NEWS IN BRIEF (21/05/2014)


  • Mykolayiv hosted a round table discussion today on the subject of national unity during which PM Arseniy Yatseniuk expressed support for a ‘Geneva II’ meeting involving representatives of the EU, USA, the RF and Ukraine. However Yatseniuk also stressed that in his opinion, “bilateral relations between Ukraine and Russia in current conditions cannot be considered”. The key headline of the meeting was the ex-President Leonid Kravchuk’s call for the dissolution of Parliament and an early General Election.
  • The issue of the terrorist’s exit strategy remained in the headlines today. ATO spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov added to yesterday’s information about the creation of an escape ‘corridor’ by confirming that terrorist snipers were now positioned at key strategic locations on rooftops to allow for the swift removal of corpses and flight of terrorist to the Russian Federation.
  • As the Ukrainian army begins to tighten its grip around terrorist strongholds in Eastern Ukraine, the self-proclaimed leader of the "Luhansk People's Republic" Valeriy Bolotov, announced that Luhansk separatists are ready to negotiate with the Ukrainian authorities subject to the cessation of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO). Meanwhile a clear rift has formed between the self-proclaimed mayor of Sloviansk and the leadership of the “Donetsk National Republic”. Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov visited troops in Eastern Ukraine today and reaffirmed that the ATO will continue in order to 'reestablish peace and order in Donetsk and the Luhansk region".
  • A representative of the Razumkov Centre, Andriy Bychenko, said that some 50% of voters living in the Donbas region are unlikely to take part the Sunday’s Presidential Election. In the Luhansk oblast, 6 out of the 12 territorial elections commissions have been seized by terrorists and a further three remain under serious threat.
  • The latest opinion poll for the Presidential Election conducted by the Razumkov Centre, puts ‘Chocholate king’ Petro Poroshenko ahead by a massive majority.  As things stand he is set to achieve around 45% of the vote with Yuliya Tymoshenko lagging behind in second place on 8.4%.  Other main runners are: Anatoliy Hrytsenko on 7.5%, Serhiy Tihipko on 7% and Oleh Lyashko on just over 5 % of the votes.
  • Events in Ukraine continue to perturb Vladimir Putin. Even on a visit to China the Russian President remained concerned about freedom of speech in Ukraine and questioned the legitimacy of events in Ukraine by saying that "Ukraine has but one legally incumbent President" – Viktor Yanukovych. Putin also said that the Russian Secret Services were monitoring Right Wing extremists in Ukraine and arresting them as they crossed the border into Russia (though he didn’t explain why such extremists would apparently be so desperate keen to travel to Russia to be arrested).
  • The Ukrainian pavilion at the 67th Cannes Film Festival was overwhelmed by visitors today following the screening of the “Maidan" and “Plemia” films of Serhiy Loznytsia and Mykhailo Slaboshpytsy respectively.  The Ukrainian filmmakers were inundated with questions by a mass of journalists and were only able to accommodate everyone thanks to the neighbouring Azerbaijan pavilion very graciously giving up its space by saying “our land is your land”!

Ukrayinska Dumka


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