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Ukrainian crisis: March 25 (live updates)

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

Ukrainian crisis: March 25 (live updates)
Euromaidan Self-Defence protesters under the Verkhovna Rada's building in Kyiv
Фото: Макс Левин

Read previous news on the topic: Ukrainian crisis: March 24

Ukrainian crisis: March 21

Defying Ukrainian protests and Western sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty in Moscow on Tuesday, March 18, making Crimea part of Russia again. He also said he didn't plan to seize any other regions of Ukraine.

On the same day a Ukrainian serviceman protecting one of the remaining Ukrainian bases in the main town of Simferopol on the peninsula came under attack - the first death in Crimea from a military clash since Russia seized control in late February. The Ukrainian authorities said the attackers had been wearing Russian military uniforms, and responded by authorizing its soldiers in Crimea to use weapons to protect their lives, reversing previous orders that they should avoid using arms against attack.

In response to Russia's actions, the EU, the U.S. and Canada have introduced a number of sanctions against Russian officials. Moscow responded with symmetrical sanctions.

As of March 24 there were around 100 thousands soldiers on the Russian side of the south-eastern borders of Ukraine and Crimea.

00:11. Ukraine and Russia have agreed to prevent the escalation of the conflict in Crimea, in east and south of Ukraine, which could result in a loss of human lifes, Acting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsa stated commenting on his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

00:27. Before the start of the assault of the Ukrainian landing ship 'Konstantin Olshansky' by Russian troops on March 24 its crew managed to spoil ship's engines and electronics by filling then with cement mortar (or sand, according to another sources), mass media report.

00:43. A list of Ukrainian detainees/abductees/captives in Crimea consists of at least 14 people, 9 of which are servicemen, reported Euromaidan SOS community on Facebook.

00:55. The U.S. Senate called for the cessation of debate and formulation of final vote on a bill to impose sanctions on Russia, and on allocation of $1-billion aid to Ukraine. 78 senators voted in favour of such decision, another 17 didn't support it.

08:36. Japan has increased its financial assistance to Ukraine to $1.5 billion, stated Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in The Hague. The funds will be allocated once the IMF reform plan is agreed.

09:53. A prominent Ukrainian far-right activist, part of a hard-line nationalist movement was shot dead by police overnight, Ukrainian authorities said on Tuesday (pictures).

The Interior Ministry said Oleksander Muzychko, also known as Sashko Bily, was killed by officers of the 'Sokol' special unit as he tried to escape from a cafe in the western Ukrainian region of Rivne.

Muzychko was a member of the hard-line 'Praviy sector' ('Right sector') civil movement and the group's coordinator for western Ukraine. Police said he was wanted for "hooliganism" and an attack on a local prosecutor.

Russia said this month Muzychko was under investigation for fighting alongside rebels in Russia's Chechnya region in the 1990s.

10:09. Traders in the Crimean markets have begun to show prices both in Ukrainian UAH and in Russian rubles. In particular, in Sevastopol on a market 'Chaika' ('Seagull') prices are converted at the rate of 26 kopecks per ruble.

10:22. Cinemas in Crimea will not be able to show American movies in the near future. Since the U.S. does not recognize the annexation of Crimea to Russia, Russian distributors are forbidden to pass their copies of movies to Crimea. On the other hand, Crimea can't cooperate with Ukrainian distributors, as their certificate issued for showing movies do not work in Russia.

10:23. Ukraine's Defence Minister Igor Tenyukh said that 4.3 thousand of 18.8 thousand Ukrainian troops stationed in Crimea have expressed their desire to continue serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

10:41. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) on Tuesday raided a bank 'Market technologies', suspected of money laundering. According to the SBU, the bank is associated with former Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko.

10:50. Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine Mykhailo Kutsin has agreed with his Russian counterpart Valery Gerasimov on an order of Ukrainian servicemen exit from Crimea with weapons, stated Acting Defence Minister Igor Tenyukh while speaking in parliament.

10:59. Defence Minister Igor Tenyukh has estimated the cost of Ukrainian military property in Crimea as 11 billion 439 thousand hryvnia.

11:11. Leader of the 'UDAR' party Vitali Klitschko has called for resignation of Oleksandr Turchinov from a post of Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada.

He also noted that by the end of the month it is time to take the first personnel conclusions.

12:06. Minister for Social Policy Lyudmila Denisova speaking at a meeting of Ukraine's parliament said that as of March 24 there were 3.6 thousand refugees from Crimea on the mainland of Ukraine.

12:16. As of March 25 the Defence Ministry of Ukraine has received more than 40 million hryvnia ($10 million) within a campaign 'Support the Ukrainian army'. Funds came from businesses and individuals, the press service of the Defence Ministry reports.

12:21. Crimea has not paid interest on its bonds worth $133 million, which were issued in 2011. Borrowed money were focused on a project for waste treatment in Simferopol. Ukraine's Ministry of Finance advises investors to urgently address court on this matter.

