Day 759: Poroshenko Delivers ‘Savchenko List’ To EU Leaders

March 17, 2016
Petro Poroshenko, Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels today. Photo: Svyatoslav Tsegolko


Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.


An Invasion By Any Other Name: The Kremlin’s Dirty War in Ukraine


One Ukrainian Soldier Killed, Two Wounded Yesterday

Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, a military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, announced at noon today that one Ukrainian soldier had been killed and two wounded on Wednesday.

Meanwhile the ‘defence ministry’ of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) claimed that Ukrainian forces had violated the ceasefire 43 times over 24 hours, firing 279 shells.

According to the DNR, Ukrainian attacks were concentrated on the outskirts of Donetsk and Gorlovka, where separatist military spokesman Eduard Basurin said that two civilians had been wounded. 

— Pierre Vaux

Attack On Home Of Reformist Samompich MP

Victoria Voytsitska, a Ukrainian MP in the Samopomich party, says that an attempt was made on her life in the early hours of this morning.

Voytsitska wrote on her Facebook page that at 4:13 am a glass jar, filled with flammable liquid, was thrown at her car, parked outside her house.

The car was parked directly beneath the window of the bedroom in which she was sleeping with her husband and three-month-old son. 

The family was woken by the sound of their dogs barking. The flames reached up to the second floor but fortunately did not set the car on fire, which, the MP writes, could have caused an explosion.

Samopomich leader Oleh Berezyuk said that the attempt on Voytsitska’s life was linked to her work investigating corruption.

“Voytsitska is one of the leaders of those people fighting with corruption in the fuel and energy sphere. This is a person, who uncovers and understands schemes, who works in them, and speaks freely about them.”

This assessment is shared by The Economist‘s Moscow correspondent, Noah Sneider:

Anton Herashchenko, MP and adviser to the interior minister, said that Voytsitska would be provided with a state security detail.

Rada Speaker Volodymyr Groysman has demanded an investigation into the attack, with Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin announcing that he will take personal control of the case.

— Pierre Vaux

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin Asked To Appear Before Rada Today

The Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Volodymyr Groysman, has asked Viktor Shokin, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, to attend parliament today for a hearing on his resignation.

Yesterday Shokin returned to work from a month-long leave of absence after he submitted a letter of resignation to President Poroshenko, who had publicly called for him to step down.

Ukrainska Pravda reports that Groysman said:

“This morning I received the committee’s conclusion, I have sent a letter to the Prosecutor General with a request for him to come and speak before the Verkhonva Rada. And we will vote on this issue. Yes, I am expecting a response.”

Samopomich MP Yegor Sobolev criticised Groysman for the continuous delays in the process. 

“Viktor Shokin, under pressure from society, at the call of Ukraine’s international partners, finally wrote a letter of resignation. The Verkhovna Rada committee on law enforcement and the committee on combating corruption have made recommendations to parliament to vote for the dismissal of Viktor Shokin.

What else do we need, when the Speaker puts this question to a vote, to rid ourselves of this man who is unworthy of the office of the Prosecutor General?” 

— Pierre Vaux

Peskov Says ‘Interference’ In Savchenko Trial Is ‘Unacceptable’

President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, has told reporters that “interference” in the jurisdiction of Russian courts is “unacceptable” and “impossible” in response to calls from world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, for the immediate release of Nadiya Savchenko.

Obama Urges Putin To Free Savchenko

News media are reporting that U.S. President Barack Obama and the world's leading economic powers have urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to release jailed Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko. The U.S.

View full page →

Mar 17, 2016 13:08 (GMT)

RBC reports, citing Interfax, that Peskov said that giving any assessment of the case before the end of the trial and sentencing “is impossible.”

— Pierre Vaux

Poroshenko Delivers ‘Savchenko List’ To EU Leaders

President Petro Poroshenko has given European Union leaders a list of individuals he proposes should be subject to sanctions due to their involvement in the show trial of Nadiya Savchenko.

Poroshenko’s press secretary, Svyatoslav Tsegolko, said that the President had given the list to both Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament.

The list gives the names of “the Russian officials who had fabricated the case against Savchenko.”

Savchenko is a Ukrainian military officer who was captured in June, 2014, by militants near Lugansk and subsequently abducted to Russia where she is the subject of an internationally condemned show trial. 

On Tuesday the Presidential Administration announced that Poroshenko was coordinating on the list with the European Union and the United States.

Interfax-Ukraine reports that Tusk, speaking in Brussels today alongside Poroshenko and Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, called for the immediate release of Savchenko and other Ukrainian captives, including film director Oleg Sentsov.

“We have also discussed the issue of Nadia Savchenko, who is still in illegal detention in Russia. Let me in this context reiterate the call by the EU for her immediate release, along with Oleh Sentsov and all other illegally detained Ukrainian citizens.” 

Meanwhile Juncker said at the press conference that the European Commission was pleased with the recent reforms passed by the Ukrainian government and would make a proposal to enact visa liberalisation in April, allowing easy movement between the EU and Ukraine.

UNIAN reports that Tusk said:

“I am happy to know that further steps have been taken on visa liberalization. Following the positive report by the Commission in December, Ukraine has taken the key steps in meeting its outstanding commitments. I trust it will soon be possible to take the next steps to finalizing this process.”

Poroshenko is in Brussels for a two day visit, meeting with national leaders, the first of which was the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban, known for his sympathetic attitude to President Vladimir Putin.

— Pierre Vaux