The number of war victims in Donbas is now more than 9,3 thousand people.
This was stated by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Tayé-Brook Zerihoun.
“The overall number of people affected by the conflict is growing. At the moment, there are more than 30,700 people. Since the beginning of the conflict in 2014, 9,333 people died, while around 21,4 thousand people suffered injuries”, he said.
Previously, the UN has stated that the war in Donbas affected lives of 30,346 people: over 9,000 people have been killed and 21,000 people – wounded.
The level of escalation of conflict in eastern Ukraine has noticeably grown. In view of this, it is impossible to hold elections in Donbas.
This was stated by PACE rapporteurs Christina Zelenkova and Marieluise Beck during sessions of Political and Judiciary Committees of the Assembly, devoted to the situation in eastern Ukraine.
According to PACE rapporteurs, who have recently visited Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Mariupol, Russia’s influence in Donbas has significantly grown.
“We’ve been informed that there are five ‘Ministries’ in Kremlin which factually run the so-called DPR and LPR”, Beck said. She considers the current state of affairs in the occupied territories to be the hybrid annexation”, which is an inevitable consequence of hybrid war Russia conducts against Ukraine.
Holosiivsky district court has recognized Russian military Yevgeny Yeroveyev and Aleksander Aleksandrov guilty in terrorist activity against Ukraine. The verdict was delivered by Mykola Didyk, the judge in this case.
Yeroveyev and Aleksandrov were sentenced to 14 years in prison with confiscation of property. The prosecutors, however, insisted on a penalty of 15 years in prison with confiscation of property and disqualification to hold military posts for three years.
Russian special units’ members Aleksandr Aleksandrov and Yevheny Yeroveyev were arrested on May 16, in the area of ATO near town of Schastya of Luhansk region. Prosecutors made two identical charges for both of them: they were accused of illegal crossing of the border and, among other things, of the murder of serviceman. They are also charged with a terrorist attack on positions of 92d Brigade that guarded the CHP plant near the town of Schastya. First they identified themselves as Russian military, but refused their testimony before the court.
The Bellingcat international team of investigative journalists has established the facts of using the Grad multiple launch rocket systems by the Russian side from its territory against Ukraine.
“We investigated the attacks in Ukraine of the summer of 2014. Many facts argued that the attacks had been launched from the other side of the border, in Russia, but we did not have enough evidence”, head of the organization Eliot Higgins said.
Now, according to him, the evidence have been obtained basing on the analysis of the satellite data. Using the open Google programs, “one can see that the fields (in eastern Ukraine) have come under Grad fire, more than 300 attacks, since mid-July 2014”, he noted.
The same maps show the multiple launch rocket systems hidden in the shelters. The Russian servicemen shot in at least five directions. There is the video evidence in social networks, and it was possible to establish the exact places with the help of Google Maps. “Everything indicates that those were the planned attack”, the analyst summed up.
Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) acknowledges the territorial integrity of Ukraine, considering the Autonomous Republic of Crimea as an integral part of the Ukrainian state. This was discussed during a visit to Kyiv of Secretary General of the Permanent International Secretariat (PMS) of the BSEC Michael Hristidisa on April 13-15.
Hristidis said that he stood on the position of respect for the territorial integrity of Ukraine and respect for its internationally recognized borders, considering Crimea as a part of Ukraine.
As known, Ukraine’s delegation has committed diplomatic demarche in connection with the Russia’s presidency within the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).
In the second half of 2016, Serbia will chair within the organization. In 2017 – Turkey and Ukraine.
As a result of the hostilities in the ATO area, only in the Donetsk region 50 children were killed, 138 – were injured, 20 – lost their parents.
“Since the beginning of the ATO, 50 children were killed in Donetsk region. 138 were injured, 20 children lost their parents. 69,500 children were forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in other towns”, said the statement of the National police in the Donetsk region.
It is also noted that at present, more than 312,000 children live in the territory controlled by Ukraine, nearly one in five of them is migrant.
Reportedly, that prior to the ATO, 1,128 schools with an enrollment of more than 340 thousand children were operating in the region . Today, in the territory controlled by Ukraine, 556 schools left , 13 of which had to be closed due to the constant shelling and destruction. 37 schools operate along the delimitation line.
So-called prosecutor of the occupied Crimea Natalia Poklonska has adopted a decision to stop the activities of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people.
In her decision, Poklonska refers to the law “On counteracting extremist activities”. The decision will remain in force until the so-called Supreme Courte of the Crimea delivers its verdict in the case against the Mejlis.
Previously, Poklonska has launched a case against the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people as it is allegedly an extremist organization. In the course of the last hearing in this case, the judge has postponed consideration until April 15.
Unlawfully imprisoned Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko were recognized as Ukrainian citizens.
Ella Pamfilova, the Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia insists that, according to Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, Sentsov and Kolchenko still remain citizens of Ukraine regardless of whether they have Russian citizenship.
“The fact that Sentsov and Kolchenko have Ukrainian citizenship has been proved and no longer arouses any doubts”, the message states.
Earlier, after the annexation of the Crimean peninsula, Russia has declared Sentsov and Kolchenko to be citizens of the Russian Federation as they “have not submitted an official refusal from Russian citizenship” within the terms established.
As previously reported, Ella Pamfilova has stated that Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko are citizens of Ukraine.
As it is known, Sentsov and Kolchenko have been sentenced to 20 and 10 years in prison respectively.
During a conference on April 5, the following reports were delivered in the European Parliament: “Russian war crimes in eastern Ukraine” and “28 hostages of Kremlin”.
The reports were prepared by human rights activists, Ukrainian Mission to EU and Euro-MPs.
“The report is shocking. It reveal all and murders and tortures people were subjected to. The woman, who was speaking today (on April 5 – ed.) would not be here unless two British journalists had made a photo of her. This saved her life”, said Euro-MP Mark Demesmaeker.
According to him, such crimes should not remain unpunished. Demesmaeker proposes to use these reports as a basis to start an investigation within the International Criminal Court.
“28 hostages of Kremlin” tells about Ukrainians unlawfully arrested in Russian and annexed Crimea. “One of the hostages is a 74-year-old man who was communicating with his family members from Ukraine. That’s his only fault. Still, he was sent to the so-called ‘New GULAG’”, said the head of Open Dialog Foundation Lyudmyla Kozlovska.
Human rights activists emphasized that hostages are often subjected to tortures. Besides, they are also often deprived of appropriate medical aid, as well as lawyer support. Finally, they are not allowed to communicate with their families.
After the EP session, both reports will be delivered in Parliaments of a number of European states. Besides, the reports will be sent to International Criminal Court in Hague.
The two-year long conflict in eastern Ukraine has left around 1.5 million people hungry.
“Two years of violence, shelling and fear have left an indelible mark on thousands of people in eastern Ukraine”, said World Food Programme (WFP) Country Representative Giancarlo Stopponi.
UN calls on all the parties of the conflict to facilitate full humanitarian access to people in need: “As the conflict continues, we need to reach these people urgently. We appeal to all parties of the conflict to facilitate full and unimpeded humanitarian access to people in need across the country.”
People living in the non-government controlled area of Luhansk and near the conflict line are the most affected by food insecurity.
Bellingcat analysts presented a new investigation, which demonstrates the relationship between fake video appeal of alleged “representatives of the AZOV battalion”, threatening to attack the Netherlands, and the so-called “troll factory” in St. Petersburg.
Azov brand has twice become a tool for information attacks on Ukraine in the Netherlands. The first attack took place in the second half of January – then unidentified persons with the symbols of the regiment threatened attacks to residents of the Netherlands.
On February 3, second video appeared in Dutch media, in which actors “confirmed their intentions”.
The Azov regiment prepared a response to the fake video and demonstrated the process of shooting the same fake video allegedly from the “residents of Novorossiia, fighters of Sparta and Somalia battalions”.
Leaked e-mail correspondences from 2014 courtesy of the hacker collective Anonymous International confirm that these organizations do not act independently and, at the time of the leaks, received instructions from the Kremlin.