12:28. Ukraine's parliament dismissed acting Defence Minister Ihor Tenyukh on Tuesday in a second vote, having earlier rejected his offer to resign over his handling of Russia's annexation of Crimea.

The repeat vote followed consultations between party faction leaders and Ukraine's acting president and parliamentary speaker, Oleksander Turchinov.

12:35. Ukrainian lawmakers elected Mykhailo Koval, head of the Ukrainian border guard, to replace Tenyukh.

12:35. Several protests have taken place today under a building of the Verkhovna Rada today, including anti-war and anti-corruption protests (pictures).

12:38. Ukraine's parliament has refused to dismiss Oleksandr Turchinov from a post of a chairman of the parliament. Turchinov, putting this issue to a vote, said that he 'is not afraid of blackmail' and satisfies the initiative of the 'UDAR' faction about voting for his resignation. Only two MPs voted for his resignation.

13:14. Representatives of the 'Praviy sector' ('Right sector') civil movement in Rivne said they'll 'revenge Interior Minister Arsen Avakov for the death of their coordinator in Western Ukraine Oleksander Muzychko, also known as Sashko Bily.

13:31. Ukraine's parliament on Tuesday passed a law that obliges the government and utilities, as well as their 'daughters' to publish reports on signed contracts for the purchase of goods and services.

13:32. The Ukrainian government has allocated 1.87 billion hryvnia to the Ministry of Defence, the General Directorate of Interior Forces and the State Border Service. The funds are allocated from the reserve fund of the state budget.

13:41. NATO is very concerned about a Russian military build-up on Ukraine's borders and has all plans in place to defend members of the alliance, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Tuesday.

'We are very much concerned about the Russian military build-up along the borders of Ukraine', Rasmussen told a news conference after talks with Montenegro Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic.

'All NATO allies can be assured of our determination to provide effective defence ... We have all plans in place to provide effective defence of our allies', he said, adding that the Western military alliance was discussing with Kyiv how it could enhance its support for non-NATO member Ukraine.

14:04. Representatives of the Ukrainian IT-community have prepared a reform program called 'Innovative Ukraine', which, in their opinion, should be implemented in the country for the development of this sector. They have asked the government to introduce 3G-communication and intellectual property protection in Ukraine.

14:28. Ukraine intends to continue paying for gas taking into account the Kharkiv agreements, which provided a $100 discount for the extension of the Russian Black Sea Fleet stay in Crimea, stated Minister of Energy and coal industry Yuriy Prodan.

14:43. Former Head of Kharkiv Regional State Administration Mykhailo Dobkin submitted documents to the Central Election Commission to register as a presidential candidate.

14:50. Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said up to 12 billion cubic meters of gas per year may be delivered to Ukraine through Slovakia. It's almost a quarter of total gas consumption in Ukraine in 2013 and almost a half of the Russian fuel imports in 2013.

14:52. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk advocates the elimination of regional state administrations as the executive power in the country, and delegating their powers to newly created executive committees.

15:10. The Verkhovna Rada appointed extraordinary elections of mayors in ten Ukrainian cities on May 25.

In particular, the Parliament called for early elections of mayors in Sumy, Vasilkov (Kyiv region), Pryluki (Chernihiv region), Anthracite (Luhansk region), Gyoltie Vodi (Dnipropetrovsk region), Romny (Sumy region), Ladyzhin (Vinnytsia region), Bobrynets (Kirovograd region), Baturin (Chernihiv region), Korsun (Cherkasy region).

15:18. A search is being carries at the headquarters of a public organization 'National Guard' in Kyiv. A chief of staff Volodimir Volkov believes it was ordered by Interior Minister Arsen Avakov (pictures).

15:39. One of the leaders of the Party of Regions, Sergiy Tigipko, submitted documents for registration as individual presidential candidate to the Central Election Commission. He also expressed hope that a Congress of the Regions Party, which has been repeatedly postponed, will be held in the coming Saturday.

15:44. Former governor of Kharkiv region Mykhailo Dobkin is a new presidential candidate from the Party of Regions. Reshuffle was caused by Sergiy Tigipko's decision to run for presidency on his own.

15:52. Amount of credit assistance to Ukraine by the International Monetary Fund may range from $15 to $20 billion as it hasn't yet been finally defined, since the IMF required additional consultations with other potential donors to Ukraine, Finance Minister Oleksandr Shlapak stated.

15:58. Businessman and president of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress Vadim Rabinovich filed documents to the CEC for registration as a presidential candidate.

'I want to destroy a myth of anti-Semitic Ukraine that is replicated throughout the world. I'm probably the best candidate. Today we need union, and I'm a unifying candidate. I don't have manic lust for power, I just want to help the country', he told reporters after submitting the documents.

16:15. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has suspended $300-million credit program for a city of Sevastopol (Crimea). The money was intended for the modernization of heat and water systems in the city. The bank says it does not negotiate with illegitimate authorities of the city.

