#AceNewsServices – UKRAINE – DAILY – UPDATE – SUNDAY – MAY 12
Monday, May 12
The chief prosecutor of Crimea and Internet sensation Natalia Poklonskaya as well as her colleague from Sevastopol, Igor Shevchenko, have been banned entry to the European Union, as the bloc introduced Monday additional sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.
Among the other 13 people blacklisted by the EU, is the deputy head of the presidential administration, Vyacheslav Volodin, the Commander of airborne troops Vladimir Shamanov, State Duma deputy Vladimir Pligin, four Crimean administration chiefs and six pro-autonomy activists in eastern Ukraine, reports Itar-Tass. The sanctions also target two Crimean entities.
Kiev has applied to London for non-lethal military aid, the British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond has confirmed speaking in the House of Commons, as cited by Itar-Tass. He said the request was sent because of a lack of radio sets, bulletproof vests and sleeping bags in the Ukrainian army, adding that London is currently considering how to respond.
The EU should respect the results of the referendum in Lugansk and Donetsk and to contribute to fulfilling peoples’ will within the framework of a dialogue between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.
The decisions on Ukraine by the EU Council cause deep bewilderment as the bloc continues issuing statements that do not correspond with reality, the Ministry added.
“It is time for Brussels to stop looking at a significant part of Ukrainian people, who do not accept Kiev government, as ‘pro-Russian separatists’ and understand that without recognizing the inner nature of the deep Ukrainian conflict it will be impossible to solve it,” the statement said.
— RT (@RT_com) May 12, 2014
Kiev troops have launched an assault on the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk, a stronghold of anti-government activists, local self-defense says.
“Slavyansk is being bombarded from several sides, we have information that the adversaries are using heavy mortars,” a self-defense HQ spokesperson told Interfax.
Mobile communications have also been disrupted in the city, the agency says.
NATO “is considering further steps” to deter Russia, if necessary, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told CNN.
“Those further steps might include an update of existing defense plans, development of new defense plans, enhanced exercises, and also appropriate deployment,” he told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
At the same time, he said it was “a bit too early” to tell exactly how and where to do it, “but we will not hesitate to take further steps if needed.”
The Russian president and the head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have discussed the situation in Ukraine on the phone, the Kremlin press-service reports.
Vladimir Putin and Didier Burkhalter agreed that the OSCE should intensify its efforts aimed at a settlement of the crisis, by fostering direct dialogue between Kiev’s authorities and the protesters in the southeastern regions.
German leftwing leader, Gregor Gysi, has called for an international commission to probe the events on Kiev’s Maidan Square and in Odessa. The German politician believes the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis will only come with the country’s federalization. “I can’t see any other real way out of this situation,” he said, after talks with Vice Speaker of the Russian Federation Council Ilyas Umakhanov.
Focusing on relations between Russia and NATO he said “I understand that the West wants Russia to pull back its troops still further from Ukrainian borders, but then NATO itself must not deploy troops and planes closer and closer to Russian borders,” he said.
He also said that imposing sanctions against Russia was a mistake, adding,“Europe will never feel safe without Russia.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry has demanded Kiev officials provide an explanation for the Ukrainian border control’s decision not to let the head of External Church Relations, Metropolitan Illarion, to enter the country on May 9. It also demanded an apology from Ukraine. The ministry called it an“unprecedented and provocative act.” The incident happened in the city of Dnepropetrovsk, when Metropolitan Illarion arrived to congratulate the Metropolitan Irenaios on his 75th birthday. However, he was detained upon arrival and issued a written notice forbidding entrance to Ukraine. No reasons for the decision were given.
Lugansk has demanded Kiev make changes in Ukraine’s constitution “that would make the process of federalization possible” as the people’s referendum in the Lugansk region demands, the local regional council said in a statement.
“An absolute majority has voted for the right to determine our future,” the paper said, adding that in the current situation this is the only possible way and “the only chance” to save Ukraine.
Otherwise, the Lugansk Regional Council warned, the responsibility for separating the country “would lie on Kiev.”
Lugasnk officials demanded the immediate cessation of Kiev’s military operation, which “in fact is a crackdown on protests.”
It also wants an “immediate” implementation of “another major decision of principal” – making the Russian language a state language in the Lugansk People’s Republic.
— GrahamWPhillips (@GrahamWP_UK) May 12, 2014
The implementation of the referendums’ results in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions should be completed within the framework of a dialogue between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry reiterated the necessity of “immediate” discussion on Ukraine’s fate, involving “all political forces and regions of the country.”
“We are awaiting Kiev’s official actions, not general declarations about their intentions, and urgent effective meetings with representatives of southern and eastern Ukraine, which would lead to a stabilization of the situation in the country,” the statement reads.
However, it also pointed out that Kiev still “demonstrates criminal unwillingness to hold a dialogue with its people.”
The People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk want “to continue their way together,” the Donetsk People’s Republic speaker Vladimir Makovin said.
“We now have a right to use our freedom the way we think is correct,” he said, adding that “they have already heard offers about a joint future” from Lugansk.
The Ukrainian Border Service is to receive extra help from the US Ministry of Defense to the tune of seven million dollars to help secure the country’s borders, according to the press service of the Ukrainian Border Service, as reports RIA Novosti. “Around three million dollars will be used to support state personnel with the Ukrainian Border Service to help them fulfill their duties on the country’s borders,” the Border Service added, with some of it going to purchase tents and generators. Another four million dollars will be allocated to buying equipment for the Border Service to help them improve their performance, such as improving communications.
