Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
11 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 Donetsk oblast State Administration reports that there is an ongoing battle between ATO forces and Kremlin-backed armed extremists near Slovyansk, as of 4:30 PM Kyiv time. Divisions within the so-called Donetsk “Peoples’ Republic” have appeared with the self-proclaimed “Minister of Defence” of the “Peoples’ Republic,” I. Hirkin, aka “Strilok,” – a citizen of the Russian Federation having reportedly ordered the arrest of the self-proclaimed “Mayor” of Slovyansk – V. Ponomaryov. In Tores, there is also an ongoing battle, and representatives of the so-called Donetsk “Peoples’ Republic” have abducted the chief of investigations of the Tores police force. The mayor of Horlivka has also reportedly been abducted by Kremlin-backed armed extremists. His whereabouts are unknown as of 4:30 PM Kyiv time. Movements of Kremlin-backed armed extremists from Shakhtarsk to Snizhne have been reported. According to reports, in Makyivka, Kremlin-backed armed extremists have seized the State Security Service of Ukraine building. A corridor for civilians to leave the zone of the ATO is being created. Civilians can leave through checkpoints of ATO forces. A coordination centre is being established to deal with issues regarding refugees from Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts at the State Service of Emergency Situations.
2. Poroshenko meets with Donetsk Governor
Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko met with S. Taruta, the head of the Donetsk oblast State Administration (Governor), to discuss the President’s plan for establishing peace in eastern Ukraine – which has three main parts – the recognition by the Russian Federation of the results of the presidential election; the surrender of weapons by Kremlin-backed armed extremists; and the creation of a corridor for civilians who are not taking part in the conflict to leave Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
3. Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Russia continues to facilitate breaches of Ukraine border
The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement condemning the “violations by the Russian Federation of the regime of the state border, which are not stopping, despite all lawful demands by the international community and Ukraine’s government. The Border Service of the FSB and other responsible organs of the Russian Federation continue to facilitate the unlawful movement of armed, organized formations and militants to the territory of Ukraine.” The Ministry of Internal Affairs also stated that the statement by Russian President Putin regarding the “strengthening of the regime of defence of the Ukrainian-Russian border remains only yet another declaration.”
4. Ukraine-Russia-EU natural gas talks yield no results
Talks on Russian natural gas prices for Ukraine that took place in Brussels have yielded no results. The Ukrainian side states that they are ready to pay what they consider to be market prices for natural gas – $268.50/1000 cubic meters, while the Russian side is demanding $485/1000 cubic meters, with a $100 discount. Russia stated that as of 16 June they will demand prepayment for natural gas deliveries to Ukraine. Ukrainian Energy Minister Y. Prodan stated that Ukraine will refer its case to the Stockholm International Arbitration Court.