Daily Ukraine Crisis Updates – May 15, 2014
Commentary | May 15, 2014
EWI offers a daily situation report on Ukraine.
Internal Security News
- (Interfax Ukraine) Ukrainian President Turchynov said that anti-terrorist operations in the country's eastern regions will end when militants give up their arms.
- Ukrainian forces destroyed two pro-Russian rebel bases near Kramatorsk and Sloviansk in northern Donetsk without the loss of civilian or military lives.
- Pro-Russian militants issued a second ultimatum for Ukrainian forces to either withdraw from Donetsk and Luhansk, or to switch allegiance to a self-proclaimed republic that calls for secession.
- Moscow announced that it would conduct military exercises near Ukraine's border during the May 25 election.
- The Supreme Council of the self-proclaimed "Donetsk People's Republic" (DPR) approved alleged Russian intelligence officer Igor Strelkov as Defense Minister and head of the DPR Security Council.
International Observation News
- (ITAR-TASS) UN Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic began a five-day visit to Ukraine, during which he will visit Kiev, Donetsk and Odessa, and present a report on the country’s human rights situation.
- (ITAR-TASS) The OSCE announced that it will increase the number of observers to 300, with a further increase to 500 after one month.
- (ITAR-TASS) The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) announced that it will send 42 observers to the May 25 presidential elections .
- (RIA Novosti) An OSCE report has ignored self-determination referendums held by Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.
Constitutional Reform News
- (ITAR-TASS) Ukrainian PM Yatsenyuk called for a national dialogue on constitutional reform and other issues.
- (RIA NOVOSTI) Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said that Kiev authorities have not initiated Ukraine’s process of constitutional dialogue with participation of all the country's regions.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Ukraine expressed anxiety over planned Russian military maneuvers in the run-up to its presidential election, and demanded that Moscow pull its troops deeper into Russian territory.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Russian President Putin informed multiple EU states that Moscow will switch to solely prepaid gas supplies if Ukraine does not pay its bills.
- (ITAR-TASS) Putin said that Russia hopes for greater EU action on the issue of Ukraine's gas debt.
- A top Ukrainian diplomat said that Russia must take concrete steps, including withdrawing its troops from Ukraine's borders, before Kiev would sign up to a draft "road map" to lessen tensions.
- The U.S. government released new satellite pictures that is says show Russian forces were near the Ukrainian border in recent days, contradicting Russian assertions that they had been withdrawn.
- The head of the Russian State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Ties with Compatriots, said he had not ruled out a resumption of inter-parliamentary ties between Russia and Ukraine after the latter holds an election on May 25.
- An independent polling agency concluded that Russian President Putin’s domestic popularity has risen sharply, and that he is firmly on course to win a new term in 2018, should he decide to run.
- The Party of Regions and Communist parliamentarians decided not to attend the evening session of the Verkhovna Rada to protest the ongoing southeast security operation.
- Ukrainian presidential candidate, leader of the Batkivschyna Party, and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko suggested holding a referendum on the day of the presidential election that will include governance issues, foreign policy and NATO relations.
- (ITAR-TASS) The head of the Kiev City State Administration stated that central budget funds will only last six months, partially due to corruption and bribery.
- The Justice Ministry press service announced creation of a special department to reimburse people for illegally removed assets and losses from Russia’s Crimea annexation