Daily Ukraine Crisis Updates – July 31, 2014
Internal Security News
- (Interfax Ukraine) No fighting was reported in the city of Donetsk on the morning of July 31, but the situation remained tense in the city and vehicles carrying armed people dressed in camouflage could be seen on its streets, the city administration said in a press release. Local residents reported overnight salvoes fired from heavy weapons presumably in the area surrounding the city's airport and Tekstylschyk district.
- (RIA Novosti) Ukrainian Prime Minster Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that the Kyiv authorities are planning to provide eastern Ukraine with financial assistance if government troops gain control over local cities.
- (ITAR-TASS) Eight OSCE observers, along with four Dutch and Australian experts, were able to access the MH17 crash site for the first time in nearly a week. The mission was completed and the team made it back to their base in a safe zone.
- (ITAR-TASS) The Ukrainian army suspended its advance in the Malaysian jet crash area to enable the work of international experts.
- (ITAR-TASS) Authorities of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic declared a state of siege in the eastern Ukraine city of Donetsk amid continuous shelling by Ukrainian army artillery.
- (ITAR-TASS) Three civilians, including a teenager, were killed and another seven wounded in the Ukrainian army’s shelling of Luhansk from July 30-31.
- (ITAR-TASS) Russia hopes for China’s support to an initiative to set up a humanitarian mission for southeast Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a meeting with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
- The trilateral contact group on settling the situation in eastern Ukraine was potentially meeting at the Belarusian government residence Zaslavl in Minsk on July 31.
- (RIA Novosti) The European Council gave its final approval for economic sanctions against Russia.
- (ITAR-TASS) The G7 called for a ceasefire in Ukraine, said a statement distributed on its behalf by the White House press service.
- The Independent alleged that Germany and Russia have been working on a secret plan to broker a peaceful solution to end international tensions over the Ukraine, hinging on two main ambitions: stabilizing the borders of Ukraine and providing the financially troubled country with a strong economic boost, particularly a new energy agreement ensuring security of gas supplies. The plan also supposedly calls for international recognition of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its independence. Negotiations were purportedly stalled by the downing of MH17.
- The Ukrainian presidential administration reported that the documents on the ratification of the Association Agreement with the European Union are currently at the Foreign Ministry and the process is going as scheduled.
- (ITAR-TASS) Head of the Russian Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin said Russia’s investigators are subjected to regular aimed fire at the border with Ukraine.
- (RIA Novosti) Russia submitted to the United Nations and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) its data of objective area surveillance over the Malaysian Boeing crash site in Ukraine.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Oleg Storchevoi, a deputy chief of the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviation) appointed as a Russian representative to take part in an investigation into the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777's crash in Ukraine, arrived in Kyiv along with a group of advisers.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Norway was planning to 'align itself' with the EU sanctions against Russia over Ukraine.
- (ITAR-TASS) If Russia decides to focus retaliatory sanctions against the EU on Latvia, they could have a disastrous effect on Latvia’s national economy, Latvian Economics Minister Vyacheslav Dombrovsky said.
- (ITAR-TASS) Ukraine's parliament voted against the resignation of Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk.
- (Interfax Ukraine) The Ukrainian parliament supported a proposal of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to introduce a temporary war tax of 1.5% on the wage fund until January 1, 2015.
- Ukraine's economic decline accelerated as fighting between the army and pro-Russian separatists in the east took a heavy toll on industry and other economic activity in the last three months. The national statistics office said that the economy contracted by 4.7 percent in the second quarter compared with the same period last year and shrank by 2.3 percent in the three months from April, when the separatist rebellion began, to June.
- (Interfax Ukraine) The Verkhovna Rada at a closed emergency meeting ratified the agreements with Australia and the Netherlands on the access of the international police mission to the scene of the Malaysian Boeing 777 crash in Donetsk region and the protection of the crash inquiry.
- (Interfax Ukraine) The period of the early parliamentary election campaign in Ukraine could be reduced from 60 to 45 days.
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