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Country profile for Ukraine

Provided Courtesy of Security Exchange 24

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Most parts of the country are dangerous.

Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

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Some parts of the country are dangerous.

Travel with caution.

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Most parts of the country are safe.

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General Information

  • Capital: Kiev
  • Major Languages: Ukrainian
  • Currency: Hryvnia
  • Timezone: GMT +2:00

Country Map

Map of Ukraine

Since large-scale protests broke out in Kiev between 2013 and 2014, political tensions in Ukraine remain high. Considered one of the worst periods of civil unrest since the country’s independence from the USSR in 1991, the Euromaidan protests brought to Ukraine a completely new political setting amid the country’s aspirations to join the European Union (EU). Ukrainian politics have been particularly tense since in 2011 former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison on corruption charges. In November 2013, the country's political situation significantly deteriorated when President Viktor Yanukovych rejected an association agreement with the EU. Such was the precursor to the Euromaidan protests that occurred in Kiev and across major cities in Ukraine. It is estimated that more than 120 people were killed and hundreds more injured when protesters clashed with government-back forces deployed to suppress the unrest. Several days later, President Yanukovych’s political immunity was stripped by parliament, forcing him to step down from office and flee to Russia - Yanukovych is believed to be still in Russia, where he was granted political asylum.

The change in leadership and the subsequent power vacuum resulted in a significant increase in pro-Russian separatism in eastern Ukraine, which culminated in the Russian annexation of Crimea in March 2014. Russian troops invaded the region before calling a controversial secession referendum, which passed with 97 percent of the votes. Pro-Russian militants seized control of several towns and cities in eastern Ukraine and created semi-autonomous areas, including the Donetsk Peoples’ Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk Peoples’ Republic (LPR). Russian armed forces were also claimed to have been deployed across the border to assist the separatists, although Moscow has continuously denied direct involvement in the conflict.

In May 2014, millions of Ukrainians headed to the polls to elect a new president. Pro-European Petro Poroshenko garnered an outright majority with nearly 55 percent of the votes against former PM Tymoshenko – who was released from jail after the Ukrainian parliament overruled her court sentence. Amid the escalating conflict in eastern Ukraine, European leaders joined Ukraine and Russia in signing the Minsk II agreement - a revamped deal that called for a full ceasefire in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. As a result, the government requested the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to launch the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM). However, despite the fragile deal resulting in the conflict de-escalation, clashes across the region continued and the OSCE SMM has been reporting dozens of daily ceasefire violations due to intense clashes between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russian rebels. In July 2016, more than a dozen Ukrainian soldiers were killed in less than a week, marking the deadliest period of the conflict in months. So far, around 13,000 people have been killed - including civilians - and thousands of others have been wounded. More than 1.6 million people have already been displaced, while a further 800,000 civilians living along the conflict’s frontline continue to be at risk. In July 2020, a full ceasefire came into effect in eastern Ukraine.

In November 2018, President Poroshenko has signed a decree to implement martial law in 10 out of 27 oblasts that are mainly located near the Russian border and on the coastal areas of the Black Sea and the Azov Sea. As well as all oblasts in eastern Ukraine, the implementation of martial law was extended to the Moldovan border, where Russian troops are stationed in the breakaway region of Transnistria. Martial law was proposed after an altercation involving the Russian military and the Ukrainian Navy in the Kerch Strait, where Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) seized three Ukrainian Navy vessels and detained more than two dozen crew members.

President Poroshenko left office after Volodymyr Zelenskiy achieved a landslide victory in the presidential elections held in May 2019. He was eventually inaugurated in late-May and have since launched a number of controversial measures aimed at addressing corruption. Before becoming president, Zelenskiy was well-known in Russia for hosting a TV show. He ran as a candidate of the Servants of the People Party through promoting an anti-corruption platform to flush corruption out of Ukrainian politics. Among his plans included removing the political immunity from himself and lawmakers. He also promoted a controversial impeachment law. Just after taking office, he dissolved parliament and called for snap elections, where his Servants of the People became the dominant political party in the Verkhovna Rada. Besides his anti-corruption crusade, he also vowed to resume talks with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in a fresh attempt to find a solution to the long-standing conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Corruption continues to be an issue in parts of Ukrainian government. A controversial anti-graft prosecutor resigned in August 2020, while in January 2021, the chief of the country's Constitutional Court was investigated in a witness tampering case.

Levels of crime in Ukraine are rated as moderate, although in recent years there has been a slight increase in the rates of violent crime, such as murder and assault. Incidents are significantly higher in Kiev and foreign nationals have been targeted in the past. In September 2020, a female US embassy employee was found dead near a park in the capital. The conflict in the east has also resulted in an increase in the proliferation of weapons, some of which have been used to commit crimes. There is also a threat of racially motivated attacks by right-wing groups in the country, and travellers of non-Caucasian descent should be especially vigilant. Petty crimes are more prevalent on public transport and in areas popular with tourists, while vehicle theft is also common.

There is a moderate threat of terrorism in Ukraine, although the country has not experienced any major attacks outside of the eastern conflict zones. In April 2012, a series of coordinated explosions in Dnipropetrovsk wounded 26 people. In October 2013, a man detonated a suicide bomb at a Russia-Ukraine border crossing, wounding two border guards. In July 2016, a Belorussian journalist was killed by a car bomb in Kiev in an alleged assassination. Nearly a year later, a military intelligence officer was also killed in another car bomb attack in the capital’s Solomenskiy district. In December 2020, a terrorist group was disbanded by the authorities in Odessa. The group was being run under the pretence of an IT call centre and was believed to have possible links to Russian state interests.

Ukraine is among a number of countries worldwide which have been hit by the global outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus. The latest case figures can be viewed here.

News articles

By Reuters

Ukrainian journalist killed in shelling despite ceasefire

A Ukrainian journalist was killed by shelling in east Ukraine on Saturday, his newspaper said, even as the Ukrainian military reported a significant drop in rebel attacks boosting hopes for a two-week-old ceasefire.

By Guardian

Russian journalist killed in Ukraine

A veteran cameraman working for Russia's Channel One was killed in eastern Ukraine when a bus carrying journalists and soldiers' mothers was hit by gunfire, the station said on Monday.

By Associated Press

Italian journalist and Russian interpreter killed in Ukraine

Italian foreign ministry says Ronchelli killed along with interpreter Andrey Mironov, but bodies have not yet been formally identified

[Original headline: Italian journalist Andrea Ronchelli killed in Ukraine]

View all articles for Ukraine

Alerts for Ukraine

Cherkasy shooting leaves one dead

A shooting incident which recently occurred in Cherkasy has reportedly left at least one person dead. The shooting apparently occurred on Wednesday in the Baidy Vyshnevets'koho Street area of Cherkasy. The person was reportedly shot dead by an unidentified armed attacker who seemingly managed to flee the scene immediately after the attack. No arrests have been made so far as police continue to investigate possible motives.

Presidential advisor targeted in assassination

A presidential advisor has allegedly been targeted in a recent assassination attempt in Kyiv. According to local reports, the attempted assassination took place on Wednesday morning, when gunfire was aimed at presidential advisor Serhiy Shefir's vehicle. The attack took place in the Lisnyky area of the capital. While Shefir's driver has sustained injuries, Shefir escaped the incident unharmed. Investigations have been launched; however, no arrest have been made so far.

Two soldiers killed in clashes with separatists

Two Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and 10 others wounded in clashes with pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Donetsk region. In a statement on Sunday, the army said separatists had used large-calibre artillery, grenades and drones to target troops. At least 52 Ukrainian soldiers and more than 30 separatist fighters have died so far this year.

IS suspect detained in Odessa

A suspected member of the Islamic State (IS) has reportedly been detained by the Ukrainian authorities in Odessa. The arrest was apparently made on Thursday during a security forces operation. It's claimed the suspect is wanted by Interpol on terror-related charges. Recent reports suggest the detained individual is believed to have been linked to activities with the intention of financing terrorism.

Ukraine denies reports of hijacked Afghan plane

Both Ukraine and Iran have denied reports claiming a Ukrainian plane was hijacked in Afghanistan and flown to Iran. The claims appear to have originally been made by Ukraine's deputy foreign minister Yevhenii Yenin, who was talking to a Ukrainian radio host when he said: "the plane was practically stolen from us, it flew into Iran with an unidentified group of passengers onboard instead of airlifting Ukrainians". In response to the comments, the Iranian Civil Aviation Authority denied the claim, but confirmed a Ukrainian plane was refuelled in Mashad before continuing its journey to Kyev. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has also denied the report, stating "there are no captured Ukrainian planes in Kabul or elsewhere. The information about the 'captured plane' that is being circulated by some media outlets is not true".

Seven nationalists detained in Kyiv incident

Seven radical nationalists have allegedly been detained following an incident in Kyiv. The incident occurred on Tuesday on Instytutska Street, where seven members of the radical nationalist group, National Corps, allegedly vandalised and destroyed an open-air installation. The installation was dedicated to the history of Ukrainian during the Soviet Period and included Soviet-era pieces on display, such as Soviet vending machines. The attack was reportedly motivated by the presence of these pieces.

Heavy rain triggers floods in Kerch

Floods have been triggered in Kerch, following recent heavy rainfall in the Crimea region. Several streets have apparently been flooded overnight, impacting local public transport services and leading to some general disruption. Weather warnings for heavy rainfall remain in place throughout the duration of Monday. Local authorities have identified the following areas as the worst-affected, advising residents to find alternative routes: Eremenko Street, Kirov Street, and Samoilenko Street. 

Belarusian activist found dead in Kyiv park

A police investigation has been launched in Kyiv after the body of a Belarusian activist was discovered in a park in the capital. Vitaly Shishov's body was apparently found in a park near his home on Tuesday morning, having been reported missing the day before. Concerns over the activist's whereabouts were raised when he failed to return home from a run. No suspects have been identified and no arrests have been made so far as police continue to investigate all possibilities, including murder disguised as suicide. Shishov ran a Kyiv-based organisation helping Belarusians flee persecution.

Sheparivtsi plane crash kills four

Four people have died after a light aircraft crashed in Sheparivtsi, Ivano-Frankivsk. According to local reports, the accident occurred on Wednesday afternoon at around 13:40 local time. A fire apparently broke out at the site of the crash which firefighting crews managed to bring under control relatively quickly, extinguishing the fire completely by 15:00. The deceased have been identified as the pilot, along with three passengers. Investigations into the cause of the crash have been launched.

World Wide Rallies to take place

Several World Wide Rally for Freedom events are due to take place in several major towns and cities tomorrow. The demonstrations are expected to be staged between 13:00 and 16:00 local time on Saturday 24 July in the capital city of Kyiv, as well as in Lviv and Odessa. In Kyiv, the event will take place in Mykhailivs'ka Square. In Lviv, another demonstration is scheduled to be held in Rynok Square, while a third event will also be staged in the Prymorski Boulevard area of Odessa. The demonstrations come as part of the World Wide Demonstration campaign to stand up for five freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of choice, freedom of assembly, and freedom of health.

Protesters block traffic in Schaslyvtseve

Protesters in Schalyvtseve, Kherson Oblast, have reportedly blocked traffic as part of a demonstration, leading to disruption through the area. The protest was organised by local residents from Schaslyvtseve and Gengorka to call for frequent power cuts to be fixed. Protesters congregated on the highway next to the local administration building late on Monday evening to demand a resolution.

Zaporizhzhia shooting kills one

A fatal shooting incident which recently occurred in the city of Zaporizhzhia has allegedly left one victim dead. Local sources indicate the deadly shooting happened during the early hours of Sunday morning, when the police were called out to respond to reports of gunfire on Mayakovs'koho Avenue. The victim was apparently confirmed dead at the scene. No arrests have been made thus far and the motive currently remains undetermined as investigations get underway.

Artillery fire reported in Donetsk

Reports of artillery fire have recently emerged from the Donetsk region, where it's claimed Russian-backed rebels have exchanged fire with the Ukrainian armed forces. The gunfire reportedly occurred within the last 48 hours but left no casualties on either side. Local reports claim artillery fire hit civilian settlements in several areas.

Russian troops to be pulled back from near Ukraine

Russia is due to pull its troops back from near the Ukrainian border. The news comes after weeks of tension over a build-up of Russian troops close to Ukraine's border, with the EU estimated at one stage that more than 100,000 Russian soldiers had been deployed near the border, as well as in Crimea. Russia described the deployment as "snap checks", stating that troops were now to be withdrawn and returned to base having achieved their objective: "to demonstrate their ability to provide a credible defence for the country". In response to the build-up, Ukrainian troop number were also bolstered, prompting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to challenge Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet him in the conflict zone.

Quarantine zones updated nationwide

Updates have been issued for quarantine zones across the country by the Ukrainian government. Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health updated coronavirus restrictions in quarantine zones - geographical areas introduced in February this year to enable local authorities to enforce adaptive quarantine measures in accordance with local infection rates. Under the new changes, areas included in the highest-risk 'red' quarantine zone category include: Chernihiv, Chernivtsi, Khmelnystky, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Sumy, Zaporizhia, and Zhytomyr. 'Orange' quarantine zone areas include: Cherkasy, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kirovohrad, Luhansk, Poltava, Rivne, Ternopil, Vinnytsia, and Volyn. 'Yellow' zones include: Ivano-Frankivsk, Kherson, and Zakarpattia.

Erdogan offers support to end Ukraine tensions

President Erdogan has called for an end to the developments in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region after meeting Ukrainian President Zelenskyy in Istanbul, adding that Turkey was ready to provide any necessary support. Erdogan said: “Our main goal is that the Black Sea continues to be a sea of peace, tranquillity and cooperation" and that tensions would be resolved through dialogue and in accordance with international law. Erdogan emphasised that defensive cooperation was not a move against any third countries.

Ukrainian, Turkish presidents hold talks over Russia tensions

Ukrainian President Zelenskiy is holding talks with Turkish President Erdogan over escalating tensions with Russia. Erdogan’s office has said steps to deepen cooperation will be discussed. The talks come in response to mounting concern over Russian troop build-up near the border and increasing violence along the line of contact between Ukrainian troops and Russia-backed separatists in the eastern Donbass region. The Kremlin denies its troops are a threat.

Russia warns of possible military intervention in Ukraine

Russia has seemingly warned of possible military intervention in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Moscow indicated it could intervene to help Russian-speaking residents if Ukrainian troops launch an all-out assault on Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas region. Russia has been building up troops on the border with Ukraine as top Russian official Dmitry Kozak stated that intervention to defend Russian citizens would depend "on the scale of the conflagration". Meanwhile, Ukrainian military officials claim another soldier was killed in shooting from separatists on Thursday. In response, separatist rebels claim one of their fighters was killed when Ukrainian troops fired mortars at a village on the outskirts of Donetsk city.

Russian 'troop build-up' at Ukranian boarder alarms NATO

Russia has warned NATO against sending reinforcements to Ukraine amid a mass Russian troop build-up near the border. Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, said Russia would take "additional measures" if NATO were to make such a move. US and NATO forces are currently on high alert, citing "escalations of Russian aggression." In a phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky on Friday, US President Biden "affirmed the United States' unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia's ongoing aggression in the Donbas and Crimea."

Strict lockdown announced for Kyiv

Strict lockdown measures have been announced for the capital city of Kyiv. The government confirmed plans to impose tighter Covid-19 rules and restrictions in the city amid rising cases, as the capital records the highest rate of infection nationwide. This means that from Monday 5 April, all schools and kindergartens will be required to temporarily close. Restrictions will also apply to public transportation services. The new measures are expected to remain in place for at least 11 days, with a provisional expiration date of Friday 16 April.

Soldier killed in Donbas ceasefire violation

A Ukrainian Armed Forces servicemember has been killed amid ceasefire violations in Donbas. According to recent local reports, the soldier was killed in action overnight on Thursday, when at least six ceasefire violations were apparently reported. The violations were recorded in the Bohdanivka, Pivdenne, and Vodiane areas and are presumed to be the result of cross-border firing from Russian-backed separatist rebels.

Soldier injured in four Donbas ceasefire violations

A Ukrainian soldier has recently been wounded following four alleged ceasefire violations in the Donbas region. The violations were recorded overnight in the Pyshcevyk, Talakivka, and Novozvanivka areas. According to local reports, the serviceman was injured in shelling which hit near Novozvanivka in Luhansk. No other casualties have been reported. The shelling is presumed to have been carried out by separatist rebels.

Protests held calling for postponed elections

Protests have been held in Kyiv calling for postponed judicial elections. According to reports, the protesters gathered outside the President Hotel on Hospitalna Street on Tuesday 9 March to demand the judicial elections to the High Council of Justice and judge to the Constitutional Court be rescheduled. Approximately 300 people were in attendance at the demonstration.

Three killed in Kyiv bathhouse fire

Three people have reportedly died after a fire broke out in a communal bathhouse building in the outskirts of the capital city Kyiv. According to local reports, the fire broke out in the bathhouse in the Kyhevo-Syvatoshyns'kyi district on Monday, during the early hours of the morning, just after 01:15 local time. It's understood the three victims were trapped inside the building and died as a result of the fire. The cause of the blaze has yet to be confirmed as investigations continue.

Bus accident leaves 10 injured in Kharkiv

A recent bus accident has left at least 10 people injured in Kharkiv. The crash occurred on Wednesday morning, at around 06:23 local time near the village of Novyi Korotych. According to local reports, the passenger had been travelling along the Kyiv-Kharkiv-Dovzhansky highway when the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle, causing the bus to skid and overturn. No fatalities have been reported following the incident, with all 10 casualties receiving hospital treatment. An investigation into the cause of the crash has been launched and remains ongoing.

Opposition launch bid to impeach President Zelensky

The opposition For Life party has launched a campaign to impeach President Vladimir Zelensky. The signature collection aims to garner the support of lawmakers to remove the president. According to reports, the opposition-led initiative came about in response to sanctions which were imposed on opposition lawmaker Taras Kozak. The sanctions were imposed on the For Life politician by Zelensky, targeting three television channels owned by Kozak.

Three soldiers killed in Donetsk blast

Three Ukrainian soldiers have allegedly been killed in a suspected bomb explosion in Donetsk oblast. According to recent reports, the blast occurred over the weekend in the Novoluhanske area, where an explosive device was detonated in an attack targeting the Ukrainian Joint Forces. The incident and fatalities have reportedly been confirmed my military officials.

Ukrainian soldier shot dead in Donestk

A Ukrainian armed forces sniper has allegedly been shot dead by a sniper in Donestk. According to recent local reports, the incident occurred on Thursday morning, at around 09:30 local time near Horlivka, where the soldier was targeted and fatally shot by a sniper - presumed to be associated with the Russian-backed separatist rebels.

Explosion kills two in Donetsk

Two Ukrainian soldiers have allegedly died in a recent explosion in Donetsk. According to reports, the blast occurred over the weekend amid shelling in the Toretsk and Severodonetsk areas. While two servicemen have been reported dead, another four have also been wounded in the shelling, which came ina  string of 13 attacks by rebel separatists targeting the Ukrainian armed forces.

Scores killed in nursing home fire in Kharkiv

At least 15 people have been killed and several others injured after a fire broke out at a nursing home in Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine. Reuters reported that the fire broke out on the second floor of the building. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called for an immediate investigation. Preliminary investigations suggest that the fire could be related to a short-circuit. Fires in public institutions in Ukraine sporadically occur due to poorly maintained buildings and outdated equipment. In June 2019, six people died when a fire broke out at the psychiatric ward of a hospital in Odessa.

Constitutional Court chief investigated in witness tampering case

The head of the constitutional court is currently being investigated for allegations of witness tampering. Investigators have formally notified Oleksandr Tupytskyi that he is the subject of a probe where a witness was bribed. The case dates back to 2018. The investigation has been opened amid political tensions between President Volodymyr Zelenskyi's government and the constitutional court. Tupustsky's office said in a statement that "this is another attempt to unlawfully interfere in the activities of the Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, obstruction of his official duties, aimed at blocking the work of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine as a whole."

Protesters block road in Valky over gas prices

Protesters have congregated in Valky, Kharkiv Oblast, to demonstrate against rising gas prices. According to reports, the protest took place on Thursday afternoon between midday and 13:00 local time. Approximately 40 people are estimated to have taken part in the demonstration, which blocked the M-03 road, causing some traffic disruption. No arrests were made during the protest, which has since ended peacefully.

Terrorist group disbanded in Odessa

A terrorist organisation has reportedly been disbanded in Odessa. The security services have allegedly launched an investigation into the group, which was apparently being run under the pretense of an IT call centre. The suspected terrorist organisation is believed to have possible links to Russian state interests. Several arrests have reportedly been made, although no further details have been confirmed as the investigation gets underway.

Activist arrested outside presidential office

An activist has been arrested by police for protesting outside the President's Office in Kyiv. According to reports, the arrest was made on Wednesday morning, after the activist had appeared nude in a public setting to protest with the slogan of "away with violence". The precise cause behind the protest remains unclear as investigations get underway. It's possible her protest was part of a larger global action protest movement called "16 Days Against Violence" - the start of which coincided with her demonstration. The protest campaign is aimed at combating domestic violence.

Two killed in Kryvyi Rih stabbing

Two people have died after being stabbed in an incident in Kryvyi Rih, in Kherson Oblast. The incident occurred over the weekend in the Metallurgical district and left two dead and eight others injured. According to reports, an eight-year-old child is reported to be among those injured. One suspect has been arrested following the incident. The police are investigating the motive behind the stabbing, with no further details confirmed thus far.

President Zelenskiy tests positive for coronavirus

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has tested positive for coronavirus. President Zelenskiy announced on social media that he is self-isolating. His wife previously contracted the virus and was hospitalised for several weeks. Ukraine has so far reported nearly 470,000 coronavirus cases and 8,500 deaths. President Zelenskiy has already said that the government is planning to introduce enhanced measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Coronavirus cases in Ukraine surpass 300,000

Coronavirus cases in Ukraine have surpassed 300,000, with the number of hospitalizations still on the rise. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that since September the occupation of hospital beds is increasing. It added that 6,600 cases and 413 deaths were confirmed in non-government-controlled areas in the eastern oblasts of Luhansk and Donetsk. In early-October, the government introduced enhanced measures to control the spread of the coronavirus in Ukraine. This included reduced school class sizes and the introduction of a new four-tier system - green, yellow, orange and red. Further information on coronavirus restrictions and the current situation in Ukraine is provided on the government's dedicated coronavirus page.

US Embassy employee found dead near park in Kiev

An employee at the US Embassy in Kiev has been found dead near a park in the Ukrainian capital. Police are currently searching for a man accused of assaulting the female victim. Police said: “The unconscious woman was admitted to a hospital where she subsequently died. During the examination of the victim’s belongings, an identity card of an employee of the U.S. Embassy in her name was found." A spokesman for the interior ministry said that investigations are ongoing.

Twenty-six killed in military plane crash

At least 26 deaths have been reported after a Ukrainian military plane crashed near the eastern city of Kharkiv. According to reports from the BBC, the crash happened on Sunday, during a training flight, when the plane came down about two kilometres from a military airport in Chuhuiv. The cause of the crash remains under investigation, with four possible causes identified, including technical malfunction, poor maintenance, or improper performance - by either flight crew or ground control. Twenty Kharkiv Air Force University cadets and seven officers were on board the plane at the time. Only one person survived the crash.

Jewish groups stranded at Belarus border

A large number of Hasidic Jews have become stranded at the Ukraine-Belarus border due to Covid-19 restrictions on movement. Hundreds of people had been travelling as part of an annual Jewish pilgrimage to the central Ukrainian town of Uman to visit the tomb of Rabbi Nahman for the Jewish New Year (18 - 20 September). However, this year, Ukraine has closed its borders to limit the spread of coronavirus amid the ongoing pandemic and the pilgrims were stopped at the border this week. The pilgrimage groups include many travelling from Israel and according to reports, and they allegedly began their journey despite appeals from both Ukraine and Israel asking them to forego the pilgrimage this year due to coronavirus concerns. Ukraine has restricted entry to foreigners until 28 September and Israel has imposed a new national lockdown. Currently, it's estimated that anywhere between 700 to 1,000 Jews are stuck at the border, and are running low on supplies, but are receiving assistance from the Red Cross Society of Belarus. The pilgrimage groups have also caused significant travel delays along the Novi Yarylovychi border crossing point.

