Daily Ukraine Crisis Updates – July 14, 2014
Internal Security News
- (Interfax Ukraine) Fighting intensified around Luhansk as rebels surrounded a strategic airport there. Ukrainian forces eventually reached the Luhansk airport and freed it from militants.
- The Ukrainian air force said it had delivered "five powerful air strikes" on targets in the eastern Luhansk region in a bid to end a rebel blockade of the airport.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Separatists destroyed another two bridges in the Donetsk region.
- A Ukrainian military transport aircraft was shot down in the east. The Ukrainian Defense Minister said that the An-26 plane was hit at an altitude of 6,500m and therefore couldn't have been reached from a portable air defense system, which means that "the plane was struck by another, more powerful missile that was probably launched from Russian territory. " The Luhansk People’s Republic claimed responsibility for the attack. The plane had eight passengers aboard, all of whom reportedly survived, though rumors were circulating that militants claimed to have taken 4 passengers hostage.
- (ITAR-TASS) Militants from the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine claimed to have shot down two Ukrainian combat planes.
- (ITAR-TASS) Residential houses and public buildings in Kamennobrodsky and Artemovsky districts in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk were shelled over July 13-14.
- (ITAR-TASS) 30 fighters from the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic died on July 13 when the locality of Alexandrovka came under mortar fire.
- (RIA Novosti) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced the need for several changes in military tactics that would narrow the zone of special operations and strengthen the border with Russia.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Former Sloviansk Mayor Nelia Shtepa was arrested for two months with no right to post bail for 60 days. She is suspected of activities constituting a threat to Ukraine's territorial integrity and inviolability.
- (Interfax Ukraine) A significant number of MPs support the introduction of martial law in Luhansk and Donetsk regions, independent MP Anatoliy Hrytsenko reported.
- (RIA Novosti) A Kremlin source told Russia’s Kommersant newspaper that Moscow is considering “surgical retaliatory strikes” on Ukrainian territory after the standoff has led to first civilian victims among Russians on Russia’s territory. A Russian citizen was killed when a shell hit a private house in the Russian town of Donetsk late on July 13.
- (ITAR-TASS) Russia’s Investigative Committee planned to request satellite data to identify Ukrainian army units and commanders responsible for shelling the Russian border town, which resulted in one person dead and two wounded.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Ukrainian military analyst and head of the Center for Military and Political Studies and coordinator of the Information Resistance group Dmitry Tymchuk stated that he had received information indicating that Russia intends to invade Ukraine on July 15. The Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) said it does not currently have confirmed reports about Russia's alleged intention to use its special troops in Ukraine on July 15.
- Russia's foreign ministry said the Ukrainian army is responsible for the shelling that killed a man inside Russian territory, warning on July 13 that the incident could have "irreversible consequences".
- A NATO military officer said that Russia has been building up its forces again along the Ukrainian border and now has an estimated 10,000-12,000 troops in the area.
- (ITAR-TASS) Ukraine denied that it shelled Russian territory. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on July 13 in which it said that Ukrainian soldiers did not deliver fire in the region mentioned by Russia. “Ukrainian servicemen have never shelled, are not shelling and will not shell territories of a neighboring state or residential quarters,” the statement said.
- Investigators found that at least seven shells were launched from Ukraine on the Rostov oblast.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said at a meeting with the heads of law enforcement agencies that Russian officers are acting and Russian weapons are being used against Ukrainian servicemen in eastern Ukraine, including a newly-developed Russian missile system.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko held consultations with U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden by telephone. The talks dealt with intensive coordination between Ukraine and the United States, and with the European partners.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Deputy head of the presidential administration Valeriy Chaly said Ukraine is making every effort to free its citizens, military pilot Nadia Savchenko and film director Oleh Sentsov.
- Standard & Poor's revised its outlook on Ukraine to stable from negative, the agency said in a press release.
- (ITAR-TASS) No meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is being planned for the time being, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko held talks with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. During the conversation, Poroshenko urged the European Union to assess the cases of illegal crossing of the Russian-Ukrainian border by military hardware, and attacks by Russian military on the positions of Ukrainian servicemen.
International Observation Missions
- (ITAR-TASS) Russia’s Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Swiss President Didier Burkhalter agreed to take urgent measures for implementing the agreements on de-escalation in Ukraine in compliance with the Geneva statement of April 14 and the Berlin declaration of July 2. They also agreed to involve the OSCE for working out practical ways aimed at resolving the hostage issue.
- (ITAR-TASS) Russia's checkpoints of Donetsk and Gukovo are ready for an international monitoring mission, Russia's permanent representative to the OSCE Andrei Kelin said. This decision does not require the OSCE Standing Committee approval.
- The OSCE said it did not rule out that the Russian initiative to invite OSCE monitors to the Donetsk and Gukovo checkpoint could be considered at an unscheduled meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council.
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