The Azov Battalion video was not the only piece of fabricated evidence created with this disinformation campaign. Following the video’s spread, a screenshot was created to supposedly verify the existence of the video on the Azov Battalion’s official YouTube channel (“AZOV media”).
The creation and propagation of the fake Azov Battalion video was almost certainly not the work of a few lone pranksters, but instead a concerted effort with connections to the infamous Internet Research Agency, widely known as the organization based in St. Petersburg that pays young Russians to write pro-Russian/anti-Western messages in internet comment sections and blog posts.
It should be recalled that Bellingcat criticized calculations presented by Russian manufacturer of Buk which supposedly was used to down MH17.
Four howitzers Giatsint of 152-mm caliber were noticed between Makiyivka and Yasynuvata, Donetsk sector.
According to the intelligence, the enemy keeps heavy weapons, prohibited by the Minsk Agreements, at a distance of approximately 8 km from the demarcation line.
“Militants actively use heavy weapons to shell borders and local residents of territories they control. Also, the weapons are used to shell positions of Ukrainian forces”, the Staff reports.
Significant number of shells and traces of movement at large distances prove the fact that militants continue to use the prohibited weapons rather actively.
On March 29, a decree on demobilization of military personnel drafted within the fourth wave of partial mobilization came into effect.
President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree on demobilization of servicemen of the fourth wave of partial mobilization on March 25. 45 thousand soldiers called up for service by decree of July 21, 2014 and the decree of January 14, 2015 will be demobilized.
Defense Minister of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak said that if the case of decision to start the next wave of mobilization, the number of called up in the Armed Forces would be 10-12 thousand people.
Activists of Asker social formation, which consists of members of the blockade of Russian-annexed Crimea, started to serve on the administrative border with Crimea together with border guards.
The chairman of the Henichesk district administration Oleksandr Vorobiov stated that, activists have received all the necessary permissions.
On September 20, 2015, a perpetual campaign to block the trucks, which go to the annexed Crimea with the food and goods, initiated by the Crimean Tatars’ leaders, began. In mid-January 2016, blockade action changed its format. Its participants were preparing for sharing services with Ukrainian border guards as a part of the Asker formation.
On March 23, activists got access to joint patrolling of border control checkpoints Chongar, Chaplynka and Kalanchak, at the administrative border with Russian-annexed Crimea. 33 members of the civil blockade of peninsula passed tests and were allowed access.
Since the very beginning of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, the OSCE SMM has recorded lots of facts proving presence of Russian troops in Donbas.
This was stated by Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine Alexander Hug.
He emphasized that OSCE monitors only report the facts they gather, but do not make any conclusions themselves.
“Since the beginning, we have been mentioning different types of weapons in our reports. This is, in particular, electronic equipment, which intervenes functioning of our drones. Also, we have fixed presence of armored people wearing identification marks of Russian troops. We have received evidences from the captives, according to whom these were soldiers of Russian army”, said Mr. Hug.
The National Security and Defense Council (RNBO) approved the sanction list against individuals involved in the show trial of Nadiya Savchenko in Russia.
The Head of State emphasized that it should be a Savchenko-Sentsov List and include persons involved in trumping up cases against Oleg Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Stanislav Klykh, Mykola Karpiuk and other Ukrainians illegally imprisoned in Russia.
At the same time, the President noted: “This decision doesn’t stop our persistent work over immediate liberation of Nadiya Savchenko and other Ukrainian heroes”.
The President instructed to add people involved in torturing Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in Crimea to the List. “We should coordinate this decision with our partners”, the Head of State said.
The UN Working Group confirms presence of at least 176 foreigners serving in armed groups of the self-proclaimed ‘DPR’ and ‘LPR’.
According to its statement, the Working Group was informed by the authorities of Ukraine of at least 176 identified foreigners serving in armed groups of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ and the self-proclaimed ‘Luhansk people’s republic’.
“These reportedly include large numbers from the Russian Federation, Serbia, Belarus, France and Italy, among others”, the Working Group reports.
Donetsk city court in Rostov region (Russia) adjudged Ukrainian MP Nadiya Savchenko guilty on all counts.
The court considers that Savchenko’s alibi was not proved. The judge has “no reasons to stay hesitant about Savchenko’s guilt on all counts”.
During the final part of verdict delivery, Savchenko started to sing. After this, the judge has announced a break.
After the break, the court has announced the verdict – 22 years in prison.
“18 years – for the murder and 10 – for murderous assault. Overall, 22 years in prison and 30,000 RUB for border crossing”, Savchenko’s lawyer Mykola Polozov wrote on Twitter.
Canadian government has introduced additional economic sanctions against the Russian Federation.
The Regulations amending additional economic measures was adopted on March 16 and came into effect on March 18.
“This decision contributes to international efforts directed at the search of diplomatic resolution of the crisis in Ukraine”, said Stéphane Dion, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Now, the sanction list includes 10 more enterprises and 2 more private persons. Canada is going to freeze their assets and deny the private persons of entry to its territory.
Among the enterprises, there are Inresbank OAO, PAO Mosoblbank, OAO Volgogradneftemash, Izhevsky Mekhanichesky Zavod JSC, JSC Tekhnopromexport, etc.
Also, sanctions will be imposed upon Eduard Ioffe and Aleksander Omelchenko.
Three Ukrainians Released From Captivity.
“There is a good news! Two Ukrainian soldiers and one civilian were released from captivity: Hryhoriy Zavizion, Petro Yeroshevych and Vadym Petrenko. Slava Ukraini!”, wrote Poroshenko on Facebook
Irina Gerashchenko, the Commissioner of the President on peaceful settlement of the situation in Donbas, provided their photos.
The European Council extended by six months EU restrictive measures against 146 people and 37 companies of the Russian Federation in view of the continuing undermining of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
“On 10 March 2016, the Council extended by six months EU restrictive measures against 146 people and 37 companies in view of the continuing undermining or threatening of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine”, stated on the web site of the European Council.
The asset freeze and travel ban have been extended until 15 September 2016.
The measures had been introduced in March 2014 and were last extended in September 2015.
Also, the EU extended the sanctions imposed on Russian, Crimean and separatist-terrorist activists who are involved in encroachment on the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.
Ukrainian journalist Maria Varfolomeyeva, captured by militants one year ago, has been released from captivity.
“Ukrainian journalist Maria Varfolomeyeva is released from captivity! I am proud of her courage and fortitude!”, wrote the President on Facebook.
In 2015 the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Militia accused the journalist of spying for Ukrainian army. She has been held under arbitrary detention since 9 January 2015.
Ukraine managed to release three servicemen from terrorists’ captivity.
“Three Ukrainian citizens have just been released from captivity. They will soon return to their homes”, – said the President Petro Poroshenko.
As it was previously reported by Darka Olifer, the spokesperson for the representative of Ukraine in the Trilateral Contact Group Leonid Kuchma, four Ukrainian soldiers, who were held captive by terrorists in Luhansk region, were supposed to be released on February 26.
Recently, militants left the village of Shyrokyne (Donetsk region) completely, Ukrainian units gained the control over it.
“Now there are measures on demining the territory and elimination of explosive devices. Militants mined almost every house, installed a lot of stretchings and booby traps. This fact is significant indicator that the terrorists were planning a major terrorist attack”, – the press officer of the M sector Oleksandr Kindsfater said.
He also said that the Ukrainian units are now equipping firing positions in Shyrokyne.
As known, according to the Minsk agreements, Shyrokyne should remain under the UAF control. It should be recalled that ATO forces ousted the militants from the industrial zone of Avdiivka that is in the Donetsk region.
On February 24, Bellingcat has released its new report on the Russian anti-aircraft missile brigade that, as Bellingcat analysts assume, provided and possibly operated the Buk that downed MH17 on June 17, 2014.
From June 23 to 25, 2014, Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade transported several Buk-M1 anti-aircraft missile systems to areas near the Russia-Ukraine border. It is possible to trace the 53rd Brigade’s journey from its base in Kursk, Russia to near the Russia-Ukraine border. One of the Buks from the convoy was quite similar to the Buk seen in Donetsk, Ukraine on the day of the tragedy.