Rally held in support of Belarus protests

A rally has been held in the capital city of Kyiv in support of anti-government protests in neighbouring Belarus, where widespread demonstrations against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko continue following last month's disputed general election results. Close to 100 people are thought to have taken part in the peaceful protest in Kyiv's Independence Square.

Suspect detained by FSB in Rivne

A suspect has allegedly been detained by the FSB in Rivne for apparently attempting to cause criminal damage to city infrastructure. According to reports, the suspect is accused of planning an explosive attack on a water intake facility, which would have led prolonged disruption to city water supplies, causing potentially critical infrastructure damage. Explosive materials have been confiscated from the suspect as an investigation gets underway. The suspect's motive behind the attack remains undetermined as of yet.

Ukraine reports highest daily increase in coronavirus cases

Ukraine has reported a record daily increase of coronavirus cases since the pandemic hit the country in March. In the last 24 hours, nearly 2,500 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Ukraine, bringing the total number of cases to around 126,000. Ukraine has launched enhanced coronavirus restrictions ahead of the restarting of the school term. Currently, most foreign nationals are forbidden from entering the country, while lockdown measures were also extended. Further information on restrictions that are currently being enforced in Ukraine is available on the government's website.

Blast hits train line in Korosten

An explosion has reportedly hit a railway line in the Korosten area of Zhytomyr. The blast occurred on Monday and appears to have been intended to target a freight train from Belarus as it passed by. The train was transporting fuel, and whilst several carriages were damaged in the explosion, no injuries have been reported. The incident is initially being treated as terror-related while investigations go forward.

Month-long border closure enforced

A month-long border closure is to be enforced in Ukraine, preventing foreign nationals from entering the country. The border closure is due come into effect from Sunday 29 August, and will remain in place until 28 September. The decision to enforce the measure was made following an increase in the rate of infection for Covid-19 cases. So far, the country has reported more than 112,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including over 2,400 deaths.

Ukraine imposes ban on foreigners until 28 September

Ukraine has imposed an entry ban on most foreigners in a bid to control the spread of the coronavirus in the country. Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said that the ban will remain in place until 28 September. PM Shmygal added that lockdown measures will also be extended until October. Ukraine has reported more than 110,000 coronavirus cases and 2,300 deaths. For further information on travel requirements to Ukraine, people should monitor the country's official website.

Controversial anti-corruption chief resigns

A controversial anti-graft prosecutor has resigned. Nazar Kholodnytsky was the head of the Specialised Anti-Corruption Prosecutors' Office (SAPO) which was created back in 2015. Kholodnytsky held the post since SAPO's creation and claimed that his resignation is due to personal reasons. A full statement is expected to release next week. UNIAN reported that the Ukrainian Attorney General Iryna Venediktova signed his resignation letter. SAPO has already targeted dozens of politicians and businessmen involved in corruption scandals in Ukraine.

Ukraine reports highest daily increase in coronavirus cases

More than 2,000 new coronavirus cases have been reported in Ukraine in one of the highest daily increases in cases reported since March. Health Minister Maksym Stepanov confirmed a surge in coronavirus cases across the country, with an increasing number of hospitalisation and deaths. Ukraine has nearly 100,000 coronavirus cases and reported more than 2,100 deaths.

Ukraine expected to exchange prisoners with Russian-backed separatists

Around 100 prisoners are expected to be exchanged between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. A government official told Reuters that the prisoner swap could occur within the next few weeks. This is the second occasion in which Ukraine and separatists exchange prisoners since President Volodymyr Zelenskyi took office in 2019. In July, a ceasefire was reached to pave the way to negotiations in the region. However, it was breached within hours.

President Zelenskiy requests extradition of Russian mercenaries from Belarus

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has asked his Belarusian counterpart, Aleksandar Lukashenko, to extradite dozens of alleged Russian mercenaries to Ukraine. In the countdown of the presidential elections in Belarus, 33 members of the Russian-based Wagner Group were arrested in Minsk. President Zelenskyi claimed that 28 of them had previously committed crimes in eastern Ukraine while fighting with Russian-backed separatists. They were charged with terror offences in Belarus.

Bomb threat made towards Kyiv business centre

A person has reportedly threatened to blow up a business centre in the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv. According to reports, the unidentified suspect has occupied a bank in the Leonardo business centre on Bohdana Khmelnytskoho street and claims to have a backpack carrying explosives. The police and emergency services have responded to the scene and are currently engaged in negotiations with the suspect. It remains unclear what the motive is behind the incident.

First-round talks with Iran conclude

The first round of talks between Iran and Ukraine on plane downing damages have concluded. The negotiations came about after the downing of a Ukrainian airliner in January. The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 airliner was shot down by the Iranian air force shortly after takeoff, killing all 176 passengers and crew on board. Iran initially blamed the accident on a technical problem, but later admitted the plane had been unintentionally shot down amid heightened tensions with the US forces in neighbouring Ira. The first round of talks were described as "constructive", although it has not yet been agreed how much compensation Tehran will pay. The next round of talks are expected to take place in October.

Several killed in road accident in Belogorsk, Crimea

At least nine people have been killed after a minibus crashed near the Crimean town of Belogorsk. According to the local authorities, the bus was driving from the Russian city of Krasnodar when it crashed in the early hours of Friday morning. Russian media reported that the accident happened on the Tavrida roadway. Initial criminal investigations were launched over allegations that the driver fell asleep at the wheel. Crimea was annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014.

Russia arrests man on espionage charges in Sevastopol, Crimea

A man accused of spying for Ukraine has been detained in the Crimean city of Sevastopol. RIA news agency reported that the Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested the suspect, who was part of the country's fleet in the Black Sea. No further details were released. The region around the Black Sea has been the scene of political and military tensions since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. The annexation happened after a controversial referendum was held in Crimea.

Eastern Ukraine's ceasefire violated within hours of starting

Ukraine's military has claimed that pro-Russian separatists have violated a ceasefire just hours after it came into force. A full ceasefire was reached after talks between Russia and Ukraine. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) brokered the agreement. In a statement, the military said: “In the middle of the night, the enemy opened fire on the positions of Ukrainian soldiers from hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers and small arms, and (...) at noon they fired from automatic heavy-duty grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and small arms.” It is still unclear what the repercussions of the alleged ceasefire violation will be.

Chinese tourists no longer require visa to enter Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelenskyi has signed a decree that will allow Chinese tourists to enter the country without a visa. From 1 August until 31 January, Chinese nationals visiting Ukraine for up to 30 days within a six-month period will no longer require a visa. A similar decree was signed earlier this month allowing visa-free travel for tourists from Australia, New Zealand and several Arab countries. For further information on entry requirements, people are advised to search in the Ukrainian foreign ministry website or call the Ukrainian consulate in their country of residence.

Full ceasefire comes into effect in eastern Ukraine

A full ceasefire between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists has come into effect in eastern Ukraine. A complete comprehensive ceasefire agreement was reached last week after a meeting involving the Ukrainian and Russian governments. The deal is being observed by the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which has its own mission in the region. Despite the agreement, a Ukrainian official said that the country is ready to retaliate in the event of ceasefire violations. Several agreements have been previously reached to ease hostilities in the region but they all failed to materialise after renewed clashes between the military and rebels.

House of anti-corruption activist set on fire in Kiev

The house of a prominent anti-corruption activist has been set on fire in Kiev. Vitaliy Shabunin's house was targeted in the early hours of Friday morning while his parents were inside. No casualties were initially reported. His home is located in the village of Hnidyn. President Volodymyr Zelenskyi has called for an investigation to assess who is behind the incident. Shabunin is the co-founder of the Anti-Corruption Action Center (AntAC). The organisation has condemned the incident.

Deputy minister says that downed UIA plane faced illegal interference

Deputy Foreign Minister Yevhenii Yenin has said that preliminary investigations suggest that there was illegal interference in the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) plane that crashed in January. Black boxes of the PS752 flight were recently sent to France to be investigated. The Boeing 737 was shot down by Iranian forces just after taking off from Tehran's International Airport. An international investigation has been launched to fully assess the circumstances of the incident.

Government and separatists reach ceasefire deal in eastern Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelenskyi's government has reached an agreement with pro-Russian separatists to establish a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. As part of talks involving the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG), the ceasefire will start from 27 July. Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France were part of the negotiations aimed at easing tensions in the region. The new ceasefire comes ahead of plans for a new Ukrainian crisis summit under the Normandy Format. The ceasefire deal comes months after the TCG met in France to lay out plans to end hostilities between the government and pro-Russian troops. The ceasefire is hoped to last for the "whole period until full comprehensive settlement of the conflict." Ceasefire agreements in eastern Ukraine were reached on a number of occasions but they have collapsed due to the resumption of clashes between Ukrainian forces and separatists in Luhansk and Donetsk.

Armed man takes policeman hostage in Poltava

An armed male suspect has taken a senior Ukrainian police officer hostage in the city of Poltava. Al Jazeera has reported that the police were initially trying to arrest the man on suspicion of hijacking a vehicle, when he pulled out a grenade and took a police officer hostage, threatening to kill him. The police engaged with negotiations with the suspect, exchanging the police officer for a police colonel. The suspect then allegedly drove off with the hostage in a car provided by the police. The incident is the second hostage-taking to occur in Ukraine within three days, after an armed man held 13 people captive on a public bus for several hours in Lutsk. The 13 hostages were freed after President Zelensky promoted a 2005 animal rights documentary at the request of the hostage taker. The two incidents are not thought to be connected.

Twenty taken hostage on bus in Lutsk

Twenty people have reportedly been taken hostage on a bus in the north-western city of Lutsk. The group are apparently being held by an armed male suspect in the centre of Lutsk. Preliminary reports suggest the suspect is believed to be armed with weapons and explosives. The centre of the city has been cordoned off as police respond to the scene. No casualties have been reported so far. The suspect is understood to have made contact with the authorities, although no specific demands have been made at this point and the motive behind the hostage situation remains unclear, although the suspect has allegedly expressed a general dissatisfaction with "the system".

Iran sends black boxes of downed UIA flight to France

Iran has sent the black boxes of the Ukraine International Airlines plane that was shot down in January to France. Canada's Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne confirmed that the black boxes were delivered to the Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) in La Bourget, near Paris. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has acknowledged that it mistakenly shot down the PS752 aircraft near the Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) in Tehran. The plane had just departed from IKA towards Kiev. A number of passengers were Canadian nationals.

Ukraine to launch military exercises in response to Russia

Ukraine will launch a military exercise just as Russia is planning similar military drills in the Caucasus region. Defense Minister Andriy Taran said that the exercises will take place in late-September in southern Ukraine. He added: “This asymmetric response will show the readiness of the armed forces of Ukraine to give a worthy rebuff to any attempts by the Russian Federation to exacerbate the situation or start large-scale hostilities". NATO would be invited to join it.

Ten injured in Donetsk shelling

At least 10 casualties have been reported amidst shelling in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. According to reports, firing was exchanged by both sides, leaving seven Ukrainian soldiers and three pro-Russian Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebels injured. Some 18 attacks reportedly targeted military positions in the Avdiyivka, Berezove, Hnutove, Krymske, Lebedynske, Maryinka, Novoluhanske, Novomykhailivka, and Vodiane areas.

Six killed in Luhansk forest fires

At least six fatalities have been reported as forest fires burn in eastern Ukraine's Luhansk region. The fires have spread rapidly to engulf a number of villages, having been fanned by strong winds and fuelled by high temperatures and dry conditions. Water-bombing planes have been deployed to the region, while firefighting crews and the national armed forces are leading response operations. Evacuations have been carried out in the towns of Vovche and Smolianynove, while unconfirmed reports have speculated that the fires may have been started by arson.

Pro-Poroshenko protest held in Kyiv

A large-scale demonstration has been held in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv by supporters of former President Petro Poroshenko. According to reports, thousands of people have taken part in the protest on Wednesday, which has largely been taking place in front of the Pechersk district court on Volodymyrska Street. Poroshenko is currently under investigation by the authorities in over 20 cases, for what he describes as politically-motivated charges.

Virus figures up by 994

The number of coronavirus cases has increased by 994 over the last 24 hours in Ukraine, bringing the overall total there to 40,008 confirmed cases of covid-19. The country's death toll has also risen by 16, taking the total to 1,067 confirmed virus-related fatalities. The increase in cases is the highest daily rise in figures recorded so far - indicating the country has yet to pass through the peak of the outbreak there.

Hundreds evacuated as intense rainfall batters western Ukraine

Hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate after intense rainfall hit western Ukraine. Weather alerts were issued to the regions of Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi after heavy downpour triggered widespread flooding. According to reports, more than 5,000 houses were affected across nearly 200 villages. Some areas in Lviv and Zakarpattia were also heavily affected. Local media reported that at least three people have died.

Three killed amid floods

At least three people have reportedly been killed and hundreds more have been evacuated amid recent floods in western Ukraine. The flooding was triggered by torrential rainfall which hit the western regions over the last 72 hours-or-so. As of Wednesday morning, some 5,000 residential properties across 187 villages remain flooded. According to Reuters, the floods have cut off access to a number of villages, hindering search and rescue operations in remote areas. The floods are thought to be the worst recorded in recent years, with the government deploying around 150 military personnel, four helicopters, and one airplane to the region to assist rescue and recovery efforts.

Prosecutors drop request to jail former President Poroshenko

Prosecutors have dropped a request for the pre-trial detention of former President Petro Poroshenko. Poroshenko is currently facing a criminal trial over the controversy in the nomination of the new deputy leader of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine (SZRU). A new decision on Poroshenko's pre-trial proceedings will be announced next month. Poroshenko claimed that he is the target of a politically-motivated trial led by President Volodymyr Zelenskyi.

Ukraine recognised as NATO's Enhanced Opportunities Partner

Ukraine has been recognised as NATO's Enhanced Opportunities Partner for the country's cooperation with NATO missions. Last week, NATO officially added Ukraine to the list that already includes Jordan, Australia, Sweden, Georgia and Finland. NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said: “This decision recognises Ukraine’s strong contributions to NATO missions, and demonstrates the Alliance’s continued commitment to its partnerships despite the COVID-19 pandemic." In 2019, Ukraine's parliament passed a bill that reaffirmed the country's desire to join NATO and the EU. It came years after former President Viktor Yanukovych submitted a bill to scrap Ukraine's EU membership, sparking the Euromaidan protests which led to his downfall.

Ukraine to receive $60m in US military aid

Ukraine is set to receive up to $60m worth of military aid from the US. American aid to Ukraine was one of the main issues during the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump in the House of Representatives. He was accused of threatening to cut military aid to Ukraine after reportedly pressuring his counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. US military aid to Ukraine has significantly increased since the Russian annexation of Crimea. According to NATO, US assistance accounts for 90 percent of all Ukraine's foreign military aid.

Violent protests reported outside parliament in Kiev

A violent protest is currently being reported near the parliament in Kiev. According to the US Embassy in Ukraine, demonstrators are gathering along the Mykhaila Hrushevskoho Street and around the presidential office in Bankova Street. People have been requested to avoid those areas. It is still unclear what the motives behind the demonstration are. The protests are happening just as parliament adopts new legislation that would simplify pre-trial probes of certain criminal offences. Roadblocks and an additional police presence is likely in some central areas.

Several injured in mass armed brawl near Kiev

At least three people have been injured after a mass armed brawl broke out near Kyiv. Reports show that dozens of armed people clashed in the town of Brovary on Friday. Authorities said that nearly 100 people took part in the unrest, where more than 40 shots were fired. In total, the police have detained 20 people. In a statement, the government said that the incident involved people linked to rival transportation companies. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said that the incident could be linked to corruption between city offices in Kyiv and the regional authorities.

Government to further relax some coronavirus restrictions in Ukraine

Some businesses will be allowed to reopen and public transport will resume operations as the government plans to ease some coronavirus restrictions from Friday. Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said that the government will allow some hotels to reopen, while children will be allowed to return to school from Monday. Those new measures are part of the gradual relaxation of some restrictions in Ukraine. The country has so far confirmed 19,000 cases, including over 500 deaths.

President Zelenskiy reiterates calls for negotiations with Russia

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has reiterated that he is willing to negotiate with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine. He said in a press conference that negotiating directly with Russia is necessary to achieve definite solutions. President Zelenskyi also said that he is open to other forms of agreement beyond the Minsk processes. The Crimean annexation to Russia remains the main topic for discussion. Last month, as a sign of improved relations, both countries started a prisoner exchange deal.

Sixteen new covid-19 deaths reported

At least 16 new covid-19 deaths have been reported in Ukraine over the last 24 hours - taking the national death toll up to 564 confirmed coronavirus fatalities. Meanwhile, an additional 354 new cases of infection have also been recorded. The daily increase brings the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases to 19,230. Almost 6,000 covid-19 patients have recovered so far, while around 12,700 cases still remain active.

Two DPR rebels killed in Donetsk ceasefire violations

Two members of the Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebel forces have allegedly been killed in a recent ceasefire violation in the Donetsk region. The incident occurred on Sunday, when the DPR forces reportedly violated the ceasefire on eight separate occasions, with Ukrainian military positions coming under heavy machine-gun fire and artillery fire in the Avdiyivka, Slavne, Nevelske, Pisky, and Novo-Oleksandrivka areas. The Ukrainian armed forces responded to the shelling with retaliatory fire, leaving two DPR rebels dead and another two injured. At least three Ukrainian security personnel were also injured in the crossfire.

Nine ceasefire violations recorded in Donetsk

At least nine ceasefire violations have been recorded in the Donetsk region over the last 24 hours, with the Ukrainian forces claiming that a soldier has been injured as a result. It's understood the firing came from the Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebel forces, using 120mm and 82mm mortars, an anti-tank missile system, heavy machine guns, rifles, and grenade launchers. The attacks occurred near Pavlopil, Starohnativka, Opytne, Krymske, and Luhankse. The Ukrainian forces returned fire, supposedly leaving at least five DPR rebels injured.

Heavy shelling reported near Yasynuvata, Donetsk

Heavy shelling has been reported near the Donetsk Filter Station (DFS) in the town of Yasynuvata, close to the contact line. Water company Voda Donbasa told WASH that the incident happened on Saturday morning and that no injuries were reported. The shelling lasted for more than 30 minutes. The DFS is the main water supplier to several towns located along the contact line west of Donetsk. Incidents near the DFS and damage to the facility are often reported to WASH Cluster.

Soldier injured in Luhansk firing

A Ukrainian Army soldier has reportedly been injured amidst firing in the Luhansk region. According to recent reports, the soldier was wounded in a series of ceasefire violations by the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebel group. The violations apparently occurred on Tuesday in the Holubivske and Zolote areas, where heavy machine-gun fire and artillery shelling were reported. No other casualties have been reported.

Georgia's Saakashvili nominated to become deputy PM

Georgia's former President Mikheil Saakashvili has been nominated to become the Ukrainian deputy prime minister. Saakashvili has previously held public office in Ukraine as the governor of the southern oblast of Odesa. He left office a year after for grievances with then-President Petro Poroshenko. He had his Ukrainian citizenship restored just after President Volodymyr Zelenskyi took office. If approved in parliament, Saakashvili will overlook economic reforms in Ukraine, which are one of the requirements of a massive loan from the International Monetary Fund.

Pochayiv sealed off following monastery virus outbreak

The town of Pochayiv has reportedly been sealed off by Ukrainian authorities following a coronavirus outbreak at one of the largest Orthodox monasteries in Eastern Europe. Dozens of virus cases have been reported there, leading to a number of deaths already. The Pochayiv Lavra monastery is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites for Orthodox Christians in the region, prompting police to block routes in and out of the town on Tuesday. The monastery has also been closed to the public. Nationally, Ukraine has recorded at least 7,170 coronavirus cases and 187 deaths.

Smoke from fire near Chernobyl reaches Kiev

Smoke from a massive wildfire reported near the exclusion zone of Chernobyl has reached Kiev. Ukrainian authorities revealed that people have been ordered to stay indoors and shut their windows. They added that, despite the smoke reaching the capital, radiation levels are normal. Since early-April, wildfires have engulfed areas around Chernobyl. Although the blazes were contained, fires were reignited on Thursday. Major concerns over the fire are towards its threat to radioactive waste dumps. Despite the area being under an exclusion zone, some people still live there.

UN to launch mine awareness project in eastern Ukraine

A new mine awareness project is set to be launched in eastern Ukraine as landmines and explosive devices still pose serious risks amid the current conflict in the region. The Canadian-backed programme led by the UN Development Programme in Ukraine (UNDP) will mainly focus on education and awareness activities to improve information on risks associated with landmines. Since the eastern Ukrainian conflict started in 2014, more than 1,000 people were impacted in mine-related incidents in the region. At least 300 civilians have died and 700 were injured.

Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists begin prisoner swap

Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists have begun a prisoner swap, where 19 Ukrainian nationals will be returned to Ukraine. This is the first prisoner swap this year, but the third since President Volodymyr Zelenkyi came into power. The move comes as part of a previous agreement reached between President Zelenskiy and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. In December, both agreed to sign a ceasefire deal to ease tensions amid the eastern Ukrainian conflict.

Major wildfires move closer to Chernobyl abandoned power plant

Major wildfires in northern Ukraine have moved closer to an exclusion zone near the deactivated Chernobyl nuclear plant. Reports have shown that the blaze has moved towards the abandoned area and has reached the town of Pripyat. According to Greenpeace, two wildfires are currently active in the area and have already spread across 46,000 hectares of land combined. Ukrainian authorities said that the fire started after a local man set dryland ablaze. Although the area is off-limits to some, a number of travel companies offer tours to Chernobyl and Pripyat.

Seven new coronavirus deaths confirmed

Seven new fatal cases of coronavirus have been reported in Ukraine, along with at least 143 new cases of infection. The latest cases take the national death toll up to 45 confirmed fatalities and the overall total number of cases of infection up to 1,462. The capital city of Kyiv has reported the most cases, with around 253, followed closely by the Chernivtsi region.

Government extends coronavirus restrictions due to cases surge

The government has announced enhanced movement restrictions as the number of coronavirus cases continue to surge in Ukraine. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has said that restrictive measures will be extended until at least the end of May. All schools and universities will remain closed, while people have been requested to wear facemasks and avoid going outdoors. Ukraine has seen a steady increase in the number of coronavirus cases. The government said that depending on the development of the disease, authorities may gradually relax some of the measures. So far, nearly 1,000 cases have been confirmed in the country.

Three soldiers injured in Donetsk ceasefire violation

Three Ukrainian soldiers have reportedly  been injured following a series of alleged ceasefire violations in Donestk and Luhansk. According to reports, the violations occurred on Wednesday by the Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebel forces, using heavy machine guns and artillery fire. As many as 15 violations were reported throughout the Maryinka, Krasnohorivka, Novotoshkivske, Khutir Vilny, Novo-Oleksandrivka, Orikhove, Pavlopil, Pisky, Novomykhailivka, and Mykolaivka areas.

First coronavirus case confirmed in rebel-held Donetsk

Self-proclaimed authorities in conflict-ridden Donetsk have confirmed the first case of coronavirus in the region. Olga Dolgoshapko, the health minister of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), has confirmed the case to reporters. Last week, Dolgoshapko and her counterpart in the rebel-controlled Luhansk region claimed that no cases were confirmed in Donbas. Ukraine has so far confirmed more than 500 coronavirus cases, including 17 deaths. The European Commission (EC) has already urged armed formations in the Donbas region to allow international organisations, such as the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to provide assistance in the area. EC spokesman Peter Stano said: "UN agencies, non-governmental organisations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are facing difficulties in accessing the non-government-controlled areas". He also urged Russia to assist in facilitating agencies' access to the region.

