NEWS IN BRIEF (19/05/2014)


IN BRIEF (19/05/2014):


  • Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov has asked the Ministry of Justice to consider the illegal actions of the Communist party of Ukraine , which has allegedly sought to sieze of power and has openly undermined the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.
  • Some 300 mourners gathered in Odesa yesterday to commemorate the 48 people who died in the fire in Odesa's Trade Union building on 2 May. The meeting was solemn, without flags and without speakers. Earlier today the Vitaliy Sakal of Ukraine's Ministry of the Interior announced that autopsies carried out on those who died during the blaze showed that 32 had died as a result of inhaling chloroform (which led to suffocation and cardiac arrest). Further work is being carried out to ascertain how the chemical substance found its way into the Trade Union building. The Ukrainian authories have also asked the Israeli Embassy to assist with qualified experts to help with the investigation. Meanwhile Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said that the RF has written to the UN and OSCE to carry out international investigations into the Odesa "crimes", "butchery" and "pogrom".
  • The Security Services prevented further tragedy in Odesa yesterday when it arrested four suspects in connection with a planned car-bomb attack set to go off yesterday afternoon at 2.00 pm. in a busy area of the city. The four are all in custody helping the police with their enquiries.
  • Ukraine's Head of the Secret Services, Valentyn Nalyvaichenko reported that a total of 24 servicemen of Interior Ministry, Internal Troops and the Alpha special unit have died to date during the Anti-Terrorist Operations in Ukraine.
  • Terrorists have captured the Head of territorial election commission No. 44 in Donetsk. Her whereabouts are unknown. The terrorists have offered to release her on condition that the electoral commission ceases its activities in preparation for the presidential election on Sunday. Earlier today Acting PM Arseniy Yatseniuk insisted that election will go ahead and admitted that there may be a number of areas where the presidential campaign will not take place. But this number will be small and will not have a significant bearing on the outcome of the election.
  • The Kremlin's Press Service has issued a press release today announcing that the "scheduled spring phase of military training has ended" and that Vladimir Putin has ordered the Defense Minister to return the troops on Ukraine's border back to their respective bases. A NATO representative said that NATO has "no data on any relocation of Russian troops".
  • "VolynPost" journalist Serhiy Shapovalhas been freed and is now in Kyiv.  Shapoval was held for three weeks by Donetsk terrorists in a room inside the Donetsk regional state administration where he says he was also tortured. Other journalists, including Osman Pashayev, who were detained yesterday to prevent them from reporting on the commemorations which took place yesterday in Simferopol on the 70th anniversary of the deportation of Tatars, have also been released, but not before being brutally beaten by Russian militia. 



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