Daily Ukraine Crisis Updates – May 14, 2014
Commentary | May 14, 2014
EWI offers a daily situation report on Ukraine.
Internal Security News
- (ITAR-TASS) A pro-Russian militant was killed and four were injured in a gunfight with Ukrainian forces near Kramatorsk .
- Seven Ukrainian paratroopers were killed following an ambush by pro-Russian forces near Kramatorsk.
- Six members of the Ukrainian armed forces were killed in a "terrorist attack" near Kramatorsk, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said in a statement on its website.
- Two soldiers were killed and two more were injured after a self-propelled artillery vehicle caught fire in the Kherson region, Ukrainian Defense Ministry press service reported.
- (RIA Novosti) Pro-Russian militants in Slaviansk intend to move to an offensive strategy, the press secretary of the people's mayor told RIA Novosti.
- Separatist leader and “Luhansk people's governor" Valeriy Bolotov was injured in a suspected assassination attempt.
- Fierce urban warfare awaits Ukrainian forces in Sloviansk, said 1st Special Battalion National Guardsman Andriy Antonyshchak at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
- Ukrainian authorities should have removed UN symbols from helicopters used by the Ukrainian National Guard near Kramatorsk, a UN official said.
Constitutional Reform News
- (RIA Novosti) A Ukrainian lawmaker said that the Verkhovna Rada will not restart discussions on holding a decentralization referendum alongside the May 25 presidential elections.
- (ITAR-TASS) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stated that national dialogue and round tables, which will be held throughout Ukraine with OSCE assistance, will focus on issues of decentralization and constitutional reform.
- (Interfax Ukraine) The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said it agrees with the roadmap proposed by the OSCE to settle the Ukraine situation, but that it needs to be adjusted.
- The Kiev administration discussed proposals drafted by the OSCE during talks with regional officials. Moscow insisted that the ‘illegitimate’ use of the helicopters be probed.
- (ITAR-TASS) Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry referred to the OSCE roadmap on crisis settlement as an “auxiliary instrument.” Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, speaking from Brussels, provided no direct answer as to whether or not he supports the roadmap. In his words, the settlement plan should be “purely Ukrainian.”
- (ITAR-TASS) According to Russian FM Sergei Lavrov, Moscow believes information that Western mercenaries are operating in Ukraine to be true.
- (ITAR-TASS) The European Commission and members appointed by the Verkhovna Rada Cabinet of Ministers agreed on the need to investigate events that occurred in Odessa on May 2, when fighting between pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian crowds culminated with a fire and the deaths of over 40 people.
- (ITAR-TASS) Russian FM Lavrov said that Russia strongly opposes any attempts to draw Ukraine into NATO.
- (RIA Novosti) Russia’s deputy envoy to the EU said that the EU should call on Kiev rather than on Moscow to de-escalate the Ukrainian crisis, as the domestic conflict was triggered by the EU and U.S., but is now billed as Moscow’s plan.
- (RIA Novosti) NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said that NATO plans to increase its aid to the Moldovan army.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s deputy said that Europe is partly to blame for the Ukraine crisis, although it is no excuse for Russian behavior towards the former Soviet republic.
- (ITAR-TASS) Israel refused to allow a Russian missile ship to anchor at one of its ports in order to prevent straining relations with the U.S. in the midst of the Ukrainian crisis.
- (RIA Novosti) Sergei Naryshkin, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, emphasized the importance of dialogue between Russian and foreign lawmakers, and said more contacts were planned in the near future.
- (RIA Novosti) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during an English-language interview with Bloomberg that Russia does not consider Ukraine to be its backyard, but “we don’t consider ourselves foreigners [in Ukraine].”
- German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, speaking from Kiev, warned that the situation in eastern Ukraine is "still dangerous and threatening," and backed the interim government’s efforts to start a national dialogue. Steinmeier said the May 25 elections would play a "decisive role" in restoring calm to Ukraine and urged steps to disarm illegal separatist groups who have seized key buildings in the east.
- A Ukrainian delegation headed by PM Yatsenyuk visited Brussels on May 13 to meet with the European Commission.
- The Ukrainian government sat down with regional officials for talks, brokered by international monitors, and agreed to discuss a set of proposals drafted by the OSCE. Leaders from the pro-Russian separatist movement were not invited.
- (Interfax Ukraine) President Turchynov said that any international agreements should be made in the Geneva format. He also stated that central authorities are ready for dialogue with the regions, but will not allow "the terrorizing and blackmailing of Ukraine."
- (ITAR-TASS) Ukrainian President Turchynov instructed the government to develop and implement a mechanism to transfer property seized from corrupt officials to the state.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said that the newly elected Ukrainian president should sign the remaining part of the Association Agreement with the EU, including a deep and comprehensive free trade area.
- (Interfax Ukraine) The Verkhovna Rada adopted four remaining bills to allow a transition to the implementation phase of an action plan that will simplify a joint visa regime with the EU.
- (ITAR-TASS) Ukrainian aviation authorities banned local airlines from making regular and charter flights to a number of Russian regions in the North Caucasus, including Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia and North Ossetia.
- An inter-faction union of MPs called the Anti-Crisis Group was created in the Verkhovna Rada.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Russia's Gazprom served Ukraine's Naftogaz with a preliminary invoice of $1.66 billion for June gas supplies.
- (RIA Novosti) Ukraine’s state-run Naftogaz has not paid any part of its gas debt to Russia, despite Kiev's announcement that it is ready to cover the debt at a reduced price, a Gazprom official said
- The headquarters of presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko, currently leading in opinion polls, has said it hopes that the next Ukrainian president will be elected in the first round, scheduled for May 25.
- (RIA Novosti) Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said that not holding the upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine scheduled for May 25 would be worse for the country than holding them.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Ukraine and the EU have signed a memorandum of understanding and a bilateral loan agreement aimed at granting Kiev one billion Euros of macro-financial aid.