Lawmakers approve new ministers in special parliamentary session

Lawmakers have accepted the nomination of two ministers after a first session failed to approve their appointment. Serhiy Marchenko has been approved to lead the finance ministry. He is replacing Ihor Umansky, who only stayed in office for four weeks. Another appointment approved on a special parliamentary session was Maksym Stepanov, who will now lead the country's struggle against the coronavirus. Just after being confirmed, he announced his priority was to reform the country's healthcare system. Stepanov is the former governor of the southern region of Odessa.

Parliament fails to nominate new finance minister

Ukraine's revised 2020 budget has been sent back to a parliamentary committee after lawmakers failed to gather at an emergency session on Monday. They also failed to approve Serhiy Marchenko as the country's finance minister. Marchenko was a member of the previous administration of Petro Poroshenko. He was to come to power after Ihor Umansky was removed from office just a month after being nominated to replace Denys Shmygal. The emergency budget was drafted in response to the coronavirus outbreak, which infected over 400 people in Ukraine.

Ukrainian airspace to be closed amid coronavirus outbreak

Ukrainian airspace is set to be closed from Friday, 27 March, as part of a new set of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has recommended ministers to order all movements of passengers to be suspended. Emergency measures are set to remain in place until 24 April. The government had already introduced some restrictions on border crossings, including the suspension of bus and railway services. Airport operations were also severely restricted. Latest reports show that 160 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Ukraine.

Government suspends all commercial flights to Ukraine

The government has announced the suspension of all commercial passenger flights to and from Ukraine. As part of new measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, authorities have also suspended all trains, buses and other international methods of transportation to the country. Meanwhile, in major cities, public transports are operating on an extremely limited schedule. Ukraine has confirmed 14 cases of the coronavirus, including two deaths related to the disease.

Parliament approves nomination of Iryna Venediktova as new AG

Parliament has voted in favour of the nomination of Iryna Venediktova to become the country's new Attorney General. Venediktova is known as a close ally of President Volodymyr Zelenskyi and a member of the ruling Servant of the People party. She is replacing Ruslan Ryaboshapka, who was removed from the post earlier this month as part of a reshuffle in judicial agencies. He was also heavily linked to the investigations into US democratic presidential contender Joe Biden.

Public transport suspended over coronavirus

Public transport services have been suspended over the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. All inter-city rail, air, and bus services around the country have been banned as part of an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. Subway services in three cities, including the capital Kiev, have also been shut. City transport services will also only be allowed to carry a maximum of 10 passengers aboard any bus and or tram car service due to social distancing measures. The measures will come into effect from 18 March until 03 April. Gatherings of more than 10 people have also been banned, while restaurants, shopping centres, and other large public buildings have been ordered to close.

First coronavirus death confirmed

The first death from coronavirus has been confirmed in Ukraine. The confirmation of the fatality comes shortly after it was announced that Ukraine would close all borders to foreign nationals over the outbreak. So far, Ukraine has reported at least three cases of the coronavirus.

Schools and universities to shut over coronavirus

Schools and universities across Ukraine are due to close for three weeks over the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in Europe. According to reports, the closure will come into effect from Thursday 12 March and will remain in place for three weeks, until the end of the month. The capital city, Kiev, is also set to restrict mass events, including concerts and conferences, while cinemas and entertainment areas in shopping malls will also close. So far, Ukraine has reported one confirmed case of the coronavirus.

Malaysia Airlines MH-17 trial kicks off in the Netherlands

The trial over the shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has kicked off in Amsterdam. In total, 298 people were killed when the Boeing 777 was shot down in eastern Ukraine back in 2014. In November last year, the Dutch-led Joint Investigative Team (JIT) - which also included Malaysia, Belgium, Australia and Ukraine - claimed clear links to militants of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR). Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Leonid Kharchenko were charged with involvement. The three first are Russian nationals and the last is Ukrainian. They are all at large. They are accused of liaising with Russia to acquire heavy weaponry, such as the Buk surface-to-air launcher used to fire the Russian-made 9M38 missile.

First coronavirus case confirmed

Ukraine has confirmed its first coronavirus case as of Tuesday morning. According to recent reports, a health official stated that a male patient tested positive for the virus and that the case has been linked to recent travel to Italy via Romania. The patient was apparently hospitalised on Saturday in western Ukraine. Other countries to report their first cases within the last 24 hours include Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, and Tunisia.

President Zelenskiy expected to reshuffle his cabinet amid popularity fall

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is expected to reshuffle his cabinet as his government has been losing popularity since being elected back in April. Plans to reshuffle the cabinet emerged earlier this year when Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk demanded his resignation. Honcharuk was implicated in a political scandal after featuring in leaked audio where he allegedly criticised the president. Among the names that could succeed him is Serhiy Tihipko, who had served in cabinet positions under previous administrations. Tihipko is also the co-founder of the PrivatBank, which was the target of a controversial nationalisation process - a court later overturned the decision despite an injection of $6bn - during the government of President Petro Poroshenko.

Protesters attack buses carrying China coronavirus evacuees

Protesters in the town of Novi Sanzhary have reportedly attacked a bus carrying coronavirus evacuees from China. Some 45 Ukrainian nationals and 27 foreign nationals were flown out of Wuhan to Kharkiv on Thursday and six buses then transported them to a hospital in Novi Sanzhary, where they are due to be quarantined for two weeks. However, the buses were met by demonstrators lighting bonfires and throwing stones. The incident has prompted the deployment of armoured personnel carriers in the small town, while President Volodymyr Zelensky urged the protesters to show empathy. As a show of solidarity, the Ukrainian health minister will join the evacuees in quarantine, running the ministry via Skype.

Soldier killed in fresh hostilities near Zolote, Luhansk

At least one soldier has been killed and several others injured in fresh hostilities in eastern Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelenskyi called for an emergency meeting with his Security Council after tensions escalated near Zolote, Luhansk. The incidents reportedly happened in the villages of Orikhove, Krymske, Khutir Vilny and Novotoshkivske. Ukraine and Russia agreed a ceasefire back in 2015 as part of the Minsk Agreement; however, ceasefire violations in Luhansk and Donetsk are common. According to the latest report from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), over the weekend, ceasefire violations were mainly reported in the government-controlled area of Svitlodarsk in Donetsk and Trokhizbenka in Luhansk.

President Zelenskiy sacks his chief of staff over internal dispute

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's chief of staff, Andriy Bogdan, has been sacked over an alleged dispute within the presidential team. Reuters reported that Bodgan engaged in grievances with Andriy Yermark, who is now replacing him as chief of staff. No official motives over Bogdan's dismissal were made public. Bogdan's appointment as chief of staff was very controversial due to his links to Ihor Kolomoisky, a prominent Ukrainian businessman. Kolomoisky controls the 1+1 Media Group, where President Zelenskyi previously worked as a comedian. Kolomoisky had also been implicated in a legal battle involving the PrivatBank, which was nationalised in 2016. In recent months, several of his properties were raided and seized as part of the investigations.

Foreign minister requests meeting over shootings in eastern Ukraine

Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko has called on a meeting with France and Germany after the increasing number of shootings in eastern Ukraine. Both countries are part of the Normandy Format. They are having an active part in the negotiations to solve the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. Prystaiko's request comes after two soldiers were killed and several others injured over the weekend in the Donbas region. In recent months, some progress has been made in ceasing the hostilities in Luhansk and Donetsk. It includes the disengagement of troops in Zolote and Petrivske. However, although both President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, have committed to a full ceasefire, some incidents are still reported along the contact line.

President Zelenskiy rejects prime minister's resignation

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has rejected the resignation of Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk. The prime minister handed in his resignation on Friday after he featured in audio recordings where he seemed to criticise the president's economic knowledge. The audio was recorded in December during a meeting with two other high-level officials. Honcharuk claimed that the files were doctored and denied the allegations that he criticised President Zelenskiy.

Prime Minister Honcharuk resigns over leaked audio

Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk has resigned after he featured in questionable audio recordings criticising President Volodymyr Zelensyi. Goncharuk featured in leaked audio where he seemed to criticise the president for failing to understand economics. According to reports, the recording dates back to December, when Goncharuk met with Finance Minister Oksana Markarova and the head of the National Bank of Ukraine, Yakiv Smoliy. The prime minister has claimed that the file was adulterated. He said: “Its contents artificially create the impression that my team and I do not respect the president, who is our political leader." President Zelenskyi's office has said that the president will analyse Honcharuk's request on Friday.

Two soldiers wounded in Donbas attacks

Two Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded in recent enemy attacks in the Donbas region. According to reports, Russian-led forces violated the ceasefire and mounted 10 attacks on Ukrainian army positions on Tuesday, leaving two soldiers wounded. The attacks reportedly targeted Ukrainian military positions near the town of Maryinka, and the villages of Novotroyitske, Nevelske, Shyrokyne, Luhanske, Orikhove, Krymske, and Novoluhanske.

US-based company says that Russian military hacked gas firm Burisma

A US-based tech company has claimed that the Ukrainian gas company Burisma was the target of a cyber hack in November. Area 1 Security has said in an eight-page report that Russian military intelligence agents were responsible for hacking servers of Burisma. Burisma is at the centre of the US impeachment inquiries, where US President Donald Trump will face a trial in the Senate. Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden, was previously a member of the company's board of directors. According to Area 1 Security, the infiltration was carried out through a phishing attack. It also claimed that the recent attack has staggering similarities to the previous 2016 hacking to the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Large-scale demonstration reported around the parliament in Kiev

Large-scale demonstrations are being reported around the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev. Increased police presence has been deployed to areas around the Verkhovna Rada since demonstrations kicked off on Tuesday. Extreme caution is advised to visitors heading to the area. Demonstrations backed by nationalists and farmers started after dozens of demonstrators took to the streets after parliament proposed to scrap a 2001 law that bans the sale of farmland in Ukraine. A second vote on the bill is expected to be held in late-October 2020. The current legislation dictates that farmland in Ukraine could only be rented and not sold. With the new bill, foreign nationals and entities would be allowed to purchase farmland after three years of use.

Several detained for killing of Belarussian journalist in 2016

Several people have been detained for the murder of an investigative journalist back in 2016. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said on Thursday that: “This is the result of very complex and persistent work of real professionals and an important step toward fully solving the case". Belarussian journalist Pavel Sheremet was killed in a car bomb attack in Kiev. Authorities believe that the incident may have been motivated by his journalistic work. Sheremet's death put the government under extreme pressure, especially from western diplomats and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Parliament votes to extend 'special status' to eastern separatist regions

Parliament has voted in favour of extending the so-called 'special status' to the eastern separatist regions in Ukraine for a year. Implemented back in 2014, the special status to both Luhansk and Donetsk regions has already been extended several times. It dictates that both regions have limited autonomy, including the designation of their own security forces, courts and schedule local elections. The special status clause is a controversial subject in Ukrainian politics, which had previously led to mass protests across the country. The recent ruling comes as Ukraine and Russia agreed on a ceasefire deal.

Ukraine and Russia reach ceasefire agreement

President Volodymyr Zelenskyi and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, have agreed on a fresh ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. Both leaders met in Paris in a meeting hosted by France and Germany in order to solve the long-standing conflict in the Donbas region. Among the main topics for discussion were the introduction of "immediate measures to stabilize the situation in the conflict areas" and "measures to implement the political provisions of the Minsk agreements". Although political tensions between both leaders are still high, they have agreed on the first steps of another ceasefire to end the hostilities between the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed rebels in the region. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “We have not found a miracle solution, but we have moved forward. I say openly that we have lots of work to do." Another meeting is expected to be held within the next four months.

Russia issues passports to residents in eastern Ukraine

Russia's Interior has said that some 125,000 passports have been granted to residents in eastern Ukraine's separatist regions. News agency TASS said that the applications the total number of applications was 160,000. Russian President Vladimir Putin has facilitated the process to those living in eastern Ukraine to apply for Russian citizenship. In April, President Putin signed a law aimed to grant residents in some areas in Luhansk, Donetsk and Crimea the right to become Russian citizens. Previously, those seeking to become Russian nationals were required to live at least five years in Russia before applying. With the new law, citizenship requests would be processed within three months. Ukraine and Russia are currently holding peace talks in Paris.

Government and IMF reach preliminary loan agreement

Ukraine has been granted a substantial 5.5-billion-dollar loan as President Volodymyr Zelenskyi holds peace talks with Russia. Moments before a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, IMF Managing Director Kirstalina Georgieva announced the preliminary agreement through an official statement. This is the third IMF loan granted to Ukraine since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. The loan, which is part of a three-year programme, was severely delayed over concerns of the privatisation of the Privatbank, which involved a former business partner of President Zelenskyi.

Fire breaks out at college in Odessa

A fire has reportedly broken out at a college in Odessa. The emergency services have responded to the scene, where at least 10 people are being treated for injuries. According to reports, the fire broke out in a college building on Troitskaya Street on Wednesday morning, at around 11:15 local time. Fire crews have warned that the building's structural integrity is at a high risk of giving way and collapsing in on itself as they continue to battle the flames. It's currently unknown what caused the blaze to start.

Two DPR rebels killed in Donetsk

Two suspected rebels from the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) have allegedly been killed in a crossfire with the Ukrainian armed forces in the Donetsk region. Local reports indicate the crossfire occurred over the weekend. The DPR has claimed that the Ukrainian armed forces opened fire first in an armed attack, killing two DPR rebels with sniper fire, sparking a crossfire which also injured a member of the security forces. Officials in Kiev has not yet commented on the alleged incident.

Russia to handover Ukrainian vessels seized in the 2018 Kerch Strait incident

Russia has reportedly returned three Ukrainian naval ships that were seized during an incident in the Kerch Strait last year. Russia's ministry of foreign affairs has confirmed that the vessels have already been returned back to Ukraine. They were seized last November after an altercation involving the Russian and Ukrainian navies. Following the seizure, then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered martial law to be implemented across several oblasts. The move comes as Russian and Ukraine are holding negotiations - brokered by Germany and France - to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

IS commander detained in Kiev

An Islamic State (IS) commander has allegedly been detained by the security forces in Kiev. The arrest was apparently made during counter-terror operations over the weekend. According to reports, the suspected IS commander has been identified as Al Bar Shishani, who is believed to have acted as a deputy to the group's "minister of war". The Ukrainian Secret Service detained the Georgian national in the Kiev region near a private home where he lived. Shishani's birth name was Cezar Tokhosashvili and he allegedly joined the IS in 2015, later becoming deputy to Abu Omar al-Shishahi - the IS "minister of war" who died in combat in 2016.

France to host summit to discuss eastern Ukraine conflict

France's President Emmanuel Macron has set the date for a summit to discuss the current eastern Ukrainian conflict. In a statement, President Macron's office said: “The summit will be held following major progress since the summer in negotiations for a settlement in the east Ukraine conflict, progress which in particular allowed the removal of troops from several areas on the frontline." The summit is scheduled to take place on 9 December in Paris. Additional to Ukrainian and Russian officials, Germany will also take part in the negotiations; together with France, they make part of the so-called 'Normandy format'. Some progress has already been made to solve the eastern Ukrainian conflict through the disengagement of troops in Zolote and Petrivske.

Recordings from MH-17 probe identify links between rebels and Russia

New recordings have been released showing potential links between Ukrainian rebels and Russia as part of the MH-17 crash probe. Investigations are currently focusing on the involvement of militants of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR). The Dutch-led Joint Investigative Team (JIT) - which also include Malaysia, Belgium, Australia and Ukraine - claims: “Recent analysis of witness statements and other information revealed that Russian influence on the DPR went beyond military support and that the ties between Russian officials and DPR leaders appear closer." Part of the recordings relates to intercepted conversations between former DPR leader Alexander Borodai and Vladimir Putin's aide Vladislav Surkov. Last June, four men were criminally charged for involvement in the MH-17 downing, where 298 people died. They include Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky, Olega Pulatov and Leonid Kharchenko.

Lawyer killed in Zhytomyr shooting

A lawyer has allegedly been killed in a shooting incident in Zhytomyr. According to local reports, the shooting occurred last weekend and appears to have been motivated by a conflict between hunters and forest rangers. The victim, Svyatoslav Parkhomenko, had been out hunting with a group when the altercation arose. The police have opened investigations into the killing, with the suspects expected to face charges of attempted murder, premeditated murder, and illegal handling of weapons.

Ukrainian soldiers withdraw from Petrivske, Donetsk

As part of a current disengagement effort in eastern Ukraine, the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has confirmed that Ukrainian troops have withdrawn from the town Petrivske, Donetsk. The disengagement of troops in Petrivske comes weeks after another withdrawal of troops and military hardware from the town of Zolote, Luhansk. Both moves come as part of recent negotiations between Ukraine and Russia to end the deadly conflict in eastern Ukraine. Although talks have suffered a setback in recent weeks, both parts have already shown a commitment to finding a solution to the conflict.

Military confirms disengagement of troops in Zolote, Luhansk

The military has confirmed that the disengagement of government and separatist Russian-backed rebels has started in Zolote, Luhansk. In a social media statement, the Ukrainian Joint Forces Operation said that the disengagement in this eastern Ukranian front  "became possible by maintaining the ceasefire during the last week." The statement was confirmed by Ukraine's Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko. Earlier this month, both parts engaged in the conflict have reached an agreement to halt aggression. In a statement, the representative for OSCE's Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine, Ambassador Martin Asjdik, said:" Today, the sides have just renewed the disengagement of forces and hardware in Zolote. They launched the white and green signal flares confirming their readiness to proceed. The sides today will continue their negotiations on the renewal of disengagement of forces and hardware in Petrivske.”

Eastern Ukraine's peace talks suffer setback over troops withdrawal

Peace negotiations between Ukraine and Russia have suffered a fresh setback after Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi refused to withdraw troops from the eastern Donbas region. When negotiations started earlier this month, President Zelenskyi was willing to offer a compromise and accept to grant special status to both Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. Initially, the agreement dictated that both pro-Russian and Ukranian forces would withdraw from the region; however, Ukraine's defence ministry has accused pro-Russian militants of continuing to launch attacks. Russia has said that they are still open to resuming peace talks, which are also being monitored by France and Germany. Since the negotiations started, several protests have been reported across Kiev.

Thousands protest deal to grant special status to conflict-ridden Donbas region

Thousands took to the streets of Kiev to protest against talks between Ukraine and Russia that would grant special status to the conflict-ridden Donbas region in eastern Ukraine. Demonstrators marched across the capital on Sunday as President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is willing to make concessions to end the long-standing conflict in the region. Among the proposals include setting a date for elections and giving the region special status after the vote is held. Besides Ukraine and Russia, France and Germany are also taking part in peace talks. Despite vowing to the removal of all Ukrainian troops from the contact line, Russia has also been called to withdraw troops from the region before the elections are held - Russia has denied having any troops in eastern Ukraine. The agreement still has to pass in parliament, where President Zelenskiy's Servant of the People holds a majority.

Cargo plane crashes near Lviv airport

A cargo plane has reportedly crashed near Lviv airport, leaving at least five people dead. The accident happened on Friday morning at around 07:29 local time. According to BBC, the aircraft disappeared from flight radars at around 07:10, with one of the crew making contact 19 minutes later to report an emergency landing attempt. The wreckage was found about a mile away from Lviv Danylo Halytskyi International Airport, where it had crash landed. The plane had been en route from Lviv to Spain. The aircraft has been identified as a Ukrainian Antonov-12 - a Soviet-designed four-engine plane. Preliminary investigations suggest the emergency landing attempt was made in connection with the plane running out of fuel.

Wanted criminal killed in police shootout

A wanted criminal has allegedly been killed and two police officers have been injured during a shootout with the police near the capital city of Kyiv. The crossfire reportedly occurred on Tuesday morning in the village of Khotyanovka, in the outer outskirts of the capital. According to reports, the police were carrying out a raid operation when they encountered the suspect who opened fire on police officers, triggering a fatal exchange of fire. The suspect has been identified as a Georgian national who was apparently wanted by the police in connection with a number of crimes and terror-related offences.

Power cuts reported amidst thunderstorms

Power cuts have reportedly been affecting more than 100 towns and villages amidst thunderstorms and adverse weather in Ukraine. Heavy rain and stormy weather in the last 24 hours has led to the disruption in power supplies, affecting towns across the country. Some of the worst affected areas have been the Kyiv, Lviv, Ternopil, Volyn, and Zhytomyr areas. General travel disruption also remains likely.

Explosion hits Luhansk overpass

An explosion has reportedly hit a stretch of an overpass in Luhansk, with provisional police investigations suggesting that Russian-backed separatist rebels from the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) may have been responsible for the attack. According to local reports, the blast occurred on Thursday evening, hitting a bridge section of the overpass near the Lutuginskaya intersection with 2nd Stroitelnaya Street. The police have stated that 15kg bombs were used to blow up the bridge. No casualties have been reported as a result of the explosion.

Kiev residence of former central bank chief set on fire

The residence of the former head of the Ukrainian Central Bank has been set on fire in a suspected arson attack. AP reported that the home of Valeria Gontareva near Kiev was ablaze on Monday. Police are still investigating the incident. Gontareva has been previously targeted in other incidents. She previously accused the billionaire banker Ihor Kolomoyskyi, the former owner of the embattled PrivatBank, of threatening her. A feud between Gontareva and Kolomoyskyi started when she led the nationalisation plans of the PrivatBank during the administration of President Petro Poroshenko. The PrivatBank had recently made headlines after Prime Minister Oleksyi Honcharuk denied to claims that he had been holding negotiations to make a settlement with the bank. The nationalisation of the PrivatBank was overturned back in April after a court found the procedure illegal. The rule was made despite the injection of $6bn.

Rebel fighter killed in Donetsk shooting

A Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebel fighter has reportedly been killed in a shooting incident in Donetsk. DPR fighter Roman Dzhumaev was arrested last month and had been under house arrest in the Mariupol area. The incident supposedly occurred on Monday morning at a property on Voiniv-Vyzvolyteliv Street, where it's alleged Dzhumaev was shot dead on the doorstep of his apartment. No details have been given on how or why he was killed as an investigation gets underway. Dzhumaev was detained in 2017 trying to cross the border into Ukraine, having moved to Russia.

Six soldiers injured in Donetsk shelling

At least six Ukrainian soldiers have allegedly been injured by shelling in the eastern Donestk region, where the government forces have been clashing with the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebel forces. It's claimed that the shelling was fired by DPR rebels, targeting Ukrainian armed forces positions in Donestk over the weekend. Military officials reported at least 11 incidents of firing in the area which resulted in casualties amongst soldiers. It has not been specified whether the armed forces returned fire.

Parliament approves impeachment bill

Parliament has approved a bill that will allow any sitting president to be removed from office if they breach the law. In two votes held on Tuesday, lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the legislation. President Volodymyr Zelenskyi's Servant of the People backed the bill, which was heavily criticised by the opposition due to its quick approval. Opposition members claimed that the bill is meaningless and that nothing has changed. The new law will allow lawmakers to open impeachment proceedings after approval of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court. Subsequently, the process will need to be approved by three-quarters of parliament. The bill passed days after lawmakers voted in favour to strip their own political immunity from prosecution.

Dozens arrive in Kiev as part of historical prisoner swap with Russia

Dozens of Ukrainian nationals have been released in a historical prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia. In total, 35 Ukranian nationals arrived at Kiev's Boryspil Airport. Most of them include Ukrainian sailors detained back in 2018 on the Kersh Strait off Crimea. The Ukrainian government has made public the name of all those released, while Russia has not yet published a full list of those transferred back to Moscow. However, among them is Volodymyr Tsemakh, who is among the main suspects in the internationally-led investigation on the MH17 plane crash. The Netherlands has strongly criticised Ukraine for including Tsemakh on the list. President Volodymyr Zelenskyi has said: "We have to do all the steps to finish this horrible war."

