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The latest breaking news from Ukraine in English

Ukrainian crisis: March 13 (live updates)

LB.ua chronicles the latest events in Ukraine in English for foreign readers.

Read previous news on the topic:Ukrainian crisis: March 12

Ukrainian crisis: March 11

On March 1 Russian President Vladimir Putin secured permission from his parliament to use military force to protect Russian citizens in Ukraine and told U.S. President Barack Obama he had the right to defend Russian interests and nationals, spurning Western pleas not to intervene. While Russian military continues bloodlessly seizing Ukrainian military units and other objects in Crimea, Ukraine's security council ordered the general staff to immediately put all armed forces on highest alert. Thus, the Defence Ministry was ordered to stage a call-up of reserves.

Now everyone is waiting on whether Russia makes a military move in predominantly Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, where pro-Moscow demonstrators have marched and raised Russian flags over public buildings in several cities in the last few days.

As of March 10 Russia has introduced around 20 thousands soldiers to the territory of Crimea, and their number keeps growing. Also, there are about 220 thousand Russian soldiers on the Russian side of the south-eastern borders of Ukraine and Crimea.

00:09. The Czech government has allocated 50 million CZK (about $2.5 million) of financial assistance to Ukraine, reported Czech news agency CTK, citing a statement by the Minister of Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Jiri Dienstbier.

00:27. Essentuki municipal court in absentia arrested a citizen of Ukraine Alexander Muzychko, also known as 'Sasha Bily (White)', who is suspected of torturing and killing Russian soldiers in Chechnya.

00:39. A Profile Committee of the U.S. Senate approved on March 12 a bill to help Ukraine and impose sanctions against those who are the authors of the bill and are held responsible for violating the country's sovereignty.

14 members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate voted in favour of the bill, three were against it.

00:58. Reporter for TSN ('1+1' Tv channel) Natalka Pisnya and cameraman Sergei Kiselyov who were reported missing in Abkhazia on Wednesday night, were deported from Abkhazia after hours of interrogation. Currently they are in Russia,and in the nearest future they'll head to Kyiv.

08:15. Leadership of the Russian publishing house 'Kommersant' has closed 'Kommersant-Ukraine' newspaper. The official reason - economic problems.

08:35. Russia announced on Thursday it had started military exercises near the border with Ukraine, reports Reuters.

The Defence Ministry confirmed exercises had begun in the Southern Military District, involving 8,500 artillery men, after pictures appeared on social media showing military vehicles on the move in the area.

The exercise includes a large number of artillery and Grad, Hurricane and Tornado multiple-rocket launchers, the Defence Ministry said in a statement on its website.

Also involved are Howitzers, Nona self-propelled artillery and Rapier anti-tank guns, and the aim is to improve cooperation with motorized infantry, tank, air-assault and marine units.

One of the exercises will involve firing at a conventional enemy up to 15 km (nine miles) away and half of the training will be at night, it said.

08:56. The U.S. will provide assistance to Ukraine in the search and return of corruption proceeds of former officials, says a press release of the State Department, released on Wednesday following a visit of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to Washington (pictures).

09:38. At about 2:00 am tonight several dozen unidentified armed men broke into an office of a bank in downtown Kyiv, reported the Interior Ministry. Police detained 38 people after storming a bank in. Police seized several Kalashnikov rifles, dozens of Makarov pistols, hunting carbine 'Saiga'. Both Euromaidan self-defence and the 'Praviy sector' ('Right sector') civil movement deny involvement in this crime.

09:59. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is pleased with the way the U.S. and the EU help to Ukraine in emerging from the crisis, the press service of the Cabinet reported. West will do anything to keep Ukraine save, the prime minister added.

10:00. Kharkiv Mayor Gennadiy Kernes arrived for questioning to the Prosecutor General.

Kernes was summoned for questioning as a suspect. Criminal proceedings are instituted under Part 2 of Art. 146 (unlawful imprisonment or kidnapping), Part 2, 127 (torture), Art. 129, part 1 (death threat when there are real reasons to fear the threat) of the Criminal Code.

10:16. The Verkhovna Rada has opened the morning plenary session. 227 MPs registered in a session hall. On the agenda - the creation of the National Guard.

10:25. Head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde after a meeting with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in the United States, said that the fund wants to help Ukraine to overcome the economic crisis.

10:37. Ukraine's parliament appealed on Thursday to the United Nations to discuss the occupation by Russian forces of its Crimea peninsula and said it reserved the right to ask individual countries for help in resolving the issue.

A total of 250 members in the 450-seat assembly, which last month removed a Moscow-backed president, endorsed the appeal to the U.N., citing the 'flagrant violation by the Russian Federation of the fundamental principles of international law'.

10:44. Ukraine's parliament approved a resolution 'confirming Ukraine's policy of integration with the European Union'.

