Daily Ukraine Crisis Updates – June 24, 2014
Internal Security News
- Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine said they will observe a ceasefire until the morning of June 27, responding to the Ukrainian forces' unilateral ceasefire.
- However, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said pro-Russian separatists in the east had violated a ceasefire with overnight attacks on June 24 that killed one government soldier.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed concern over the reports about resumed hostilities near Sloviansk.
- (ITAR-TASS) Local separatist militants stated that Ukraine’s military opened artillery fire on the village of Semyonovka near the town of Sloviansk in east Ukraine, despite a ceasefire declared by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The prime minister of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic said Kyiv is not observing the declared truce.
- A Ukrainian helicopter used for carrying military cargo was brought down by rebel fire near the town of Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine, and nine people were feared dead, a government forces spokesman said.
- (Interfax Ukraine) A trilateral group to implement Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's peace plan in the east of Ukraine reached a ceasefire agreement in Donetsk on June 23, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Andriy Parubiy said.
- (Interfax Ukraine) A single-track section of the Donetsk Railway was damaged by explosions in two places on the morning of June 24.
- (ITAR-TASS) The Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers made the decision to suspend the activity of Izvarino border check point in the eastern Luhansk region on the frontier with Russia. Armed hostilities began at Izvarino and on neutral territory in the evening of June 20.
- (ITAR-TASS) A camera crew of Russia’s Channel One came under mortar fire near Sloviansk in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region; no journalists were injured, the TV channel’s website reported. It was unclear who opened fire and whether there were any casualties or destruction.
- Russian President Putin asked parliament to revoke the right of military intervention in Ukraine, where rebels have been fighting government troops. Putin's move was aimed at "normalizing the situation" in the conflict-torn eastern regions of Ukraine, his press-secretary said.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s office stated that he considers the appeal of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Federation Council regarding the withdrawal of permission to use the army in Ukraine to be the first step towards settling the situation in eastern Ukraine.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he considers it senseless to demand that the illegal armed groups in the southeastern part of Ukraine disarm while Ukrainian ‘radical forces’ are still armed.
- Putin said that Russia will always defend ethnic Russians in Ukraine and the Ukrainians who feel inseparable ties with Russia.
- With Ukraine set to sign a free trade pact with the European Union on June 24, Russia said it is likely to respond with trade barriers without seeking approval from Belarus and Kazakhstan, its partners in a customs union.
- (RIA Novosti) The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the European Council’s report on Ukraine contains opinions that are biased, politically motivated and far from reality. It also stated that the EU’s attempts to punish Crimea for its reunifying with Russia are completely unacceptable. The Foreign Ministry went on to state that the latest actions of the EU cast doubt on the strategic nature of its relations with Russia.
- (ITAR-TASS) Poroshenko officially invited Russia to send inspectors to the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE in Ukraine to confirm that Kyiv holds its promise to cease fire in the south-east of the country.
- (ITAR-TASS) The U.N. Security Council announced that it will hold a meeting on Ukraine on June 24.
- (RIA Novosti) The European Union welcomed Putin’s initiative to have a legislative permission for Russian military action in Ukraine revoked.
- (ITAR-TASS) Austria has a reasonable, unbiased approach to assessment of Ukraine conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted during his meeting with Austrian counterpart Heinz Fischer. The presidents of Austria and Russia planned to harmonize their positions on the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine.
- Austrian President Heinz Fischer said he doubts that Western sanctions against Russia will be effective.
- OAO Gazprom, Russia’s biggest company, moved forward on building a natural gas pipeline to the European Union to cut transit dependence on Ukraine. Gazprom and OMV AG agreed to create a joint venture to build and operate the 50-kilometer (30-mile) section of the South Stream pipeline in Austria at a signing ceremony in Vienna.
- Putin stated that the weeklong cease-fire declared by the Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko should be extended and accompanied by talks between the government and the rebels.
- (Interfax Ukraine) During a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed support for Poroshenko's initiative regarding peaceful settlement of the situation in the east of Ukraine.
- (Interfax Ukraine) President Petro Poroshenko held talks with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on the introduction of a new international security format with guarantees for Ukraine.
- (RIA Novosti) Russian Prime Minister Medvedev said the responsibility for events in Ukraine lies on the former and current leaders of the country.
- The opposing sides in the Ukraine conflict must continue to hold talks, and a special envoy, who will be appointed later, will oversee them, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Didier Burkhalter said.
- Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin discussed the situation in eastern Ukraine with OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier in Vienna.
International Observation Missions
- (Interfax Ukraine) OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss President Didier Burkhalter called for the immediate release of the organization's employees who were captured in eastern Ukraine.
- (Interfax Ukraine) German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the OSCE observers captured in Donetsk and Luhansk regions will hopefully be freed soon.
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