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Events in Ukraine have taken an ominous course. One by one, cities and towns in the Donbass are being taken over by small groups of well-organized armed forces, which have occupied administrative headquarters and police stations. The interim government in Kiev utters protests and threats but thus far has largely failed to dislodge the intruders. The reports circulating on social networks suggest that they comprise both people from outside the region and within and that is a well-planned operation exploiting local forces to undermine the authorities in Kiev and disrupt the presidential election on May 25. The bloodiest confrontations have taken place in smaller towns in the region, such as Slovyansk, Kramatorsk and Horlivka. The Moscov Times. Read More
'We're the chosen generation," says Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Ukraine's interim prime minister. He's referring to all those who made this winter's European revolution. For the first time since 1654, when Ukrainian Cossacks formed a fateful alliance with Moscow against Polish rulers, Ukrainians are heading back West.Their timing is terrible. Two decades ago, when the Berlin Wall fell, the West embraced another generation of Eastern Europeans. Ukraine has gotten a different welcoming committee. An economically feeble European Union gorges on Russian energy and dirty money while lecturing Ukraine on Western values but refusing to defend it. Asking for Washington's help against Russian attack, Kiev finds a man "chosen" in the past two presidential elections to get America out of the world's trouble spots. The Wall Street Journal. Read More
Pro-Russian separatists occupying the regional government building in Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk have vowed to take control of strategic infrastructure across the province they have declared an independent "people's republic". Defying an ultimatum from Kiev to surrender, about two dozen separatist leaders gathered for a meeting in a top-floor room of the 11-storey building they have held for eight days."Everything from city cleaning to the sewage system, the airport, railway stations, military ... should all be under your control," Vladimir Makovich, one of the leaders, told the group. The Guardian. Read More
It would seem he has no time to lose. Large parts of eastern Ukraine are slipping out of Kiev's control. More and more police stations and government buildings have been falling to the protesters and unidentified militants. Donetsk, Luhansk, Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, Druzhkivka - these are the cities or towns where the activists have established themselves, with reports of building takeovers in Mariupol and Yenakiyevo. Ukraine's state security head, Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, was categorical: "We don't have much time left. Tonight and tomorrow will be crucial." BBC News. Read More
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) assessed the security situation in the eastern Ukrainian cities of Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk and the town of Sloviansk as tense and evolving, based on its observations on Sunday, 13 April 2014. As the monitors moved about the cities to gather information, they were able to listen to the concerns of the local population, often initially mistrustful, and explain to them the OSCE role and its broad participation of states including Russia and Ukraine. OSCE. Read More
The Crisis in Ukraine: Its Legal Dimensions
The political, military, economic, and social crisis in Ukraine is severe. Involving Ukraine, Russia, the European Union, the United States, and the rest of the international community, the crisis touches on many complex domestic and international legal issues. NYU law students and a recent NYU graduate researched and drafted this Report for Razom, a Ukrainian-American human rights organization. The Report attempts to provide relevant background and a legal context for the current situation. The authors hope it will assist the media, governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, businesses, academia, and individuals to understand what has happened, why it has happened, and what might happen next.
Read the Entire Report