Lawmakers vote in favour to strip their own political immunity from prosecution

Lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved a bill which aims to remove their political immunity from prosecution. In a vote held on Tuesday, the bill passed with 373 votes in favour in the 450-seat Verkhovna Rada. While some praised the measure as a landmark to battle widespread corruption in Ukraine, others fear that it may facilitate politically-motivated persecution against the opposition. The bill was proposed by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy who vowed to address corruption in Ukraine. He was elected in April and his Servant of the People party has recently secured a majority in parliament.

Parliament approves nomination of Oleksiy Honcharuk as Ukraine's new prime minister

Parliament has approved the nomination of Oleksiy Honcharuk as Ukraine's new prime minister. Lawmakers in the Verkhovna Rada have approved his nomination in a vote held on Thursday. Honcharuk was nominated by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who was elected back in April. Although he had previously worked with politics and ran in the parliamentary elections back in 2014, Honcharuk is considered a political novice. Further, the former Ukranian ambassador to NATO, Vadym Prystaiko, was nominated to lead the ministry of foreign affairs and Andriy Zahorodnuyk to head the defence ministry.

Russian journalist released on bail months after detention

Russian journalist Kirill Vyshinsky has been freed months after being arrested on treason charges. Vyshinsky is the head of the Russian RIA Novosti news agency in Ukraine. He was detained back in 2018 after being charged for supporting Russian-backed separatists through his alleged engagement in Russian-sponsored information warfare. TASS reported that he was released on bail after a court order. His trial started in April, months after he was detained by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU). He claimed that his detention was politically motivated. At the time of his arrest, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) raised concerns and called for his release after a later trial in November 2018.

Large gatherings expected ahead of Independence Day celebrations

Large gatherings are expected at Kiev's Maidan Square ahead of the Ukrainian Independence Day celebrations on Saturday. An official parade is scheduled to start from 09:00 local time and last until 12:00. Enhanced security measures will be enforced along the parade's route and major central areas of the capital. Road closures and public transport disruption are likely. A protest is also expected during the morning, where demonstrators will march from Shevchenko University to Maidan Square. This is the first Independence Day celebration in Ukraine since President Volodymyr Zelenskiy took office.

Several killed in hotel fire in Odesa

At least eight people have been killed and 10 others injured after a fire broke out at a hotel in the resort city of Odesa. Ukraine's State Emergency Service confirmed that the fire broke out in the early hours of Saturday morning. According to reports, a large portion of the Tokyo Star Hotel was destroyed. The budget hotel is located just opposite to Starosinnyi Square and near the Odesa-Horlova train station in Prymorsk-Raion district. Dozens were evacuated from the area as firefighters took three hours to extinguish the blaze. Authorities are still investigating what the origins of the fire are. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that those involved will be prosecuted and claimed that further action will be taken to enforce safety regulations in other accommodations.

Water workers evacuated after shooting in Donetsk

Workers repairing an important water pipeline were evacuated after shootings were reported near the Line of Contact in Donetsk. Water supplier Voda Donbasa (VD) told WASH Cluster that the incident happened on Thursday afternoon. No members of the VD crew were injured. Repairs are currently being carried out on a pipeline providing water to the towns of Verkhnotoretske and Vasylivka, which house more than 3,000 people combined. Damages to the pipeline are not believed to have been caused by the ongoing armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. According to the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), an increase in the number of explosions was confirmed during the latest reporting period. SMM confirmed that heavy-machine-gun fire caused damage to residences and a school in the rebel-held Horlivka. Further, the SMM reiterated that they continue to facilitate operations of key civilian infrastructure in Zolote, Popasna, Petrivske, Raivka and the Donetsk Filtration Station.

President Zelenskiy calls Russia's Putin to resume peace talks

President Volodymyr Zelenskyi has urged his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to resume peace talks to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine. President Zelenskyi's request came after four Ukrainian soldiers were killed earlier this week in Donetsk. He added that he will contact French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to revamp the Normandy Format talks. Calls for the resumption of peace talks were previously made last month, several weeks before the Ukrainian parliamentary elections. Although a ceasefire was declared last week, frequent ceasefire violations have been reported daily both in Donetsk and Luhansk. It is estimated that more than 13,000 people were killed in eastern Ukraine since the conflict broke out in 2014.

Ukrainian soldiers killed during confrontation near Pavlopil, Donetsk

Four Ukrainian soldiers have been killed during a confrontation in eastern Ukraine. According to the ministry of defence, the soldiers engaged in a confrontation with Russian-backed separatists near Pavlopil, Donetsk. According to the latest report of the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), 27 explosions were reported in Donetsk between Sunday and Monday evening. SMM also reported that most of the ceasefire violations were reported near the government-controlled town of Avdviika. The SMM continues to record dozens of ceasefire violations despite the so-called Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine reaffirmed a commitment to engage in a ceasefire back in late-July.

Estonia not to recognise Russian passports issued in Ukraine's separatist regions

Estonia's Foreign Minister Urman Reinsalu has announced that Estonia will not recognise Russian passports issued in separatist regions of eastern Ukraine. In a statement released on Monday, Reinsalu said: "Granting expedited Russian citizenship to the residents of eastern Ukraine is another attempt to undermine the independence of Ukraine and perpetuate the current unstable security situation in eastern Ukraine. It goes completely against the spirit of the Minsk agreements." The measure will affect passports issued to non-Russian citizens before late-April 2019, which is the date when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans to expedite citizenship requests from Ukrainians living in Luhansk and Donetsk. Estonia already applies a similar measure on those from the annexed region of Crimea. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and a number of areas around the Donbas region are under the control of Russian-backed rebels.

Russian tanker seized in Izmail over Kerch Strait incident

A Russian tanker has been seized for its alleged involving in last November's Kerch Strait incident. Reuters reported that the Nika Spirit was detained just after entering the port of Izmail, located on the border with Romania. Russia's government said that the Nika Spirit's seizure will have serious consequences. Last November, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) seized three Ukrainian Navy vessels and detained more than two dozen crew members. Ukraine confirmed that there were counter-intelligence officers of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) amongst the sailors detained. 

President Zelenskiy's party forecast to win snap parliamentary elections

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's Servant of the People party is set to win the Ukrainian snap parliamentary election held on Sunday. According to preliminary results released by the Central Election Commission of Ukraine, with nearly 53 percent of the votes counted, President Zelenskiy's party garnered more than 42 percent of the votes. In a far second, with nearly 13 percent of the votes, came the pro-Russian Opposition Platform. Petro Poroshenko's European Solidarity got just over 8.5 percent. The turnout was around 50 percent. Despite strong results, the Servant of the People may still need to form a coalition to secure a majority in the Verkhovna Rada. Snap elections were called just after President Zelenskyi' was sworn into office in May.

Ukraine to hold parliamentary elections on Sunday

Ukraine is set to hold its parliamentary elections on Sunday. Snap elections were called just after President Volodymyr Zelenskyi was elected and dissolved parliament. His Servant of the People Party is expected to garner most seats in the Verkhovna Rada, while the Opposition Platform is forecast to come in a far second. Other parties that may win significant seats in parliament include Petro Poroshenko's European Solidarity and Yuliya Timochenko's Fatherland. It is still unclear if President Zelenskyi's party will achieve a majority. President Zelenskyi has reported considerably high popularity rates. He has already pushed through some reforms while intending to cease altercations with Russia and to tackle corruption. However, his ties with TV oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky may not convince some of the sceptical electorate. Hundreds of international observers have arrived in Ukraine to monitor the process.

Trilateral Contact Group reaffirms commitment to ceasefire in eastern Ukraine

The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine has expressed its recommitment to a new ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. In a statement released on Wednesday, it reaffirmed "its full commitment to a comprehensive, sustainable and unlimited cease-fire starting from 21 July 2019". The Trilateral Contact Group is comprised of representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). With the new ceasefire, both parts of the conflict in Donetsk and Luhansk are urged to adhere to previous guidelines decided on both Minsk agreements. The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) often record daily ceasefire violations and incidents along the contact line in eastern Ukraine. Last week, Ukraine's recently elected President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called on his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to resume peace talks to end the eastern Ukraine conflict. 

President Zelenskiy invites Putin to resume peace talks

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called on his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to resume peace talks to end the eastern Ukraine conflict. In a media statement, he urged the Russian president to sit on the negotiations table, while proposing that mediation be led by the UK, US, Germany and France. AP reported that President Putin is willing to hold talks, but he would only consider it after the Ukrainian parliamentary elections are held later this month. Russia and Ukraine have previously held talks and signed two separate Minsk Agreements in 2014 and 2015. However, the conflict in Ukraine still persists. Daily ceasefire violations are reported by both sides as Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian state forces continue fighting in Luhansk and Donetsk.

Ukraine hosts 12-day military exercise in the Black Sea

Ukraine is co-hosting a 12-day military exercise in the Black Sea dubbed as the Sea Breeze 2019. Alongside Ukraine, the US and 17 other NATO and non-NATO countries are taking part in the drill, which will involve 32 warships and 24 aircraft. The Sea Breeze 2019 kicked off on Monday after an opening ceremony held in the port town of Odesa. The US Naval Forces Europe-Africa/US 6th Fleet say that the exercise is "designed to enhance interoperability among participating nations and strengthen regional security by focusing on a variety of security and stability scenarios in the areas of land, sea and air". The drill comes amid rising tensions between the US and Russia over increasing military activity in eastern Ukraine and around the Crimean Peninsula.

Large crowds to attend Kiev Pride

Large crowds are expected to attend the Kiev Pride parade on Sunday. The event is scheduled to kick off at 08:30 and last until 12:30 local time. Attendees are expected to march from the Opera House towards the Taras Shevchenko Park. Enhanced security measures are expected to be implemented across central Kiev, while road closures and disruption to public transport are also expected. Travellers are advised to remain vigilant due to the possibility of counter-protests.

Constitutional Court rules in favour of parliament dissolution

Ukraine's Constitutional Court has ruled in favour of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's move to dissolve parliament. President Zelenskiy took office in March and promptly dissolved parliament while calling for early elections. He claims that the decision came to tackle corruption. Snap elections are scheduled for 21 July, several months earlier than previously set. President Zelenskiy was elected after defeating Petro Poroshenko, who ran for re-election.

OSCE report shows significant increase in ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine

The latest status report of the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) of the Organisation of Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) revealed that a significant increase on ceasefire violations was reported in a two-week period in June. In the report published on Monday, the SMM revealed that between 03 and 16 June, 14,700 ceasefire violations were reported, a civilian was killed and 16 others were injured. The report shows that anti-tank mines were spotted in Staromykhailivka, Lozove, Prychepylivka, Krasnohorivka, Travneve and Pisky. Additionally, civilian property and schools were also damaged by shelling and shots in Zolote, Marinka and Chermalyk. Heavy military weaponry was also found in some civilian population centres, including Tarasivka, Chernenko, Bezimenne and Luhansk. According to SMM, at least 57 civilians were killed so far in 2019 in the context of the eastern Ukrainian conflict.

Four men charged for downing MH-17 flight in eastern Ukraine

Four men have been criminally charged for downing the Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17. The Boeing 777 crashed in a rebel-held area in eastern Ukraine in July 2014 and killed 298 people. The incident happened in the context of the ongoing eastern Ukraine conflict. The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) - also composed of Belgium, Malaysia, Australia and Ukraine - has named Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky, Olega Pulatov and Leonid Kharchenko as the suspects. The first three are Russian nationals with an extensive military background. According to JIT, they were high-level ranking officials in the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic (DPR). Kharchenko, a Ukrainian national, was a field commander in the DPR. The probe concluded that they were at the time part of the 53rd anti-aircraft brigade stationed in the town of Pervomaiskiy - JIT claims that the crash site is still inaccessible. According to the investigations, they are accused of liaising with Russia to acquire heavy weaponry, such as the Buk surface-to-air launcher used to fire the Russian-made 9M38 missile. JIT has issued international arrest warrants and requested Russia and Ukraine to cooperate with the investigations. The court hearing is scheduled for March 2020.

Six killed in fire at psychiatric hospital in Odessa

At least six people have been killed after a fire broke out at a psychiatric hospital in Odessa, southern Ukraine. Reuters reported that the incident happened on Monday evening in a municipal facility in the Black Sea port city. Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman is set to form a committee to investigate the causes of the fire.

Ultra-nationalists topple statue of soviet-era general in Kharkiv

Clashes broke out when ultra-nationalists toppled the statue of a Soviet-era general in Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine. Demonstrators targeted the statue of General Georgy Zhukov at a square near a local government building. At least one person was injured when protesters clashed with the police. Protesters took to the streets in response to the creation of the Doviriay Spravam party, led by two pro-Russia mayors in Ukraine. Protesters claim General Zhukov's statue violates a 2015 law that prohibits soviet and Nazi-era symbols in Ukraine.

PM announces resignation

The Ukrainian prime minister, Volodymyr Groysman has announced his resignation following the swearing-in of President Zelensky. Groysman's resignation came just hours after the Zelensky's inauguration ceremony on Monday - during which he dissolved parliament as he called for snap elections. The President also called for high-level resignations - the move is an attempt to deliver on an election campaign promise to tackle corruption within the political system.

New president calls snap parliamentary election

Ukraine's new president, Volodymr Zelensky, has called a snap parliamentary election. Former TV comedian Zelensky made the announcement during his swearing-in ceremony in Kiev on Monday. Zelensky stated that he was "dissolving the Verkhovna Rada" in an apparent bid to dilute corruption levels within the political system. "People must come to power who will serve the public", he said during the ceremony. Zelensky has prioritised ending the conflict with Russian-backed rebels in the eastern Donetsk region. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated he won't congratulate Zelensky, but would wait for progress in Donetsk.

Ruling coalition breaks up ahead of presidential inauguration

President Petro Poroshenko's coalition partner, the People's Front Party, has announced that it is leaving the coalition with the current administration. Outgoing President Poroshenko is scheduled to step down on Monday after parliament set a date for the inauguration of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Party leader Maksym Burbak said: “We declare our withdrawal from the current coalition, the cessation of its activities (...) and the initiative to form a new coalition with a new agenda". Zelenskiy previously announced intentions to dissolve parliament and call for snap elections. The People's Front was the junior coalition partner of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc. With its withdrawal of support, the party has one month to form a new coalition. Parliament's term is due in November.

Parliament sets Volodymyr Zelenskiy's inauguration date to 20 May

Parliament has largely approved the date for the inauguration of President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy. In a vote held on Thursday, the Verkhovna Rada has set the date for 20 May. With his inauguration, parliament may be disbanded and early elections may be called. Intentions to dissolve parliament, due for elections in November, were previously announced after Zelenskiy's victory last month. It comes as lawmakers are scheduled to vote in a bill aimed at limiting presidential powers. Zelenskiy is a known comedian in Ukraine and a political novice. He has entered the political arena after defeating President Petro Poroshenko in a run-off vote.

Twelve injured in numerous clashes with separatist forces

The Joint Forces Operation has reported that there were 15 attacks by separatist militants in the last 24 hours.  According to reports, three Ukrainian servicemen and nine separatists were injured in the exchange of artillery shots.  

Parliament approves controversial bill to grant special status to the Ukrainian language

Parliament has approved a bill that would grant special status to the Ukranian language. Although most of the population speak both Ukrainian and Russian fluently, the new law will dictate that the Ukrainian language should be mastered by all members of the public sector, including the military, health and education. Additionally, the new law will establish that movies and TV content should be mostly in the Ukrainian language, while computer software should include a Ukrainian interface or any other EU language. The bill was championed by outgoing President Petro Poroshenko, who is leaving office after losing last Sunday's presidential elections to Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Zelenskiy said that his government will review the new law after a number of Russian-majority communities said it was discriminatory.

Russia approves bill to ease citizenship requests of residents in eastern Ukraine

Russia President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that would facilitate people in eastern Ukraine to receive Russian citizenship. The bill was published on Wednesday and seeks to grant residents in some areas in Luhansk, Donetsk and Crimea the right to become Russian citizens. Previously, those seeking to become Russian nationals were requested to live at least five years in Russia before applying. With the new law, citizenship requests will be processed within three months. The EU, Germany and the US condemned the new law, while Ukraine's President-elect Volodymyr Zalenskiy accused Russia of hindering peace efforts. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, while a number of areas around the Donbas region are under control of Russian-backed rebels.

Two killed and four injured in Donetsk clashes

On 25 April, the Joint Forces Operation headquarters said that there had been 14 attacks by separatist militants in the last 24 hours. Following an exchange of gunfire, two separatists were killed and three wounded, as well as one Ukrainian serviceman who died.  

Five killed in Donetsk clashes

At least five people have been killed and another five have been wounded in recent clashes between the Ukrainian armed forces and the Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) separatist rebels in the Donetsk region. Throughout the last 24 hours, it's been reported that the DPR rebels launched nine attacks on Ukrainian military positions, killing one soldier and wounding another. Four DPR rebels were also killed and another four were wounded in retaliatory gunfire from the Ukrainian troops.

Volodymyr Zalenskiy wins presidential run-off vote

Volodymyr Zalenskiy has achieved a massive victory in the presidential run-off held on Sunday. Preliminary polls show that he achieved a landslide victory after garnering more than 73 percent of the votes against President Petro Poroshenko, who got 24 percent. Zelensky turned up victorious in most oblasts in Ukraine, while Poroshenko only secured the eastern region of Lviv. Zalensky is a famous comedian in Ukraine and largely portrayed as an alternative to traditional political parties in the country. Among his main policies, is resuming peace talks in war-torn eastern Ukraine. Additionally, the new president will also face increasing challenges on long-needed judicial reforms to tackle corruption, address the crucial issues of Ukraine’s energy dependency and the country’s serious economic downturn.

Zelensky fails to appear for public debate

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko spoke alone to thousands of people in Kiev's Olympic Stadium, after his opponent Volodymyr Zelensky failed to appear.  The two men had agreed to a debate, but failed to agree a date.  Critics say that Mr Poroshenko has not done enough to fight issues such as corruption, but Mr Zelensky, who is a TV star and a comedian, has staged no rallies and given few interviews, raising questions about his political views.  Nevertheless, following a social media campaign, he finished the first round in the lead with more than 30 percent of the vote, and is expected to win the ballot next weekend.

DPR rebel killed in Donetsk crossfire

A member of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebel forces has allegedly been killed, while four other DPR rebels have been wounded following a recent crossfire in the Donetsk region. Numerous clashes occurred overnight, after DPR forces targeted Ukrainian military positions in the Avdiyivka, Hnutove, Katerynivka, Novo-Oleksandrivka, Shyrohyne, Pavlopil, Pisky, Verkhniotoretske, and Zolote areas. No military personnel were injured in the clashes.

Clashes reported in Donetsk

Violent clashes have been reported between the military and Russian-backed separatist forces in the eastern Donetsk region of Ukraine. According to reports, at least one Ukrainian soldier and seven Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebels have been killed, while three security personnel and six DPR rebels were also wounded in the fighting, which was sparked by 13 DPR attacks on Ukrainian military positions within the last 24 hours.

Five killed in Donetsk clashes

At least five fatalities have been reported following clashes between the Ukrainian security forces and the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebel forces in the Donetsk region. According to regional reports, the Russian-backed separatist DPR forces launched a number of armed attacks on the Ukrainian military overnight, killing two security personnel and wounding two others. The Ukrainian troops allegedly returned fire, killing at least three DPR rebels and wounding a further eight.

Two rebels killed in Donetsk clashes

Two rebels from the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) forces have been killed, while six other rebels have also been wounded following clashes with the Ukrainian armed forces in the Donetsk region. According to reports, the DPR forces launched at least 18 armed attacks on Ukrainian military positions within the last 24 hours. At least three Ukrainian soldiers were also wounded in crossfires.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy to face President Poroshenko in run-off vote

Volodymyr Zelenskiy has achieved the most votes in the Ukrainian presidential elections. According to the Central Electoral Commission (CYK), preliminary results show that Zelenskiy garnered more than 30 percent of the votes. President Petro Poroshenko has garnered around 16 percent of the votes, while in third place came former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko with 13 percent. In close fourth place came Boyko Yuriy, a pro-Russian politician part of the Opposition Bloc party. He was mostly supported in the war-torn Donetsk and Luhansk provinces. Most of the support for Zelenskiy came from younger voters, who sought an alternative to traditional political parties in Ukraine. Although he has no political experience, Zelenskiy is a famous comedian and actor, having played the role of president in a TV show. He is a close ally of TV magnate and avid government critic Igor Kolomoisky, who is currently in self-imposed exile. Zelenskiy is set to face President Poroshenko in the run-off vote, which is scheduled to 21 April.

Three killed in Luhansk clashes

At least three people have been killed and two others have been wounded in clashes between the Ukrainian security forces and the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebel forces in the Luhansk region. A Ukrainian soldier and two DPR rebels were both confirmed dead on Tuesday, while two other DPR rebels were also injured. The fighting allegedly came about as a result of three DPR attacks on the security forces in the Katerynivka area.

Large crowds to attend nationalist protest in Kiev

Large crowds are expected to take part in a march in Kiev on Saturday. Demonstrators will gather at the Maidan Square in central Kiev. A nationalist group known as the Nationalist Corps is behind the march. Thousands of protesters are expected to take part in the demonstration. Protests organised by the Nationalist Corps has previously turned violent. Travellers are advised caution and to avoid the area as tensions may escalate. A number of protests and marches have engulfed Ukraine in recent months as the country prepares to hold its presidential elections on 31 March. 

Dozens of candidates to run for office ahead of presidential vote on 31 March

Ukraine's Central Elections Commission has announced that 39 presidential candidates are set to run for office ahead of the elections on 31 March. President Petro Poroshenko seeks a second term in office. Among the main candidates are former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a famous TV comedian in Ukraine. Although some inconsistencies are found on proposals from both opposition candidates, President Poroshenko's government has been tainted by corruption scandals. The elections are centred on issues such as the country's approach to NATO and the EU, taxation, energy prices, Russia meddling in Ukraine and government-level corruption. The vote comes just months before the parliamentary elections, which will be key to the introduction of reforms. This is the first presidential election since Poroshenko's predecessor, Viktor Yakunovych, was forced out of office in 2014.

Donetsk clashes kill four DPR rebels

Clashes in the eastern Donestk region of Ukraine have resulted in the deaths of four Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebels. Fighting between the Ukrainian armed forces and the Russian-backed separatist DPR rebel forces was reported in parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk areas on Thursday. According to local reports, four DPR rebels have been killed and 13 others have been wounded, while one DPR vehicle was also destroyed.

Presidential election to take place

A presidential election is due to take place in Ukraine later this month. According to local reports, the election will take place on 31 March, with large crowds expected to be drawn to the capital city of Kiev. Protests and demonstrations, as well as political rallies, are likely to occur throughout the run-up to the election. Some disruption should be expected and heightened security measures may be in place closer to the election.

Russia frees Ukrainian archbishop in Crimea

A Ukrainian archbishop has been freed by the Russian authorities in Crimea. Archbishop Kliment of Simferopol was reportedly arrested by Russian police in Simferopol over the weekend as he made his way to the court hearing of a Ukrainian citizen being tried for terrorism against Russia. Kliment is the region's top clergyman of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and was accused of stealing silverware from the church and swearing at a bus stop. The archbishop was released without charge on Monday after being detained for around 24 hours, and has since claimed Russia was trying to tarnish his reputation.

Opposing factions ready to engage in dialogue over Donbass conflict

On 21 February, the leaders of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) have announced that they are ready to engage in dialogue with the Ukrainian government over the Donbass conflict.  The leadership of the Donetsk People's Militia had urged European states to persuade Kiev to hold direct negotiations.

Surveillance of Sea of Azov to be increased

The head of the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service (SBGS), Petro Tsyhykal, has announced that five new observation towers have been erected on the coast of the Sea of Azov.  The towers will be equipped with audiovisual surveillance equipment, and according to reports, Ukraine is also negotiating the purchase of 22 patrol vessels from France to supplement the country's Border Guard Service in the Azov and Black Seas.  The move comes after an incident in the Kerch Strait in the Sea of Azov in November, when a group of Ukrainian boats was attacked by the Russian Navy.  

