Commentary | April 23, 2014

Daily Ukraine Crisis Updates – April 23, 2014

EWI offers a daily situation report on Ukraine.

Internal Security News: 

  • (RIA Novosti) Ukrainian armed forces restarted active antiterrorist operations in eastern Ukraine, ending a truce implemented over Easter weekend.
     
  • American journalist Simon Ostrovsky was abducted by pro-Russian militants in Sloviansk. A Sloviansk city councilman was also abducted. The tally of individuals kidnapped by pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine grew to 13.
  • The body of pro-Ukrainian Horlivka city councilman Volodymyr Rybak was identified after it was found in a river, bearing signs of torture.  A second body remained unidentified. Rybak was abducted by pro-Russian militants on April 17. Ukraine’s Security Services blamed Russian military intelligence officers.
  • Ukrainian military prosecutors opened a criminal case on terrorism charges after an aircraft came under fire in Donetsk.

International Observation News:

  • OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic expressed deep concern about new cases of detention and journalist attacks in eastern Ukraine, and in particular, the abduction of Simon Ostrovsky.
     
  • (ITAR-TASS) Russia's permanent representative to the UN Vitaly Churkin said a UN peacekeeping mission in Ukraine is “completely unrealistic” because of Ukraine’s size. He asserted that OSCE observation is sufficient.

Diplomacy:

  • The U.S. announced that it will send hundreds of troops for military exercises in four Eastern European countries, in order to assure them of its commitment to regional defense amid ongoing tensions in Ukraine.
     
  • (ITAR-TASS) The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for the withdrawal of Ukrainian army units in the southeast.
     
  • (RIA Novosti) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Russian FM Sergei Lavrov and “urged Russia to tone down escalatory rhetoric, engage diplomatically in the east with the OSCE and Ukrainian government, and issue public statements calling for those occupying buildings to disarm and stand down in exchange for amnesty.” Kerry warned that further sanctions would be implemented against Russia if tensions do not de-escalate in eastern Ukraine.
     
  • Russian FM Sergei Lavrov stated that U.S. authorities have a direct impact on the actions of Kiev authorities. Lavrov also stated that Russia would retaliate if its citizens' interests were threatened and its territory came under attack.
  • "We call on all parties to the joint Geneva statement on Ukraine to ensure its terms are fully implemented, and in particular on Russia to use its leverage to ensure an immediate end to kidnappings and killings in eastern Ukraine," Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said.

Governance News:  

  • (Interfax Ukraine) Quadrilateral gas talks involving representatives of the EU, Ukraine, Russia and Slovakia could be held as soon as Thursday, April 24, Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuriy Prodan said.
  • (Interfax Ukraine) Ukrainian authorities are doing their best to restore the economy and stabilize government, despite Russian aggression, said Acting Ukrainian President Turchynov.