• Separatist commander acknowledges heavy losses near Avdiivka

    The founder of the Vostok separatist battalion, Alexander Khodakovsky, acknowledged that 13 in his unit were killed and 90 were wounded between March 7th and April 7th.

    “The biggest losses were suffered in the industrial zone between Yasynuvata and Avdiivka. This is becoming, as our fighters say, the second Airport*,” he wrote on his LiveJournal page.

    “I do not have the information about the losses in the other units, but I can guess that they are considerable too… Only the Vostok battalion …

  • Ukrainian Justice Ministry begins negotiations on the transfer of Sentsov and three other political prisoners

    Negotiations are also under way for the return of Olexandr Kolchenko, Gennady Afanasyev and Yuri Soloshenko

    The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine has started negotiations on the return of four Ukrainian political prisoners from Russia: Oleg Sentsov, Olexandr Kolchenko, Gennady Afanasyev and Yuri Soloshenko, TSN reports.

    The Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine, Sergiy Petukhov, said that the prisoners have agreed to undergo a legal procedure for the transfer of sentenced persons from Russia to …

  • European Commission to submit proposal on visa-free travel for Ukrainians in late April

    The official representative of the European Commission, Margaritis Shinas, stated that the EC confirmed its intention to propose the introduction of a visa-free regime with Ukraine to the European Parliament and the EU Council. “Last month, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, announced that visa-free proposals will be filed this month,” the representative of the European Commission said.

    On the 17th of March, Juncker stated that the progress towards reforms and …

  • Hearing on ban of Crimean Tatar Mejlis postponed until April 15th

    The so-called Supreme Court of the Russian Crimea held a session on Friday regarding the prohibition of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People on the occupied peninsula. As Krym.Realii reported, the session lasted a mere 10 minutes and resulted in a postponement of the hearing.

    The next session is scheduled for April 15th.

    Crimean Prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya initiated proceedings to ban the Mejlis, accusing the representative body of engaging in extremist activity.

    On Friday, …

  • Heavy fighting reported near Avdiivka

    According to several Ukrainian soldiers, heavy fighting has erupted near Avdiivka, where a separatist offensive involving members of the Russian Special Forces (GRU) was launched, CRiMe reported.

    The Ukrainian servicemen told the online publication that the offensive includes the use of tanks and other heavy weapons that are banned by the Minsk agreements. They also stated that Russian GRU forces were involved in the fighting.

    “Before the offensive we managed to intercept their radio …

  • OSCE has not decided on police mission in the Donbas

    According to Radio Svoboda, the special representative for the organization in the Trilateral Contact Group on the settlement of conflict in Donbas, Martin Sajdik, stated that as a result of the meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk, the parties discussed the proposal of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to provide the police mission during the coming election in Donbas.“Security issues during the elections were not discussed. But unfortunately, the secretariat and the German Government …

  • Dzhemilev: The de-occupation of Crimea must be discussed during negotiations on Ukraine

    The leader of the Crimean Tatars, Mustafa Dzhemilev, believes that the issue of the de-occupation of Crimea cannot be of less importance then other topics during the international negotiations on the situation in Ukraine. The politician said this at a press conference in Kyiv on April 6, Krym.Realii reported.

    "The Minsk Agreements don't say a word about the aggressor withdrawing completely from the occupied territories. So the de-occupation of Crimea is omitted from these agreements. From our …

  • Latvian official: The Baltic States are susceptible to Russian foreign policy 'adventures'

    The former head of Latvian counterintelligence and adviser to the president of the republic, Janis Kazocins, believes that Russia will hardly risk a direct military invasion into the Baltic States as stated in his article titled, "Has the Russian Venture into Syria made Latvia Safer?", BaltNews reported.

    However, in his opinion, right now there comes an extremely dangerous period when Moscow can "decide on their next venture."

    "There are two opinions regarding Russia’s current opportunities …

  • World Bank cuts Russia's economic forecast

    The World Bank predicts that the Russian economy will shrink 1.9%, a poorer estimate than the December forecast which estimated a dip of only 0.7%.

    The worsening of the forecast is due to a revaluation of oil prices for 2016. In the previous forecast the bank assumed that the average oil price would be 49 dollars per barrel. According to the bank’s new estimates, the average oil price this year will be about 37 dollars per barrel.

    The new WB forecast also anticipates 1.1% growth in the …

  • Yatsenyuk intends to introduce ban on oil products from Russia

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk intends to introduce a ban on the import of oil products from Russia. He stated this on April 6th during a meeting with the government. Ukraine has established strict sanctions on goods from Russia after the annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and because of Moscow's support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. Russia responded with its own ban on Ukrainian goods.

    At a meeting with the government in Kiev, Yatsenyuk said that "we have introduced …