Saturday, April 26
A convoy of six Ukrainian APCs is approaching the village of Krestishche, situated some 15 kilometers northwest of the rebel town of Slavyansk in the
Donetsk region, RIA Novosti reports. An eyewitness told the agency that men dressed in the black uniform of Ukraine’s National Guards are riding on
top of the armored vehicles, which are displaying Ukrainian flags. The village, with a population of over 1,000 people, remains under the control of
anti-government protesters. On April 24, Ukraine’s law enforcement agencies sprayed gunfire at a checkpoint of federalization supporters in
Krestishche, killing a 22-year-old unarmed man and heavily wounding another one.
Ukrainian troops taking part in the military operation against the rebellion in the Donetsk region are stationed in the town of Svyatogorsk, 10
kilometers from Krestishche.
The Slavyansk self-defense forces will not immediately release the foreign military observers who they detained Friday, they announced to the media.
At the moment the militia considers the officers NATO spies.
A group of 12 foreign military observers and Ukrainian military guides was touring eastern Ukraine under the Vienna document, an international
agreement that regulates inspections of military objects by members of the OSCE. There were acting and former officers from Denmark, Poland, Germany,
Bulgaria and the Czech Republic in the mission.
The Ukrainian parliament may scrap presidential elections by popular vote in favor of giving MPs the privilege of electing the head of state, the
leader of the Batkivshchina (Fatherland) party, Yulia Tymoshenko, said.
“All the oligarchic representatives are now in the parliament, and now there is a discussion on giving the election to the parliament, of taking the
public vote from the people, to take all authority from the president, including declarative right, and give it all to the parliament,” she said
Friday on “Shuster Live,” Ukraine’s top political talk show.
In her TV appearance the former Ukrainian prime minister and presidential hopeful was focusing her fire on an alleged oligarchic plot to grab power.
She was also criticizing her prime competitor, billionaire Petr Poroshenko, for failing to appear at the show for debate in favor of a meeting with
another wealthy Ukrainian businessman, Dmitry Firtash.
If the Ukrainian parliament did take the authority to elect the president, this would likely raise Tymoshenko’s chances for election. Opinion polls
show her far behind Poroshenko, but in the parliament Batkivshchina has a strong faction.
The party also has strong influence on the government, since acting President Aleksandr Turchinov (who is also the parliament speaker), acting Prime
Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk and most acting ministers come from Batkivshchina’s ranks.
A journalist from the western Ukrainian city of Lvov was reportedly detained in protester-held Slavyansk on Friday evening. Yury Lelyavsky, a stringer
for ZIK TV channel, was detained after protesters suspected that he could be preparing a provocation.
This adds to a long list of similar incidents in turbulent Ukraine, where media professionals working for both Ukrainian and Russian outlets have been
subjected to detentions and questioning by anti-government protesters or Kiev authorities in the past weeks.
A self-defense militia checkpoint near Slavyansk was shot at Friday night, Ukrainian anti-government protesters told RIA Novosti. Unidentified gunmen
shot a dozen times and protesters manning the checkpoint in the Slavkurort area on a highway connecting Russian Rostov and Ukrainian Kharkov. Nobody
was injured in the incident.
The leaders of the G7 have agreed on a new set of sanctions targeting Russian officials over the crisis in Ukraine. The punitive measures are set to
come into effect on Monday to ensure “the opportunity for a successful and peaceful democratic vote next month in Ukraine's presidential
As a sign of “good will,” local authorities in Donetsk have released a number of Right Sector fighters upon a request from Ukrainian presidential
candidate Oleg Tsarev. The undisclosed number of fighters were detained for being involved in hooliganism at the Donetsk Administrative building.
“They have not killed or raped anyone. We don't consider them enemies,” Tsarev said, as quoted by Itar-Tass. “I am sure that most of those who
arrive in the south-east [of Ukraine], including punitive units, are people who were deceived.”
At the same time, Tsarev noted that the authorities in Kiev had detained more than 200 activists from the south-east of Ukraine, adding that since the
coup “repressions” had reached a historical scale not witnessed since Ukraine became independent in 1991.
The presidential candidate urged Kiev to release more than 70 people “detained in Kharkov, where arrests continue” as well as Donetsk and Odessa,
in order to implement the Geneva accords.
edit on 26-4-2014 by the2ofusr1 because: (no reason given)