Daily Ukraine Crisis Updates – May 16, 2014
News | May 16, 2014
EWI offers a daily situation report on Ukraine.
Internal Security News
- (Interfax Ukraine) A joint police and Security Service team arrested the commander of the so called "South-East Army" in Luhansk.
- Steelworkers employed by Ukraine’s wealthiest man joined forces with Ukrainian police in Mariupol on May 15, establishing control over the streets and banishing the pro-Kremlin militants. Miners and steelworkers deployed in at least five cities, including the regional capital, Donetsk. They had not, however, become the dominant force there that they were in Mariupol.
- (RIA Novosti) Separatist militias in the Donetsk region refused to reveal what steps they will take after a 24-hour ultimatum demanding the withdrawal of Kiev security forces expired late on Thursday. In the ultimatum, the militants threatened to start a special operation if Ukrainian troops fail to depart from roadblocks seized in the region.
- The Ukrainian State Border Guard Service prevented more than 200 Russian nationals "who had been involved in extremist activities and had very radical attitudes" from entering Ukraine since March 6. RIA Novosti reported that the 200 ‘extremists’ were in addition to 20,000 other Russians who had been barred from entering Ukraine since March.
- The head of the supervisory board of the Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter public initiative said Anti-Semitism is not an issue in Ukraine, whereas the artificial tension in this matter is created by Russia.
International Observation News
- A UN report compiled by 34 observers on the ground cited cases of targeted killings, torture, beatings, abductions, and sexual harassment, as well as intimidation of the media in what it deemed an "alarming deterioration" of human rights in eastern Ukraine.
- (RIA Novosti)The UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights stated that 127 people have been killed in the anti-terrorist operation in southeastern Ukraine. A total of 250 people have died in clashes in Ukraine since November 2013.
- (Interfax Ukraine) OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Astrid Thors visited Ukraine.
- (ITAR-TASS) A senior diplomat with the Russian Foreign Minstry said that an OSCE report on Ukraine distorts the reality of the situation in Ukraine, ignoring the Kyiv government’s violations of human rights as well as the rise of neo-nationalist and xenophobic sentiments in the society.
- (ITAR-TASS) The Russian Foreign Ministry’s criticism of the UN human rights report stated that its authors “somehow forgot to mention the termination of Ukraine in Crimea supply of fresh water - an action that violates a number of human rights."
- (RIA Novosti) The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the authors of a United Nations report on Ukraine attempting to justify the punitive operation in the country were trying to “whitewash” the authorities in Kyiv.
- NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said President Vladimir Putin’s assurances that Russia has no plans to intervene further in Ukraine can’t be believed.
- (ITAR-TASS) European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule called Ukraine a “stable partner” and said that the EU will support Kyiv in stabilizing the situation in Ukraine in a meeting with Ukrainian President Turchynov.
- The situation in Ukraine was not officially discussed during the ministerial session of the Moscow Energy Forum, but was touched upon behind the scenes, Energy Minister Alexander Novak told journalists.
- (RIA Novosti) Russian President Putin said that Russia may consider a proposal to acknowledge the Crimean Tatars as an indigenous people, but first the issue needs to be carefully studied.
- European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said that Russia is Europe's main trading partner in natural gas and that there should be therefore no sanctions against Moscow's energy sector over the crisis in Ukraine.
- (ITAR-TASS) The US State Department said that U.S. Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland never met with representatives of the Ukrainian ultra-nationalist organization "Right Sector" and the U.S. administration does not render any assistance to the group.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Ukrainian President Turchynov held a meeting with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski. The officials discussed the current situation in Ukraine, the further strengthening of bilateral cooperation, the relaxation of the EU visa requirements for Ukrainians and the upcoming presidential elections. Sikorski said Poland hopes for the signing of the second part of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union shortly after the presidential elections in Ukraine.
- (ITAR-TASS) Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deschytsia planned to visit Germany on May 19-20.
- Swedish FM Carl Bildt stated that if the situation in the east of Ukraine doesn't stabilize after the presidential elections, the EU may adopt new sanctions against Russia.
- (RIA Novosti) Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow had been forced to introduce advance payments for deliveries of natural gas to Ukraine, but remains open for discussion to normalize the situation.
- Russian PM Medvedev stated that Russia's decision on its reunification with Crimea and Sevastopol cannot be reconsidered, but it is necessary to consistently explain it to younger generations and opponents.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Ukraine’s Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Ruslan Koshulynsky announced that the National Dialogue Roundtable will take place in Kharkiv on May 17.
- (RIA Novosti) A ruling by the Ukrainian Constitutional Court determined that the new president elected on May 25 will serve a five-year term.
- (Interfax Ukraine) The CEO of Naftogaz said that Ukraine is planning to significantly increase reverse gas supplies through Hungary from May 21 under a contract that was signed on May 14.
- The German diplomat moderating 'round table' talks to promote political reconciliation in Ukraine said that the first meetings this week had included members of pro-Russian separatist groups such as the mayor of the eastern city of Donetsk, making it a meaningful process.