— PaulaSlier_RT (@PaulaSlier_RT) May 12, 2014
A faction of the Party of Regions in the Ukrainian parliament will appeal to different international courts to bring attention to the killing of peaceful citizens in the South East of the country and ask that those who committed the acts be brought to justice, ITAR-TASS reports. Aleksandr Efremov, who is a spokesman for the faction said, “It is unprecedented for Ukraine to have experienced so many people dying every day. Therefore we are going to address international courts to make those who used the army against their own peaceful citizens accountable for their actions.” Efremov added that “These military operations in which peaceful citizens are killed can only be described as a war crime.”
EU foreign ministers have expanded their sanctions over Russia’s actions in Ukraine, adding two Crimean companies and 13 people to the bloc’s blacklist, EU diplomats said, according to Reuters.
The sanctions will come into effect Tuesday. Earlier, 48 Russians and Ukrainians were targeted by EU asset freezes and visa bans over Crimea joining Russia in March.
OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss President Didier Burkhalter described the referendums in eastern Ukraine as “incompatible with the Ukrainian constitution and therefore illegal.”
“Such provocative actions must be avoided,” Burkhalter said at a meeting of EU ministers in Brussels on Monday.
The majority of residents of the Donetsk region went to vote in the autonomy referendum, as it’s the end of patience of the Ukrainian people, the country’s ousted president, Viktor Yanukovich, said in a statement, Itar-Tass news agency reported.
“The absolute majority of the citizens who live in the Donetsk region went to the referendum and cast their votes to start a new form of state, any other form than that which calls the Ukrainian citizens terrorists and starts to kill them – and remain unpunished,” Yanukovich said.
our producer shot in #Mariupol now evacuated on Medevac plane 2 Moscow for post trauma care. Heartfelt thx 2 all on this journey with us
— Lizzie Phelan (@LizziePhelan) May 12, 2014
No new meetings have been planned to address the crisis in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a press conference in Moscow. He also said that the ‘road map’ to peace in Ukraine being prepared by the chairman-in-office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, is not being prepared with the necessary transparency.
“I am not sure if this can be achieved in the immediate future, but urging for dialogue on the basis of the chairman of the OSCE’s proposal is essential,” he said.
The acting president of Ukraine, Aleksandr Turchinov, has condemned as a “farce” referendums in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
“This propaganda farce won’t have any legal consequences, except for criminal charges for its organizers,” Turchinov said, Interfax reported.
The referendums, according to Turchinov, were inspired by Russia to “totally destabilize the situation in Ukraine, disrupt the presidential election and overthrow the Ukrainian government.”
— PaulaSlier_RT (@PaulaSlier_RT) May 12, 2014
An unknown armed group took control of an oil depot in the Lugansk Region on Sunday, according to the press service of the region’s interior ministry. “An unknown armed group of around 15 people, who were dressed in camouflage, took the oil depot (in the city of Rovenki).” The seizure took place at 13.40 (local time) on Sunday. Details of what exactly happened are still not clear and are currently being clarified.
Moscow hopes the results of the referendums in eastern Ukraine will instigate dialogue between Kiev and the regions that voted in favor of self-rule, according to the Kremlin’s press-service.
“Moscow respects the will of the people in Donetsk and Lugansk and hopes that the practical realization of the outcome of the referendums will be carried out in a civilized manner, without resorting to violence, through dialogue between representatives of Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk,” the statement reads.
The Kremlin says it welcomes all mediation efforts, including those by the OSCE.
Two more people have died over the weekend following the violent clashes and unrest in Odessa on May 2, which has brought the death toll up to 48, as reports RIA Novosti. 43 people remain in hospital, two of which are in a critical condition according Odessa.ua, who made the announcement on Monday.
The head of the Donetsk Region’s administration, Sergey Taruta has praised the decision by Metinvest, which is owned by local oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, to set up a combined defense force with the police to help protect the citizens of Mariupol. “400 citizens along with 200 people from the police force will really help because less there will be fewer people with guns on the street,” Taruta stated according to Interfax. He added that the local population in the East of Ukraine were scared of armed people and wanted to restore order to their cities. Metinvest had stated they wanted to bring an end to armed operations in the East of Ukraine and remove military hardware and troops from civilian areas.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague says eastern Ukraine’s referendum votes have “zero credibility in the eyes of the world,” Sky News reports.
Ukrainian troops have begun shelling Slavyansk, Donetsk Region, a RIA Novosti correspondent on the ground reports.
Blasts of artillery ammunition can be heard at one of the checkpoints on the outskirts of town.
— Katica Djurovic (@zoontangmarg) May 12, 2014
The over-whelming majority of voters in Donetsk Region have endorsed political independence from Kiev, the head of the Central Election Commission of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’, Roman Lyagin, announced.
“Counting the ballots were surprisingly easy – the number of people who said ‘no’ was relatively small and there appeared to be only a tiny proportion of spoiled ballots, so we managed to carry out counting quite fast. The figures are as follows: 86.7 percent voted ‘for’, 10.19 percent voted ‘against’ and 0.74 percent of ballots were rendered ineligible,” Lyagin told journalists.
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