President Poroshenko seeks re-election and closer ties with the EU and NATO

President Petro Poroshenko has announced intentions to launch his re-election bid ahead of the presidential elections in March. In a political rally held on Tuesday, President Poroshenko has said that he is seeking a second five-year term in office. He further said that he is submitting a bid to join the EU in 2024, while also seeking closer cooperation with NATO. Poroshenko has been in office since 2014, when violent protests led to the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych. Last week, Yanukovych, who fled to Russia, has been found guilty of treason for aiding Russia on the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

Former President Yanukovych found guilty of treason

A court in Kiev has found former President Viktor Yanukovych guilty of treason. Yanukovych was accused of aiding Russia on the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. He stepped down from office in 2014 and fled to Russia after major protests broke out when he scrapped an association agreement between Ukraine and the EU. He is being charged on three counts of high treason, collusion with Russian officials and for taking actions to violate Ukraine's sovereignty. He was sentenced in absentia for 13 years in prison. Since the Crimean annexation, over 10,000 people were killed in the eastern Ukraine conflict. 

Sixteen killed in Donestk clashes

At least 16 fatalities have been reported following a series of clashes in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk areas. According to reports, the Ukrainian armed forces engaged in fighting with Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebel forces on Wednesday. Some 16 DPR rebels were allegedly killed and at least 10 Ukrainian soldiers were also wounded in the crossfire.

Four killed in Donetsk clashes

At least four people have allegedly been killed and some five others have been wounded following recent clashes between the Ukrainian military and separatist armed groups in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Unconfirmed reports indicate the Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) separatist rebel forces opened fire on the Ukrainian armed forces on Monday, sparking a fatal exchange of fire. Four DPR rebels were reportedly killed, while three others were wounded, along with two Ukrainian soldiers.

Five hurt in Pavlohrad coal mine explosion

On 10 January at around 09:15 local time, five miners sustained injuries due to a methane blast at a coal mine in Pavlohrad in the Dnipropetrovsk region. The victims were taken to hospital suffering from burns. 

Ukrainian businessman arrested in Switzerland

Swiss police have reported that a Ukrainian businessman has been arrested under suspicion of the kidnapping of an ex-mayor in the Dominican Republic, as well as material damage by criminal activity.  Denys Pashchenko had been the subject of an international arrest warrant since November 2018, and Ukraine are understood to be preparing the necessary paperwork for his extradition.  

President announces end to martial law in 10 regions

President Poroshenko announced the end of martial law in 10 areas of the country on 26 December, despite saying that the situation "had not changed much".  Martial law had been imposed for 30 days over a Russian attack against Ukrainian navy vessels in November.  

US pledges $10 million for Ukrainian navy

The US State Department has pledged an additional $10 million to Ukraine to boost the country's navy.  The move comes in response to the seizure of three of their military vessels by Russia in December.

Poland closes pedestrian checkpoint

With effect from 1 January, the Polish Border Guard Service has closed the "Dolgobychuv-Ugrynov" checkpoint for pedestrians on the Ukrainian border.  The move comes amid claims that pedestrian traffic creates a threat, and the temporary infrastructure, which was implemented as a trial in 2015 and repeatedly extended, is inadequate

Trilateral Contact Group reiterate calls for ceasefire in eastern Ukraine

A meeting held between Ukraine, Russia and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) reiterated calls for a ceasefire during the holiday season in eastern Ukraine. The Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) met on Wednesday in Minsk, Belarus, to discuss further developments in the eastern Ukrainian conflict. OSCE Chairperson in Ukraine, Ambassador Martin Sajdik, said that 2018 recorded the lowest number of civilian casualties since the conflict started in 2014. He also said that for the first time, a number of prisoner exchanges with the rebel-occupied territory in Donetsk and Luhansk were successful. However, Ambassador Sajdik raised concerns over the increasing number of landmines and unexploded ordinance in eastern Ukrainian territory. Another TCG meeting is scheduled to take place in mid-January.

IMF approves loan to Ukraine

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a 3.9-billion-dollar loan to Ukraine. The loan is replacing another assistance package that was suspended due to insufficient reforms. It was recently approved after the country announced the launching of an anti-corruption commision, adjustment to energy prices and adoption of the revamped 2019 budget. The loan comes as a lifeline to President Petro Poroshenko who is facing severe pressure ahead of next year's general elections. The debt-embattled country continues to face several challenges, especially in its eastern regions and the Crimean peninsula. President Poroshenko is facing former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is an avid critic of IMF intervention. Preliminary polls show that Tymoshenko would lead the race against Poroshenko and other candidates.

Trade restrictions against Russia extended

On 18 December, parliament voted to extend the embargo on a host of Russian goods and services until the end of 2019.  The sanctions were originally imposed in 2016.  

Armed forces test anti-ship missile system

On 5 December, the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine (NSDC) said that they had carried out a test of a newly-adapted anti-ship missile system.  They reported that the test was successful, with the missile striking a sea-based target in the Black Sea at a range of 280 km.  Oleksander Turchynov, Secretary of the body said that the results of the test were "significant", and proved that Ukraine is capable of defending its' borders in the Black and Azov seas.  The tests come amid increasing tensions with Russia over a naval incident in the Kerch Strait.

Ukraine church council to create independent Orthodox church

President Petro Poroshenko has said that the Ukrainian Church Council will meet in mid-December to discuss the creation of an independent church. For a long time, President Poroshenko has pushed to distance the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Russian clergy over claims that the institution is used to meddle in Ukraine's domestic affairs. The decision to hold the council was previously agreed between the government and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. The move comes as diplomatic tensions with Russia escalated last month after an incident on the Sea of Azov.

President Poroshenko partially summon reservists amid tensions with Russia

President Petro Poroshenko has announced on Monday that he is partially summoning Ukraine's reservists amid the current tensions with Russia. Reservists will be called for training as several regions of the country are under martial law until late-December. President Poroshenko also said that some military units will also be redeployed. In a statement, he said: "Ukraine is taking its own steps in response to the threat of a large-scale Russian invasion”. Russian officials said that the allegations are unfounded and part of a political manoeuvre ahead of the upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine. Tensions with Russia kicked off last week after an altercation on the Azov Sea. The announcement came just as a Russian court formally charged 24 Ukrainian sailors - those detained in last week's incident - for illegally entering Russian territory.

Bulgaria Air flights to Ukraine suspended

On 30 November amid increased tensions between Ukraine and Russia, Bulgaria Air announced that it had temporarily suspended flights between Sofia and Odessa.  The ban will remain in place until at least 16 December, pending normalization of the situation.  Travellers affected should contact Bulgaria Air for further information.

President accuses Russia of troop deployment at border

President Petro Poroshenko said at a military event on Saturday that Russia has deployed more than 80,000 troops and huge weapons resources along their common border.  Tensions between the two have escalated after a naval conflict in the Black Sea on 25 November, in which Russia fired on Ukrainian vessels and then seized them, including their crew.  German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and US Secretary of Defense James Mattis have condemned the Russian move while they are at the G-20 summit in Argentina.  Donald Trump cancelled a planned meeting with Vladimir Putin at the gathering, citing the unresolved stand-off.  A 2003 agreement designates the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait as shared waters, but since Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, Moscow has tried to exert greater control over the passageway.  Vladimir Putin has accused Mr Poroshenko of seeking conflict to delay elections, including imposing martial law and restricting the entry of combat-age Russians into Ukraine.

Russian males barred from entering the country

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has announced that Russian males aged between 16 and 60 are barred from entering the country, a restriction he said is intended to prevent Russia from forming "private armies" on Ukrainian territory.  The move comes amid increasing tensions between the countries following the naval incident in the Kerch Strait on Sunday, when Russian ships fired on Ukrainian sailors and captured three ships off the Crimean peninsula.

Border agency says that travels to Crimea limited to Ukrainian nationals

Ukraine's border services said on Thursday that only Ukrainian nationals will be allowed to travel to Crimea. A spokesman to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine told Reuters that: “In connection with the introduction of martial law, the administrative border with temporarily occupied Crimea can be crossed exclusively with Ukrainian documents". The martial law was imposed on Wednesday and is set to last until 26 December. It came after a military altercation with Russian forces in the Kerch Strait. Since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, a special permission is necessary for entry into and exit from Crimea - if travellers are heading from and to Ukraine. Most train and bus services from Ukraine have been discontinued.

Russia imposes blockade on Azov Sea ports

On 29 November, Russia imposed a blockade on the ports of Berdyansk and Mariupol in the Azov Sea, preventing Ukrainian vessels from entering and exiting unless they are going to Russian ports.  Tensions remain high in the area, and many governments advise against travel to the far east of the country, including the cities of Donetsk, Horlivka, Makiyivka and Luhansk.  

Poroshenko asks NATO to send ships

President Petro Poroshenko has asked NATO to send ships to "assist Ukraine and provide security" following a naval confrontation with Russia on Sunday.  NATO has expressed support for the country, despite them not being a member state.  Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the Ukrainian President of creating the incident by provocation to boost his ratings ahead of March 2019 elections.  Both countries agreed to share the Azov Sea in 2003, but Russia's decision to open a bridge across the Kerch Strait earlier this year has increased tensions.  On Wednesday, the EU condemned Russia's actions but failed to agree additional sanctions against Russia, while President Trump said that he may cancel a planned meeting with Mr Putin over the incident.

Russia to prosecute Ukranian navy crew

Russia has broadcast television footage of some of the crew of the Ukranian navy vessels captured over the weekend in Crimea, allegedly confessing to intruding into Russian waters.  A court in the Crimean regional capital of Simferopol has remanded 12 of them in custody for two months pending trial on charges of violating the Russian border.  Ukraine has said that its' vessels were operating in line with international maritime rules, while Russia has alleged that they failed to get permission.  A 2003 treaty designated the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov as shared territorial waters, but Russia claimed the strait after annexing Crimea.  Ukraine has demanded that Russia stop using "psychological and physical pressure" on the sailors, and said that the men were "prisoners of war", and displaying them on TV was a crime.

Protesters block Russian trucks in Odessa

On 27 November, nationalist protesters in Odessa stopped four trucks with Russian registrations to demand the release of the Ukrainian sailors who were captured in the Kerch Strait on Sunday.  The patriotic activists removed the registration plates from the vehicles, preventing them from going on their way, but police later returned them, allowing the vehicles to proceed.  

Public warning issued over unmarked aircraft and drones

The General Staff of the Ukranian Armed Forces has warned the general public that any unmarked aircraft or drones flying near military facilities will be shot down, and any operators will be arrested.  In addition, officials have called for the  public to avoid publishing information on social media relating to military facilities, property or personnel.  The announcements come amid increased tension along the Ukraine/Russian border.  

Fishermen in Azov Sea told to return to port

The First Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food, Maxim Martynyuk, has recommended that fisherman in the Azov Sea return to their ports as a precautionary measure.  The advice comes amid tensions with Russia, and the introduction of martial law in Ukraine.

Martial law imposed in Russian border areas for 30 days

On 26 November, Ukranian President Poroshenko signed a decree to impose martial law for a period of 30 days in 10 of the country's 27 regions, starting on 28 November.  The areas affected are Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporishia, Khereson, Mykolaiv, Odesa and Vinnitsa, as well as the Azov-Kerch Strait basin.  Demonstrations took place in front of the Russian Embassy in Kyiv on 25 and 26 November, with participants setting fires and throwing projectiles.  The move to impose martial law comes after a dispute with Russia over shipping in the Kerch Strait, when Ukranian boats were rammed and fired upon on Sunday. Martial law is the imposition of military control over functions usually carried out by the government, and is a tactic used as a reaction to an emergency. Crucially, authorities can ban protests and strikes, regulate the media, and in theory, citizens could be called up for military duty.  Russia's President Putin has expressed concern at the decision.

President Poroshenko declares martial law

President Petro Poroshenko has declared martial law after an incident involving the Ukrainian Navy and the Russian military unfolded in the Kersh Strait. According to a statement released on Monday, the martial law decree is set to last for 60 days. However, the decree still has to be approved in parliament, which will hold an emergency session on Monday. It is still unclear what aspects on martial law will be implemented if the decree is approved, but they may include the prohibition of demonstrations, restrictions of movement, the mobilisation of reserve units and the imposition of a curfew. The declaration came a day after three Ukrainian Navy vessels were seized by the Russian military off Crimea's eastern coast.

Protests likely amid tensions with Russia

Tensions with Russia over the recent incident in the Black Sea may result in further protests in Ukraine as the Parliament discusses a proposal to impose martial law nationwide.  Demonstrations have already taken place on Sunday night outside the Russian Embassy in Kyiv.  Residents and visitors in the city are advised to monitor developments and follow instructions given by local authorities.  

Ukraine and Russia in standoff over Crimean waters

On Sunday, tensions between ex-Soviet neighbours Russia and Ukraine were increased after a tugboat of the the Ukranian navy was rammed by a Russian ship as they were leaving the Kerch Strait on a planned transfer from the port of Odesa to the port of Mariupol in the Sea of Azov.  That evening, Russian coast guard ships opened fire on a group of vessels near the peninsula of Crimea, which was annexed four years ago.  Twenty-three Ukranians on board three other boats were captured by Russia near the Kerch Strait and contact with them has been lost.  Russia claims that the Ukranian vessels illegally entered the temporarily closed waters and that the Ukranians had not filed an application for passage.  The Ukranian side said that notification about the transfer plans had been done in advance and in accordance with international rules.  Russia reportedly later placed ships under the Kerch bridge, blocking all commercial shipping through the straitThe UN Security Council are to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the escalation, while Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko has asked his parliament to vote on whether to impose martial law on the country for two months.  He has said that, despite Russian aggression, he would stick to the Minsk Agreements which are peace deals with Russia and pro-Russian separatists in south-eastern Ukraine that were designed to stop the war that had claimed more than 10,000 lives.  

Five civilians killed and 13 injured during October

A report from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has issued a report for Ukraine, showing that five civilians died and 13 were injured due to violent conflict in the area.  The incidents took place in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, and most were caused by mines and explosive devices.  Figures show that 87 civilians were killed in 2017 in similar incidents.

Patients evacuated due to fire at Lviv hospital

On 21 November, fire broke out at a regional hospital in Lviv, forcing around 216 people, including patients, staff and visitors, to be evacuated from the building.  The incident took place at around 11:30 local time and the blaze was brought under control around 13:10.  No injuries were reported and investigations into the cause of the fire have been opened as preliminary reports suggest that it could have been started deliberately.

OSCE reports several ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine

The Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has identified a number of ceasefire violations both in Donetsk and Luhansk, eastern Ukraine. The latest SMM report released on Monday revealed that most incidents happened near Yasynuvata, Svitlodarsk, Donetsk Filtration Station and Chermalyk in Donetsk. The SMM also identified damages to residential areas in Kruta Balka. Meanwhile, in Luhansk, most incidents happened near Kalynove, while damages to civilian property were reported in Zolote.

Three killed in Luhansk clashes

At least three people have been killed and nine others have been wounded after armed clashes broke out in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions. The Ukrainian armed forces in Avdiyivka and Krasnohorivka reportedly came under fire from the Russian-backed Donetsk people's Republic (DPR) separatist rebel forces in ceasefire violations, prompting the security forces to return fire. Three DPR rebels were killed and six others were wounded, while at least three Ukrainian soldiers were also wounded.

Snowfall triggers delays at Kiev International Airport

Heavy snowfall has triggered severe flight delays at Kiev International Airport. Eurocontrol announced on Wednesday afternoon that operations are being significantly affected. Travellers are advised to contact their respective airlines for flight status updates.

Thousands march to demand resumption of gas supply

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets nationwide amid an ongoing crisis affecting gas providers in central and southern Ukraine. As winter temperatures hit the country, thousands of houses and buildings are without central heating systems. Such comes due to a dispute involving the national gas company Naftogaz and regional providers. Gas prices increased as part of a bailout deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Ukraine is facing significant challenges on the provision of gas since it barred imports from Russia after the Crimean annexation in 2014. 

Four soldiers killed in separate attack near Luhansk

At least four Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in separate clashes in eastern Ukraine. According to military sources, two separate attacks were reported overnight on Friday near Luhansk. Tensions mounted just days before a controversial poll was due to be held to elect the new leaders of the self-styled Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic. During the same period, a report from the Special Monitoring Mission of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) recorded a significant intensification of the conflict in Donetsk, especially in Lebedysnke, Pyshchevyk, Debaltseve and Yasynuvata - the last two being rebel-controlled areas.

Pro-Russian candidates win controversial elections in Donbass

Elections have been held in eastern Ukraine to choose the new leaders of the self-declared Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) and Donetsk People's Republic (DPR). In a vote widely condemned by the EU and the US, pro-Russian candidates Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechik won in the DPR and LPR respectively. Local authorities claim that a high turnout was recorded on last Sunday's vote - in DPR more than 80 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots. President Petro Poroshenko's government refused to accept the results of the vote and said that they are not legitimate, while the Russian government said that the vote did not infringe any guidelines under the Minsk Peace Agreement. Elections were held several months after DPR leader, Alexander Zakhartchenko, was killed in a bomb attack.

President Poroshenko signs bill to punish Russians visits to Crimea

President Petro Poroshenko has signed a bill which will view Russians crossing into Crimea - a Russian-annexed territory in the Black Sea - as a criminal offence. Ukraine's parliament revealed on Wednesday that the new bill will prohibit Russian nationals from crossing into the annexed territory under the threat of being punished with up to three years in prison. Border crossings into Crimea are still controlled by Ukrainian guards. The ban includes Russian nationals flying from Russia into Crimea or crossing to the peninsula through the newly launched bridge over the Kerch Strait.

Missile system detected in separatist territory

A surface-to-air missile (SAM) system has allegedly been detected by OSCE drones in separatist-held territory in Luhansk. The system was identified as a mobile Russian-made unit and was reportedly positioned near Kalynove. The SAM system is said to be in violation of the Minsk agreement and ceasefire, which prohibits the use of heavy artillery by either side within the security zone in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

Ukrainian activist succumbs to wounds after acid attack in Kherson

A Ukrainian activist has succumbed to her wounds after facing an acid attack outside her house in Kherson, southern Ukraine. Kateryna Handzyuk had more than 40 percent of her body burnt and suffered severe injuries to her eye. She succumbed to her wounds on Sunday after passing through nearly a dozen surgeries. Local media suggest that she died due to a blood clot. Reports revealed that five suspects were detained for links to the attack, which happened in late-July. Handzyuk, an advisor to the mayor of Kherson, was known as a critic of police corruption in Ukraine.

Artillery firing reported in Luhansk

At least one Ukrainian soldier has been killed and four others have been wounded in artillery firing in the the Luhansk region. According to reports, gunfire was reported in the region on Monday morning, near Zolote. It's believed the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR) forces launched an attack on Ukrainian military positions using heavy-calibre weapons. The Ukrainian security forces are said to have retaliated with return gunfire.

Russia imposes sanctions on Ukraine's political elite

Russia has imposed sanctions on 322 Ukranian individuals as well as 68 organizations amid on-going tensions between Moscow and Kyiv.  The assets of hundreds of politicians and officials as well as dozens of businesses owned by Ukranians were frozen in a decree signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who described the measures as "counter-sanctions".  Kyiv recently imposed its' own financial sanctions on hundreds of Russian individuals and companies.    

Motorists to protest in Kyiv on 31 October

Owners of cars with foreign registrations are due to march in Kyiv and other cities on 31 October, to complain about rising fuel prices and high customs fees on imported cars.  Some transport disruptions are expected.  In a similar protest which took place in the city on 11 October, severe traffic disruption was caused as demonstrators blocked roads with their vehicles.  

Update on Ichnya explosion

On 9 October, a large explosion at an ammunitions depot caused serious damage to the area around Ichnya, Chernihiv Oblast.  As of 24 October, a 10 km exclusion zone remains in existence around the site.  Any individuals in the area are advised to follow the instructions of the Ukranian emergency services.

Seven injured in Sudak minibus crash

On 21 October, a minibus with 10 occupants crashed near Sudak in Crimea.  The incident happened at around 06:30 local time, while the bus was travelling from Kerch to Simferopol.  Seven passengers were injured when the driver apparently lost control of the vehicle, which ended up in a ditch.  

Death toll of Kerch college security incident increases to 18

Crimean officials revealed that the death toll of the Kerch college security incident has risen to 18. Latest reports suggest that the incident unfolded after a bomb was set off in the college's cafeteria. Officials stated that an armed male suspect opened fire at students before killing himself. Local Russian-backed authorities said that the suspect was a college student, while Russian law enforcement said that it is treating the incident as a terrorist attack. No group claimed responsibility for the attack as further investigations is being carried out. Initial reports had revealed that a potential natural gas explosion was the cause of the blast, while Russian authorities confirmed the presence of an unknown explosive device.

Several killed after college explosion in Kerch, Crimea

At least 10 people are feared dead and dozens of others were injured after a blast at a college in Crimea. Emergency services were deployed to the eastern town of Kerch, where the explosion occurred on Wednesday morning. Investigations are still ongoing as it is still unclear what caused the explosion. Preliminary reports suggest that the blast was caused due to a natural gas explosion; however, the Russian authorities told state-agency Tass that it was caused by an “unidentified explosive device”. Kerch is a strategic city located in eastern Crimea. It is the main link between the Russian occupied peninsula and mainland Russia - such was materialised through a recently inaugurated bridge over the Kerch Strait.

Two killed in figher jet crash near Ulanov

On 16 October a military fighter jet crashed near the village of Ulaniv in the Vinniitskaya region during a large-scale NATO aerial exercise.  The incident happened at around 17:00 local time, and the two pilots were killed. Their bodies were found during a search and rescue operation.  Seven hundred troops are taking part in the exercise which is code-named Clear Sky 2018 and which started in Ukraine on 8 October and runs for 11 days.  

Five convicted for espionage

On 17 October, two Russian citizens were sentenced to 10-years in prison, and three Ukranians received five-year sentences as well as confiscation of all property, for assisting a terror organization.  The Ilyichevsky District Court of Mariupol found that the five men had passed information to the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR).  According to investigations, they had collected information about the location of military units in Ukraine and transferred this data to the DPR to use for shelling operations.  Since the DPR is considered a terrorist organization in Ukraine, the sentence was could be related to terrorism.  

Nationwide measles outbreak continues

Over 32,000 cases of measles have been recorded by health officials during 2018, with at over 500 new cases reported during the first week of October.  The most affected areas are Lviv, Transcarpathian, Ivano-Frankivsk, Odessa and Kyiv.  Ukranain medics continue to urge citizens to ensure that they are vaccinated against the disease, which is highly contagious and affects mainly children.  Individuals planning to travel to Ukraine are advised to ensure that their measles vaccinations are up to date, and anyone with symptoms of high fever, runny nose, cough or a rash should seek immediate medical attention.

Union protest in Kyiv on 17 October

The Ukranian Federation of Trade Unions is to hold a protest in Kyiv on Wednesday 17 October.  Protesters will gather at Maidan Nezalezhnosti and march to the Verkhovna Rada and the Cabinet of Ministers building to demand increased salaries and pensions.  

Nationalist rallies to be held on 14 October

Nationalist rallies are to be held in Ukrainian cities on 14 October to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the creation of the Ukranian Insurgent Army (UPA).  In Kiev, marchers will gather at Shevchenko University at 16:00 local time, and proceed to Yevropeiska Square.   A simultaneous march will take place at Liberty Square in Lviv.  Disruption to traffic and local transport is to be expected in both cities.

Explosion at ammunition depot forces evacuations

In the early hours of 9 October, a number of explosions at a local munitions depot forced the evacuation of some 10,000 residents from the area near the city of Chernigov in northern Ukraine.  The immediate vicinity was put on lockdown for air and land travel and an emergency response centre set up.  Emergency crews, including police, firefighters and the National Guard were deployed at the scene, and no injuries have been reported.  Preliminary reports suggest that the blaze started with four explosions, and security services said they had not ruled out sabotage.