According to the report, the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade has transferred the Buk-M1 to the militants. Besides, it is most likely that Buk operators belonged to the brigade as well.
The third section of the report, “Soldiers of the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade,” details the soldiers within the 53rd Brigade and the information provided by their public postings on social media. The soldiers of the 2nd Battalion provided a wealth of information, including photographs and written notes, describing their time on the Russia-Ukraine border in June and July, 2014. More extensive details are provided regarding the soldiers who were normally responsible for the Buk missile launcher numbered 222, which was replaced by Buk 3×2, which we believe downed MH17.
The final and most important section, “Commanders of the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade,” provides extensive information regarding the leadership structure of the brigade and battalion that provided and possibly operated the likely murder weapon in the downing of MH17.
According to the report, the responsibility for the downing of MH17 from a weapon provided and possibly operated by the Russian military lies with the Ministry of Defense and the Supreme Commander of the Russian Armed Forces, President Vladimir Putin.
Ukrainian side released three more Ukrainian servicemen, who defended state sovereignty in the ATO area, from the militants’ captivity.
“The head of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasyl Hrytsak reported on the release of three Ukrainian soldiers from captivity and called the names of our heroes. This is Sergeant Harnaha, Junior Sergeant Dmytruk and soldier Makukha”, – wrote Petro Poroshenko on Facebook.
In turns, the representative of the President Iryna Herashchenko, who was at the site of release operation, said about the details on her Facebook page.
“Sergeant Serhii Harnahu was wounded in the line of duty and captured in May of 2015, here nearby Marinka. The soldier Oleksandr Makukha spent in the captivity of the militants one year. Together with his friends they defended Debaltseve”, – Herashchenko said.
Meanwhile, according to Herashchenko, Sergeant Serhii Dmytruk was staying in militants’ captivity for almost half a year. Vadym Kyrpychenko was released too.
She stressed that President of Ukraine, the SSU, the Minsk Group and, what is the most important, families of prisoners were struggling for their release.
The United States expressed concern over the continuation of the conflict escalation in Donbas conducted by the “united Russian-separatist forces”, calling on Russia to meet its commitments on the ceasefire and the admission of OSCE observers to the occupied areas.
“The United States remain deeply concerned about the escalation of hostilities in the contact line in eastern Ukraine. United-Russian separatist forces continue to violate its commitments to the cease-fire, shelling Ukrainian positions with artillery and small arms”, – the US representative to the OSCE Daniel Bayer said.
In addition, Bayer drew attention to the fact that the militants continue to block free access of the OSCE representatives and treat them “with open hostility”. The representative of the United States noted that “on February 15, in Kominternove, they threatened to open fire against the observers’ mission again” – for the third time since January.
“Such threats are totally unacceptable, but Russia has never condemned these actions at the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council – unlike any other country participating, which had its word”, – said Bayer.
“Separatists supported by Russia must ensure free, unimpeded access of SMM to persuade Ukraine and other 55 OSCE participating States in their intent to cease hostilities”, – stated Bayer.
Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has adopted an appeal to Parliaments of other states to condemn aggression of the Russian Federation and its threats to shoot hostages in Donbas. This was stated in two resolutions supported by 236 and 239 MPs correspondingly.
Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine calls on foreign Parliaments to “put to use all the mechanisms available on governmental, parliamentary and non-governmental levels and to give the Russian Federation to understand that extralegal executions and torturing of hostages in Donbas are unacceptable”.
Also, the Parliament calls on the world community to “continue to put pressure on the Russian Federation for violating the UN Status and the Budapest memorandum”. Ukrainian Parliament supports the position of the European Parliament concerning the necessity to launch an international negotiation mechanism in ‘Geneva Plus’ format with direct involvement of the EU institutions to restore Ukrainian sovereignty over the occupied Crimea.
As Presidential Commissioner for the peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions Iryna Herashchenko previously stated, the Russian Federation can block the exchange of prisoners with the aim to use them for easing of sanctions imposed by the EU.
Military conflict in Ukraine is not civil war, but Russia’s aggression. President Petro Poroshenko said this on February 13 during the debates within the security conference in Munich. He referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin commenting on the statement of the Government’s Head of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev about “civil war in Ukraine”.
“It is not a civil war, Mr Putin, it is your aggression. It is not a civil war in Crimea, there are your soldiers who occupied my country. This is not a civil war in Syria – it is your bombing of civilians in Syria”, – he said.
Poroshenko said that Minsk agreements signed a year ago provided for restoration of Ukraine’s control under its borders which are uncontrolled partly now due to the pro-Russian militants.
He stated that all foreign troops should be withdrawn from the territory of Ukraine, stressing that Ukraine has evidences of their presence. “It is not just a bunch of Russian passports that I showed. It’s not just a lot of licenses, it is satellite imagery, information from intelligence, witnesses”, – said the president of Ukraine.
“It’s not just a lot of licenses, it is satellite imagery, intelligence, witnesses”, – said the president of Ukraine.
Poroshenko also said that economic sanctions against Russia should continue as long as Russia does not ensure Kyiv’s control under Ukrainian-Russian border in Donbas.
He stressed that Russia was using all measures to destroy the unity of the EU on the issue of sanctions.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports presence of 7 thousand Russian soldiers in terrorist controlled territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
This was reported by the Chief of the General Staff Viktor Muzhenko after a meeting with foreign military attaches in Kyiv.
“There are career military personnel engaged in preparation of new units of ‘DPR’ and ‘LPR’. Some of the Russian servicemen occupy certain positions within these formations”, – Mr. Muzhenko explained.
As the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukrainian Defence Ministry reported, 627 Russian servicemen were killed in Donbas during the period between September and January in 2015.
136 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 331 soldiers were wounded as a result of military operations near Debaltseve in 2015.
This was stated by the press service of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine. Also, 7 Ukrainian soldiers were taken captive, while 18 soldiers are considered missing.
Besides, almost a third of Ukrainian military hardware was either damaged or destroyed in military hostilities.
During the speech on the occasion of Memorial Day of Kruty Heroes, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that 2269 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the course of the war in Donbas.
“2269 servicemen died to protect Ukraine from Russian aggression”, – said the President Petro Poroshenko.
He also mentioned that 121 thousand Ukrainian servicemen received the status of participants of military hostilities.
Poroshenko also stressed that the level of efficiency of Ukrainian army significantly increased when compared to the one as of 2014.
As reported, more than 9 thousand people (among them – Ukrainian soldiers, civilians, and members of illegal armed formations) died as a result of military hostilities in Donbas. Over 20 thousand people suffered injuries.
The CoE secretary general Thorbjørn Jagland announced his decision to begin human rights mission in the Crimea. According to him, the mission will be conducted with full independence and will not deal with any issue related to the territorial status of Crimea.
“The mission will focus on all major human rights issues, including freedom of expression and media freedom, freedom of association and of assembly, minority rights, local and self-government, the fight against corruption and prison conditions”, – said Mr. Jagland.
As it was stated in the 12th report of the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, residents of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, whose status is defined by the resolution of the UN General Assembly 68/262, continue to suffer significant restriction of their rights due to introduction of restrictive legal provisions by the Russian Federation.
European Parliament supports the initiative of Ukrainian government to deploy the peacekeeping mission, as well as the EU security mission in Donbas.
As stated in the document, the European parliament will take into consideration the appeal of the Ukrainian leadership to deploy an international peacekeeping mission along the Ukrainian-Russian border, as well as in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
Besides, the EU supports the proposal to deploy an international mission led by the EU in the framework of the common security and defense policy in the region in case appropriate conditions are established and the Minsk Agreements are partially implemented.
The MEPs have expressed serious concern about the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. The European Parliament stresses that the Russian authorities bear a particular responsibility in this connection. It is noted that the frequency of ceasefire violations has been increasing since mid-October 2015, that monitors from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) continue to experience restrictions on their freedom of movement, that the restoration of Ukrainian control over the full length of its border with Russia has not materialized, that no agreement was reached on the modalities for the local elections in the temporarily occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk, and that not all prisoners and illegally detained persons, such as Nadiia Savchenko and Oleh Sentsov, have been released.
