Daily Ukraine Crisis Updates – May 21, 2014
News | May 21, 2014
EWI offers a daily situation report on Ukraine.
Internal Security News
- (RIA Novosti) An officer of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said that the active phase of special operations in Ukraine’s eastern regions is continuing and military personnel are carrying out their orders.
- Ukrainian PM Yatsenyuk stated that he sees progress in attempts to settle the situation in some eastern regions of Ukraine.
- (ITAR-TASS) Unidentified assailants attacked and burnt down the house of Oleh Tsarev, a pro-Russian member of the Ukrainian parliament and former presidential candidate.
- NATO Secretary General Rasmussen alleges that NATO has still seen no "visible evidence" of a Russian troop withdrawal from the border with Ukraine.
- (RIA Novosti) Russian President Putin stated that Russia has pulled its troops back from regions near the border with Ukraine in order to facilitate conditions for its western neighbor’s upcoming presidential elections on May 25.
- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden warned Moscow against undermining the upcoming Ukrainian presidential election.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin called the detention of two Russian journalists in Ukraine unacceptable suggested it highlighted wider questions about the legitimacy of political power in Ukraine.
- (ITAR-TASS) Ukraine wants to develop “equal relations” with Russia, Ukrainian PM Yatsenyuk said at a ‘unity roundtable’. “Ukraine’s eastern regions are dependent on the Russian market.”
- (RIA Novosti) The commander of the Russian air force stated that Ukraine is meddling in Russia’s affairs by asking Moscow to stop the Aviadarts 2014 international competition, calling it a military exercise.
- (ITAR-TASS) The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that “Despite the commitment to refrain from any violent actions, intimidation and provocations Kyiv did not stop. On the contrary, [Kyiv] is persistently intensifying a punitive operation against their own people and is conducting nighttime shelling on cities in the east of the country, including from heavy weapons.”
- (ITAR-TASS) The Russian and US defense agencies maintain permanent contacts over Ukraine, Russia’s Defense Ministry top official said. “We’re ready to explain Russian actions’ logic, including the activity of Russian troops in the area adjacent to the Ukrainian borders.”
- (ITAR-TASS) Russia passed a law to stop hryvnia circulation in Crimea by June 1.
- Russian President Putin said that it will be hard for Russia to build relations with Ukrainian leaders who come to power at a time of growing tension.
- (RIA Novosti) Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said that a memorandum on peace and consent passed by Ukraine’s parliament is the first distinct but late step in fulfilling the April 17 Geneva Agreements and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) “roadmap.”
- (RIA Novosti) European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in a letter addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the European Commission believes Russian gas giant Gazprom is responsible for deliveries to Europe in the required volumes.
- (RIA Novosti) Human Rights Watch stated that they are gravely concerned by the detention of Russian journalists in Ukraine and called for their immediate release.
- Russia Today’s Editor-in-Chief stated that the British authorities ignored appeals with regard to the detention in Ukraine of reporter Graham Phillips cooperating with the Russian television channel.
International Observation Missions News
- (RIA Novosti) Ukraine’s State Border Service stated that over 730 international observers have already arrived in Ukraine to monitor the country’s presidential election scheduled for May 25.
Constitutional Reform News
- (ITAR-TASS) Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that he finds holding a referendum on a new Ukrainian Constitution before holding presidential elections a more logical sequence of events.
- (RIA Novosti) Prime Minister Yatsenyuk ruled out bilateral talks between Kyiv and Moscow, saying de-escalation in the crisis-hit country could only be discussed at an international scale.
- China and Russia signed a huge 30-year gas supply contract in Shanghai on Wednesday, after a decade of talks. The deal between Russia's Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) d been years in the making. No official price was given but it is estimated to be worth over $400bn.
- (RIA Novosti) The Verkhovna Rada ratified the text of a “memorandum of peace and consent” after two months of armed clashes. The memorandum calls for a withdrawal of the country’s military to their permanent bases, a ban of criminal charges against protest activists, and the inclusion of the Russian language in a new constitution.
- Ukrainian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said that the attempt to launch a public dialogue in Ukraine has so far failed.
- Leading presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko said that the international investigations commission investigating the events in Kyiv should investigate the events that deal with people's deaths on Kyiv's Maidan in Feb. and the tragedy that occurred in Odessa on May 2.
- (Interfax Ukraine) Presidential candidate and Batkivschyna Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko said that one of the new president's priorities is to bring back the funds stashed in the offshore accounts of former high-ranking officials.
- (RIA Novosti) The Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council announced the creation of a new international TV channel to promote Ukrainian values.
- (ITAR-TASS) Ukraine's first president Leonid Kravchuk urged the Verkhovna Rada to disband itself in the interest of national unity.