Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 5 June, 2014, 7:00 PM Kyiv time

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing

5 June, 2014, 7:00 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 State Border Service of Ukraine reports that at the Marynivka, Donetsk oblast border station, 4 trucks and 3 microbuses carrying Kremlin-backed armed extremists attacked the border point. As of 4:50 Kyiv time, one of the trucks has been hit and a heavy machine gun destroyed. An ammunition storage site in Slovyansk, Donetsk oblast, used by Kremlin-backed armed extremists has been destroyed by ATO forces. The State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) released a taped phone conversation in which a leader of a Russian cossack “Vsevelyka donska armiya” appears to be discussing the detention of the OSCE monitors taken hostage on 29 May. The General Prosecutor of Ukraine announced on 4 June that a criminal case has been opened for the murder of an 18-year old woman in Shakhtarsk at a roadblock controlled by armed extremists, representatives of the so-called “Donetsk Peoples’ Republic.” According to media reports, as of 4:30 PM Kyiv time, several armored personnel carriers and trucks of Kremlin-backed armed extremists are moving in the direction of Amvrossiykva, near the Donetsk oblast border toward Russia.

2. Video showing extremists apparently executing 2 hostages

A video has appeared which shows the leader of the Kremlin-backed separatists in Horlivka, Donetsk oblast – I. Bezrel, aka “Bis,” a citizen of the Russian Federation, apparently executing two hostages, who he states are officers of the SBU, in retaliation for the Ukrainian government’s unwillingness to release what Bezrel says is “his person.” Whether the execution is real has not been confirmed. In the video Berzel threatens to continue executing hostages until “his person” is released. Acting President O. Turchynov stated that the authorities do not negotiate with terrorists, and that “the responsibility for the bloody crimes of citizen of the Russian Federation Bezrel is also on the political leadership of Russia, which continues to arm and support bloody terror in eastern Ukraine.”

3. G7 Statement on Ukraine

Leaders of the G7 met in Brussels on June 4-5. The G7 reiterated their commitment to supporting Ukraine’s economic development, sovereignty and territorial integrity. They stated: “We are united in condemning the Russian Federation’s continuing violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, and actions to de-stabilize eastern Ukraine are unacceptable and must stop. These actions violate fundamental principles of international law and should be a concern for all nations. We urge the Russian Federation to recognize the results of the election, complete the withdrawal of its military forces on the border with Ukraine, stop the flow of weapons and militants across the border and to exercise its influence among armed separatists to lay down their weapons and renounce violence. They also stated that “We stand ready to intensify targeted sanctions and to implement significant additional restrictive measures to impose further costs on Russia should events so require.”

4. Ministry of Foreign Affairs on detainment of Ukrainian filmmaker

On 11 May, Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov was detained by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in occupied Crimea and taken to Moscow on charges of supposedly organizing terrorist acts; his lawyer has stated that he has been beaten and tortured in an effort to obtain a confession from him. Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs demanded that Sentsov and other citizens of Ukraine be released, and that “absurd and meaningless accusations are another example of the anti-Ukrainian hysteria developed in Russia, which on the territory of temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea ‘materializes’ in brutal repressions against all those who do not wish to accept Russian aggression.”


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