Participants of the blockade of the Russian-annexed Crimea leave the place of the action, though observers remain at all of the posts.
“The format of the civil blockade changed as the official blockade of the occupied Crimea began”, Mustafa Dzhemilev explained.
By the official blockade is meant the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to limit the supply of goods to the occupied peninsula.
The decision to ban the supply of goods and services to the Russian-annexed Crimea and export of goods from the peninsula came into force on January 16.
Pro-Russian sniper opened fire on an OSCE patrol vehicle in the terrorist-controlled district of Donetsk region.
But for OSCE monitors, among the patrollers there were officers of Ukrainian side in JCCC, military engineers of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, and officers of the groups of civil-military cooperation. The main task of the patrol was to ensure safety of the civil workers engaged in repair and reconstruction of a gas pipe line in Marinka.
Soon afterwards, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine confirmed the fact of attack of unarmed patrollers in Marinka, a town situated near the demarcation line in Donetsk region.
So-called regime of complete ceasefire came into force in Donbas.
The corresponding agreement was reached during the first 2016 meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group which was held on January 13 in Minsk.
The special representative of the OSCE in the Trilateral Contact Group Martin Sajdik announced this agreement after the negotiations.
“Our work in Minsk is conducted against the backdrop of deteriorating relations between Russia and Ukraine. This strongly influences the process. I am sorry that my holiday wishes for ceasefire did not come true. But today, Borys Hryzlov proposed to make one more attempt, and all negotiators agreed with him”, said Mr. Sajdik.
Ukraine has officially taken up its duties as a non-permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations.
Volodymyr Yelchenko, who has recently replaced Yurii Serheiev, will represent Ukraine to the UN.
The UN Security Council consists of 15 members: five permanent with the right to veto, and 10 non-permanent members.
The permanent members are France, the United Kingdom, the United States, China and the Russian Federation, and non-permanent ones are Ukraine, Angola, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
As previously reported, Ukraine was elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2016-2017 on October 15, 2015.
Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk considers the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to be ‘mirror’ response to actions of the Russian Federation.
“Today, the Cabinet will adopt two resolutions. The first one bans the import of Russian goods into the customs territory. The second resolution concerns the rates of entrance duty on goods from Russia”, said Mr. Yatsenyuk.
Also, Mr. Yatsenyuk described measures which will be taken in relation to any other aggressor state.
“The Government of Ukraine has addressed the Parliament and I am grateful to the President for signing the act enabling changes to Ukrainian legislation as far as foreign economic activity is concerned. This act gives the Cabinet of Ministers an opportunity to assume counter measures in relation to any country the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine defines as an aggressor state, as well as in relation to any country causing economic damage to Ukraine”, Mr. Yatsenyuk stated.
According to him, the Cabinet managed to stop military aggression of Russian Federation and continues to take steps to stop the aggression at economic, financial and diplomatic levels.
Previously, the President of Ukraine signed a Law on amendments to the Law on ‘International Economic Activity’ (allowing the Cabinet of Ministers to impose economic sanctions against the aggressor state).
Parliament adopted the Law on Ratification of the Agreement (in the form of exchange of notes) between Ukraine and Malaysia on the extension of the Agreement of August 1, 2014 on sending Malaysian personnel in Ukraine in connection with the crash of Malaysian Airlines plane. The law provides for the ratification of the Agreement, adopted on August 17, 2015 in Kyiv and takes effect from the date of receipt by the Malaysian side of the diplomatic messages on the completion of all internal procedures necessary for the extension of the Agreement by the Ukrainian side.
As noted in the explanatory memorandum, by the adoption of this law Parliament gives consent to the extension of mentioned Agreement to August 18, 2016, which will facilitate further participation of the Malaysian side in the investigation of the causes of crash.
The United States tightened sanctions against Russia extending the sanctions’ list with 34 new individuals and entities.
Restrictions were imposed on all the banks active in Russian-annexed Crimea as well as subsidiaries and entities related to the state-owned banks VTB and Sberbank of Russia.
“Expanding of sanctions demonstrates Washington’s principled position to seek Moscow’s respect for the sovereignty of Ukraine”, – the document of US Office of Foreign Assets Control stated.
As known, the decision of the EU Council on the extension of sanctions against Russia for six months was published in the Official Journal of the European Union and came into force on December 22.
Militants in armored vehicles entered the territory of the village Kominternove (Donetsk region), which is in the so-called “gray zone”.
The militants in several cars and armored vehicles drove into the territory of Kominternove. They were staying there, carrying out the identity checks of local residents. People were hiding in cellars.
As the spokesman of the ATO Staff press center Anton Myronovych explained, about 100 militants invaded the village that is situated in the “grey area”. According to him, the relevant information was transmitted to the OSCE Special monitoring mission and to the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of the ceasefire and stabilization of the delimitation line.
“In such way they want to provoke us to do something. Perhaps to liberate the village using heavy weapons. However, the ATO forces stay on their positions and watch what is happening there now. We all hope that this will be resolved peacefully. Currently, the representatives of the OSCE in cooperation with the Joint Center are working there”, – he added.
The Council adopted a decision to extend economic sanctions against Russia for six months – until 31 July 2016.
The EU ambassadors using written procedure (without discussion) also endorsed the present decision.
As known, the economic sanctions against Russia were introduced for one year – until July 31, 2015, in response to Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.
On June 22, 2015, the Council extended the validity of restrictive measures for six months, until January 31, 2016.
Then, it was agreed by the EU leaders that the duration of sanctions would be tied to the full implementation of the Minsk agreements – until December 31, 2015.
“If the Minsk agreements will not be been fully implemented by that time, the sanctions will be extended, although the Council continues to monitor the progress of their implementation”, – said the communique.
President Vladimir Putin admitted that Russian citizens were present in the temporarily occupied Donbas, but denied the presence of regular troops. “We never said that there (in Donbas – Ed.) are no people dealing with certain issues in the military sphere”, – said Putin.
“But this does not mean that regular Russian troops are present there. Feel the difference”, – he said.
As known, on December 17, the final annual conference with the Russian president took place in Moscow. 1390 journalists were accredited.
The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine said that Russia equipped Tavrida oil platform in the marine economic zone of Ukraine.
“This is not a violation of the territorial integrity; it does not breach the limits, but it is economic zone of Ukraine. We are currently in contact with the Security Service, the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – I know that they are working on the issue”, – said Slobodian.
According to him, all crewmembers of the tug and tower were notified of their violation of the Ukrainian legislation, although it is not a violation of borders and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
“At the moment, it is difficult for me to say the situation will develop and I think that we need to come back to this issue later”, – he stressed.
From the beginning of the war 9098 people were killed in the territory of occupied Donbas, among them are Ukrainian military, civilians and militants.
“The total number of people killed since mid-April of last year is at least 9098. 20732 people were injured. These numbers include civilians, the Ukrainian military and the members of armed formations”, – said the report.
During the period from August 16 to November 15, that report covered, 47 civilians were killed and 131 were injured.
The recent deaths of civilians were mostly caused by the explosive remnants of war and self-made explosive devices.
National Power Company Ukrenergo resumed the supply of electricity to the temporarily occupied Crimea with the 220 kV power line Kakhovska-Tytan on December 8.
“We were ready last night but Crimea was not prepared to receive the supplies. They were having problems with the facilities. At 0:07 the transmission line was launched”, – said the head of the Ukrenergo Information Policy Department Zinovii Butso.
Earlier, in the night of November 22, undermining the pillars of power lines in the Kherson region resulted in disconnection of Crimea from UPS of Ukraine.
The emergency mode was announced on the peninsula and it was supplied with the electricity via the local power plants, Russian diesel generators and power bridge from Russian region Kuban to the peninsula.
Power engineers supported the activists of Crimean “food blockade” and suspended electricity supplying to the occupied peninsula through Melitopol – Dzhankoi line on October 11.
