Thursday 15 May 

19:19 GMT:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stressed the need to cooperate with Russia despite differences in the approach to the events in Ukraine.

“I am convinced that in the medium and long-term, a close partnership with Russia should continue,” Merkel told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

The German leader stressed that in dealing with Moscow, “sanctions are not an end in themselves, but if they should become unavoidable, then we will decide on them together” with other countries.

19:03 GMT:

Hundreds of people in Germany booed Chancellor Angela Merkel for her government’s support of the new regime in Kiev, which the protestors labeled a “Nazi” government.

18:29 GMT:

Martial law has been announced in the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk. People’s governor Pavel Gubarev has also reminded Kiev that the ultimatum period is expiring.

There is one hour left for the Ukrainian occupants to meet our ultimatum and remove their illegal checkpoints and take their troops and vehicles out of the region’s cities. Otherwise a total destruction will follow,” Gubarev wrote on his Facebook page. “Residents, if you do not get it – we switch to martial law now,” he added.

17:12 GMT:

A household in Slavyansk came under fire from Kiev’s security forces, with the owner filming bullet holes and other damage to his property.


14:56 GMT:

The relatives of men who were mobilized by Kiev’s coup-imposed authorities have rallied in front of the military commissariat in Ukraine’s Kharkov region, Gazeta.ru reports.

According to the protesters, their husbands and sons were taken to serve in the army more than 45 days ago, and no decision has been made to release them.

A woman told the website that the men live in poor conditions, adding that they do not have enough water and are barely fed.

Representatives of the military commissariat said they have no idea what must be done to see the men demobilized, and advised the protestors to write a letter directly to the Ministry of Defense in Kiev.

13:33 GMT:

The Ukrainian coat of arms has been removed from the administration building in the city of Makeevka in the Donetsk region.

13:07 GMT:

The reports of the OSCE mission in Ukraine are being “sterilized,”Russian envoy to the organization, Andrey Kelin, told the Itar-Tass news agency.

This is happening due to “extremely heavy pressure” on the mission from the Kiev authorities and “those who put them in power – the US and the EU,” he explained.

12:44 GMT:

Kiev’s decision to shut off the water supply to the Crimean peninsula is “mockery of common sense,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Aleksandr Lukashevich, said.

“We regard this as an irresponsible move, which will be duly despised by the population of Crimea. I want to note that the overlap of the channel will lead to environmental degradation in the Kherson Region and the whole of the Black Sea water area,” Lukashevich stressed.

12:13 GMT:

Three people were killed and three others injured as Ukrainian security forces opened fire on civilian vehicles in the village of Starovarvarovka, not far from the town of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk Region, local self-defense forces said.

A woman has died of two gunshot wounds to the head after the Kiev troops attacked a car with a family on a country road.

In another incident, the security forces shot at a minibus and a car, in which the locals were returning after a fishing outing.

Two young men were killed inside the bus, which the attackers then drove to their base together with the dead bodies.

11:51 GMT:

Despite confirming plans to increase cooperation with Ukraine, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, reminded Kiev that there’s a difference between “being a NATO member and not being one.”

“According to article 5 of the Washington Treaty, collective defense only applies to the member states,” Rasmussen is cited as saying by RIA-Novosti news agency.

NATO also won’t be able to help Ukraine with intelligence and equipment as Kiev should discuss such assistance with specific member states on a bilateral basis, he added.


NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.(Reuters / Filip Klimaszewski)

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.(Reuters / Filip Klimaszewski)

11:31 GMT:

Ukraine’s acting President Aleksandr Turchinov said Kiev may stop its military crackdown in Donetsk Region if local militias lay down their arms.

“We held consultations with parliamentary party leaders. The Rada may adopt a declaration that would unify MPs. But I declare: the operation may only be stopped after arms are laid down and hostages are released,” he said.

02:28 GMT:

Shots are being fired and explosives are being heard around the compound feed plant on the outskirts of Slavyansk, RIA Novosti reported.

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