Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 6 June, 2014, 4:00 PM Kyiv time

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing

6 June, 2014, 4:00 PM Kyiv time



1. Kremlin-backed violence in Eastern Ukraine

The active phase of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) in Donetsk and Luhansk continues. Ukraine’s National Guard reports that Kremlin-backed extremists are firing 120mm mortar rounds from the territory of a Church in Slovyansk on checkpoints controlled by ATO forces. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, one Ukrainian serviceman was killed, and two seriously injured. The Ukraine State Border Service reports that 8 border crossings between Ukraine and the Russian Federation in Donetsk and Luhansk oblast have been closed to traffic from the Russian Federation. The battle between Ukrainian border guards and Kremlin-backed armed extremists at the border crossing Marynivka in Donetsk oblast has ended; 2 trucks and one armored personnel carrier used by the extremists have been destroyed, and according to reports some 15 extremists have been killed. The State Border Service reports that some of the extremists fled from the neutral zone around the border crossing into the Russian Federation. The Donetsk oblast State Administration reports that extremists representing the so-called Donetsk “Peoples’ Republic” seized Kalinin hospital; the patients have been evacuated.

2. Number of Refugees from Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts grows

Estimates on the number of people who have fled Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts due to Kremlin-backed violence in the region have reached into the tens of thousands. According to reports on the morning of 5 June, extremists representing the so-called Donetsk “Peoples’ Republic” prevented the arrival of a train that was supposed to evacuate some 450 orphans from the region to Odesa; however, by the evening, the train was allowed to evacuate the children, who according to reports, arrived in Odesa on 6 June. A headquarters for accepting refugees from Donetsk, Luhansk and occupied Crimea has been established in Dnipropetrovsk; the director of the headquarters, V. Shebanov, stated “Most often the people who arrive from the east are panicked. They are searching for refuge, peace and stability…When our fellow citizens are attacked, we cannot stand by.”

3. Klitschko sworn in as Kyiv Mayor

Vitaliy Klitschko was sworn in as mayor of Kyiv on 5 June. He received over 55% of the vote in the 25 May local elections.

4. Ukrainian PM: Economic part of EU Association Agreement should be signed as soon as possible

Speaking in Ukraine’s Parliament, PM A. Yatseniuk stated that the economic part of the Association Agreement with the European Union should be signed as soon as possible. “Our course to Europe is irreversible. This course is political, economic, legal, democratic. Because Ukraine in her values is a European state. And the signature of the Agreement is the first step for Ukraine to become a member of the EU.” Yatseniuk also stated that Parliament should complete the process of constitutional changes, which would include three main points – decentralization of authority from central organs to local organs; changes to the Budget and Tax codes, which would stimulate regional investment; and the removal from the General Prosecutor the functions of general oversight.

5. Ukraine’s President-elect Poroshenko has short meeting with Putin

Ukraine’s President-elect P. Poroshenko had a short meeting with Russian President V. Putin and German Chancellor A. Merkel in France ahead of commemorations of the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The substance of the discussion is unknown as of 3 PM Kyiv time.

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