Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 3 June, 2014, 5:00 PM Kyiv time

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing

3 June, 2014, 5:00 PM Kyiv time


1. Kremlin-backed violence in Eastern Ukraine

The active phase of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) in Donetsk and Luhansk continues. The Ukraine State Border Service reports that outside the Luhansk border headquarters where yesterday battles took place between Kremlin-backed armed extremists and Ukrainian border troops, armed extremists are once again massing, “including Russian so-called ‘Cossacks.’” They are armed with heavy weapons. The Ministry of Internal Affairs has asked that all civilians in the cities of Slovyansk, Kramatorsk, and Krasnyi Lyman stay indoors and not approach places where armed extremists are located. Extremist-controlled roadblocks in Semenivka district have been destroyed by ATO forces. In Luhansk city, on 2 June there was an explosion at the Luhansk oblast state administration building, which resulted in at least 8 deaths. According to the Ukrainian armed forces, the explosion was caused by a shoulder-launched surface to air missile, fired from the State Security headquarters, which is under the control of armed Kremlin-backed extremists.

2. NATO: “Russia has threatened its neighbours, and used force against them”

On 2 June, a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council was held, ahead of meetings of NATO defense ministers being held today. NATO Secretary General A.F. Rasmussen stated that NATO allies will never accept the armed annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, and called on Russia “to stop the flow of arms and fighters into Ukraine. To condemn armed separatists and use its influence for the freeing of OSCE monitors taken hostage… Russia has not kept its pledges.  Russia has threatened its neighbours, and used force against them.  It has not respected the territorial integrity or political independence of other countries.”

3. Obama: costs on Russia can escalate if it continues to destabilize

US President B. Obama stated that economic costs to Russia have been prepared and can escalate “if in fact we continue to see Russia actively destabilizing one of its neighbors in the way that we’ve seen of late.” US State Department Spokesperson J. Psaki, responding to the Russian Federation’s proposed UN Security Council Resolution on Ukraine (calling for an end to the anti-terrorist operation), stated that it is “hypocritical of the Russian leadership to call for an end to violence and the creation of humanitarian corridors when, at the same time, armed irregular forces are entering Ukraine from Russia, weapons are being brought illegally from Russia into Ukraine, Russian-backed separatists are attacking new targets and holding OSCE monitoring teams hostage, and Russia is doing nothing to stop these activities. So if they are going to call for or would support a reduction in tensions and a de-escalation, it would be more effective for them to end those activities.”

4. Parliament removes immunity from O. Tsiarov, gives consent for his arrest

Ukraine’s Parliament removed immunity from prosecution from Party of Regions MP Oleh Tsiarov, and gave consent for his arrest. Tsiarov faces charges of purposefully using public statements to call for the violent overthrow of authority and for the overthrow of the constitutional order in Ukraine. The General Prosecutor of Ukraine stated that they have submitted a request to Parliament to remove immunity from prosecution from former deputy speaker I. Kaletnik, and V. Oliynyk, for their role in falsifying the parliamentary vote “passing” the January 16, 2014 “dictatorship” laws, which led directly to an outbreak of violence during the Maidan protests.

5. Parliament sets inauguration of new President for 7 June

Petro Poroshenko will be inaugurated as the new President of Ukraine on 7 June at 10AM Kyiv time in Ukraine’s parliament. On 2 June, the Central Election Commission of Ukraine announced the official results of the 25 Мау election, in which Poroshenko gained 54.7 % of the popular vote.

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