Daily Ukraine Crisis Updates – July 29, 2014
International Security News
- An international investigative team, including Dutch and Australian police officers, failed for the third time to access the MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine, amid heavy fighting between government forces and rebels there.
- (RIA Novosti) Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called on Kyiv authorities to stop the military operation around the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash site. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told Rutte that he would take all measures “to allow investigators access” to the scene.
- (ITAR-TASS) The international mission to secure the MH-17 crash site in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region will be allowed to carry and use arms.
- (ITAR-TASS) The co-chairman of the self-proclaimed “Republic of Novorossiya People’s Front” alleged that current Ukrainian authorities plan to stage terrorist acts on the territory under their control in largest cities of the country. The co-chairman said that Kyiv needs new “horror stories” for the West to confirm a statement about “Donbass terrorists”.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Ten Ukrainian army soldiers were killed and another 55 were injured as a result of fighting in the country's eastern regions in the past 24 hours.
- Ukraine said its troops entered the towns of Shakhtarsk and Torez in Donetsk region, and Lutuhyne in Luhansk region. Ten Ukrainian soldiers and 17 civilians were reportedly killed in the last 24 hours.
- Illegal armed groups shelled School No. 30 in Donetsk with heavy artillery.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Separatists were continuing to fire Grad multiple rocket launchers and mortars at the Luhansk airport.
- A group of hackers sympathetic to the rebels said it has disabled the website of the Ukrainian president.
- US Secretary of State John Kerry said that there is not a "shred of evidence" that Russia wants to end violence in Ukraine. He indicated that the US was preparing new sanctions against Russia.
- European Union governments reached a deal to impose economic sanctions against Russia, targeting its oil industry, defence, dual-use goods and sensitive technologies.
- (ITAR-TASS) The European Union’s tough economic sanctions against Russia can negatively influence Finland’s economy, a Finnish senior government official said. “We have to choose between what is correct from the moral and security point of view and what would be best for our economic interests in the short term.”
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the situation in Ukraine and some aspects of an investigation into the crash of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 in a telephone conversation the U.S. proposed to organize.
- (ITAR-TASS) The Russian Foreign Ministry said the Kyiv authorities are hindering an independent international investigation of a recent Boeing air crash in embattled eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk Region, and some Western countries are trying to shield them.
- The US government said that Russia has violated a key arms control treaty by testing a nuclear cruise missile. Russia tested a ground-launched cruise missile, breaking the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed in 1987 during the Cold War, the US said. A senior US official did not provide further details on the alleged breach, but described it as "very serious".
- Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said that sanctions on Russian capital markets being considered by European Union member states in response to the Ukraine crisis would have a "far-reaching and immediate effect".
- Britain's ambassador to the US called Vladimir Putin "thuggish, dishonest and reckless" as sanctions against Russia are stepped up in the wake of the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
- (RIA Novosti) Russian President Vladimir Putin promised to help in evacuating children, who require urgent medical assistance, from violence-hit eastern Ukraine.
- (ITAR-TASS) Two thirds of Russians (63%) are against sending troops to the war-torn southeastern regions of Ukraine, the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Centre said.
International Observation Missions
- A group of eight observers of the OSCE's permanent mission arrived at the Veselo-Voznesenka border checkpoint.
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