EWI offers a daily situation report on Ukraine.
(Interfax Ukraine) Ukrainian President Turchynov said that the Donetsk and Luhansk regions have effectively been left with no security or police forces. “The reform of the law enforcement system is not happening fast. For instance, the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are effectively left without the Security Service and police who are supposed to be prepared to fulfill their constitutional duties. All these systems need to be restored virtually from scratch.”
Ukraine’s Security Services stated that it had arrested individuals who were planning a terrorist attack in Odessa on May 18.
One pro-Russian separatist was killed, one wounded, and an unspecified number were taken prisoner, including two Russian journalists, in clashes near Izium, Kharkiv Oblast, and Sloviansk and Kramatorsk in Donetsk from May 17-19, Ukrainian authorities said.
(Interfax Ukraine) A separate system for protecting law and order will be put in place in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions during the upcoming presidential elections, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said.
A top Ukrainian Interior Ministry official said that 32 pro-Russia protesters who retreated inside Odessa’s Trade Unions building after clashes with pro-Ukraine activists and later died when the building was torched on May 2 might have been poisoned with chloroform.
The payment of pensions and public sector salaries in Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, cities in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region, will be suspended because of attacks on banks, post offices and infrastructural facilities, the interior minister said.
- Russian FM Sergei Lavrov stated that Moscow hopes that the roundtables aimed at establishing national dialogue in Ukraine will not become a folding screen for a hushed constitutional reform.
- Russia's President Vladimir Putin ordered troops near Ukraine's border to withdraw to their permanent bases immediately.
- (ITAR-TASS) The US Defense Department claimed that it still sees no sign of Russian troop withdrawal from the Ukrainian border.
- NATO Secretary General Rasmussen also stated that NATO saw no signs of Russian troop withdrawal.
- Ukrainian authorities detained two reporters from Russian outlet LifeNews on May 18. The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement demanding their immediate, unconditional release.
- (ITAR-TASS) Former Ukrainian Defense Minister Leonid Polyakov claimed that Ukraine has asked the US for military uniforms, vehicles, and other equipment.
- (RIA Novosti) Russian FM Sergei Lavrov said that relations between Russia, the European Union and NATO need to be fundamentally reconsidered.
- (RIA Novosti) NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that the military alliance does not plan to amend its framework agreement with Russia.
- (ITAR-TASS) US Vice President Biden travelled to Romania and Cyprus for talks on sanctions against Russia.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke over the telephone, a Kremlin statement said, adding that both sides expressed hope for continued dialogue between authorities in Kyiv and eastern Ukraine.
- (RIA Novosti) Russian FM Lavrov said that the European Union’s sanctions are impairing joint efforts to settle the crisis in Ukraine.
- (ITAR-TASS) Russian President Putin was due to meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to discuss the crisis in Ukraine in Shanghai on May 20.
- (ITAR-TASS) Representatives of the ‘People’s Republic of Luhansk’ appealed to the UN to recognize their sovereignty.
- The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic said she urged the Ukrainian authorities to release LifeNews reporters detained in Ukraine.
- President Turchynov said he is confident Ukraine will cope with possible difficulties if Russia stops supplying gas on June 1.
- (ITAR-TASS) Prime Minister Yatsenyuk stated that he believes that the presidential election will provide "broad political competition.”
- (Interfax Ukraine) Prime Minister Yatsenyuk said that the early presidential elections scheduled to be held on May 25 should be conducted in all regions of Ukraine.
- (Interfax Ukraine) President Turchynov wrote a letter to Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko asking him to examine whether the Communist Party of Ukraine was involved in activities aimed at violating the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The letter asks Petrenko “to immediately take statutory measures to ban the Communist Party of Ukraine.”
- (Interfax Ukraine) Presidential candidate and Batkivschyna party leader Yulia Tymoshenko said that she is sure that Ukraine will file a bid for EU membership and hold a referendum on NATO membership following presidential elections scheduled for May 25.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Former Ukrainian President Kravchuk said that the third all-Ukrainian roundtable of national unity will most likely be held in Cherkasy on May 21.
- The leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic stated that the DPR will not recognize presidential elections on the 25th of May, as they are illegal and violate the Constitution.