Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
For links to individual updates click on the timestamps.
For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article: How We Know Russia Shot Down MH17.
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Two years ago this week, Ukraine’s revolution raged in the streets of Kiev, shaking the city — and Moscow — to the core.
But two years after Ukrainians persevered in their quest to remove a government that was opposed to fighting corruption and becoming a 21st century democracy, many of the ideals of the revolution have yet to be realized.
Furthermore, Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine, which once shocked the world, is increasingly ignored in the West while Russia’s military might has won it a seat at the table in deciding the solution to the crisis in both Ukraine and Syria.
In a reflection on the legacy of the Euromaidan revolution, we ask whether the West has betrayed the values it supposedly held dear:
We wonder, out loud, what the next anniversary of the Maidan Revolution will be like. Will Ukraine still be on track to join the European Union? Will the IMF pull Ukraine’s funding? How much of the country will still be in the hands of foreign invaders? Will the Ukrainian people feel that the memory of the “Heavenly Hundred,” who gave their lives for freedom and democracy, has been honored, or squandered?
Our fear is that the West has forgotten the values and lessons of the Maidan and has abandoned the mission that Ukrainian activists — and their pro-democracy compatriots in Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia, and beyond — paid for with their blood, sweat, and lives. One thing is clear, however — Russian president Vladimir Putin has not forgotten the power of devoted protesters who seek to break down the prison walls of dictatorship. The Kremlin will continue to hasten their campaign against pro-democracy movements, both at home and abroad. Will the world sit back and watch them do it, or worse, reward them for their efforts?
Two Years After Ukraine's Euromaidan Revolution, Is The West Betraying Its Values?
On the morning of February 18, 2014, all hell broke loose in Kiev. After 90 days of protesting, young activists who were tired of the corrupt government marched to the Presidential Administration to demand that President Viktor Yanukovych sign the association agreement with the European Union. Yanukovych answered – with brutality.
Leviy Bereg reports that the prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and Yuriy Lutsenko, leader of Bloc Petro Poroshenko (BPP), almost came to blows during a meeting today as MPs manoeuvre to preserve the government by building a new coalition.
According to Leviy Bereg‘s sources, Lutsenko and Yatsenyuk were at a meeting to discuss the future form of the Cabinet of Ministers with President Poroshenko, Boris Lozhkyn, head of the Presidential Administration, Rada Speaker Volodymyr Groysman, Oleksandr Turchynov, the head of the National Security and Defence Council, and Arsen Avakov, the interior minister.
Three proposals were reportedly discussed. The first would see Bloc Petro Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk’s Popular Front sharing posts half and half, with the President publicly endorsing the prime minister. The second would have the Popular Front take “not only all the posts, but all the responsibility, while BPP guarantees 100 votes for Cabinet initiatives. The final suggestion was for Yatsenyuk to voluntarily resign.
The Interpreter translates:
During the discussion the majority of those present came to the conclusion that the first variant would not be supported by the BPP faction. In addition, Lutsenko said that he thought that Yatsenyuk’s resignation would be the most agreeable way out of the the current situation.
Those words infuriated the head of the cabinet. A verbal altercation began, during which Yatsenyuk accused Lutsenko of having allegedly taken money from oligarchs while he was head of the Interior Ministry. To which Lutsenko retorted: when he – the leader of the opposition – was in prison, Yatsenyuk allegedly collaborated with Viktor Yanukovych’s regime.
A fight was only prevented thanks to Lozhkyn and Groysman who restrained Yatsenyuk just in time.
— Pierre Vaux
The Ukrainian military claims that Russian-backed fighters carried out 55 attacks in the 24 hours preceding 6:00 this morning, while the separatist-backed administration in Donetsk says that Ukrainian forces shelled residential areas of the city last night.
According to the ATO Press Centre, Ukrainian positions in Marinka were attacked 22 times with mortars, grenade launchers and small arms.
Military spokesman Aleksandr Kindsfater told 0629.com.ua that Russian-backed fighters attempted an attack with BMP infantry fighting vehicles, but were repelled by Ukrainian troops, who managed to knock out one of the vehicles.
Yesterday, the ATO Press Centre claimed that Donetsk residents had informed the military that heavy weaponry was being brought into the western Petrovsky district of the separatist-held city, adjacent to Marinka.
According to the report, more than 10 tanks as well as Grad multiple-launch rocket systems had arrived in preparation for an offensive on Marinka.
The Ukrainian State Border Service (DPSU) reports that the vital civilian crossing checkpoint outside the suburb was itself attacked 15 times yesterday. According to the DPSU, between 16:30 and 23:00, Russian-backed fighters opened fire with sniper rifles, heavy machine guns, automatic grenade launchers and anti-aircraft artillery.
Meanwhile the separatist-backed head of the Petrovsky district, Maksim Zhukovsky, said this morning that Ukrainian troops had shelled the Trudovskie neighbourhood, just northeast of Marinka.
Zhukovsky said that one house had burnt down, a gas main broken and 20 electricity substations knocked out.
To the north of Donetsk, the Regional State Administration reports that a civilian volunteer – a man born in 1988 – was wounded by a sniper in Ukrainian-held Vodyanoye.
The ATO Press Centre claims that grenade launchers and small arms were used to attack positions in nearby Peski, Opytnoye and Avdeyevka.
In the Gorlovka area, Ukrainian positions in Zaytsevo were reportedly shelled with mortars while grenade launchers and small arms were used in attacks near Mayorsk and Novgorodskoye.
On the other side of the Svetlodarsk reservoir, defences in Luganskoye were attacked with small arms and infantry fighting vehicles.
In the Lugansk region, the ATO Press Centre reports that small arms and grenade launchers were used to attack positions near the village of Boguslavskoye, near separatist-held Pervomaysk.
In the south of the Donetsk region, Aleksandr Kindsfater reported that there had been small-arms and grenade launcher attacks on Ukrainian positions near Chermalyk, Bogdanovka and Starognatovka, where Russian-backed fighters also fired from BMPs.
This morning, there are reports on social media of continued fighting in both the Donetsk and Gorlovka areas.
English Lugansk (@Loogunda on Twitter) translates some of these:
Translation: #Gorlovka They’ve intensified in the Shirokaya Balka area, frequent shots