Commentary | April 29, 2014

Daily Ukraine Crisis Updates – April 29, 2014

EWI offers a daily situation report on Ukraine.

Internal Security News

  • The self-declared mayor of a separatist-held town in eastern Ukraine said he would discuss the release of detained military observers with the West only if the EU dropped sanctions against rebel leaders.
  • (Interfax Ukraine) Police freed participants in a Donetsk rally for Ukraine's unity who were detained by pro-Russian activists.
  • Ukraine's deputy foreign minister, Danylo Lubkivsky, said that Ukraine and the OSCE have jointly devised a plan to liberate OSCE military inspectors from captivity in Sloviansk.
  • The mayor of Kharkiv, who was targeted in an assassination attempt on April 28, was flown to an Israeli hospital where he remained in critical but stable condition.

Constitutional Reform News

  • (Interfax Ukraine) Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk urged MPs to prepare and agree on a bill of constitutional amendments by May 25.
     
  • (ITAR-TASS) Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk said that constitutional reform should be aimed at power decentralization and transferring authority to the local level.
     
  • An all-Ukrainian referendum could be held during the second round of presidential elections when there is the “necessary legal framework for its holding,” according to acting Batkivschyna faction leader Serhiy Sobolev.

International Observation News

Diplomacy News

  • (RIA Novosti) Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Moscow has drafted its response to Western sanctions imposed this week, with a range of measures expected to be introduced soon.
  • Ryabkov also stated that Russia was "not at all inclined to repeat the so-called Crimea scenario in southeastern Ukraine".
  • Moscow voiced concern over an "unprecedented" increase in U.S. and NATO military activity near Russian borders.
  • Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that the U.S. had "essentially lowered an 'Iron Curtain'" by targeting Russia's high-tech sector.
  • U.S. credit card firm Visa said it would suspend network services to two Russian banks sanctioned by the United States.
  • (Interfax Ukraine) EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation in southeastern Ukraine, and the "downward spiral of violence and intimidation" undermining the functioning of the legitimate state institutions.

Governance News

  • (RIA Novosti) Pro-Russian presidential candidate Oleg Tsarev withdrew from the race ahead of the May 25 referendum.