Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
17 June, 2014, 6PM Kyiv time
1. Kremlin-backed violence in Eastern Ukraine
The active phase of the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) in Donetsk and Luhansk continues. At 2 PM Kyiv time, the Ministry of Defense reported that in Slovyansk, Donestk oblast, Kremlin-backed armed extremists are purposefully burning residential and administrative buildings. In eastern Luhansk oblast, ATO forces reportedly killed 30 Kremlin-backed armed extremists; one Ukrainian soldier was injured. The Ministry of Defense reports that the most tense situation is in Slovyansk and Stanychno-Luhanske, where Kremlin-backed armed extremists are reinforcing roadblocks and defensive positions. “With the help of foreign experts they are installing radio-controlled explosive devices.” ATO forces continue to detain citizens of the Russian Federation who are taking part in the fighting; the State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reports that on 15 June a citizen of the Russian Federation was detained in Slovyansk after firing on a Ukrainian armed forces checkpoint; during interrogation he stated that a representative of the so-called Donetsk “Peoples’ Republic” offered him $1000 for killing Ukrainian soldiers. According to unconfirmed reports, the National Guard of Ukraine has broken through the defenses of Kremlin-backed extremist forces in Luhansk; there are unconfirmed reports that the Kremlin-backed extremists are using artillery. The State Border Service of Ukraine reports that from 2:00 am to 2:40 am Kyiv time, a camp of border guards and Ukrainian armed forces near Oleksyivka, Donetsk oblast, were fired upon by 8 mortars. 31 armed forces personnel and border guards were injured. A spokesman for the National Security and Defense Council V. Chepoviy stated that “Terrorists are getting the coordinates of deployment sites of Ukrainian security forces from a Russian satellite.”
2. Parliament passes resolution on Ukrainian-Russian border
Ukraine’s parliament passed a resolution, “On measures for strengthening the level of defense of the state border,” which recommends that the State Border Service expand the number of its personnel, and recommends that the Cabinet of Ministers within a month determine the optimal number of checkpoints needed to defend the eastern border, “immediately approve documents necessary for the unilateral demarcation of the land border with the Russian Federation, which will be equipped on the example of the external borders of the European Union,” and “immediately take a decision on the suspension of checkpoints across the state border and strengthen control over the area of the border with the Republic of Moldova in the border areas of the unrecognized Transnistria Republic,” and that the Cabinet of Ministers allocate funds to organize the above measures. Parliament also established a temporary investigative commission investigating the circumstances of the destruction of the military transport airplane in Luhansk on 14 June.
3. Poroshenko appoints Herashchenko Presidential representative
Ukraine President P. Poroshenko appointed Iryna Herashchenko (UDAR faction MP) Presidential Representative on the Peaceful Settlement of the Situation in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
4. Explosion at gas transit pipeline in Poltava oblast
An explosion occurred at the gas transit pipeline in Lokhvytsky raion, Poltava oblast at close to 3PM Kyiv time. Nobody was injured. The Ministry of Internal Affairs stated that several explanations for the explosion are being investigated, “including the key version – an act of terrorism.”
5. EU disburses 500 million Euro in Macro-Financial assistance
The European Commission disbursed 500 million Euro to Ukraine, the first tranche of the EU Macro-Financial Assistance program.European Commission Vice President for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, O. Rehn, stated: “The European Union is providing essential support for Ukraine’s efforts to address its major economic challenges. Today’s disbursement is a further concrete sign of European solidarity towards the people of Ukraine. It is vital that Ukraine seizes this opportunity to take forward reforms to deliver budgetary stability, sustainable growth and job creation.”17-June-Ukraine-briefing