Five killed and nine injured in incidents across Donetsk

On 8 October, five people were killed and nine injured in several incidents across Donetsk and Luhansk Oblast.  The Ukranian forces have accused Russian backed forces of the violations of the Minsk agreement.

Hungarian diplomats to be expelled over passport row

Ukraine has given the Hungarian consul three days to leave after a video emerged which appeared to show the diplomat issuing Hungarian passports.  Ukraine does not permit dual citizenship.  Hungary has said in turn that it will expel a Ukrainian consul.  Hungary is a NATO and EU member and has been blocking Ukraine's attempts to integrate with both organizations over the last few months.  Hungarians form the largest ethnic minority in Transcarpathie.  

Section of Crimean railway bridge collapses

On 4 October, local sources reported that a section of the Crimean railway bridge had collapsed during construction work.  No injuries were reported.  

Government expels Hungarian consul amid citizenship row

Ukraine has ordered the Hungarian consul in the western town of Berehove to leave the country after diplomatic tensions escalated amid a citizenship row. The government has accused the Hungarian consulate of illegally providing passports to Transcarpathian Hungarians, a minority group settled in Ukraine - under Ukraine legislation, double citizenship is not allowed. Hungary's Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told Reuters that: “If a country aspiring for NATO membership settles military forces to the border of NATO, it cannot join NATO, and if it launches an attack against dual citizenship, an established EU institution, it cannot join the EU either.” Hungary also expelled the Ukrainian ambassador in Budapest.

President Poroshenko calls for extension of special status law in eastern Ukraine

President Petro Poroshenko has submitted to parliament a bill that seeks to extend the so-called special status law to regions affected by the eastern Ukraine conflict. President Poroshenko urged lawmakers to expedite his request before the law expires later this month. The special status law is considered key to allow negotiations between both parts of the conflict. It was first introduced in 2014 and has been extended once last year. 

Landmine blast kills three teenagers in Horlivka, Donetsk

Three teenagers have been killed after in a landmine explosion in Horlivka, eastern Ukraine. Reuters reported that all the victims studied in the same school. Horlivka has been one of the main areas that have been reporting intense fighting amid the eastern Ukranian conflict. The town is controlled by separatist forces based in the Donetsk region. Since 2014, violent clashes have been reported in the region between Russian-backed separatists and pro-government forces.

Five treated for anthrax poisoning in Odesa region

On 1 October, five people were reportedly treated for anthrax poisoning in the village of Menjailovka in the Sarat District.  No further information was released.

Four killed in firing incidents in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts

On 30 September, four people were killed and at least a further nine injured when Russian troops fired on Ukranian troops in locations across Donetsk and Luhansk Oblast.  Some of the incidents included artillery fire which is prohibited under the Minsk agreement.  

Protests in Kiev after anti-corruption campaigner injured

On Thursday, hundreds of people protested in Kiev outside the presidential office after an anti-corruption campaigner was injured in a gun attack last Saturday.  The assault against Oleg Mykhailyk, leaving him with serious gunshot wounds, was the latest in a series of attacks on activists and government critics across Ukraine.  Police said that three people had been detained on suspicion of attempted murder.

OSCE confirm 182 civilian casualties in eastern Ukraine during 2018

Observers within the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have confirmed that more than 180 civilians have been either killed or injured this year amid the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. Deputy chief Alexander Hug has said in a press conference on Wednesday that 34 people were killed and 138 others were injured, mostly due to explosions. The latest OSCE's Special Monitoring Mission report states that its stations recorded over 80 explosions in Donetsk and Luhansk - in the previous 24-hour period more than 200 explosions were reported in Luhansk.

Court orders arrest of ex major Melnychenko

A court in Kyiv has ordered the arrest of Mykola Melnychenko, ex-major of the State Security Administration on suspicion of treason, espionage, abuse of power and money laundering.  He is accused of selling state secrets to foreign representatives for monetary reward, which he later legalized by acquiring property and vehicles in the US and Ukraine. The case was opened in 2015, and his bank accounts and assets will now also be seized.  

Seven police officers injured in Kyiv protests

A peaceful protest  about the decision of the authorities to extradite Timur Tumgoev, who is wanted by the Russian Federal Services on terrorism charges, turned violent on 17 September, when demonstrators spray-painted the building and tried to force entry.  During the resulting scuffle, seven police officers were slightly injured.   

One arrested on suspicion of the assassination of Zakharchenko

On 15 September, a suspect was arrested on suspicion of being involved in the assassination of the head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), Alexander Zakharchenko, who was killed in a cafe explosion in August.  Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) has accused Ukranian intelligence services of being behind the incident.

Railway link to Baltic States to begin service

On 28 September the direct rail link between Kyiv and Minsk, Riga in Latvia and Vilnius in Lithuania will commence service.  Further links between Mukachevo and Budapest are also being planned.

Head of State Fiscal Service resigns his post

Myroslav Prodan, who had been the acting head of the State Fiscal Service for two years, announced on Facebook yesterday that he was quitting his post.  Mr Prodan said that his action was to avoid any conflict of interest since he had decided to run for the permanent post of Head of the service.  However, his resignation also comes during conflict between him and Ukranian prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko over the recent campagn to stop smuggling and amid accusations of involvement in criminal gangs and embezzlement.  

Twenty people missing following Zakharchenko's assassination

Twenty people have been reported missing following the killing of Alexander Zakharchenko on 31 August in an explosion in a cafe in Donetsk.  Zakharchenko was the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR).  According to reports 50 other people have been detained.  

Separatist leader killed in Donetsk cafe bomb blast

On 31 August, a bomb blast in a cafe in Donetsk killed the head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.  Alexander Zakharchenko was killed when the improvised explosive device detonated as his party entered the premises.  His bodyguard was also killed, and several other people were injured.  He is the latest prominent pro-Russian lead to be killed since 2015.  According to Russian media, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic will be led temporarily by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Trapeznikov.  

Prominent historian found murdered

On 2 September, prominent Ukranian historian Mykola Shityuk was found dead in his apartment in Mykolaiv.  Police said that his body bore signs of violence, including stab wounds.  A murder investigation has been launched.  Mr Shityuk was famous for his work in relation to the Holodommor famine of the 1930s when Soviet authorities forced farmers to join collectives by requisitioning their grain, causing a famine.  Ukraine and several other countries recognize the events as an act of genocide.  

Novotroitsk checkpoint closed due to fire

On 29 August the Joint Forces Operation reported that the checkpoint at Novotroitsk has been closed due to a grass fire burning in the vicinity.  There are concerns that there could be unexploded ordnance in the area which could be at risk of being set off by the heat generated by the fire.

MP attacked in Cherkasy region

On 29 August, reports were received that a member of the Ukranian parliament had been attacked.  The incident is alleged to have taken place in the Cherkasy region and involved Pavlo Karas who is the MP for Cherkasy City Council.  Police investigations are under way.

Five soldiers killed in clashes near Krymske, Luhansk

At least five soldiers have been killed and seven others were wounded during armed clashes in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine. According to the ministry of defence, the clashes erupted in Krymske. The latest report released by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) revealed that clashes in Luhansk intensified between Monday and Tuesday, with more than 60 explosions reported in the region, especially near Obozne, Artema and Muratove. On 29 August, a ceasefire with Russian-backed rebels will come in effect ahead of the start of the new school year.

Government reach ceasefire deal with Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine

A ceasefire agreement between Ukraine and Russian-backed rebels has been reached in Minsk, Belarus. A spokesman for the auto-entitled Donetsk People's Republic said that the truce in eastern Ukraine will begin on 29 August, several days before the start of the school year. Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a ceasefire in the Donbas region last week before meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Berlin. The conflict in eastern Ukraine continues to be highly active, with a number of Ukrainian soldiers being reported dead recently.

Europe sees sharp rise in measles cases in 2018

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that there has been a sharp rise in the numbers of measles cases in the first half of 2018, with 41,000 people affected, and 37 deaths.  More than half of the cases were reported in Ukraine, with France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Russia and Serbia had more than 1,000 cases each.  Vaccine scepticism remains high in many parts of Europe, and although measles can be prevented by a vaccine which has been available since the 1960's, health officials say that vaccination rates of 95 percent are necessary to prevent epidemics.  Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through coughing or sneezing.  Symptoms include a high fever and a rash on the face and neck.  Most people who fall ill do recover, but measles can be dangerous for young children. 

EU to issue further funds for public administration reform

On 14 August, the EU reported that it would issue a further 15.5 million euros to Ukraine to support reforms to the public administration sector.  An initial payment of 10 million euros was made in May 2017, and the Ukranian government has completed 75 percent of its' objectives set for the time period. 

First meeting of tri-lateral assembly to be held in September

On 1 August, it was announced that the first tri-lateral assembly of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia would be be held in Tbilisi at the end of September.  The decision to form the assembly was taken during an international security conference in March, and in early June the statement of formation was signed in Kiev.  The Speaker of the Moldovan parliament said that Moldovan MPs together with their Ukranian and Georgian colleagues would continue to promote the interests of all three countries and the region as a whole.

Nasirov to run for president in 2019

Roman Nasirov who is the former head of the Ukraine's State Fiscal Service has announced that he will run for president in 2019, despite being currently on trial for corruption.  Prosecutors claim that Mr Nasirov gave orders to amortize tax debts for three private gas-producing companies in 2016 in the interests of a businessman who was accused of embezzlement, thereby costing the state almost $74.9 million.  He has been forced to wear an electronic tag since 2017 after being released on bail of $3.7 million, but says the charges against him are false. In addition, an anti-graft activist has accused Nasirov of having a British passport, which he denies.  Dual citizenship is not permitted in Ukraine.  

Registration for Anti-Corruption court opens

On 24 July the High Qualification Commission announced the opening of  the registration of candidates for the High Anti-Corruption Court as well as 80 Supreme Court job openings and said that applications needed to be made by 1 August.  Controversy was sparked when they then announced that registrations would be accepted after that date, following criticism that they were trying to push the process through as quickly as possible, compromising the quality of the selection process.  Under the law, the anti-corruption court should be created within a year of the law being passed in June.    

Several killed in road accident in Zhytomyr

At least 10 people have been killed and 10 others were injured in a road accident in Zhytomyr, central Ukraine. Local media reported on Friday that the accident happened near the village of Hlybochytsia, along with the highway between Kiev and Chop, where a bus collided with a lorry. 

Kyiv to Riga train to be launched

The Minister of Infrastructure for Ukraine has announced that an international train linking Kyiv and Riga in Latvia, via Minsk and Vilnius will commence operations on 28 September.  Trade between the two states has increased by almost 40 percent in a bid to improve the European integration of the country.  The cost of a ticket between the two cities is expected to be in the region of 59 euros.

OCHA confirms 38 casualties in June amid eastern Ukraine conflict

The latest report of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) revealed that 38 casualties were reported across eastern Ukraine in June - significantly lower than May, when security highly deteriorated. Among them, four were caused by landslides and unexploded ordnance. During the same month, security incidents in the region have accounted for more than 1,000, nearly one-fifth of those reported since the start of 2018. A report from the OSCE revealed that more than 140 explosions were recorded across Luhansk and Donetsk areas in the last 24 hours.

Anti-corruption activist targeted during political rally in Kiev

An anti-corruption activist was targeted on Tuesday during a political rally in Kiev. Vitaliy Shabunin, the head of the Anti-Corruption Action Centre, was attacked with a green substance while protesting outside the prosecutor's office in the capital. Demonstrators demanded the resignation of the special anti-corruption official over his move to shut down an investigation against the son of Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. Rights groups raised concerns over the culture of impunity in Ukraine, which has recently created a new anti-corruption body in order to secure a loan from the IMF.

Lawmakers approve changes to anti-graft court to secure IMF aid

Lawmakers have approved an amendment within the country's recently created anti-corruption court to secure aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The court was created in June after months of delay. However, the IMF requested some changes regarding the court's jurisdiction. The vote comes as Ukraine seeks to guarantee a 17.5 billion loan from the IMF to push for reforms.

Donetsk clashes kill four soldiers

Clashes in the Donetsk region have reportedly killed at least four Ukrainian soldiers and wounded two others. According to reports, the fighting broke out between the Ukrainian armed forces and the Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) separatist rebel forces in the early hours of Friday morning. The DPR forces allegedly fired high-calibre weapons on Ukrainian military positions in the Luhansk, Novotoshkivske, Novozvanivka, and Svitlodarska areas.

Russia confirms power tests with German-made turbines in Crimea

Russia's energy ministry has confirmed the testing of four German-made electricity turbines in Crimea. The move has generated a serious diplomatic backlash due to current sanctions introduced since the Crimean annexation to Russia back in 2014. Such forbids EU companies of providing energy infrastructures to the region. According to Reuters, the engines fabricated by Siemens were deployed to Crimea without the company's knowledge. The tests were conducted in the city of Sevastopol, while another station is currently being built in Simferopol. 

Roma camp attacked near Lviv

A Roma community camp has been attacked in western Ukraine near the city of Lviv. The attack happened on Saturday night, when a group of masked armed assailants targeted the camp. According to the BBC, a 24-year-old man has died from stab wounds, while four others - including a 10-year-old boy - have also sustained injuries. At least eight suspects aged 16 to 20 have been arrested for suspected involvement in the attack.

Ukraine further expands sanctions against Russian entities

President Petro Poroshenko has signed a bill that further expand current sanctions on Russian businesses and entities. More than 30 Russian-based entities have been added to a list that already includes more than 780 entities and more than 1,700 individuals. In a statement, Poroshenko said: “The Council has imposed sanctions symmetrical to the sanctions imposed by the U.S. government on June 11 against legal entities involved in the activities of Russian special services in cyberspace.” Political tensions with Russia intensified since the Crimean annexation back in 2014.

Soldier wounded in Donetsk clashes

A Ukrainian soldier has reportedly been wounded in rebel firing in the Donetsk region. According to local reports, the Russian-backed Donetsk Poeple's Republic (DPR) rebel forces fired on Ukrainian military positions 29 times within the last 24 hours, targeting areas in Donetsk, Horlivka, and Luhansk. The Ukrainian armed forces allegedly returned fire, killing at least three DPR rebels and wounding three others.

Protesters gather in Kiev over worker's benefits

Some 2,000 protesters have gathered in Kiev to call for improvements in the welfare system for workers. Veterans and miners made up a large proportion of the protesters, which have convened near the Verkhovna Rada building (Ukrainian parliament) to demand that their benefits be preserved. According to reports, the police have responded to the protests. At least eight police officers and two protesters have been wounded, while two other protesters have been arrested. The situation remains ongoing and these figures may change.

Two Ukrainian soldiers wounded in clashes

Two Ukrainian soldiers have reportedly been wounded after clashing with the Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebel forces near Avdiivka, Donetsk. Military officials allegedly claimed the two soldiers were wounded in unprovoked rebel firing, to which the troops responded to with retaliatory fire. No other casualties have been reported.

Foreign ministers visit to discuss Crimea sanctions

The Latvian foreign minister, Edgar Rinkevics, and the Lithuanian foreign minister, Linas Linkevicius, are scheduled to visit Ukraine within the coming week. The two diplomats will meet with their Ukrainian counterpart in Kiev to discuss possible sanctions against the instigators of a presidential election in the Crimea region, which is currently under Russian occupation.

Kiev pride march to take place

A pride march is due to take place in Kiev this weekend and is expected to cause significant travel disruption. The event, called 'KyivPride March' will start at 10:00 local time on Sunday 17 June at the intersection of Volodymyrska street and Bohdana Khmel'nyts'koho street in central Kiev. The US government has issued a travel warning on Twitter advising those in the area should be aware of the potential for clashes with opposing groups - some of which may conduct counter-protests against the march.

Parliament approves creation of anti-corruption court

Lawmakers have approved a bill to create an anti-corruption court dedicated to trying cases of bribery. The new bill is considered to be instrumental to Ukraine's commitment to secure aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and attract further foreign investment into the debt-ridden country. President Petro Poroshenko said that the bill will enhance Ukraine's capacity to fight endemic levels of government corruption. Further arrangements still have to be agreed before an eventual IMF approval.

Drone shot down over Donetsk

A drone has reportedly been shot down over the Donetsk region. The Ukrainian Joint Forces allegedly brought an Orlan-10 surveillance drone down during an operation near Bakhmut. The drone is believed to have been manufactured and produced in Russia and was likely being used by the Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebel group.

Measles epidemic declared

On 31 May the Health Ministry reported that a further 1,334 people contracted measles in one week, 812 of whom were children.  Since the beginning of the year, over 18,000 people have been infected with measles in the Ukraine, and UNICEF delivered 800,000 courses of measles vaccine to the country's health system in April in a bid to control the epidemic.

Ukrainian security forces stage journalist's death in Kiev

Ukrainian security forces have announced on Wednesday that the murder of the self-exiled Russian journalist, Arkady Babchenko, was staged. Babchenko's murder in Kiev was widely reported worldwide earlier on in the day. Babchenko appeared in a press conference in the Ukrainian capital hours later. Reports suggest that the move came to uncover hitmen who were allegedly Russian-hired hitmen who were plotting to kill him. Russia condemned the operation and called it a provocation from Ukrainian authorities.

Exiled Russian journalist reported dead

Arkady Babchenko, a Russian journalist who fled to Ukraine because of "political harassment", was reportedly shot dead outside his Kiev home yesterday.  He is an open critic of the Kremlin, and Kiev authorities have said that they suspect he was "killed" because of his "professional activities".  Police have opened an investigation to establish the facts, but preliminary reports suggested that Mr Babchenko was shot in the back. He later appeared in a press conference and apologised for the deception, saying he wished to highlight a Russian plot to kill him.  Relations between Russia and Ukraine remain tense following the seizure of territory in eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian forces. 

Football fans clash in Kiev

On 24 May, an attack on football fans at a Kiev restaurant left two people injured.  Authorities reported that the agression was from local fans against Liverpool supporters who had travelled to the city ahead of the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid which will take place tomorrow. 

Investigators say Russian-owned missile downed Malaysia Airlines plane

An international joint investigation team has said that the missile which downed the Malaysia Airlines plane in eastern Ukraine was part of the Russian armed forces. Preliminary investigation revealed that the missile was fired from rebel-held territory, but Russia denied that any of its weapons were used. Nearly 300 passengers died when the Boeing 777, travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, exploded mid-flight.

Frenchman convicted over 2016 Euro attack plot

A Ukranian court has sentenced a Frenchman to six years in prison after finding him guilty of plotting a terror attack during the Euro 2016 football championship in France.  Gregoire Moutaux was detained in May 2016 on the Ukranian border with Poland whilst in possession of illegal weapons, ammunition and explosives.  Authorities said that the 27-year-old far-right extremist was planning 15 strikes against mosques and synagogues in France.  Moutaux offered no explanation for his actions during the trial.  

Ukraine files complaint about Kerch Strait bridge

Ukraine has filed a claim with the International Tribunal against the construction of the Kerch Strait bridge between the Russian Federation and Russian-occupied Crimea, which they claim is illegal.  The complaint is in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the instruction to file the motion was given by President Petro Poroshenko.  The construction of the bridge was also condemned by the United States, Canada, the European Union and the United Kingdom.  The consideration of the claim is likely to commence before the end of the year, with a decision in 2019.  The bridge was officially opened by Vladimir Putin on 15 May.  

Increase reported in violent clashes in Donetsk

An increase in the number of violent clashes taking place in the Donetsk region has been reported. Fighting has recently escalated within the last few weeks, as the Ukrainian armed forces clash with the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebel forces. Last week, at least two civilians are thought to have been killed in violent fighting between the two sides.

Bridge blown up in Donbas

In the early hours of 21 May, a bridge in the Donbas area was reportedly blown up, disabling and interrupting the delivery of supplies to Russian forces near the occupied village of Ivanivka.  

400 schoolchildren evacuated in gas attack

Four hundred pupils at a school in the city of Mykolaiv were evacuated from their school on Monday, due to the dispersion of an unknown aerosol at the school premises.  32 children were taken to hospital for examination, and authorities are undertaking investigations to establish the nature of the substance.

Two civilans killed by shelling in eastern Ukraine

At least two people have been killed in the war-torn region of eastern Ukraine. Reports revealed that a 13-year-old child died alongside his father after their house was hit by shelling in Troitsky, a government-controlled area in Luhansk. Three other civilians were also reported injured in the rebel-held town of Gorlivka. The latest report released by the monitoring mission of the OSCE, revealed that in the last 48 hours, nearly 1,000 explosions were reported in the region.

Russia blocks ports on Azov sea

On 15 May, Ukraine reported that Russia is blocking Ukranian ports on the Sea of Azov, stopping and inspecting merchant vessels heading for the ports of the Sea of Azov. Fishing vessels from the ports of Ochakiv and Berdianks in Ukraine have also been seized.  

President Putin launches bridge between Russia and Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin has inaugurated a bridge which links mainland Russia to Crimea. In a ceremony held on Tuesday, President Putin drove a construction lorry through the 12-mile bridge between Russia's Krasnodar region to the to the Crimean town of Kerch. The project was launched ahead of schedule and traffic will be opened on Wednesday. However, a railway bridge is still to be completed by the end of 2019, while a highway between Kerch and the Crimean de-facto capital, Simferopol, is scheduled to be completed in 2020. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Security services detain head of Russian state news agency in Kiev

Ukraine's state security service (SBU) raided facilities and detained the director of the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti in Kiev. In a statement released on Tuesday, the SBU said: “Law enforcers established that they were used by the aggressor country in the context of a hybrid information war against Ukraine.” Russia condemned Kirill Vyshinsky's detention and said that the country will "act aggressively and protect the interests of Russian media to the fullest extent."

Amnesty leads to the surrender of thousands of weapons

Police have reported that a one month amnesty on weapons has led to thousands of arms and significant amounts of ammunition being handed in.  

Extreme fire hazard alert issued across Ukraine

Ukraine's State Emergency Service has announced that an extreme level of fire hazard has been identified nationwide. According to reports from the Ukrainian Hydro-meteorological Centre, the alert excludes the western regions of Lviv and Chernivtsi. The alert remains in place until Saturday.

52 hospitalised in apparent school poisoning

Ukraine authorities are investigating an outbreak of sickness in Cherkasy that is believed to be due to poisoning, and that resulted in 50 students and two teachers being hospitalised.  The incident on Tuesday caused some pupils to lose consciousness, whilst others were in a "satisfactory condition".  Prime Minister Volodymyr Groisman has flown to the city, 190 kilometres south of Kiev, to direct the medical investigation.  

Large gatherings expected during Ukraine's Victory Day

Large gatherings are expected across Kiev and major Ukrainian cities as part of planned events to commemorate the Victory Day. Security measures are set to be heightened across major venues on Wednesday, while street closures and traffic restriction will be implemented throughout the day.

Civilian casualties reported in eastern Ukraine

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) through its monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine (SMM) revealed that at least 350 blasts were reported across Donetsk and Luhansk in recent days. Latest reports revealed on Monday that in Donetsk incidents happened in the rebel-held areas of Kruta Balka, Yasynuvata, Novohryhorivka, Oktiabr mine and Horlivka. Incidents also occurred in government-controlled areas in Kamianka, Avdiivka and Bohdanivka. In Luhansk, explosions occurred in Kadiivka, Zolote, Petrivske and near the Stanytsia Luhanska bridge. SMM also reported civilian casualties in Dokuchaievsk and Petrovskyi.

Eleven wounded in Donetsk attacks

At least 11 Ukrainian military personnel have allegedly been wounded following a round of 76 rebel attacks in the Donetsk region. Military officials claimed that as many as 76 armed attacks targeted Ukrainian military positions within the last 24 hours. According to reports, the attacks were conducted by the Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic rebel group. 

Ransomware hit ministry of energy and coal website

The website of the Ukrainian ministry of energy and coal has been targeted in a ransomware attack. The cyber police spokeswoman, Yulia Kvitko, told Reuters that: "This case is not large-scale. If necessary, we are ready to react and help. Our specialists are working right now". Kvitko said that state-run energy companies were not affected by the attack. Ukraine's energy infrastructures and their ministries are often targeted in cyberattacks.

