Ukraine Day 931: LIVE UPDATES BELOW.
Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
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One Inter journalist, Yelena Zorina, suffered a spinal injury after falling while trying to flee the smoke-filled office.
In a statement released by the Presidential Administration, Poroshenko said that he had instructed the Prosecutor-General, Yuriy Lutsenko, to take personal control over the investigation.
“The Ukrainian government is capable of ensuring security and order on the streets of Kyiv and all over Ukraine. We will not allow the escalation of violence in any case. This is our fundamental task and I am confident that we will cope with it.
It is inadmissible that somebody breaks into the building and commits arson attack. I am confident that this situation has nothing to do with patriots. Today, it is even more harmful for Ukraine than any contacts with provocateurs.”
However the President couched his condemnation with criticism of the channel, which is perceived by many in Ukraine as holding a pro-Russian bias:
“At the same time, scenario of the state-aggressor when certain media funded by Russia are trying to destabilize the domestic political situation in Ukraine is also unacceptable. However, the response to that must be absolutely legal.”
Eight people were arrested yesterday in connection with the attack, however the head of the National Police, Khatia Dekanoidze, told reporters this morning that all of them had been released.
Meanwhile Anton Gerashchenko, an MP and adviser to the interior minister, notorious for his provocative claims and association with the Myrotvorets website which repeatedly published the personal details of journalists working in the occupied territories of the Donbass, suggested that the fire had been staged by Inter themselves.
Gerashchenko claimed that Inter’s management had held off handing over security camera footage to the police until late last night, saying that this indicated the channel was unwilling to assist the police in identifying the culprits behind the attack.
The MP says he does “not exclude the possibility” that the incident was staged to generate international sympathy and to “rally their audience, preparing it for even more monstrous streams of cynical lies during the fall electoral season.”
This afternoon, activists have begun setting up tents outside the Inter building, which is now guarded by the security forces. The protesters accuse the channel of working for the Kremlin.
According to the ATO Press Center, Russian-backed forces violated the ceasefire 20 times yesterday.
This would make yesterday the worst day by their official statistics since the ceasefire came into effect.
Colonel Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, military spokesman for the Presidential Administration, told reporters today that seven Ukrainian soldiers and one border guard had been wounded yesterday.
According to Motuzyanyk, one soldier was wounded by enemy fire in Avdeyevka, where the ATO Press Center reports Russian-backed forces fired on Ukrainian positions with 82 mm mortars.
Two soldiers were wounded by an explosive device in Krasnogorovka, west of Donetsk, while the other four and the border guard were injured after a grenade exploded in a light medical vehicle near Stanitsa Luganskaya.
Notably, the military claims that a skirmish took place near Troitskoye, on the western edge of the Lugansk region, after a group of Russian-backed fighters approached a Ukrainian position and opened fire last night.
The military claims that the attack was repelled with force.
In addition, the ATO Press Center reports that infantry fighting vehicles opened fire near Shirokino, on the Azov coast.
Attacks on other areas of the front line were reportedly conducted with grenade launchers, machine guns and small arms.
Nevertheless, the ATO Press Center reported that these “rare, armed provocations” were the exception to the rule and that the situation is stable.
In turn, Eduard Basurin, deputy commander of the armed forces of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), claimed that Ukrainian forces had violated the ceasefire 49 times over 24 hours.
According to Basurin, the situation in the Donetsk region “remains relatively calm, however we are recording an increase in the number of attacks on the territory of the DNR from the Ukrainian side.”
The DNR claims that Ukrainian forces used heavy artillery, including 122 mm howitzers and mortars.
— Pierre Vaux