On September 24, the Crimean Tatars started the “food blockade” action in Crimea in connection with the annexation of peninsula by Russian Federation.
According to the Mejlis leader Refat Chubarov, blockade of the peninsula annexed by Russian Federation will make the international community consider the de-occupation issue on the high international level.
The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko appealed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande to urge Putin to release the cyborg during the Normandy Format meeting on October 2, 2015.
However, 18 attempts were needed to free him after the 4 months of captivity.
40-year-old military intelligence officer, often called the №1 Cyborg, fought in Donetsk airport for one month. He was among the last Ukrainian servicemen to withdraw from the airport, suffering numerous severe wounds.
Ukraine has been elected as a new, non-permanent, member of the UN Security Council for the year 2016-2017.
The move did not come as a suprise, with five seats being contested by five nations. However Ukraine’s new position is likely to add to tensions with Russia, which is a permanent Security Council member and had reportedly been campaigning against Ukraine joining the council.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, who traveled to New York to campaign for his country’s election, said that Ukraine has a broader global agenda but that its tone with Russia will “definitely not be conciliatory.”
Power egineers supported the protesters of food blockade and stopped supplying electricity to the occupied peninsula through the Melitopol – Dzhankoi line.
“Goods cannot be delivered to the invaders. And electricity is also a product. According to the UN rules, occupiers must provide the occupied territory with all the necessary things. We, in turns, will work on the de-occupation”, – stated the deputy chief of the civil initiative on the Crimean blockade staff Izet Hdanov.
As known, Crimean Tatar activists have begun an indefinite action to block freight transport with products and goods from the Kherson region heading for Crimea. The leader of the Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Dzhemilev said that the aim of the blockade was to draw attention to the numerous violations of human rights in Crimea.
The initiators of the blockade believe that Ukrainian companies have to stop trade relations with the Crimea since the peninsula was occupied by the Russian Federation. According to the organizers, they will not stop the blockade until their demands are met: the release of political prisoners, cessation of pressure on the independent media, unimpeded access for international observers to the peninsula, the cessation of repressions against the Crimean Tatars.
Mejlis leader Refat Chubarov said that the campaign would bring the issue of de-occupation to the high international level.
As the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said, without elections in the occupied territories of Donbass political settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine is impossible.
“As a president, I need understanding and support of the Ukrainian parliament. Such as when making draft amendments to the Constitution and the Law on Special aspects of local government in some areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, “- said Poroshenko.
He added that “without Verkhovna Rada decision there will be no elections, and without elections in the occupied territories political settlement will come to a dead end.”
Today ATO forces under the control of the OSCE SMM observers have started second stage of the first phase of withdrawing weapons from the delimitation line caliber less than 100 millimeters. Today artillery is being removed at a distance determined by the Minsk agreements.
Ukrainian side has already withdrawn from the delimitation line all the tanks to a distance of 15 kilometers.
The leaders of terrorist organizations “LPR” and “DPR” reported that they would not hold fake elections, scheduled for November 1 and October 18.
The leaders of the militants said they will hold their fake elections next year.
In Luhansk region began the withdrawal of armored vehicles and weapons of caliber under 100 mm from the boundary line.
To execute the additions to Minsk agreements the ATO Staff is granted 14 days.
During the “Normandy format” negotiations in Paris on October 2, special attention was paid to tackling humanitarian problems, withdrawal of weapons less than 100 mm and providing SMM OSCE observers free access to all parts of the Ukrainian-Russian border.
During the negotiations Russia tried to force the need to adopt new laws on amnesty, special governing and the elections in Donbass, but failed to convince other sides.
New mobile radar systems will help Ukrainian military to detect the launch of enemy missiles and artillery shells.
In 75% of cases the cause of Ukrainian losses is rocket and artillery shelling by the enemy.
Dzerzhinskyi district court sentenced Major of the Russian Federation Volodymyr Starkov with 14 years imprisonment with confiscation of property.
“Ukrainian court found Major Starkov entirely guilty” – added Matios.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg signed the agreement on the status of NATO mission to Ukraine.
For the first time during the year and a half of the conflict in Donbas not a single shot was fired and there have been no casualties for over a day, as stated by the President Petro Poroshenko.
MEPs in Strasbourg on Thursday adopted a resolution on Russia to release Eston Kohver (imprisoned Estonian officer), Oleh Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko.
The draft of the document was prepared by five consolidated political groups in the EU legislature. The debate and the vote passed on the plenary session devoted to violations of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, reports “Ukrinform”.
“The European Parliament strongly condemns the illegal arrests and sentences to Oleh Sentsov and Alexander Kolchenko and urges the Russian Federation to immediately release them and ensure their safe return to Ukraine”, – is stated in the resolution.
The mission of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE / ODIHR) will not take part in monitoring the so-called “elections” to be held under the control of pro-Russian militants in the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
OSCE representative to the Trilateral contact group Martin Sajdik said that during the meeting in Minsk the negotiators expressed their intention to provide long-term ceasefire in the Donbas from 1 September.
“The Tripartite contact group considers it necessary to reach a lasting ceasefire along the contact line as a practical step in ensuring that Minsk agreements are fulfilled”, – said Sajdik on Wednesday, 26 August, after a meeting of the Trilateral contact group in Minsk.
North Caucasus Military Court in Rostov announced verdict in the case of Oleg Sentsov and Alexander Kolchenko. Sentsov is sentenced to 20 years in prison of strict regime and Kolchenko – 10 years for multiple charges.
The prosecutor demanded 23 years in strict regime prison for Sentsov and 12 years for Kolchenko. After verdict had been delivered, Koltchenko and Sentsov started singing Ukrainian anthem.
The Cabinet of Ministers at a meeting on 12 August approved a second package of sanctions against Russia.
“The Cabinet of Ministers decides to approve a new, comprehensive package of sanctions against the Russian Federation and sends it to the NSDC,” – said Yatsenyuk.
The government proposes to apply sanctions against 1,124 individuals and 156 legal entities.
Dutch prosecutors have said for the first time that they have found possible parts of a BUK missile system at the site in eastern Ukraine where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was brought down last year.
Prosecutors said in a statement that the parts “are of particular interest to the criminal investigation as they can possibly provide more information about who was involved in the crash of MH17.”
Prosecutors have previously said they are treating a missile strike as the most likely scenario, but Tuesday’s announcement was the first time they have described possible physical evidence of a missile.
10 August, around 03.25 a.m. after a massive artillery preparation terrorist groups of up to battalion tactical group supported by 10 tanks, 10 infantry fighting vehicles and other equipment went on the attack on a stronghold of the 72-th separate mechanized brigade near Starohnativka (Donetsk region).
Minister of Defense of Ukraine and the Chief of General Staff – Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine immediately reported this to the President of Ukraine and informed the OSCE representatives, after which it was decided to deploy Ukrainian artillery on designated positions.
Through organized measures, determined and professional actions of the servicemen of 72th separate mechanized brigade the enemy was stopped and rebuffed to 2-3 kilometers.
Ukrainian units have captured key heights that had been previously controlled by terrorist groups.
In Donetsk, on the night of 9 August, near the office of the OSCE SMM four cars belonging to the organization were burned.
That’s not the first attack on OSCE SMM in the occupied territories – in July in Donetsk during the meeting unknown attackers painted with aerosol paint 30 cars of the OSCE and other international organizations. Also militants were repeatedly reported to not allow observers in certain areas.
Constitutional Court approved amendments to the Constitution on decentralization.
The Constitutional Court received the application from the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for the opinion on the bill on amending the Constitution of Ukraine in terms of decentralization.
The bill provides more powers for regions, their financial independence and the special status of the occupied territories.
Russia vetoed UN Security Council resolution to establish International Tribunal for MH17
The Security Council of the United Nations has not adopted a draft resolution on the creation of an international tribunal to investigate accident of Boeing-777 en route MH17.
11 members of the meeting voted for the creation of the tribunal, three members abstained from voting (China, Angola, Venezuela), Russia voted against.
The document was vetoed due to the fact that Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Militant detained by the SSU on Sunday, 26 July, in Donbas turns out to be an officer of Russia’s Armed Forces.