Hundreds of explosions reported in eastern Ukraine

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) through its monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine has said that more than 260 explosions were reported in Donetsk and Luhansk. In the OSCE's report released on Thursday, it revealed that incidents took place in rebel-held areas of Horlivka, Yasynuvata, Olenivka and Bunhe. Other incidents were also reported in government-controlled areas of Avdiivka, Berezove, Kamianka and Svitlodarsk. In Luhansk, incidents were reported in Stanytsia Luhanska and Vrubivskyi, where a 16-year-old was injured in an ordnance explosion.

Water supply halted after employees targeted in eastern Ukraine

Five people have been injured after buses carrying employees from a local water supply company were targeted in eastern Ukraine. The incident happened on Tuesday as employees were heading towards the Donetsk Filter Station. Water supplies along the restive line of contact were suspended after staff from the company Voda Donbasa were ordered to evacuate the area. Water supply in the region will remain limited throughout the foreseeable future due to the deteriorated security situation in eastern Ukraine.

Two airlines to lose licences over sanction breaches

The Khors and Dart airlines, both registered in Ukraine, are in danger of losing their operating licences according to Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan.  The issue centres around a Reuters investigation which revealed that military contractors travelled to Syria aboard Airbus A320 planes leased from the companies, in breach of US sanctions. Investigations are continuing before a final decision is reached.

Two soldiers wounded in ceasefire violation

Two Ukrainian soldiers have allegedly been wounded in a recent ceasefire violation in Donbas. The Ukrainian officials claim the soldiers were on duty in the Donetsk when separatist Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) forces opened fire on Ukrainian military positions - violating a ceasefire. The incident reportedly occurred within the last 24 hours.

US spending bill bans arms sales to Azov Battalion

The recently passed US spending bill has banned the sale of arms to an ultra-nationalise militia in the Ukraine. The Azov Battalion has been described as a white supremacy group led by neo-Nazis. According to reports, previous spending bill drafts had proposed similar bans before but none had made it into legislation. 

Russia accuses Ukraine of piracy

The Russian government has accused Ukraine of piracy after the Ukrainian border forces seized a Russian-flagged fishing boat in the Sea of Azov. Although the vessel was Crimean-registered and the Ukrainian authorities claim that the Russian boat illegally crossed into Ukraine's maritime borders. The boat was boarded and its 10-member crew were taken into custody in Berdyans'k by the Ukrainian border force, in what the Russian authorities have described as state-sponsored piracy. According to reports, Russia has threatened to respond by deploying the Russian Navy; however, the Ukrainian authorities have suggested the accusations may be front to legitimise establishing a Russian Navy presence in the Sea of Azov.

One wounded in Kiev shooting

At least one person has been wounded in a shooting incident in Kiev. The shooting occurred on Verkhnya Street, where police officers discovered an discarded firearm and two bullet cases. Witness reports claim two vehicles were seen speeding away from the area shortly after gunshots were heard. A police investigation has been launched.

Thirteen Russian diplomats expelled

At least 13 Russian diplomats are set to be expelled from Ukraine in solidarity with the UK over the Russian spy poisoning case which implicated the Russian government. According to the BBC, several other European and Western countries have made similar expulsions, including France, Germany, Poland, and the US.

Nadiya Savchenko arrested over coup plot

Ukraine authorities have arrested Nadiya Savchenko who is an opposition MP, for allegedly planning an attack on parliament using grenades and automatic weapons.  Legislators voted to remove her political immunity so that she could be charged.  Savchenko, who is an outspoken critic of the Ukraine government, claimed she knowingly went along with undercover agents, planning to reveal the plot to the public, and that this latest move was a plot to discredit her.  She was an ex-combat pilot who served two years in a Russian jail for her role in the deaths of two Russian journalists in the conflict zone.  She was pardoned in 2016 as part of a swap for two Russian servicemen jailed in Ukraine.

Suspected bomber detained in Kiev

A suspected bomber has been detained in Kiev after being apprehended by law enforcement officers at Zhytomyrska metro station. The suspect has been described as a 28-year-old man who was arrested whilst heading from the station toward the city centre. According to reports, he was carrying around 100 grams of TNT, C4 explosive, fuses, and detonators.

Russian consulate in Kiev attacked

On 18 March dozens of nationalists from the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists threw eggs at the Russian Consulate General in Kiev.  Their organization is banned in Russia, and they carried their organization's flags and anti-Russian placards.  Meanwhile Ukrainian law enforcers blocked entrances to polling stations organised by the Russian embassy in Kiev - according to official figures some 72,000 Russian citizens are registered in Ukraine and are eligible to vote. As a result of these actions, only russian diplomats and staff working in the diplomatic missions had the opportunity to vote in the Presidential elections, which were won convincingly by Vladimir Putin by an overwhelming majority.  

One killed and seven injured in fire at Mykolaiv military base

One soldier has died and seven more were injured when a tent caught fire at the Shyrokiy Lan military training camp in the Mykolaiv region.  Preliminary reports suggest that the blaze was the result of using a furnace at night, which represented a violation of safety rules.  Official investigations are under way to confirm the circumstances of the incident.

Russian deputy comes under attack

On 5 March, Alexey Zhuravlev, the State Duma Deputy was in a convoy of vehicles near Donetsk when they came under mortar attack from the Ukrainian side. The unaffiliated deputy said that he was visiting the area to see if the absolute truce which came into force on 4 March was in effect, when shells damaged two cars which were transporting journalists and employees of a local television station.  Mr Zhuravlev was not injured in the incident.  

Molotov cocktail attack in Uzghorod

The office of the Hungarian Culture Association was attacked with a Molotov cocktail on 26 February.  The emergency services attended the scene and extinguished the blaze but around 25 square metres of the building was destroyed.  No injuries were reported.  Police suspect that the deliberate damage was caused by a far-right organization from a EU member state, but investigations are continuing.

Former Georgian president deported to Poland

Georgia's former president, Mikheil Saakashvili, has been arrested and deported to Poland. Saakashvili was detained at a restaurant in Kiev and sent to Warsaw, months after he entered the country without a passport. "This person was on Ukrainian territory illegally and, therefore, in compliance with all legal procedures, he was returned to the country from where he arrived," said a spokesman for the Ukrainian border service. Saakashvili is an outspoken critic of Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko.

Former Georgian president freed from police van

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has been freed by supporters from a police van in Kiev. Saakashvili, 49, had been arrested at his home as part of an operation "to disrupt a plan of revenge of pro-Kremlin forces in Ukraine", according to Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko. The former leader has become a vocal critic of Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko and following his release, he called on his supporters to gather in the capital to impeach his former ally.

One killed in Cherkasy grenade attack

A person has been killed and two others have been wounded in a grenade attack in Cherkasy Oblast. According to local reports, the blast occurred on Sunday, in an apartment building in Cherkasy city. The emergency services were dispatched to respond to the scene and the casualties have been hospitalised whilst investigations are launched. The motive behind the incident remains unclear and the police have not clarified whether or not a suspect has been identified.

Three soldiers wounded in ATO zone

At least three Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded in incidents in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone over the weekend. On Saturday, military officials confirmed that at least two soldiers were wounded by shelling from the separatist Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebels. The Russian-backed DPR forces reportedly fired on the Ukrainian Armed Forces 33 times overnight, with the majority of firing hitting the Mariupol area. Another soldier was wounded in a separate series of clashes with the DPR on Sunday. Although no precise location was confirmed, fighting allegedly took place in the Kaherinovka, Lugansk, Majororsk, Mayku, Novolugansk, and Popasnaya areas.

Anti-Putin activist targeted in Kiev ambush

A Chechen accused of plotting to kill Russian President Vladimir Putin has been attacked near the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. Adam Osmayev was driving with his wife, Amina Okuyeva, in the village of Hlevaha when they were ambushed by unknown gunmen. Okuyeva was killed in the attack, while her husband was seriously wounded. Ukrainian officials suspect that the Russian state was involved in the attack. In 2012 Osmayev was arrested and charged with plotting to attack President Putin's motorcade.

Transport hubs hit by cyber attack

Odessa airport and Kiev's metro station have been hit in a cyber attack, according to the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). "We report that the IT system of Odesa international airport has been hit by a hacker attack. All services of the airport are working in a stricter mode," the airport said in a statement. The Kiev metro said card payments were unable to be processed following an attack on its systems. Key infrastructure sites in Kiev have been targeted multiple times this year, with Russian-based hackers accused of carrying out the majority of them.

Car hits pedestrians in Kharkiv, five killed

At least five people have been killed after a car ploughed into pedestrians in the city of Kharkiv. According to reports, the incident was a traffic violation rather than terrorism-related. The female driver of the SUV that hit pedestrians was arrested at the scene and a criminal investigation has been launched.

Protesters clash with police in Kiev

Groups of protesters have reportedly clashed with the police forces after riots broke out in the capital city, Kiev. The anti-corruption protests called for the establishment of an anti-corruption court, the retraction of immunity from prosecution for politicians, and changes to the electoral system. According to the BBC, the demonstration became violent when groups of protesters set up tents, blocking the main roads outside parliament. The riot police were deployed to disperse the protesters blocking the roads, leading to clashes in which at least one police officer and three protesters were injured. The demonstration was organised by non-governmental organisations and opposition parties - who have promised to raise the issue in parliament later this week.

Two soldiers wounded in rebel attacks, Donetsk

At least two Ukrainian Army soldiers have been wounded in rebel attacks in the Donetsk region. The Russian-backed separatist Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebel forces reportedly launched 16 attacks on Ukrainian military positions within the last 24 hours. The armed forces allegedly returned fire in 11 of these attacks; however, two soldiers were wounded in two separate attacks. One soldier was wounded in attacks targeting the Avdiivka and Kamianka areas of Donetsk, while another was wounded in the Talakivk area of Mariupol. The casualties come just a few days after another soldier was wounded in shelling from the DPR forces in Avdiivka.

Dozens of explosions reported in Stanytsia Luhanska

More than 120 explosions have been reported in Donetsk along with 100 others in Luhansk amid the escalating eastern Ukraine conflict. According to a report released on Thursday by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), most incidents happened in Donetsk's Svitlodarsk, where heavy-machine-gun fire was reported along with nearly 40 blasts. Incidents also took place in Adviivka, Maiorsk and Lebedynske, near Mariupol. Further explosions took place in the rebel-held area of Yasynuvata, while Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) members identified damage to residential buildings in Dokuchaievsk, which is currently held by the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic (DPR). In Luhansk, most incidents happened in Stanytsia Luhanska, while a 47-year-old tractor driver was killed when a projectile exploded near his vehicle in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) area of Metalist.

Hundreds of fresh explosions reported in Avdiivka, Donetsk

Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) observers within the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have recorded a staggering 330 explosions in Donetsk between Monday and Tuesday, almost three times higher than the previous 24-hour period. In the latest report released on Wednesday, SMM monitors registered more than 60 explosions in the conflict front-line city of Avdiivka, where dozens of bursts of gunfire and heavy-machine-gun shots were also reported. Incidents also took place in Maiorsk, Lebedysnke and Myronivskyi, while in the rebel-held area of Yasynuvata, more than 100 blasts were recorded along with further gunshots. In Luhansk, eight explosions were mainly reported in Stepanivka, Stanytsia Luhanska and Zolote. Incidents also took place in the Kalynove, which is currently held by the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR).

Explosions and shots fired in Avdiivka, Donetsk

According to the latest report released on Tuesday by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), around 120 blasts were recorded in Donetsk along with 39 others in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine. In Donetsk, most incidents took place in Avdiivka, while a number of blasts also took place in Svitlodarsk. Meanwhile, several explosions were registered in Sakhanka and Yasynuvata that are currently held by rebel within the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR). Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) observers reported that a 48-year-old civilian succumbed to his wounds over shrapnel wounds to his lung and heart. The man was killed when fires broke out in the DPR-controlled Zaitseve. Several blasts were also recorded in Shyrokyne, Pyshchevyk and Lebedynske, all located near Mariupol. In Luhansk, most incidents happened in Zolote, Novozvanivka, Popasna and Stanytsia Luhanska. SMM monitors revealed that landmine signs were seen near areas held by the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) in Vesela Hora and Pikuzy, while observers were denied further access to Zolote, Stanytsia Luhanska and Petrivske due to the presence of landmines.

Hundreds of blasts recorded over the weekend in eastern Ukraine

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has recorded over the weekend more than 200 explosions in eastern Ukraine's Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Most incidents took place in areas controlled by rebel forces of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), including the Donetsk city centre and near the central rail station, Horlivka, Yasynuvata, Khreschchatytske, Zaichenko, Sakhanka and Dokuchaievsk. Nearly 40 blasts struck areas surrounding Adviivka, where heavy gunfire was also noticed by the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM). Incidents also took place in Shyrokyne, Svitlodarks, Hnutave, Lebedynske, Talakivka and Pyshchevyk. In Luhansk, a lower number of incidents were reported in Popasna and in Sentianivka, an area controlled by rebels of the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR). Incidents were also registered in Stanytsia, where SMM monitors were denied access to some areas due to the presence of landmines - also present in Zolote and Shchastia.

Dozens of blasts reported in Svitlodarsk, Donetsk

The latest report released on Friday by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) revealed that more than 150 explosions were reported between Thursday and Friday in eastern Ukraine. According to monitors of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM), most incidents happened in Donetsk's Svitlodarsk, where 70 explosions and a number of gunshots were recorded. Several incidents also took place in Avdiivka, while dozens of explosions were reported in the rebel-controlled areas of Yasynuvata and Horlivka. Multiple shooting incidents also took place in Dokuchaievsk, which is also controlled by the self-entitled Donetsk People's Republic (DPR). In Luhansk, two explosions took place in Stanytsia, while SMM monitors claimed their access to some areas around the village were denied due to the potential presence of landmines.

Parliament approves bill to seek Donbas reintegration to Ukraine

Lawmakers have approved new legislation that aims to restore the country's control over the Donbas region amid the long-standing eastern Ukraine conflict. The bill was put forward by President Petro Poroshenko who accused Russia of being the aggressor towards the temporarily occupied territories. Further, Poroshenko intends to revamp the so-called Anti-Terror Operations (ATO) along with the reinforcement of both Minsk agreements. Ceasefire violations and dozens of explosions occur daily in Donetsk and Luhansk, where some areas are currently held by self-declared rebel governments, allegedly backed by the Russia.

Renewed explosions reported near Avdiivka and Shyrokyne, Donetsk

The latest report released on Thursday by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) revealed that 43 explosions took place in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. Most incidents were reported in Avdiivka and Avitlodarsk, while a number of explosions took place in Shyrokyne and Chermalyk, near Mariupol. Renewed explosions were also reported near the central rail station in Yasynuvata, currently controlled by the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic (DPR). Meanwhile, Luhansk suffered three explosions. Compared with the previous report, both numbers of explosions and ceasefire violations suffered a slight decrease in the last 24-hour period.

OSCE reports increasing number of explosions in Donetsk and Luhansk

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has reported 52 explosions in eastern Ukraine's Luhansk and Donetsk regions between Monday and Tuesday. In the latest OSCE report released on Wednesday, the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) identified 46 blasts and a number of ceasefire violations in Donetsk's Petrovisky district and Avdiivka. Further incidents included Yasynuvata, Oleksandrivka and around the Donetsk central rail station, all areas controlled by Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebels. In Mariupol, several incidents took place in Shyrokyne, Pavlopil and Lebedynske. Meanwhile, in Luhansk, the SMM reported six explosions around Popasna and Loskutivka along with damages to a government checkpoint in Maiorsk. The SMM also identified a number of mine hazard signs near Zhovte, which is currently held by militants of the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR).

Several explosions reported in Marinka and Avdiivka, Donetsk

The latest report released on Tuesday by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) revealed that over 20 explosions were reported in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. Compared with previously available data, the number of incidents was significantly lower compared with the weekend but slightly higher compared with the previous 24-hour period. Among the areas affected were Avdiivka and Marinka, while a number of ceasefire violations were also reported on the outskirts of Donetsk. The Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) also revealed that no incidents were recently reported in Luhansk, which is being closely monitored despite SMM's limited access to some disengagement areas currently held by the self-entitled Luhansk People's Republic (LPR).

OSCE mission records fewer explosions in eastern Ukraine

Nearly 70 explosions have been recorded in eastern Ukraine according to the latest report from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) released on Monday. Similar to previous reports, most explosions were recorded in Donetsk including Avdiivka, Shyrokyne, and Avitlodarsk. Damage to residential buildings was reported in Dokuchaievsk, while incidents also took place in the rebel-controlled area of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) in Yasynuvata and Petrovskyi district. In Luhansk, despite a fewer number of explosions, the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) recorded incidents in Krikvka and Zolote. Investigations were also launched over the death of two Ukrainian border guards in a mine blast near a rail station in Illienko.

Explosions reported in Donetsk and Luhansk

Latest reports released by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) revealed that a number of ceasefire violations and about 100 explosions were reported in eastern Ukraine late last week. Most incidents were recorded around Donetsk, including Adiivka, Svitlodarsk and Marinka, along with areas held by the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) in Yasynuvata and Lozove. A 45-year-old man succumbed to his wounds after being hit by a bullet at his home in Zaitseve, while widespread damage was reported to buildings in the residential area of Yasynuavata. Incidents were also reported in Shyrokyne, outskirts of Mariupol, and Luhansk's Sentianivka and Kriakvka - Luhansk had previously experienced more than 140 explosions in less than 24 hours.

Several ceasefire violations recorded around Donetsk

A report released on Thursday by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) revealed that at least 18 explosions were reported mostly around Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. Among the areas affected are Svitlodarsk and Maiorsk along with areas controlled by the self-entitled Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) in Yasynuvata and Vuhlehirsk. Structural damage has been reported in Dokuchaievsk, while an 80-year-old woman was injured in a security incident in Vasylivka. A number of explosions took place on the outskirts of Mariupol in Shyrokine and Pavlopil, while the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) also reported unusual landmine hazard signs along the TO519. In Luhansk, despite no reports of explosions, ceasefire violations were recorded with shots fired in areas held by the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) in Almazna and Shchastia. Compared with a previous report, the number of ceasefire violations during the period was significantly lower.

Dozens of ceasefire violations reported near Donetsk and Mariupol

More than 50 explosions were recorded across eastern Ukraine's Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone between Tuesday and Wednesday. According to an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) report, most suspected ceasefire violations were reported on the outskirts of Donetsk, including the areas of Svitlodarsk, Avdiivka, Bohdanivka, Pyshchevyk and the city's central area, which is controlled by the self-entitled Donetsk People's Republic (DPR). Blasts were also recorded in the surroundings of Mariupol in Shyrokyne and the DPR-held area of Pikuzy. Despite the high number of incidents, it was significantly lower than previous reports which recorded over 170 explosions during a similar 24-hour period.

Thousands evacuated after ammunition depot explodes in Vynnytsya

More than 24,000 people were evacuated after a military ammunition depot exploded in central Ukraine. Emergency services revealed that the massive blast happened at a Ukrainian military base near Kalynivka, in the Vynnytsya region. Hundreds of National Guard troops headed to the scene to assist in the evacuations, while a 50-kilometre no-fly zone was declared. The military prosecutor's office said that it is treating the incident as a sabotage, while Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said that external factors were behind the incident.

DPR minister targeted in car bomb attack in Donetsk

A minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) has been severely injured after a car bomb went off in eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian and Russian media reported that DPR's Revenues and Duties Minister Alexander Timofeyev and eight others were injured when two devices exploded in downtown Donetsk on Saturday morning. State news agencies reported that the motive for the attack remains unclear.

Protests in Odessa after children killed in fire

Protests have taken place in Odessa after children were killed in a fire at a children's holiday camp. The fire broke out overnight in a wooden dormitory at Victoria holiday camp - where underprivileged children are offered holidays. While firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze, three girls aged between eight and 12-years-old are thought to have died in the fire; however, only two of the bodies definitely belong to children. The BBC has reported that angry parents took to the streets of Odessa, protesting outside the town hall to confront the mayor regarding the response of the emergency services to the fire. It's believed the local police used tear gas to disperse some of the protesters. A criminal case has been opened to identify the cause of the fire while forensic tests remain ongoing on the remains of a third body - believed to be the third missing girl.

One killed in Kiev car bombing

One man has been killed and two other people have been injured after a car bomb exploded on the streets of Kiev. The incident was reported on Friday when a Georgian-plated vehicle exploded during the rush hour near the Arena City entertainment complex. Preliminary police reports suggest that the attack was premeditated, but the motive behind it remains unclear. Within the last year, two security officers and a journalist have been killed in three other separate car bomb attacks in Kiev.

Former governor illegally enters Ukraine

A former regional governor in Ukraine and ex-president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, has illegally entered Ukraine. On Sunday, it was reported that an angry crowd had surrounded Saakashvili, forcing their way over the Ukrainian border to aid Saakashvili in his plans to contest the withdrawal of his Ukrainian citizenship. The BBC has reported that Saakashvili had been on a train accompanied by former Ukrainian PM Yulia Tymoshenko when he was denied entrance to Ukraine at a railway station in Przemsyl, Poland. Saakashvili was born in Georgia but renounced his Georgian citizenship when he became a Ukrainian citizen. As Saakashvili is wanted in Georgia on criminal charges, the removal of his Ukrainian citizenship has effectively left him stateless - going against the UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Saakashvili's appeal is likely to ignite political protests in Kiev and travellers should be cautious of the heightened risk of demonstration.

Russian President Putin supports sending troops to protect OSCE monitors

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that he supports plans to deploy international troops to Ukraine to protect ceasefire monitors of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Putin said during a BRICS summit in China that he believes the move to be appropriate. Putin ordered his foreign ministry to put forward a resolution within the UN Security Council to formalise the request. However, he said that the troops' presence should be limited to the contact line established between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed rebels. Hundreds of OSCE monitors are stationed in eastern Ukraine since the conflict escalated in 2014.

Russian reporter kidnapped in Kiev

The main Russian-state TV channel, 'Pervyi Kanal' (Channel One), has claimed that one of their reporters, Anna Kurbatova, has been kidnapped in the capital city of Ukraine. According to Reuters, the reporter was allegedly abducted near her home in a central area of Kiev, where she was bundled into a car and driven to an unknown location. Channel One claims Kurbatova had been threatened before for 'anti-Ukrainian propaganda' and has accused the Ukrainian state security service of being behind the kidnapping. The claim comes just days after the Ukrainian security service was criticised for impeding free speech after two Spanish reporters were barred from the country for their coverage of the conflict with the Russian-backed pro-separatist Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) rebel forces.

Ceasefire violated overnight in Donetsk

The ceasefire in Donetsk has allegedly been violated multiple times overnight. According to reports, the Russian-backed pro-separatist Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) rebel forces violated a total of 19 times with heavy weaponry within the last 24 hours. Grenade launchers and high-calibre machine guns were among the weapons used by the DPR forces overnight. The Ukrainian Armed Forces allegedly responded with retaliatory fire on the rebel forces.

Soldier killed in ceasefire violation

A Ukrainian soldier has been killed in a ceasefire violation in the Donetsk area. According to reports, the soldier was struck by suspected rebel firing in Talakivka city. Military authorities believe that - despite a ceasefire agreement -  the Russian-backed pro-separatist Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) rebel forces were behind the attack.

Israeli man shot dead in car hijacking, Kiev

A 29-year-old Israeli man, Sachroch Torsonov, has been shot dead in a car hijacking in Kiev. The incident occurred near the Brodsky Synagogue, where a criminal approached the victim and shot him before stealing his car. The police have stated the incident is being treated as a criminally-motivated attack rather than an anti-Semitic incident. A suspect was arrested just hours later after he was found driving the victim's car.

