Daily Ukraine Crisis Updates – July 17, 2014
Internal Security News
- A Malaysian airliner with 295 people on board crashed in eastern Ukraine in the Donetsk region near the border with Russia, on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
- (RIA Novosti) The Ukrainian Interior Minsitry confirmed that the Malaysian commercial aircraft crashed near Shakhtarsk in the Donetsk region, killing all 295 aboard. The Ministry alleged that the plane was shot down by a Buk anti-aircraft missile system.
- (RIA Novosti) Novosti reported that a source in the Russian Defense Ministry stated that Russian jets in the area near the Russian-Ukrainian border in Donetsk did not fly on July 17. Novosti also repeatedly cited an unattributed statement that militants claimed they had no weapons capable of shooting down a passenger plane at an altitude of 10 kilometers.
- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko immediately called for the establishment of the State Commission to investigate the “catastrophe” of the Malaysian Airlines crash with the involvement of experts from ICAO and other international organizations, as well as Malaysia and the Netherlands. Poroshenko stressed that the Armed Forces of Ukraine had no involvement in the crash.
- (Interfax Ukraine) A Ukrainian Su-25 war plane operating over Eastern Ukraine was downed by a rocket on the evening of July 16. Ukraine’s Security Council claimed at a press briefing early on July 17 that the rocket was fired by a Russian fighter jet. The Russian Defense Ministry called the allegation “absurd.”
- Ihor Druz, an advisor to the defense minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic , stated that two Ukrainian Air Force aircraft were shot down in the east of the Donetsk region on the evening of July 17.
- (ITAR-TASS) A spokesman for the “Republic of Novorossiya” claimed that Ukraine’s army lost at least 1,000 men in combat actions in Ukraine’s south-east from July 10-17.
- Ukrainian railways had restored 40 of the 52 railway objects destroyed during the fighting in the east, with losses amounting to about Hr 292 million.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Principal Ukrainian television channels stopped being relayed to Donetsk.
- (RIA Novosti) The Kremlin stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama spoke by phone regarding the Malaysian Airlines commercial plane crash in Donetsk. The statement was released within an hour of the first reports of the crash.
- (Interfax Ukraine) The European Parliament at a plenary meeting in Strasbourg adopted a resolution on Ukraine, which expresses support for Ukraine and condemns actions by Russia.
- (Interfax Ukraine) The National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine said that Ukrainian soldiers are often shelled from Russian territory.
- (RIA Novosti) Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that he supports negotiations on the crisis in the country’s east, but exclusively in an EU-US-Russia-Ukraine format.
- Ukraine’s military claimed that a Russian jet shot down a Ukrainian war plane. A Ukrainian Su-25 war plane operating over Eastern Ukraine was downed by a rocket fired by a Russian fighter on the evening of July 16, Ukraine’s Security Council claimed at a press briefing on July 17.
- The Obama administration announced new, tougher new sanctions against Russia, targeting major banks and energy companies, a significant swath of the Russian defense industry, and individuals it said were responsible for the continuing support of separatists battling government forces in eastern Ukraine.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the latest US sanctions against his country, saying they will damage relations and hurt businesses from both countries. The president said that bilateral relations were reaching a "dead end". Russian PM Medvedev said that the sanctions imposed by the West on Russia, including the new ones, will not help Ukraine in any way.
- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that the European Council, after approving six new measures related to the Ukrainian crisis and Russia's annexation of Crimea, has taken an important step to support Ukraine's independence and territorial integrity.
- (RIA Novosti) New sanctions against Russia could return relations with Russia and the countries that implement them back to the 1980s, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.
- (RIA Novosti) Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow didn’t object to Ukraine receiving financial aid from the International Monetary Fund and other big lenders, but stressed they should prevent the money from being used to wage war on civilians in the east.
- Russia must stop providing illegal armed groups in eastern Ukraine with weapons, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said.
- (ITAR-TASS) Sanctions which the US has imposed against the NOVATEK gas company will make it harder to attract new credits but will not affect its current operations, said Russian businessman Gennady Timchenko, who owns a 23% stake in the Russian gas producer.
- (ITAR-TASS) British oil and gas company BP, which owns 19.75% of Rosneft shares, was examining the situation with new sanctions imposed by the United States on Russia's top oil producer, BP's spokesperson in Russia said.
- (ITAR-TASS) The head of the advisory firm Creon Energy stated that newly adopted Western sanctions against Russia will inflict at least $150-200 billion of losses upon the Russian energy industry.
- (ITAR-TASS) Ukraine has not yet accumulated sufficient reserves of natural gas to get through the upcoming heating season, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said.
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