According to the SSU, he is Russia’s Armed Forces Major Vladimir Starkov, born in 1978, resident of the Khabarovsk Territory, who is currently in active military service in one of the military units of Novocherkassk, Rostov region. His military position is chief of missile and artillery weapons, personal number – F-549345.
Starkov immediately after his arrest said that he was a Russian citizen and belonged to Russia’s regular army.
Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Resolution “On appointing regular elections of deputies of local councils and village, town and city chairmen in 2015”.
This was reported at the official website of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
The Resolution has appointed local elections on Sunday, 25 October, 2015. At the same time, local elections in the temporarily occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol are not scheduled. Similarly, local elections will not take place in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, being areas that are recognized as temporarily occupied.
OSCE SMM mandate was extended until 21 March 2016.
“I want to inform you on the increase in our mission. This week several new international observers have joined us. And now we have 504 international observers, together with other international staff. Plus 234 Ukrainian employees. We now include about 800 workers in general,”- said deputy head of the OSCE SMM Alexander Hug.
Malaysia circulated a draft UN resolution on establishing an international tribunal that it said would guarantee an independent trial for those behind the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine.
A draft resolution calls for establishing the tribunal under chapter 7 of the UN charter, which means that the court’s efforts to prosecute those responsible could be enforced by sanctions.
The text describes the downing of the plane as “a threat to international peace and security”.
Ukraine supported the establishment of the tribunal, several Russian politicians opposed the idea. Several countries,including China, France, Britain and others, supported the creation of international tribunal on the MH17 case.
7 July, an electronic passage system at checkpoints on the clash line in ATO area started functioning in test mode.
NSDC Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov together with the heads of SSU anti-terrorist center, State Border Guard Service and Interior Ministry visited the checkpoint in ATO area, where a new electronic system of admission is tested. This checkpoint is located in the village Zaitseve, is working in the new regime, ie to get a permits there is no need to contact with those providing the permits.
The applications are checked electronically, and citizens who have been electronically checked, can cross checkpoints with only a passport of citizen of Ukraine.
“The new access control system in ATO area is designed to reduce the time and improve the quality of inspections and eliminate corruption in the issuance of permits and allows to get rid of the queues at checkpoints” – said the Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council.
Recall that the day before the site of the Security Service of Ukraine allowing to apply for a permit was launched.
On 2 July, the Russian side informed about the decision of management of particular areas of Donetsk region to withdraw its forces from Shyrokyne of Donetsk region.
“The cynicism of the situation lies in the fact that before the next negotiations in Minsk Russia-backed militants deliberately decided to return Ukrainians destroyed and deserted Shyrokyne, positioning this decision as compliance with Minsk agreements”, – said Major-General Andrii Taran.
Residential buildings in the city are destroyed, as well as public communications, unexploded mines set up by the terrorists lay everywhere. Earlier, over thousand inhabitants lived there. Now, no civilians remaining there. It takes a long time and many resources to return destroyed town to normal life.
Canada introduced additional economic sanctions against 14 Russian companies and three individuals.
“Until there is real peace, until occupying forces are withdrawn, and until Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty is restored, there must be ongoing consequences for President Putin’s regime. Our Government is therefore announcing additional sanctions and travel bans against Russian individuals, and economic sanctions against Russian entities, as well as a Crimean import/export ban”, – said Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
The Council of the EU approved extension of economic sanctions against Russia until the end of the year.
As stated by the Council’s press office, the decision was taken on Monday at the Council’s meeting in Luxembourg. No further details are yet available.
OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić appointed Ambassador Martin Sajdik (Austria) as his new Special Representative in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group. He follows Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini (Switzerland) who, having fulfilled this assignment for one year, expressed her wish to step down.
On 19 June, Council of the European Union prolonged the restrictive measures introduced by EU as a response to the illegal annexation of Crimean peninsula and Sevastopol city until 23 June 2016.
The sanctions include imports of products from Crimea or Sevastopol into the EU; investment in Crimea or Sevastopol; tourism services, meaning that no European cruise ships can call at ports in the Crimean peninsula; exports of certain goods and technologies to Crimea, particularly, in the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors.
In “DNR”-controlled Donetsk near the premises of regional administration the residents of Oktiabrske hold an anti-militant rally.
Eyewitnesses reported that the residents of Oktiabrske blocked Artema street.
“There are no common requirements there. Someone calls to remove heavy armaments from the residential areas, another call for an offensive against Ukrainian army “- commented on the situation journalist Andriy Borodulin, who is currently at the scene, via Twitter.
Unofficial delegation led by Zafer Uskul, sent to the occupied peninsula by Turkey to examine human rights violations.
The delegation discovered many human rights violations related to freedom of speech, judicial matters, education, inviolability of property and housing in Crimea.
The main points of the report are “Problems with housing and citizenship”, “Tatar language – official only on paper,” “Confiscated property of Mejlis and funds”, “Banning the media, “Searches of homes, mosques and madrasahs”, “investigation of missing and abducted Tatars is ineffective”,”No plan to solve problems.”
As stated in the report, the President of Turkey Radzhyp Tayyip Erdogan delivered a report on human rights to President Vladimir Putin.
Mission of Ukraine to the Council of Europe informed the Secretary General of suspension of certain obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights in the temporarily occupied territories.
This procedure is allowed by the Convention, and the rules of the Council of Europe and allows Ukraine to reduce the number of decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, based in Strasbourg, on a violation of the Convention by Ukraine.
Ukraine’s statement notes that the restrictions relate to the territory of anti-terrorist operation.
“The Russian Federation, which have in fact occupied and now controls particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, is fully responsible for securing human rights in these territories” – reads the statement.
The statement also noted that a military operation conducted by Ukrainian authorities is Ukraine’s inalienable right for the protection against armed aggression
Illegal armed groups of “DNR” terrorist organization on June 3, about 4:00 a.m. started an offensive in Donetsk region using tanks and self-propelled artillery.
As of June 4, ATO Forces repelled the attack. Marinka was mopped up. As a result of fights, Russian-militant forces suffered heavy losses. There are dozens of destroyed buildings in the city.
The new decree prohibits disclosure of all information about loss of Russian troops “during special operations” in time of peace.
Amnesty International said that the decree is a blatant attack on freedom of speech, as well as hinted that Putin tried to hide losses incurred by the Russian army in Ukraine.
Ukrainian side liberated from the militants’ captivity the leader of 90th battalion of 81st brigade Oleh Kuzminykh, who had defended the Donetsk airport. He remained in captivity since January 20.
The Security Service of Ukraine published a large report, containing proofs of crimes of Russian servicemen on the territory of Ukraine. These proofs were based on intelligence data and evidence of two Russian GRU soldiers, detained during in Shchastia.
Ukrainian soldiers captured two Russian GRU officers near Shchastia in Donbas. These are servicemen of 3rd brigade of special ops, permanently located in Tolyatti. During the combat, these soldiers were wounded. They were sent to hospital in Kyiv.
Russians gave evidence supporting the fact that active servicemen of Russian Federation are present in ATO zone.
During the meeting in Aachen the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and President of the European Council Donald Tusk have coordinated their actions on de-escalation of the situation in Donbas, reports the President’s press service.
The parties have praised the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Summit’s decision to send the EU assessment mission to Donbas, which starts its work today, on May 14.
In Moscow was presented a report “Putin. The war”, prepared in late February by the associates of murdered Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov based on the materials he had managed to collect.
In particular, the report consists of 12 chapters describing various aspects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In the evening of May 2, the remains of seven victims of MH17 disaster arrived in the city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands. As of today, all remains of MH17 victims have been found. The representative of the group of international experts Pieter Jaap Aalbersberg said that this search mission over is over.
Russia-occupied Crimea is among top ten worst countries and territories in the world in terms of press freedom according to the data published in the report of Freedom House nongovernmental organization. The annexed peninsula appears on this list along with Belarus, Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
On April 27, 2015 at NATO Headquarters an Agreement on Support Cooperation between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the NATO Support and Procurement Organization was signed.