11:11. Only two members of ousted president Viktor Yanukovich's Party of Regions voted in the Verkhovna Rada on Thursday, while others said they wanted first to see the outcome of Sunday's plebiscite in Crimea. Communists also abstained.

11:26. The Council of Ministers of Crimea Sergey Aksenov today introduced strict monetary limits on the peninsula. According to 'The Insider', from 12 am Thursday local residents won't be able to take their deposits out of the banks. In addition, a restriction for cash sum of 300 hryvnia has been introduced in bank branches and ATMs.

11:44. The Verkhovna Rada, Ukrain'es parliament, has created a National Guard - a military formation with law enforcement functions, which will obey the Interior Ministry. It'll consist of up to 60,000 people and their number may be increased.

11:47. Secretary of State John Kerry will fly to London to meet with his Russian counterpart in a 11th-hour effort to persuade the Kremlin not to move forward with the annexation of Crimea, American officials said on Wednesday, reports The New York Times.

11:48. Unrecognized Crimean authorities are ready to cancel the building permits on the peninsula that were provided earlier in favor of Russian investors, says a letter of Minister of resorts and tourism of Crimea Alexander Liev to head of the Russian investment company 'Veles Capital' Alexei Gnedovsky, which is dated March 5. The document was published in the social network Facebook.

12:11. Chairman of the Supreme Council of Crimea Vladimir Konstantinov is going to deny entry to Crimea to Acting President of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and other 'Nazi propagandists', he said in an interview with Russian RIA Novosti.

12:14. Ukrainian parliament adopted a draft law 'On the Rehabilitation of persons who have been convicted illegally'. The Commission will consist of 10 retired judges and five members of the public. x

12:31. The OSCE has not yet agreed on its position as to whether the Russian military is staying out of its locations in Crimea, the Swiss ambassador in Ukraine Christian Schonenberg said.

12:32. U.S. President Barack Obama warned Russia it faced costs from the West unless it changed course in Ukraine, and pledged to 'stand with Ukraine' as he met with the country's new prime minister in Washington.

12:48. The 'Batkivschyna' faction opposes the postponement of the presidential elections, acting chairman of the faction Sergei Sobolev told reporters.

12:53. Today in Kyiv locals and Euromaidan self-defence fighters came out to protest against an illegal construction of the LCD 'Bastion Caves' on Olshanska Street. They cut tires of a truck that tried to drag concrete slabs blocking entry to the construction site, reports LB.ua correspondent from the scene.

12:55. The Crimean authorities intend to pass the oil and gas exploration to the Russian company 'Gazprom', said chairman of the Supreme Council of Crimea Vladimir Konstantinov.

13:05. 'All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV' held an action 'Cleansing of NAMS of Ukraine' (NAMS - National Academy of Medical Sciences), told LB.ua one of the organizers. Activists pelted the building with toilet paper (pictures).

13:09. The OECD has postponed activities related to the accession process of the Russian Federation to the OECD for the time being.

At the request of the Members of the Organisation, the Secretary General has informed the Russian Federation accordingly.

OECD Member countries also agreed that the OECD should respond positively to Ukraine's request to further strengthen existing OECD-Ukraine co-operation to take advantage of the OECD's expertise to address the public policy challenges it faces.

13:14. Russian publishing house 'Kommersant' closed a newspaper and a site 'Kommersant-Ukraine' not due to economic reasons, as it was officially announced, but because journalists refused to publish a material with a text from the Russian 'top', reports 'Telekritika' referring to several sources in 'Kommersant-Ukraine'.

13:20. Command of the 204 Brigade of Combat Aviation of Ukraine stationed at the airfield 'Belbek' near Sevastopol urged the Ukrainian authorities to give a clear command for further action to the Crimean military. If they don't receive any commands, the Ukrainian military says may use weapons to protect the homeland.

13:29. Russian military blew up and flooded a Russian boat in a bay Donuzlav in Crimea to block an exit to the sea to Ukrainian ships.

13:54. Kyiv's court on March 12 has detained for a period of 2 months a citizen of the Russian Federation, who is suspected of forming an armed sabotage and subversive groups to destabilize the situation in Ukraine, reported the press service of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

14:08. 'Chernomorneftegaz' and railways in Crimea are the first in line for the nationalization by the Crimean authorities. 'Chernomornaftohaz's cost is valued at $1 billion, wrote Russian 'Kommersant'.

14:11. Austria has arrested a 48-year-old Ukrainian businessman in Vienna who was wanted by U.S. authorities on suspicion of bribery and criminal conspiracy, the Federal Crime Agency said on Thursday, reports Reuters.