16:28. The Party of Regions should not participate in the next presidential elections, the party's MP Anna German announced today on the sidelines of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

She said she believes the party needs to hold some internal reforms.

16:47. The 'Praviy sector' ('Right sector') civil movement demands the resignation of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and arrest of a commander of Special Forces 'Sokol' in connection with the death of Oleksander Muzychko, also known as Sashko Bily, who was killed by officers of the 'Sokol' special unit as he tried to escape from a cafe in the western Ukrainian region of Rivne.

17:29. Ukraine's Foreign Ministry is concerned with the growing manifestations of fascism and xenophobia in the Russian Federation, Director of Information Policy Department of the Foreign Ministry Evgeniy Perebiynis stated. In addition, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry noted an increase in anti-Semitic incidents in Russia.

17:53. Ukrainian police believes that the 'Praviy sector' ('Right sector') civil movement activist Oleksander Muzychko (Sashko Bily) shot himself, Deputy Interior Minister Volodimir Evdokimov stated at a briefing. The final conclusions will be made by prosecutors.

'He received two non-fatal shots to the body and a third shot in the heart. Those shots were fired by Muzychko when three police officers - after he was knocked to the ground face - tried to take his gun and handcuff him', Evdokimov said.

17:57. Britain is reviewing its nuclear cooperation agreement with Russian state firm Rosatom because of the Ukraine crisis, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said.

The UK last November opened the doors to Russia to build nuclear power plants in the country by signing a pact with Rosatom to help the company prepare potentially to enter the British market.

But Britain's DECC said it had put the agreement under consideration as tension between the East and West mounts after Russian forces seized Ukraine's Crimea region.

18:12. Kiyv Administrative Court on Tuesday decided to suspend the broadcasting of Russian TV channels in Ukraine during the pendency of the claim of the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting, Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council Victoria Syumar stated today at a briefing in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

'Today Kyiv Administrative Court accepted a definition, according to which broadcasting of Russian TV channels in Ukraine should be suspended at the time of the lawsuit the National Broadcasting Council to a company, which is the main relay of these channels. These are RTR, 'First', 'Russia 24' and NTV, Syumar added.

18:44. Russian soldiers have tried to storm the Ukrainian minesweeper 'Cherkasy' once again, a member of the ship's crew Oleksandr Gutnick told journalists.

18:55. U.S. President Barack Obama at a press conference in The Hague has threatened Moscow with new sanctions if it continues to encroach on Ukrainian sovereignty. x

He also urged the international community to support Ukraine.

19:40. Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Victoria Syumar predicts that the 'Praviy sector' ('Right sector') civil movement activist Oleksander Muzychko's (Sashko Bily) murder may be used to destabilize the situation in Ukraine.

19:57. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has urged not to aggravate the conflict with Russia in order to avoid the war in Europe.

21:10. After a 3-hour assault Ukrainian trawler 'Cherkasy' on lake Donuzlav in Crimea has been captured by Russian invaders. Until now it was the only ship not captured by the Russian military. Its crew has been defending the ship for three days.

21:17. The 'Praviy sector' ('Right sector') civil movement says its activist Oleksander Muzychko's (Sashko Bily) could not shot himself as the Interior Ministry says.

21:49. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has said the EU is ready to apply sanctions of the third level against Russia. These sanctions will affect not only bank sphere, but all sectors of Russian economy.

21:57. The press office of the State Security Committee (KGB) of an unrecognized republic Transnistria is talking about a downed reconnaissance drone, which was allegedly launched from the territory of Ukraine and carried video and photography in Transnistria. The KGB believes it could be launched by the 'Praviy sector' ('Right sector') civil movement.

22:12. The 'Praviy sector' ('Right sector') civil movement does not have any weapons at its disposal, but its supporters may, said a member of the political council of the 'Right sector' Igor Krivoruchko.

22:28. During the assault of the Ukrainian trawler 'Cherkasy' Russian soldiers fired on the ship, and Ukrainian servicemen - in the air, Vladislav Seleznyov, a Ukrainian military spokesman in Crimea wrote on Facebook.

22:45. Norwegian government has decided to suspend military cooperation with Russia till the end of May 2014, reported the press center of the Ministry of Defence of Norway.

The country has also condemned the Russian annexation of Crimea and the use of armed forces in Ukraine.

23:07. Ukrainian marines from Melitopol arrived to a 'Borispol' airport in Kyiv. A lot of people, including relatives, friends, ordinary citizens and several AutoMaidan cars had already been waiting for them.

A mother of one of the marines told reporters the guys have boarded a bus and have been driven to one of the military units of Kyiv.

23:54. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has advised the Russian Federation to switch attention from Crimea to Russia's domestic problems, such as a growing number of racist, fascist and xenophobic incidents in the Russian Federation, says a statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, released by its press service.

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