Maidan Community Sector, Lviv Information Digest
March 06, 2014
International Renaissance Foundation, Kyiv: Dear colleagues!
It has been three months since the confrontation of the President Viktor Yanukovych with the people of Ukraine began. Yesterday the conflict took on a threatening form. Current situation may result in a civil war. Thus we take it upon ourselves to inform you about the events in Ukraine. We will provide you with yet another viewpoint regarding this conflict. We will do our best to remain fair and objective.
March 4 Russian servicemen tried to gain control over Ukrainian anti-aircraft division Yevpatoria.
March 5 Russian troops destroyed premises at Ukrainian anti-aircraft division in Sevastopol.
March 5 Russia is trying to re-station its troops in Crimea so that OECD mission will not be able to record their presence.
March 5 Russias Minister of Defence Sergey Shoygu has denied the presence of any Russian troops in Crimea.
March 5 US Secretary of State John Kerry and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Andriy Deshchytsya have departed for consultations in Paris. While in Paris, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov denied the presence of any Russian troops in Crimea and refused to meet the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
March 5 President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso stated that the EC has agreed upon the financial aid to the amount of 11 billion dollars for Ukraine:
Key elements of the package agreed today:
3 billion from the EU budget in the coming years, 1.6 billion in macro financial assistance loans (MFA) and an assistance package of grants of 1.4 billion;
Up to 8 billion from the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development;
Potential 3.5 billion leveraged through the Neighbourhood Investment Facility;
Setting up of a donor coordination platform;
Provisional application of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area when Association Agreement is signed and, if need be, by autonomous frontloading of trade measures;
Organisation of a High Level Investment Forum/Task Force;
Modernisation of the Ukraine Gas Transit System and work on reverse flows, notably via Slovakia;
Acceleration of Visa Liberalisation Action Plan within the established framework; Offer of a Mobility Partnership;
Technical assistance on a number of areas from constitutional to judicial reform and preparation of elections.
March 5 Large groups of provocateurs (aiming to organize riots) have been transported from Russia to Ukraine on numerous occasions during the last few weeks. State Border Service of Ukraine and the Security Service of Ukraine have decided to implement a stricter border crossing regime at the Ukrainian-Russian border.
March 5 Separatists in Crimea have kidnapped Mykhaylo Koval, Colonel General of the State Border Service of Ukraine. He was later freed.
March 5 Robert Serry, UN Secretary-Generals Representative, was blocked and then forced to leave Crimea by separatists.
March 5 Separatists and Russian servicemen have been preventing OECD mission to Crimea to perform their duties.
Νere's a summary of March 5 by Dmitry Tymchuk:
The bad news:
1. Despite our hopes, Putin's tales of "no troops in Crimea" did not result in the occupant contingent quietly packing up and returning to the birch glades of their homeland. On the contrary in the morning, we witnessed arrival of tanks to Crimea (Russian heavy armor is a novelty here, until now we only saw APCs and 'Tigers'). Around the same time, command staff cars moved to the Turetskiy Val [next to the link to the mainland].
Essentially, the invaders are providing for an impenetrable defense of the Crimean peninsula. Alternatively, they could move onto Kherson oblast from here.
The latter option would be necessary for them (it would allow them to control water and power supply to Crimea), but it's doubtful that good old Russia has enough fools that would travel to the beautiful Crimean resorts with Putin-Tour. Even if the forces move north, they would still have to control Crimea. In short, we have to monitor this situation carefully. Only Putin knows what goes on in Putin's head (except maybe the ghost of his war comrade Adolf).
2. The occupants have a new tactic complete blockade of Ukrainian military units. Earlier, they allowed an occasional delivery of medicines and food to our guys, and now they decided to recreate the Leningrad blockade. Once again, worthy students of Uncle Adolf. The situation is especially dire with the Headquarters of the Ukrainian Navy in Crimea unlike in military units, no supplies are stored there.
3. Putin does not agree to any negotiations. It's almost as if he believes his own propaganda now, and keeps saying that none of his soldiers are in Crimea, even when talking in his sleep.
4. Tensions are growing in the southeastern regions of Ukraine. "Russian tourists" there started partaking in some casual robbery, further rocking an already volatile situation. In the meantime, the Russian troops stationed in the Russian Federation oblasts adjacent to the Ukrainian border are going nowhere. We spotted no movement no arrivals or departures. The date declared for withdrawal of troops is March 7. Let's wait and see.
The good news:
1. UN special envoy Robert Serry, kidnapped and released in Crimea, is returning to Kyiv. There's nothing good about this unprecedented incident as such but it may have positive consequences for Ukraine. The envoy is not thrilled about his Crimean adventure, and maybe that will make the UN realize how serious the situation in Crimea really is. The real question is, what conclusions will be drawn from this revelation.
2. Kyiv city Shevchenkivsky district court ruled to detain the self-proclaimed Crimean 'gauleiters' Sergey Aksyonov and Vladimir Konstantynov. Now this dynamic duo is officially wanted. Obviously, no one is going to run them down in Crimea right now but now they know that every next step they take against Ukraine equals an extra year behind bars. The "now they've got nothing to lose" option is not very applicable, because traitors are usually also cowards.
3. Towards the evening, the occupants suddenly stopped blocking our units, packed up and left, leaving defenseless 'Putin's tourists' to continue the blockade on their own. There is some uplifting information on this account, but I can't share it yet (even though I really want to). Tomorrow, friends, you'll find out.
In this regard, my comrades think that Putin finally got scared of the international sanctions that may come down on his head tomorrow. I'm more pessimistic, and think that this is rotation of troops (considering that 1,600 military men were brought over from Russia this morning). Therefore, it's likely that by morning, the ranks of these relentless adventurers around our units will show some new faces.
Of course, I'd rather hope for the best. May this new day bring us the good news we're hoping for.
P.S.: Please spread this appeal as much as possible.