Signing of this international agreement creates a legal framework for practical cooperation between Ukraine and NATO in the framework of trust funds on reform of logistics and standardization of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the physical rehabilitation of soldiers wounded in anti-terrorist operations in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
In Shyrokyne of Donetsk region the head of the Ukrainian delegation to the Joint Center for control and coordination of the ceasefire Major General Andriy Taran presented to Deputy Head of the OSCE SMM Alexandr Khuh and the representative of Armed Forces of the Russian Federation proposals of Ukrainian side on the complex measures for the demilitarization of Shyrokyne zone.
Plan for the demilitarization of Shyrokyne, in particular, provides a complete ceasefire, withdrawal of military forces to certain distance, setting webcams and Ukrainian experts demining village and surrounding area.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday reported on Russia’s large military presence on the border with Ukraine and on stepping up of the forces. In his opinion, this fact enables militants to launch a new offensive.
According to Stoltenberg, Russia has substantially stepped up supplies to the rebels, as well as providing them with advanced training and equipment like drones, despite a cease-fire. According to his information, more than 1,000 pieces of Russian military equipment have been moved over the past month, including tanks, artillery and air defense units.
Stoltenberg said the reported Russian moves undermine the cease-fire declared in eastern Ukraine and violate the Minsk agreements entered into by Moscow.
“Russia has not fulfilled any of her responsibilities under Minsk agreements, and its real actions are aimed at disrupting these agreements and continuation of the aggression against Ukraine,” – stated Yevhen Perebyinis, MFA spokesman during a briefing.
“Russia and illegal armed groups don’t withdraw heavy armaments from the clash line, and Russian claims on this issue are not confirmed by the OSCE,” – said Perebyinis, pointing out that the militants continue attacking Ukrainian positions with mortars, including 120mm ones, which are banned by the Minsk agreements.
Verkhovna Rada adopted a resolution on the statement on “The resistance to Russian armed aggression and overcoming its consequences” (№ 2332) by a positive vote 259 of 316 MPs registered in the session hall.
The declaration introduces the official date of commencement of Russian aggression against Ukraine – February 20, 2014.
Militants have turned Luhansk into one big military camp. The repair and maintenance base is being moved from Donetsk towards Makiyivka. This was stated by the manager of the “Information resistance” group, Ukraine’s MP Dmytro Timchuk through Facebook.
According to Timchuk, six large groups of total amount of 5.5 – 6 thousand people is stationed in this locality.Accumulation of militants’ artillery is observed south of Luhansk, he reports.
Meanwhile, according to “Information resistance”, militants eliminate their temporary maintenance and repair base for armoured vehicles in industrial zone of Donetsk to move it towards Makiyivka, farther from the ‘front line’.
About 300 paratroopers, from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, arrived at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center, April 14 – 15, to begin a six-month training rotation with Ukrainian national guard forces, reported the official homepage of the US Army.
The training, known as Fearless Guardian, is for the newly-formed national guard under the congressionally-approved Global Contingency Security Fund. Under the program, the United States will begin training three battalions of Ukrainian troops during the six-month period.
Two companies, from the brigade and a battalion staff, will train two Ukrainian national guard companies and their respective staff in each of the three two-month training rotations. Soldiers and paratroopers will focus on building capacity with the newly established national guard units.
Russians are working around the clock to restore the storage of nuclear weapons in the Kyzyltash tract near Yalta, informs Mustafa Dzhemilev, the leader of the Crimean Tatar people.He adds that occupation Russian authorities are rapidly developing military sphere on the peninsula.
As of April 10, 2015 due to a military conflict in the Donbas 1 million 213 thousand Ukrainians were forced to change their place of residence within Ukraine. The most active migration was recorded from areas where the fighting continues, namely the Donetsk region – 438.2 thousand people moved from there.
Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the “Norman Quartet” – Ukraine, Germany, France and Russia – held a five-hour talks in Berlin. Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk told them to be “very hard”.
After the meeting a statement was published where Foreign Ministers urged the contact group to agree on a schedule of withdrawal of armaments with caliber under 100mm and tanks from the clash line in the Donbas. In addition, the negotiators urged all parties to participate in the verification process.
The Foreign Ministers of Ukraine, Germany, France and Russia noted that the situation in the Donbas remains tense due to numerous violations of the ceasefire.
Pro-Russian militants performed mass shelling at Pisky (Donetsk region) from several directions. The militants shelled ATO positions with self-propelled guns, mortars (mostly 122mm ones), heavy machine guns. Also nemy attacks were supported by tanks. Ukrainian soldiers jokingly said that all that was missing was “Grad” MRLS’ fire.
Servicemen of special purpose battalion “Sich” stressed that “these battles in Pisky are almost like were at winter, before the truce.” In addition, enemy shelling results in a large number of reported injuries.
Pro-Russian illegal armed groups in the Donbas shelled Novotoshkivka and 29th ATO chekpoint in the Luhansk region with BM-21 “Grad” MRLS. The militants fired 40 rockets at 29th checkpoint, and 20 more at the outskirts of Novotoshkivka.
Russia-backed militants conduct consistent attempts of dragging Ukrainian troops in armed conflict to breach the integrity of the Ukrainian state.
“LAZ” shuttle bus, transporting people from Artemivsk to Gorlivka, trips a mine attempting to bypass off-the-highway a stationary checkpoint near Mayorsk, Donetsk region.
4 people were killed and 20 injured as a result of the tragic incident. The bus driver was not injured, thus a criminal proceeding under Part 2 Article 119 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (murder of two or more persons by negligence) was opened against him.
According to ATO press center, the bus hit a mine planted by Russia-backed militants.
A documentary on the occupation of the Crimea by Russia “Crimea: The Way Back Home”, in which Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted he were guiding the annexation of the peninsula, was broadcast on “Russia 1” TV Channel. Russian President acknowledged that special units of Russia’s Military Intelligence were sent to the Crimea to disarm Ukrainian military.
Putin also confessed that he was even ready to use nuclear weapons should the West try and oppose the annexation of Crimea.
50 mercenaries to fight against Ukraine during the cease-fire were seen off in triumph in Ekaterinburg.
According to the head of the Sverdlovsk Fund of veterans of Special Forces, Vladimir Efimov, who supervisors dispatch of fighters to the East Ukraine, mercenaries will serve within the detachment “Prizrak” of Oleksii Mozgovyi in Luhansk region.
Ukrainian border guards registered fresh shelling of border positions and intensified aerial reconnaissance in the Donbas by pro-Russian fighters. In particular, for the first time over three weeks after the Minsk agreements, the border checkpoint near Mayorske was fired with small arms. There were no injuries.
After signing the Minsk agreements pro-Russian militants intensified activity on Donetsk area. Avdiivka, Opytne, Pisky and Shyroke come under sporadic fire of artillery and tanks. The illegal armed groups used multiple rocket launchers, anti-aircraft mounts, artillery, mortars, small arms and Grads.
In breach of the peace agreements, militants were using 120-mm mortars. According to the Minsk arrangements, militants must have relocated this deadly weapon from the clash line at the agreed distance long before.
Since the beginning of the ceasefire on February 15, as of the morning of March 10, 64 soldiers have been killed.
In accordance with the Minsk aggrement, Armed Forces of Ukraine began to withdraw heavy weapons from the clash line in the ATO zone. In particular, Ukraine began relocation of 100-millimeter guns. Also, BM-21 Grads and 2S3 Akatsiya mounts were disengaged from the front line.
During the Unity March on the anniversary of the Revolution of Dignity in Kharkiv a terrorist attack killed four people and injured nine. Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor opened a criminal proceeding into the explosion. The Security Service of Ukraine announced the start of the anti-terrorist operation in the city. According to the SSU, 4 suspects were detained and a RPO-A “Shmel” seized. The detainees were members of an undercover terrorist group “Kharkov guerrillas”. Terrorists were going to perform more terrorist attacks on February 22, including attacks on clubs and shopping centers.
