussen stated that “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has posed a challenge to a fundamental principle: the right of sovereign states to choose their own path. Russia has committed to this precept many times, but we see that President Putin now refuses to uphold this promise.” The 25 Maypresidential election are an important opportunity to “find a peaceful way forward for a united Ukraine…This is the vote that counts – for Ukraine and for the international community.”19-May-Ukraine-briefing