The man, identified only as Dmitry Firtash, was taken into custody on Wednesday evening, the agency said in a statement. It said he had been under investigation since 2006 by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

14:39. MEPs condemned Russia's actions in Crimea, and expressed support for the new Ukrainian authorities. The European Parliament resolution adopted on Thursday says that Crimea is an inseparable part of the territory of Ukraine and 'was recognized as such by the international community and the Russian Federation'.

14:54. The Crimean authorities will take the children's camp 'Artek' from Ukraine's property, said chairman of the Supreme Council of Crimea Vladimir Konstantinov. He also said that Crimea is willing are willing to bargain with Kyiv for local public gardens.

14:56. The Prosecutor General's Office has ordered to detain a former head of the Presidential Administration Andriy Klyuyev and head of the Crimean government Sergey Aksenov, Acting Prosecutor General of Ukraine Oleg Mahnitsky told reporters.

15:03. The National Opera of Ukraine has canceled a concert of the famous Russian pianist Denis Matsuev, which was scheduled to March 27.

15:04. Unrecognized Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksenov argues that information about a ban on withdrawals from deposits in Crimea is a provocation and falsification.

15:16. The Interior Ministry has not declared wanted chairman of the Federation of Employers of Ukraine Dmytro Firtash, the press-secretary of the Interior Minister Natalia Avakova stated.

15:26. The Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kyiv region has launched an investigation into a theft of property from a private house of former Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka in a viilage of Gorenichi under Kyiv, the press service of the regional prosecutor's office reported.

15:33. A Russian investment company 'Veles Capital' officially stated that it hadn't received any letters from the Ministry of resorts and tourism of Crimea concerning redistribution of lands in Crimea, as previously reported.

15:53. Ex-head of Kharkiv Regional State Administration Mykhailo Dobkin can run for presidency of Ukraine in the elections on May 25, Acting Attorney General Oleg Mahnitsky told journalists. Anyone can run for presidency if he hasn't been convicted and has no criminal records. Currently Mykhailo Dobkin is under house arrest.

15:55. 48-year-old Dmitry Firtash, who was arrested on Wednesday night in Vienna is now being held pending extradition proceedings to the U.S.

16:04. The Foreign Ministry passed a note to the Russian side due to the threat of ecological security in the Black Sea because of flooding of four Russian ships in Donuzlav bay in Crimea, Director of Information Policy Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Eugeniy Perebiynis said at a press briefing.

16:10. Head of Russia's 'Gazprom' Alexei Miller said that 'Gazprom' is saving Ukraine from economic collapse by not transferring it to prepayment.

16:16. Ukrainian team at the Paralympics in Sochi decided to protest against the intervention of Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine. Thus, President of the National Paralympic Committee of Ukraine Valeriy Sushkevich refused to participate in the ceremonial reception with the Russian President Vladimir Putin, scheduled on Friday. His position was supported by Presidents of the Paralympic Committees of Germany, Norway, Austria and other countries.

16:27. Goskomteleradio of Ukraine appealed to a leadership of the Ukrainian TV channels and journalists to temporarily stop broadcasting entertainment programs and films, which promote the Russian military.

16:27. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has confirmed the information about the detention of the Ukrainian businessman Dmitry Firtash in the Austrian capital.

16:33. The Election Commission of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (ARC) has prepared voter lists for the referendum on the status of autonomy. More than 1.5 million people were enrolled to vote.

16:54. Former Minister of Economic Development of Georgia Kakha Bendukidze, who is considered the author of 'Georgia's reforms', believes that Ukraine should abandon subsidies for gas, since cheap gas is like a drug or the country.

16:55. Representatives of so called 'self-defence' (e.g.Russian troops) are storming a storage of fuels and lubricants in Simferopol, wrote head of the Crimean media center of the Defence Ministry Vladislav Seleznev on Facebook. One foreign journalist was injured during the assault.

17:04. Seven political prisoners are still in custody, despite the fact that they had been 'amnestied' by the Verkhovna Rada, head of the Committee on release of political prisoners Mykola Kohanovsky told LB.ua.

'Ukraine's parliament on Tuesday' adopted a law to release 34 political prisoners. Now (Acting President Oleksandr) Turchinov has to sign it', he said.

17:04. Results of the Crimean referendum are to be announced on Monday, March 17.

17:10. A Group of companies that belong to Ukrainian businessman Dmitry Firtash Group DF confirms his arrest in Vienna. Group DF think a businessman will be released soon.

17:13. Russian companies have postponed two business forums that were to be held in the nearest future because of the events in Ukraine. economics.

17:17. The State Border Service of Ukraine plane during a patrol came under fire from the Russian checkpoint from the city Armiansk (Crimea), the press service of the State Border Service of Ukraine reported. This is the second case of the use of weapons to stop Ukrainian plane from patrolling the borders.