After signing the Minsk agreements pro-Russian militants began regular firings and massive attacks on the Debaltseve sector. Rebels fired both ATO forces and the town Debaltseve itself. Militants attempted to surround the town and entrap Ukrainian military. They began actively redeploy large groups of armed rebels and Russian mercenaries, equipment and weapons. As of February 18, militants committed about 25 tanks, 35 armored fighting vehicles, 40 artillery pieces and receiver 12 MLRs units to the battle. With the help of that concentrated force, illegal armed groups managed to get into the city and engage in combat in the eastern and central parts of the town. Ukrainian troops shot down a BMP-2 and a BTR-70. Due to the operational environment in the field Ukrainian soldiers began to conduct a planned and organized retreat from Debaltsevo.
According to the official data, only while exiting Debaltsevo 19 soldiers were killed, 135 wounded. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko mentioned 66 Ukrainian soldiers killed, more than 300 people wounded during the attack on the town by militants.
US Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power said that 500 bodies of civilians, died due to militants’ attacks, were found in Debaltseve.
President Poroshenko of Ukraine, President Hollande of France, President Putin of Russia and Chancellor Merkel of Germany held talks in Minsk to secure peace in Donbass. Leaders of the Normandy Four agreed to a cease-fire, exchange hostages and withdrawal of troops in Donbass.
Terrorists shelled Mariupol leaving 31 civilians dead and over 100 wounded. A captured artillery fire corrector gave evidence that shelling had been carried out by a Russian artillery battery. SBU published an intercepted telephone conversation between terrorist leaders of the so called DNR who discussed plans to shell Mariupol.
Terrorist fighters shelled a Ukrainian checkpoint near Volnovakha while a commuter bus was there. The fire was from Dokuchaevsk. The attack took lives of 12 civilians. On Jan. 14, a video showing the shelling was published.
Talks in Minsk led to a ceasefire agreement in Eastern Ukraine worked out and signed by Taliavini, an OSCE representative, Kuchma, Ukraine’s second President, Zurabov, Russian Ambassador to Ukraine, Zakharchenko of the self-proclaimed DNR and Plotnitsky of the self-proclaimed LNR. The ceasefire started at 18:00 on Sept. 5. However, soon the terrorists violated the agreement and the fire re-started.
On Aug. 18, Ukrainian army entered Ilovaysk and took most of the city under its control. However, on Aug. 28 Russian troops invaded into Ukraine, and Ukrainian soldiers were surrounded in Ilovaysk. On Aug. 29, President Putin addressed the terrorist fighters to open a humanitarian corridor for the surrounded Ukrainian troops. Terrorists agreed. On Aug. 30, while trying to leave the city in several organized columns the Ukrainian troops were immediately shot down by the terrorists. According to Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense several hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers were killed, wounded or captured.
Ukraine’s Armed Forces took control of Savur Mohyla, a strategic point at the border of Luhansk, Donetsk oblasts of Ukraine and Rostov oblast of Russia. The point was previously used by terrorists to shell Ukrainian positions and towns in the vicinity. In September, volunteers uncovered 18 corpses with signs of tortures identified as Ukrainian soldiers died in clashes with the terrorists. A common grave containing at least 5 corpses was also found in the area.
Near Torez in Donetsk oblast Russia-backed terrorists shot down a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala-Lumpur and carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew members. All died in the air crash. Preliminary investigation shows that the act of terror was carried out by a BUK rocket launcher. By its toll of victims this tragedy is the largest in Ukraine’s history and the world’s second largest after 9/11 terrorist attacks. The act of terror lead to a new wave of sanctions imposed by the Western powers on Russia.
President Poroshenko of Ukraine reported one Ukrainian soldier killed and 7 wounded despite the declared ceasefire. Terrorists shot down a MI-8 helicopter with 9 Ukrainian soldiers on board.
Near Metallist, terrorists captured Nadiya Savchenko, a Ukrainian pilot who was then illegally moved to Russia and kept in a detention prison in Voronezh. Without any proof, she was accused of killing Russian journalists.
President Poroshenko proposes Ukraine’s Council for National Security and Defense to approve his peace plan to settle the situation in the Eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine’s military transport airlifter Il-76 carrying 40 troopers from Dnipropetrovsk special military forces and 9 crew members was shot down during its landing in Luhansk airport with a rocket launcher and heavy machine gun. The terror attack left all people on board dead.
Ukrainian Defense and Law-Enforcement forces and terrorist fighters of DNR launched a fight for the Donetsk International Airport. Several special forces units and volunteers from the Right Sector participated in the fight. The defense of the airport lasted for several months. Ukrainian defenders were soon nicknamed cyborgs. This name was first coined by a terrorist attacker trying to explain why heavily-armed Russia-backed fighters could not win over Ukrainians defending the airport. In just one day, May 26, Ukrainian cyborgs killed over 100 attacking terrorists.
Armed with small arms, antitank mortars, machine guns, rocket launchers, hand grenades fighters from the DNR terror group attacked a checkpoint held by Ukraine’s 51th Infantry Brigade near Volnovakha leaving18 Ukrainian soldiers killed and 32 wounded.
In violation of Ukraine’s Constitution and international law, Russia-backed rebels held fake referendums on independence of so-called DNR and LNR. Referendums have not been recognized either by Ukraine or by Russia itself or by international community, in general.
Around 60 militants made several attempts to seize a local police building in Mariupol resulting in severe firing. One Ukrainian soldier and about 20 rebel fighters were killed
A clash between football fans and pro-Russian activists followed by a fire in the Trade Union House resulted in 48 people being killed. SBU named Russian security service as organizers of the tragedy.
A group of pro-Russian militants seized a SBU building in Luhansk and proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic.
Ukraine’s Acting President Turchinov made public a decision by the Ukrainian Council for National Security and Defense to launch a full-scale anti-terror operation which would involve the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
“Little green men” turned up in the Eastern Ukraine. Armed people in camouflage uniforms seized police stations and placed checkpoints in several localities in the East of Ukraine. Soon they began distributing arms among the protesters.
Having seized a local government building, pro-Russian separatists proclaimed a “Donetsk People’s Republic”.
Armed pro-Russian separatists took over a number of government buildings in Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv oblasts.
UN General Assembly supported Ukraine’s territorial integrity and declaring Crimea and Sevastopol as its integral parts. 100 out of 194 countries voted for the respective resolution with 11 countries voted against and 58 abstained.
Crimea was official annexed. Putin and three separatists from Crimea Konstantinov, Aksyonov and Chaly signed in Kremlin an agreement by which Crimea was to become part of Russia.
In his speech Putin hinted that Crimea is just the beginning as all Ukraine’s South and East historically belongs, in his view, to Russia.
A referendum on its status was held in Crimea under a de-facto occupation by Russia. Ukraine’s Acting President Turchinov and Ukrainian Constitutional Court deemed the referendum illegitimate and anti-constitutional. Kyiv, however, was unable to change the situation in the peninsular. With a boycott from the Crimean Tatars and a considerable military presence of Russia, 1,2 million people (over 80% of voters) allegedly cast their votes. 96.77% of votes were claimed to be for joining Russia as its federal territory.
President Putin requested the Russian upper house of Parliament to deploy Russian troops in Ukraine. The Parliament immediately approved the request.
People in military uniforms without insignia, or ‘little green man’ as they were nicknamed, took hold of a parliament house in Simferopol. The little green men were further identified as a special force unit of the Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate.
Forced to work under a barrel of guns local deputies sacked the Crimean Government of Anatoly Mohylyov and appointed Serhiy Aksyonov, a leader of Russkoye Edinstvo (Russian Unity) Party as new Prime Minister. The Parliament also set forth a referendum on May 25. Aksyonav requested Putin ‘to provide help’
Russkoye Edinstvo (Russian Unity), Russkiy Block (Russian Block) Parties and Cossack organizations convened their sympathizers by the Crimean Parliament for a non-stop demonstration demanding a referendum for Crimean to leave Ukraine. The participants voted non-confidence for the State Administration of Sevastopol and, in breach of all legal procedures, elected a Russian citizen, Oleksiy Chaly, as city’s new mayor.