2 juni 2014
Southeastern Ukraine: Reportedly, five militiamen were killed in an armed clash on Monday between the Ukrainian border guards and the Lugansk militia. The Ukrainian forces used combat aviation to disperse the militiamen who attacked the Lugansk border unit. The press reports on continuing shelling by the Ukrainian forces of Slavyansk (Donetsk region). Ukraine's acting Defense Minister Koval said Friday that the military operation in Ukraine's south-east would continue until the situation in the region stabilizes. The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a case against unidentified servicemen of Ukraine's Armed Forces and National Guard on charges of the use of prohibited methods of warfare in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. In a phone conversation with French President Hollande on Friday, President Putin again stressed "the need for the Kiev authorities to stop violence and start a direct dialogue with representatives of the country's south-east." Also on Friday, Putin discussed the situation in Ukraine in a phone conversation with Turkish PM Erdogan. (ii) Novaya Gazeta reports on the opening by the self-proclaimed 'Donetsk people's republic' of its 'representation' in Rostov-on-Don which will be in charge of providing humanitarian aid for the people of Donbass. Meanwhile, RBK daily cites apparent conflicts between leaders of the 'Donetsk people's republic' and the role of the battalion 'Vostok' ('East') and the involvement of Chechen fighters. In a televised interview, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said that 14 Chechens are fighting on the side of the militia in the Donetsk region. In a separate statement, Kadyrov emphasized that 74,000 Chechens are ready to ensure order in Ukraine if a relevant order is given. (iii) Kommersant reports that a court in the British Virgin Islands has frozen assets of Donetsk governor Taruta at a request from VTB. The daily recalls that earlier, a court in Cyprus seized part of Taruta's assets at VTB's request. (iv) Ten former officers of Ukraine's disbanded riot police force Berkut on Friday joined the Moscow riot police. (Gazeta.ru, Interfax, Kommersant, KP, MK, NG, Novaya Gazeta, RBK daily, RG, RIAN)
5 juni 2014
Eastern Ukraine: Representatives of the self-proclaimed 'Donetsk people's republic' claimed that the Ukrainian troops killed at least 25 wounded militiamen in a hospital in Krasny Liman on 3 June. However, Ukraine's National Guard has denied the reports. According to the 'self-defense forces', eight people have been killed and 10 have been wounded in Slavyansk over the past 24 hours. Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports about cases of abductions of supporters of the 'Donetsk people's republic' in the region. Reportedly, six supporters of the 'people's republic' have been abducted in the town of Amvrosiyevka within four days. Izvestia reports about 'voluntary mobilization' declared by leaders of the 'Donetsk people's republic'. In Lugansk, local militiamen reportedly seized control over a Ukrainian border guard unit. On a visit to Warsaw on Wednesday, Ukraine's President-elect Poroshenko promised to unveil after his swearing in as President a plan for settling the conflict in the country. In a commentary, Nezavisimaya Gazeta speaks of a fiasco of a scenario for the forceful operation in eastern Ukraine and suggests that Poroshenko should look for non-military methods to solve the problem and strengthen the country's integrity. (ii) Komsomolskaya Pravda provides arguments why it is inappropriate to compare the events in Ukraine's rebellious regions and in Chechnya in 1994. (iii) Moskovsky Komsomolets reports that a reward of $500,000 has been offered for the arrest of leader of the 'South-East' movement Oleg Tsarev, whose deputy immunity has been lifted. (Gazeta.ru, Izvestia, KP, MK, NG, RG)
27 juni 2014
Two militants killed in Dagestan: (i) The National Antiterrorism Committee said Thursday that two militants, including a gang leader, have been killed in separate incidents in Dagestan. (ii) The prosecutor in the trial of the case against suspended mayor of Makhachkala Said Amirov and former deputy mayor of Kaspiisk Yusup Dzhaparov has asked the North Caucasus District Military Court to sentence Amirov to 13 years imprisonment and Dzhaparov to 11 years on charges of plotting a terrorist attack. (ITAR-TASS, Izvestia, Kommersant, Novye Izvestia)
30 juni 2014
Vadim Levental expresses the view that the same arguments used for stating that Russia is involved in Eastern Ukraine can be attributed to the US. According to the writer, when some say that Chechens are active in Donetsk and Lugansk, the same could be said about official CIA officers who are seen among the Ukrainian National Guard. Levental states that for some reason, the West and those who criticize Russia's actions do not wish to see that the only side calling for negotiations and peaceful resolution of the conflict is actually Russia.