17:33. Federation Council (upper house of the Federal Assembly of Russia = Russian parliament) took the decision to approve the introduction of the Russian troops to Ukraine with violations of the regulations, reported 'Lenta.ru' journalists after looking through a record of Federation Council's extraordinary meeting on March 1.

On a record posted at the official channel of the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, there was no quorum at the meeting. Then a chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko said that some of the senators-latecomers had asked 'to join their voices'.

In a minute there were 85 senators registered instead of 78 present, and Matvienko declared the meeting open. Moreover, a little bit later 90 senators voted for the introduction of Russian troops in Ukraine.

Violations of the regulations can be a cause of addressing the Constitutional Court of Russia to lift the decision.

17:42. Russian President Vladimir Putin before a meeting with members of the Security Council of Russia said that the crisis in Ukraine was not Russia's fault.

'I want to note that this is primarily Ukrainian domestic crisis. Unfortunately, we all understand that we were somehow involved in these events', quoted the Kremlin press service Putin's words.

'Let's think together on how we build relationships with our partners and friends in Ukraine and with our other partners in Europe and the United States', he added.

18:01. Kharkiv Mayor Gennadiy Kernes instructed the city council to address a court to ban a separatist referendum scheduled for Match 16. No one has the right to violate the integrity of the state, he said.

18:11. Presidential elections in Ukraine must be held on May 25, because there is no reason for their transfer to December, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Acting President of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov told journalists.

19:05. Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed readiness to hold talks with Ukrainian diplomats in Minsk on March 14, reported the press service of the Russian Ministry.

19:21. The General Prosecutor's Office is investigating four criminal proceedings against ex-president Viktor Yanukovich, Acting Prosecutor General of Ukraine Oleg Mahnitsky said.

They are, in particular:

  • organization of a particularly serious crime - abuse of power and official authority, massacre of citizens (Part 3. 27, Part 3. 365, and again Part 3. 27, paragraphs 1, 5, 12, Part 2 of Art. 115 of the Criminal Code);
  • illegal seizure jointly with others of the state property in especially large amounts of money, laundering of money and its legalization (under paragraph 5 of Art. 191, paragraph 3 of Art. 209 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine);
  • seizure of the state power in an unconstitutional manner by amending the Constitution by the adoption by the Constitutional Court of the illegal decision in 2010 (Part 2 of Art. 109 CC);
  • public calls for the seizure of the state power 'by official statements at a press conference in Rostov-on-Don'. This production is also open under Part 2 of Art. 109 of the Criminal Code.

19:32. More than 1 thousand people are holding a rally for the unity of Ukraine on Lenin Square in the center of Donetsk. They are holding Ukrainian flags and anti-war posters.

19:44. Ukraine has prepared all documents for the extradition of ousted Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich, Acting Prosecutor General of Ukraine Oleg Mahnitsky stated.

19:57. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov wrote a letter of resignation of the parliamentary mandate.

20:11. In Simferopol (Crimea) journalists agreed with gunmen storming storage base on release of a French journalist, reported an online edition of the Crimean 'investigative reporter', whose staff negotiated.

20:23. Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has filed am application to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine for falsification of criminal cases against her, Acting Prosecutor General Oleg Mahnitsky said during a press conference.

20:37. The Constitutional Court began its consideration of the constitutional petition on the constitutionality of a resolution of the Supreme Council of Crimea appointing referendum on the status of the ARC. The meeting has started at about 20:00 and passes as a written hearing.

20:51. Dozens of members of the Russian intelligentsia who disagree with the policy pursued by the authorities of the Russian Federation, are going to hold a congress and express their position in the coming days, says their statement. published on a website of 'Novaya Gazeta'.

21:08. More than a 1000 aggressive pro-Russian activists have attacked the people protesting for the unity of Ukraine on Lenin Square in Donetsk. Initially, they threw eggs, firecrackers and smoke bombs at their opponents, and when the meeting ended, started beating leaving protesters (pictures).

21:25. The Prosecutor General's Office has established personalities of the people who attacked Euromaidan supporters on Independence Square in Kyiv during the protests, and the persons who hired them, Acting Prosecutor General of Ukraine Oleg Mahnitsky stated.

According to him, the actions of the so-called 'titushki' fall under the article of the Criminal Code on the bandit groups, and pre-trial investigation has established a scheme for using these people, those who hired them and those who are directly involved in the attacks.

21:39. One person was killed in Donetsk in clashes between the people protesting for the unity of Ukraine and pro-Russian activists who attacked them, reported the health department of the Donetsk Regional State Administration.

When pro-Russian activists attacked peaceful protesters, police behaved passively and made no attempts to stop the offense. Pro-Russian activists freely distributed sticks and fittings from the vehicles parked on Lenin Square.

Rally in Donetsk

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