Ukraine Liveblog Day 232: Rada Passes Anti-Corruption Bill

October 7, 2014
The results of the Rada vote this morning: 278 for, 0 against, 1 abstained, 5 not voting. Screenshot from 5 Kanal via Christopher Miller

Yesterday’s liveblog can be found here. An archive of our liveblogs can be found here. For an overview and analysis of this developing story see our latest podcast.

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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: Evidence Review: Who Shot Down MH17?

Below we will be making regular updates so check back often.


OSCE Does Not Have Enough Staff Or Armored Vehicles To Monitor Ceasefire

Kyiv Post’s Oleg Sukhov writes that one of the many problems with this “ceasefire” is that the OSCE, the organization tasked with monitoring the agreement, is short staffed. Sukhov says that one reason for the staffing shortage is the lack of armored vehicles.

Currently, the OSCE has 90 observers in eastern Ukraine and is planning to double that number, Bociurkiw said. Of these, 20 observers are in Donetsk, and another 20 are in Luhansk, he added.

The total number of OSCE observers in Ukraine is 270 and is expected to be increased to 500, Bociurkiw said. Canada has agreed to fund 21 new monitors that should be arriving soon, Bociurkiw added.

“We are appealing to member states to increase their contributions to the mission,” he said, agreeing that the number of observers was insufficient.

But this is far short of the numbers that President Petro Poroshenko thinks is required. Poroshenko said on Oct. 7 that he wanted the number of OSCE monitors in Ukraine to be increased to 1,500.

Russia is one of the countries that is a member of the OSCE, and has a direct role to play in this crisis. While we have monitored, over the last few months, many hundreds or perhaps thousands of Russian armored vehicles moving near Ukraine, we are not aware of any new vehicles which have been donated to the OSCE’s monitoring effort.

Of course, while Russia shares a border with Ukraine and otherwise has treated the crisis in Ukraine as a national emergency, Russia is not the only OSCE member. There are 57 members of the OSCE, and out of the list below, United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany are all members of the OSCE:

Ukraine Says Attacks By Russian-Backed Militants Increasing. Rebel Commander Explains Why

In today’s briefing, the spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, Colonel Lysenko, warned that attacks by the Russian-backed militants were on the rise:

Journalist Ollie Carroll has been attending briefings and speaking with the leaders of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, and he has received some quotes from some of the Russian-backed militants that explain why the Ukrainian military is seeing attacks on the rise:
Missing Crimean Tatar, Found Dead, Buried In His Home Town

Yesterday we reported that a Crimean Tatar who had gone missing last week had been found dead. Edem Asanov, 25-years-old, disappeared on September 29 and was found dead in an abandoned sanatorium in Yevpatoria, Russian-occupied Crimea. Asanov was just the most recent kidnapping — as we reported, two other young Tatar men were kidnapped in Saury-Su near Belogorsk on September 27.

RFE/RL reports that Asanov has been buried and his family still believes that this was not a suicide:

A Crimean Tatar man who was found dead on the annexed peninsula has been buried today in his native town of Saky.
Edem Asanov, 25, was found hanged in the city of Yevpatoria on October 6 after being missing for days.

Crimea’s Moscow-backed officials say he must have committed suicide. 

The wife of the Crimean Tatars’ veteran leader Mustafa Dzhemilev, Safinar Dzhemileva, who attended the funeral, told RFE/RL that she did not believe Asanov took his own life. 

“We are now hostages here,” Dzhemileva said. “They [Russia-backed officials] treat us as prisoners and nobody is held accountable.”

Separatists To Hold Their Own Elections — Even In Territory Controlled By Ukraine
Parliamentary elections are coming at the end of the month, but it appears that the Russian-backed separatists may boycott that vote and instead appear to be ready to hold their own elections, without the approval of Kiev, perhaps even in territory which they do not control. Journalist Ollie Carroll has been following the latest developments:
Fighting Continues In Donetsk With 4 Civilians Killed Yesterday

Translation: Powerful rumbling over northern Kievsky district in the direction of the airport. Looks like the rear MLRS have been moved to Makeyevka.

The Donetsk City Council described reports from residents in the Kievsky and Kuybyshevsky districts of hearing intermittent salvoes of artillery in the distance.

The council also reported that 4 civilians died in the city during yesterday’s shelling. More than ten were wounded by shrapnel. cites a report from the ATO Press Centre of an incident at a Ukrainian checkpoint in the western Donetsk suburb of Marinka in which unidentified individuals shot at servicemen manning the post, who returned fire, killing one and wounding another.

Meanwhile the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council reports that 5 soldiers were killed in eastern Ukraine over the last 24 hours. 

Interestingly, the Security Council also announced, at a briefing today, that Donetsk Airport is still feasibly functional as an airstrip, despite the devastation months of fighting has left.

Interfax-Ukraine reports:

“The airport runway of Donetsk airport is in a satisfactory state, it capable of accepting even heavy aircraft, which could supply arms and military equipment,” NSDC spokesman Andriy Lysenko said at a briefing on Monday.

Rada Passes Anti-Corruption Bill

The Verkhovna Rada has passed a key anti-corruption bill this morning that will establish a set of principles for preventing corruption in government and lead to the creation of a dedicated anti-corruption bureau.

The bill passed on its first reading with 278 deputies voting in favour. 1 deputy abstained and 5 were absent. There were no dissenting votes.

Interfax-Ukraine reports:

One of the goals of the anti-corruption strategy is to create a system in Ukraine a system on the adoption of decisions on anti-corruption policy, based on the results of analysis of reliable data on corruption and the factors that lead to it.

The document envisages the creation of a special authorized body on fighting corruption, which will be responsible, in particular, for measures to establish and implement anti-corruption policies.

In addition, the bill foresees the establishment of the transparent principles of funding elections, the activity of political parties, the elimination of corruption risks in the activities of elected bodies, and the tightening of public control over their activities.

According to the conclusions of the Venice Commission, amendments should be introduced to the electoral law that would regulate funding for election campaigns and define the requirements for current transparent party funding.