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CrisisWatch Ukraine

Unchanged Situation

Late Jan escalation in clashes along front line around Avdiivka in east continued early Feb, with at least 35 soldiers and civilians reported killed and scores wounded in period 29 Jan-6 Feb. Fighting subsided somewhat 4 Feb, permitting repairs to power lines and restoration of water supplies in area. Efforts continued to restore ceasefire with limited success; Ukrainian military 17 Feb reported three soldiers killed, ten injured previous day. Ukrainian, Russian, German and French FMs 18 Feb agreed to renewed ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons in east taking effect 20 Feb, however OSCE 21 Feb reported continued ceasefire violations, 22 Feb said neither side honouring commitments to withdraw heavy weapons; Ukrainian military 25 Feb said sixteen soldiers wounded in clashes over previous 24 hours. President Poroshenko accused Moscow of violating Feb 2015 Minsk accord after Russia 18 Feb announced it would recognise identification documents issued by separatist entities; France, Germany and EU also criticised Russia. Moscow defended move on humanitarian grounds, said it complied with international law. Poroshenko expressed confidence in continued U.S. support following contacts and statements from senior U.S. officials including 4 Feb phone call with President Trump; 2 Feb statement by U.S. ambassador to UN who affirmed U.S. sanctions against Russia to remain in place until it returns Crimea; and White House spokesperson’s 14 Feb statement that Trump expects Russia to return Crimea to Ukraine. European Commission President Juncker 11 Feb said EU will give Ukraine €600mn to support govt finances; European Parliament 13 Feb approved new rules to waive visa regime for Ukrainians. Kyiv 15 Feb declared partial state of emergency due to nationalist blockade of rail lines delivering coal from separatist entities in east since 25 Jan; clashes broke out in Kyiv 19 Feb between ultra-nationalist demonstrators and police over blockade; separatists 27 Feb threatened to seize Ukrainian-run businesses if blockade not lifted. Several thousand joined protests in Kyiv organised by right-wing parties including far-right Right Sector 22 Feb demanding reform, change of govt. UNICEF 17 Feb reported 1 million children in east in urgent need of humanitarian aid, doubling over past year.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

16 Aug 2016
Russia is intensely frustrated by the lack of movement on the February 2015 Minsk agreement, and has sought to put the onus for the lack of progress on Ukraine. Reuters

Paul Quinn-Judge

Former Senior Adviser, Ukraine and Russia

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