Update on the situation in Ukraine. 17 April
According to media reports, pro-Russian forces abducted at least four persons during last several days in Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and Gorlovka. Among them a journalist, activist, city council deputy and the radio centre employee.
Journalist Sergey Lefter was detained in Slavyansk; he is accused of participation in 'Praviy Sector' ('The right sector') and espionage. According to the last available data Lefter is kept in city’s local Security Services attic, where he was moved from city council building. His physical state is unknown.
On the 16th of April an unknown group has attacked layer and civil activist Arthur Stylikov's apartment. Apartment doors were knocked out; a stunt grenade was thrown in. Attackers stole nothing, but layer's son, Artem, who was in the apartment at the time of the attack, has gone missing since. Stylikov considers attack on his apartment as realisation of the threat that was promised earlier by communists for Arthur’s participation in meetings supporting constitutional Ukraine and critical articles on the facts of corruption and separatism by Slavyansk local officials
Vladimir Ribak, City council deputy of ’Bat’kivshina’ party was kidnapped in Gorlovka (Donetsk region). He was the person that tore down so called Donetsk Republic’s flag out of Gorlovka City Council building.
In Kramatorsk (Donetsk region) an armed group using two Russian APCs assaulted a vehicle equipped with radiotechnikal control systems that belongs to Donetsk department of State Radio Centre. One employee of the Department was taken as a hostage. The vehicle drove to unknown direction escorted by the APC’s. Its whereabouts is currently unknown.
Early this week TV-crew of Polish civil channel TVP was nearly beaten in Donetsk by the rally participants near Regional Administration when they have tried to film the events. The incident occurred when the crew filmed inside the protesters camp and communicating with some of them. Attackers called the journalists ‘banderovtsy’ and ‘fascists’. Lots of locals they had opportunity to speak to werevery negtive towards the Poles.
In Slavyansk separatists have taken a local broadcast station, turned Ukrainian TV off and began broadcasting Russian TV-channels. According to EuromaidanSOS initative Ukrainian channels were turned off in Kramatorsk as well.
Ukrainian comissioner for human rights informed that volunteers at her office will provide assitance to those who want to leave Eastern territory or Crimea.
Ukrainian businees takes a very pragmatic approach to the National Treat: for the weapons, taken from the fighters and for the captured fighters themselves a reward is promised. On Aprel 17th in the Eastern cities a series of meeting for the United Ukraine took place where thousands of people participated regardless of the obvious threat from pro-Russian forces. Luckily there were no casualties.
Apparantly, about a thousand people participated in the meeting in Kramatorsk. The information of pro-Russian fighters attack was not confirmed. Newetherless, as EuromaidanSOS informes, pro-Russian activists used force against Ukrainian STB channel journalist.
About a thousand people also gathered to support Ukrainin unity near Lughansk National univercity named after Shevchenko.
The ‘Pray for Ukraine” meeting in Donetsk encounted about 2 thousand participants and held without any incidents.
Another meeting was held in Isum (Kharkov region) supporting the unity of Ukraine.
Security Service informs that 25 of 63 separatists caprured after assault on Internal Forces military unit in Mariupol were released. The Border Service together with the Security Service already indicated 117 Russian citizens who are ‘invovved in extremist actions at the territory of Ukraine’. 11 thousand Russian were denied to enter Ukraine. As a part of anti-terrorist operation the Security Service of Ukraine detained and brought to Kiev two Ukrainian citizens, who perfomed tasks by the Russian Intelligence. Disappearence of so called ‘people’s Mayor’ of Gorlovka Aleksndr Sapunov may be also connected to the detainments, who is reported to be missing since the evening of April 16th.
Russian president Vladimir Putin admitted in fact that so-called ‘green men’ who performed in Crimea are Russian Federation military. Regadless Putin’s confession there is enough proof to that. In particular, this photo followed with a detailed description of equipment and weapons.
They are dressed in camouflage of Spectre-SKVO and belted shoulder systems ‘Smersh’, made by Russian manufacturer ‘Soyuzspetsosnasheniye’. Part of the fighters is sighted to have brand new Russian RPG’s-30 ‘Hook’. It was accepted to service in Russian army in 2012. In 2013 the first batch of 1000 Hooks was bought for Southern and Central districts.
This RPGs are not for export and are impossible to find at the black market.
The European Parlament adopted the resolution in which it supported Ukraine and called EU Council to strenghten sanctions against Russia. The EU Parlament encouraged to ‘adopt measures against Russian companies and their subsidiares, especially in energy sector and also regading Russian investments and assets in EU, to revise all the agreements with Russia in terms of their suspension’.
In Geneva as a result of quardipartite Ukraine-EU-USA-Russia meeting a series of agreements was reached, in particular, ‘on the freing of the occupied buildings and amnesty for the protestors’