Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 23 May 2014, 7PM Kyiv time

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing

23 May 2014, 7PM Kyiv time



1. Kremlin-backed “separatism” in Eastern Ukraine

The active phase of the anti-terrorism operation in Donetsk and Luhansk continues. During the night of 22-23 May, armed “separatists” attacked a Ukrainian armed forces convoy near Rubizhne, Luhansk oblast, killing one soldier and wounding three. According to the Ministry of Defense, almost 500 armed “separatists,” under cover of a human shield of civilians, attacked Ukrainian armed forces south of Rubizhne; the Ukrainian armed forces held their positions; the Ministry of Defense reported that over 20 armed “separatists” were killed and over 30 wounded. According to reports, near Karlivka, Donetsk oblast, one soldier of the Ukrainian Donbas paramilitary battalion was killed and 9 were wounded in a firefight with armed “separatists.” The Ministry of Defense stated that “in most cases, the Ukrainian military have had to deal with well-trained and armed militants, professional mercenaries.” Near Druzhivka, Donetsk oblast, armed “separatists” seized 4 cars of the Red Cross. The Central Election Commission announced that it will move four District Election Commissions (responsible for the regional administration of the election) in Donetsk city to the city airport, where they will be easier to guard effectively. The city council building in Torez, Donetsk oblast, has reportedly been successfully freed of armed “separatists.” In Severodonetsk, Luhansk oblast, Serhiy Samarsky, a city council deputy, has reportedly been kidnapped by armed “separatists.” The Independent Professional Miners’ Union have called on all miners to vote in the 25 May presidential election. The head of the SBU, V. Nalyvaychenko, stated that in the last 24 hours, 5 diversionary groups have been uncovered and pacified by Ukrainian forces.

2. State Security Service: Russian TV channels using 25th Frame Technology

The SBU presented evidence that Russian TV channels are using 25th frame technology for psychological impact on viewers. M. Ostapenko, the head of the SBU press service stated that the SBU has been analyzing the video materials of Russian news channels for two months; the SBU states that for example during coverage of the 2 May events in Odesa, nearly invisible inscriptions appear in the corner of the screen, stating that the people were killed by “Banderites” or that the National Guard are murderers. The SBU intends to take legal action against the broadcasters.

3. Committee of Voters: High possibility that elections won’t occur in some districts in eastern Ukraine

In their interim report on the upcoming presidential election, the Committee of Voters of Ukraine stated that there is a high possibility of the disruption of the electoral process because of the continued terrorist activity, threats, and abductions of commission members by armed “separatists” in 14 of 22 Districts in Donetsk oblasts, and that it is likely that in only 3 of 11 districts in Luhansk oblast will the election take place.

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