Explosive device wounds two in central Kiev

At least two people have been injured when an explosive device went off in central Kiev. Security sources said that the blast happened on Thursday afternoon during Ukraine's Independence Day anniversary. The act is being treated as an act of hooliganism, while local media reported that the device was thrown from a passing car near the government headquarters. The attack happened while US Defense Secretary Gen James Mattis is in Ukraine to discuss, among other matters, threats posed by Russia.

Four soldiers wounded in Donetsk firing

At least four Ukrainian servicemen have allegedly been wounded in the latest round of firing from the Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) rebel forces in the Donetsk region. According to reports, the Russian-backed separatist DPR forces fired missile launchers on the Pavlopol area near Mariupol - injuring at least three Ukrainian soldiers within the last 24 hours. Another servicemen was also wounded within the same time period after he allegedly stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). It's believed the IED was planted by DPR rebels.

Dozens of shell attacks reported in Donbas

One soldier was killed and six others were injured in renewed attacks against Ukrainian military positions in eastern Ukraine. According to the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters, army positions across Donbas were hit nearly 20 times on Sunday. Attacks happened in Donetsk, Mariupol and Luhansk. On Friday, Russia media reported that the Ukrainian Army had launched more than 200 mines and shells at rebels of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR).

Three soldiers killed in Donetsk conflict

At least three Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and nine others have been wounded in the latest round of fighting in the conflict-torn Donetsk region. The Russian-backed separatist Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) forces have allegedly fired on Ukrainian military positions in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone 28 times within the last 24 hours. The DPR rebels reportedly used grenade launchers and other high-calibre firing weapons - violating the Minsk Agreement. 

Crimea wildfire extinguished

A large wildfire which has been burning in the annexed Crimea region recently has been extinguished. The fire allegedly broke out over the weekend near Hromivka village of the Sudak municipality, where four firefighting units were dispatched to tackle the growing blaze. By Monday, the fire was reportedly contained and by Tuesday morning local authorities confirmed the wildfire had been extinguished. According to reports, the fire consumed as much as 50 hectares of land; however, firefighters managed to prevent the blaze from spreading to populated areas - thereby minimising the risk to human life. As a result, no casualties have been reported and materialistic damages are believed to be minimal.

Three soldiers wounded in ATO zone

Three soldiers from the Ukrainian Armed Forces have been wounded in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone. The soldiers were wounded in the latest round of fighting in the Donetsk area between the Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) and the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The Russian-backed DPR forces allegedly targeted military positions, firing on the Vodiane and Novotroyitske areas multiple times with high-calibre weapons.

Soldier killed in ceasefire violations

A Ukrainian soldier has been killed and two others have been wounded in the most recent ceasefire violation in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone. According to reports, the separatist Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) rebel forces - which are supported by the Russian military - broke ceasefire agreements within the last 24 hours by opening fire on Ukrainian forces near Luhansk. The DPR forces fired on Popasna in Luhansk seven times, shelling the ATO zone a total of 12 times overnight. 

Ukrainian soldier killed in Donetsk shelling

A Ukrainian soldier has been killed and at least six others have been wounded by shelling in Donetsk over the weekend. The shelling was fired by the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) rebel forces - targeting the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone with a variety of high-calibre weapons. According to reports, the latest round of firing heavily targeted the Krasnohorivka area near Donetsk.

Soldiers killed in rebel shelling near Vodiane, Donetsk

A Ukrainian soldier has been killed during rebel shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. The incident happened on Thursday morning when Ukrainian military positions near Vodiane were attacked. Despite ceasefire agreements, shellings and attacks targeting Ukrainian positions in eastern Ukraine occur daily.

Explosion prompts evacuations in Kyiv

An explosion has led to the evacuation of dozens of people in the Holosiivs'kyi district. The blast occurred in an apartment block on Burmistrenko street and is thought to have originated from the first floor. Significant damage has been inflicted to the building; however, no casualties have been reported. The precise cause of the explosion remains unclear as police investigations are carried out at the scene.

One killed in Dnipro shooting

A person has been killed and as many as five others have been wounded in a shooting incident in Dnipro city centre. According to reports, the shootout occurred when two or three armed suspects travelling in a vehicle approached another group of men on Gagarin Avenue late on Monday evening. It remains unclear what prompted the suspects to open fire; however, police investigators believe a dispute may have taken place between the two groups. An AK47 was discovered further down the street and is thought to have been used in the shooting and later discarded by the suspects as they fled the scene.

Ukrainian soldier wounded in rebel firing, ATO zone

A Ukrainian soldier has been killed in clashes with the Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone. According to Ukrainian reports, the Russian-backed DPR forces allegedly fired on Ukrainian military positions at least 14 times within the space of the last 24 hours. The Krymske, Novo-Oleksandrivka, Kamyanka, and Maryinka areas all came under rebel attack, prompting the Ukrainian Armed Forces to return fire on the DPR forces.

Soldier killed in eastern Ukraine shelling

A Ukrainian soldier has been killed as nearly a dozen strikes were reported across eastern Ukraine overnight on Friday. According to the ATO Headquarters, in less than 24 hours, 11 strikes were reported against troops stationed in Hruntove and Shyrokine area near Mariupol, while militants also attacked security forces in Verhniotoretske and Butovka. The incidents happened just one day after a woman and three children were injured when a shell detonated near a house in Maryinka.

Rebels deny entry to OSCE monitors in Donetsk

The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine claim that a rebel group in the self-entitled Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) denied entry to OSCE observers to Yasynuavata, eastern Ukraine. According to the OSCE, two of its members were heading to the area to assist in the repair of damaged water supply facilities. In a statement on Twitter, the OSCE said that it condemns such actions and accused the Russian-backed rebels of violating the Minsk agreements.

Four Ukrainian soldiers killed in Luhansk

At least four Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and three others injured in clashes with Russian-backed rebels in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine. The military revealed that clashes broke our overnight on Wednesday in Novotoshkivske, while heavy fighting erupted in Stanytsya Luhanska. Shelling was also reported in Donetsk's Vodyane and Hnutove villages near Mariupol, along with residential areas in Maryinka and Krasnohorivka. 

Russia rejects rebel state in eastern Ukraine

The Russian government has rejected the establishment of Malorossiya, a rebel state announced on Tuesday by pro-Russia rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko. Government spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the plan is part of a personal ambition of the leader of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, adding that Russia will continue to abide by the fragile Minsk agreement.

Rebel forces plan to create new state in east

Russian-backed rebels announced plans to hold a referendum to establish a new state in eastern Ukraine called Malorossiya, or Little Russia, on Tuesday. Rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko said that the decision is being fully backed by the self-declared People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. However, Ukraine's government stated its full rejection of the project and declared it to be 'buried'. Daily clashes occur in the restive eastern Ukraine region amid an ongoing conflict that already claimed thousands of lives.

President announces plan to start NATO membership talks

President Petro Poroshenko has announced plans to start talks on a potential Ukrainian NATO membership. The announcement came in a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, where Poroshenko said that: "Today we clearly stated that we would begin a discussion about a membership action plan and our proposals for such a discussion were accepted with pleasure." Ukraine's membership to both the EU and NATO have been long seen by Russia as a Western-led aggression towards its borders. Several areas of concern will need to be addressed, namely the Eastern Ukraine conflict along with necessary political and economic reforms.

Ukrainian soldier killed in rebel firing, Donetsk

A Ukrainian soldier has been killed and another has been wounded by rebel firing near Donetsk. The Russian-backed Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) rebel forces allegedly fired on Ukrainian positions a total of 25 times overnight - violating the Minsk Agreement by using high-calibre firing weapons. The rebel attacks allegedly mostly targeted the Mariupol area. No rebel casualties have been reported and the DPR has not commented on the alleged firing.

Border with Moldova to be reinforced amid security concerns

The Ukrainian government announced on Thursday that it will reinforce security along the border with Moldova's breakaway region of Transnistria. Ukraine's Interior Ministry reported that the country's south-western border already holds a strong military presence, which will now be assisted by police units. The region has been the place of rising tensions as Transnistria is believed to be a key strategic military ally to Russia.

Firebomb thrown at Lviv synagogue

A synagogue in Lviv has allegedly been targeted by a group of unknown miscreants after a firebomb was thrown at the building over the weekend. Another building in Lviv - a former Jewish community centre - has also been targeted with hate messages. While no casualties were incurred in the attack on the synagogue, the police have warned of the risk of further attacks against the Jewish community in Lviv whilst investigations are ongoing.

One killed and six wounded in Donbas shellings

A Ukrainian soldier has been killed and six others injured when Russian forces reportedly attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, eastern Ukraine. According to the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) headquarters, the military target located in Donetsk sector was shelled multiple times along with positions is Luhansk and Mariupol. Intense attacks also triggered the evacuation of OSCE offices in Luhansk's Popasnoy area.

Russian soldier killed in eastern Ukraine clashes

A Russian soldier has allegedly been killed whilst fighting with the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) rebel forces in eastern Ukraine. Overall, two people were killed and four others were captured from the DPR forces during recent clashes with the Ukrainian military in the Luhansk area. One of those killed has been identified as Russian Captain Alexander Shcherbak, who had been serving as a group commander. One of the captives has also been identified as a 22-year-old Russian citizen who has allegedly served with the Russian Armed Forces in the past; however, it cannot be confirmed whether or not he was serving for the Russian army whilst fighting with the DPR in Luhansk.

Counter-terror officers targeted in Donetsk bomb attack

A counter-terror officer has been killed and four others have been injured in a powerful blast in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. The incident happened on Tuesday when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in the Kostiantynivka area. All five victims worked for the Counter-Espionage Department of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU). It remains unclear who was behind the attack; however, Russian-backed separatist Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) rebel forces have been fighting the Ukrainian military in the Donetsk area in recent months. The incident happened on the same day that a military intelligence officer was killed in a car bomb attack in Kiev's Solomenskiy district.

'Vaccine' found for global cyberattack

A 'vaccine' of sorts has been found for the global cyberattack which saw ransomware infect the IT systems of companies and firms across the world. According to the BBC, the 'vaccine' is based on the creation of a single read-only file titled 'perfc' placed in a computer's 'C:\Windows' folder, which will stop the attack on an individual computer. The computer will still act as a carrier of the ransomware though and no kill-switch has been found by cybersecurity experts which could terminate the entire attack. The ransomware initially surfaced in Ukraine, which was hit particularly hard by the attack as banks, airports, transport systems, companies, and government computers experienced computer outages and widespread network failures. According to Reuters, the nuclear monitoring system in Chernobyl was the latest firm to be targeted by the ransomware in Ukraine. The ransomware allegedly spread from there, affecting companies in Denmark, France, India, Spain, Norway, Russia, the UK, and the US. According to reports, US-based and Indian-based companies were among the most recent firms to report issues. It has been widely speculated that the attack was politically motivated rather than financially motivated, as ransoms paid currently amount to little more than $8,000 in BitCoin and the email address associated with the payment method has allegedly been shut down by the creators of the attack. The attack appears to have targeted Ukraine, as the country prepares to celebrate Constitution Day.

Military intelligence officer killed in Kiev car bomb attack

A senior Ukrainian military intelligence official has been killed by a car bomb attack in Kiev. The blast occurred on Tuesday morning in the Solomenskiy district of the capital city. An explosive device completely destroyed the vehicle, killing Colonel Maksim Shapoval and wounding two passers-by. The motive behind the attack remains unknown, while the Interior Ministry have labelled the attack as "a planned act of terrorism". Since the Ukrainian conflict escalated in 2014, a number of attacks targeting high-profile public figures have taken place outside eastern Ukraine's conflict zone.

Seven policemen wounded in Mariupol blast

At least seven police officers have been wounded in an explosion in Mariupol. The blast is thought to have been caused by a hand grenade - the origin of which remains unknown. Police investigations have been launched - it's possible the grenade was planted by a rebel of the separatist Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR).

Soldier killed in ATO explosion

A Ukrainian soldier has been killed in an explosion in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone within the last 24 hours. The soldier was killed after an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in an area near Luhansk in the ATO zone. It's believed the IED was planted by rebel fighters of the Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR). Two other Ukrainian soldiers were also wounded under heavy artillery firing in the ATO zone as the DPR forces allegedly fired on Ukrainian military positions 29 times overnight.

Two soldiers wounded in Donetsk shelling

Two soldiers have been wounded under rebel firing from the Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone near Donetsk. According to reports, the Russian-backed separatist DPR forces fired on the ATO approximately 35 times. The rebel forces allegedly used high-calibre weapons - the use of which have been banned in combat by the Minsk agreement. 

Gunmen attacks OSCE officials near Donetsk

A gunman has attacked several vehicles belonging to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) at a train station north-east of Donetsk. The vehicles were transporting officials of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine when the armed assailant opened fire on the vehicles outside Yasynuvata train station. The drivers managed to escape the attacker, returning to their base in Donetsk with no casualties.

Four wounded in ATO zone shelling

Four Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded in rebel shelling in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone. The Russian-backed Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) forces allegedly fired on Ukrainian positions 47 times overnight, with the majority of attacks targeting the Prymors'ke area. Banned high-calibre artillery weapons were also used in Luhansk.

One killed, 14 wounded in ATO zone

One Ukrainian soldier has been killed and at least 14 others have been wounded in a series of violent clashes between the Ukrainian armed forces and the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) rebel forces over the weekend. At leas one soldier was killed and three were wounded after DPR forces opened fire on the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone 67 times on Saturday night. A further five soldiers were wounded in heavy artillery firing in the Hranitna, Chermalyk, and Shyrokyne areas near Donetsk in the ATO zone on Sunday, while another six soldiers were wounded after DPR forces fired high-calibre weapons - banned by the Minsk agreement - 47 times, mainly hitting the ATO zone in the Mariupol sector.

Four soldiers killed in ATO zone shelling

Four Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and seven others injured during clashes in the Anti-terrorist Operations (ATO) zone, eastern Ukraine. Reports revealed that assailants opened fire at military positions in Chermalyk after shelling security forces' strongholds near Krasnohorivka. Clashes between rebels and security forces in eastern Ukraine are continuing on several fronts; especially in Mariupol, Donetsk and Luhansk.

One killed, six wounded in rebel firing, Donetsk

At least one soldier has been killed and six others have been wounded in rebel firing in the Donetsk area of the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone. According to reports, over the last 24 hours, the Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) rebel forces have fired high-calibre weapons at the ATO zone at least 18 times. The Russian-backed DPR forces have not claimed any casualties.

Man throws small explosive device at US Embassy in Kiev

Local authorities revealed on Thursday that the US Embassy in Kiev has been attacked with a small explosive device. The police said in a statement that an unknown individual fired an explosive device towards the Embassy, located in the Schevchenkovsky district, late at night on Wednesday. No injuries or casualties have been so far reported.

One soldier killed in ATO zone clashes

A Ukrainian soldier has been killed and seven others have been wounded in clashes in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone in eastern Ukraine. The Russian-backed Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) separatist rebel forces allegedly launched a series of attacks in the Luhansk area of the ATO zone, using high-calibre weapons. The Ukrainian armed forces allegedly returned fire, although the DPR have not claimed any casualties.

Two soldiers killed in ATO firing

Two soldiers have been killed and five others have been wounded as rebel firing has struck several areas in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone over the weekend. On Saturday, heavy rebel firing hit the Mariupol area, where the majority of the casualties occurred. Shelling was also reported in the Bohdanivka, Hnutove, Novotroitske, Pavlopil, Talakivka, and Vodiane areas.

Two civilians wounded in mortar shelling, Donetsk

Two civilians have been wounded in mortar shelling the Donetsk region over the weekend. On Friday evening, the Russian-backed, separatist Donetsk Peoples' Republic opened fire on the Marinka area of Donetsk, reportedly wounding two local residents. According to reports, police and military authorities have confirmed the injuries were inflicted by rebel firing.

Five soldiers wounded in rebel firing

At least five Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded in rebel firing over the last 24 hours. The Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone has allegedly been fired upon 57 times by the Russian-backed separatist rebel forces of the Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR). Consistent violent fighting with high-calibre weapons has continued in the ATO zone despite moves towards a ceasefire and a peace agreement earlier in the year.

Two wounded in ATO zone firing

Two soldiers have been wounded in heavy shelling in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone. Within the last 24 hours, the Russian-backed separatist rebel forces have allegedly fired on Ukrainian military positions in the ATO zone as many as 50 times with high-calibre weapons.

Government officials detained in anti-corruption probe

At least 23 government officials have been detained in an anti-corruption probe. All 23 detainees were government officials of the former Ministry of Income and Fees. The anti-corruption operation has been led by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Guard as hundreds of police officers and investigators have conducted over 450 raids across 15 regions in the ongoing operation.

Four soldiers wounded in ATO zone

At least four Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone over the weekend. According to reports, the soldiers were wounded in rebel firing in various areas of the ATO zone around the Donetsk sector on Saturday. Approximately 55 rebel attacks were recorded in the area within 24 hours.

Seven soldiers wounded in ATO firing

Seven soldiers have been wounded in heavy firing in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone in eastern Ukraine. Firing was exchanged in the ATO zone in the Donetsk, Mariupol, and Luhansk sectors over the weekend. A variety of high-calibre artillery weapons were used by the Russian-backed separatist rebel forces.

Military conduct firing near Donetsk Airport

The Ukrainian armed forces have conducted firing in the Spartak neighbourhood near the Donetsk Airport on the outskirts of Donetsk city. According to reports, the separatist Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) rebel forces - backed by the Russians - claim that the government forces have been firing high-calibre weapons at the area since Thursday evening. Both the Ukrainian military and the DPR have regularly exchanged fire in the region in recent months. No casualties have been reported.

Ukraine accuses Russia of cyber attack

Ukrainian authorities in Kiev have accused Russian officials of organising a cyber attack on the Ukrainian president's website. The alleged cyber attack has been viewed as Russian retaliation for the latest set of sanctions implemented by Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, on Russian internet service providers and social media websites.

Five soldiers wounded in heavy rebel shelling

At least five Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded under heavy rebel firing overnight. Within the last 24 hours, the Russian-backed separatist rebel forces have allegedly fired high-calibre weapons - targeting the Ukrainian forces in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone throughout Mariupol, Donetsk, and Luhansk. 

Two soldiers wounded in Donetsk shelling

At least two Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded under rebel firing in the Donetsk region. The Russian-backed separatist rebel forces allegedly fired high-calibre mortars and grenades at Ukrainian military positions in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone in Donetsk and Luhansk. No further casualties have been reported.

Four civilians killed in rebel attacks, Donetsk

At least four civilians have been killed and six soldiers have been wounded in fighting between the military forces and the Russian-backed separatist rebel forces in the Donetsk region over the weekend. On Saturday, four civilians were killed in a violent rebel attack in the Avdiyivka area. The following day, six Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in a series of rebel attacks as the rebel forces opened fire dozens of times using high-calibre weapons in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone.

Two soldiers killed in Donetsk fighting

At least two Ukrainian military personnel have been killed and six others have been wounded within the last 24 hours in the Donetsk region. In that time, the Russian-backed separatist rebel forces allegedly targeted the Ukrainian military 53 times with a variety of high-calibre weapons, ranging from small firearms to grenade launchers and mortars.

One soldier killed in ATO zone firing

At least one Ukrainian soldier has been killed and two others have been wounded under rebel firing in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone. According to Unian Information Agency, the Russian-backed separatist rebels fired on Ukrainian military positions in the ATO zone 70 times within the last 24 hours. The rebel forces allegedly used high-calibre weapons - including 120mm and 82mm mortars - prompting the Ukrainian armed forces to return fire. No rebel casualties have been reported.

Twelve wounded in Victory Day celebrations, Dnipro

At least 12 people have been wounded amid Victory Day celebrations in Dnipro after a group of activists clashed with riot police. A mass brawl allegedly broke out after the police demanded that the activists lower their flags. At least a dozen people have been wounded - two of whom are believed to be in critical conditions - while several others have been detained.

Soldier killed in explosion, ATO zone

A Ukrainian soldier has been killed in an explosion in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone. The soldier was killed after a trip-wire triggered the detonation of an improvised explosive device (IED) near the Krymske settlement in the Luhansk region. The Russian-backed separatist forces - who are reported to have fired on Ukrainian military positions 27 times overnight - likely planted the IED in an attempt to target the security forces.

Five soldiers wounded in ATO zone

At least five Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded in fighting in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone over the weekend. According to reports, the Russian-backed separatist rebels fired on the Ukrainian military position 63 times overnight on Saturday evening. The rebel forces fired on Mariupol, Donetsk, and Luhansk with a variety of high-calibre weapons.

Ten soldiers wounded in rebel firing, Donetsk

At least 10 Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded in firing from the Russian-backed separatist rebel forces in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone in Donetsk within the last 24 hours. According to reports, the rebel forces fired on Ukrainian military positions in ATO zone a total of 58 times using a variety of high-calibre weapons.

Three soldiers killed in ATO zone

Three Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in fighting with the Russian-backed separatist rebels in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone. According to reports, the three soldiers died whilst aiding a wounded soldier near the Svitlodarsk arc in the Donetsk area. One of the soldiers allegedly detonated a hand grenade - killing himself - to avoid being taken prisoner by the rebel forces. Intense firing remains ongoing in the area.

One soldier killed in Donetsk firing

At least one Ukrainian soldier has been killed and seven others have been wounded within the last 24 hours after the Russian-backed separatist rebels conducted firing in the volatile Donetsk region. The rebels allegedly fired on military positions a total of 63 times with high-calibre weapons. The fighting has been ongoing in the region for several months; however, has increased in recent weeks after a brief period of respite.

Nine soldiers killed in Donetsk fighting

At least nine Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and another 17 have been wounded in clashes with the Russian-backed separatist rebel forces over the weekend. On Friday evening, a soldier was killed in a roadside explosion after a military vehicle struck an improvised explosive device (IED) which had been planted at the side of the road in the Pavlopil area. Another three soldiers were also killed in fighting in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone on Friday. On Saturday, two soldiers were killed and six more were wounded in fighting in the Krasnohosivka and Pavlopil areas. Another two soldiers were killed and four soldiers were wounded after the rebels fired on military positions in the ATO zone 54 times on Sunday. One soldier was killed and seven others were wounded in the Katerynivka, Krymske, Avdiivka, Masinka, and Vodiane areas in the ATO zone on Monday.

Three soldiers wounded in ATO zone fighting

At least three soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces have been wounded in fighting in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone in the Donetsk region. According to reports, it has been confirmed by the Defence Ministry that the soldiers were wounded within the last 24 hours; however, no further details have been released as of yet. The Russian-backed separatist rebel forces have increased fighting with the Ukrainian military following a quieter period in the first few weeks of April.  

Ukrainian soldier killed in rebel shelling in ATO zone

A Ukrainian soldier has been killed and six others have been wounded as the Russian-backed separatist rebel forces fired on Ukrainian military positions in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone 47 times within the past 24 hours. According to reports, the rebels fired various weapons of high-caliber on the Ukrainian armed forces in the Prymorske, Donetsk, and Luhansk areas.

Three soldiers killed in rebel firing, Donetsk

Three Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and another four have been wounded in rebel firing in the Donetsk region. The Russian-backed separatist rebels have been increasingly firing high-caliber rounds on Ukrainian positions in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone in Donetsk. The conflict levels have risen following relatively low levels of military activity in recent weeks.

Electricity cut off in Luhansk

Electricity supplies have been cut off in the occupied Luhansk region as of Tuesday 25 April. The national energy company, Ukrenergo, made the decision to cut off the electricity supply based on varying consumption and supply levels in various districts of Luhansk. The action to halt the power supply has been carried out in line with procedures approved by the Energy and Coal Industry Ministry.

Rebel forces fire on Ukrainian military, Donetsk

The Russian-backed separatist rebel forces have allegedly fired on the Ukrainian armed forces a total of 34 times within the last 24 hours in the Donetsk region. According to reports, the rebel forces fired high-caliber weapons and explosives on Ukrainian military positions in the Donetsk, Mariupol and Luhansk areas of the Donetsk region. No casualties have been reported.

OSCE monitor killed by roadside bomb in Pryshyb, Luhansk

An international monitor in the Ukraine conflict was killed when his vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Pryshyb in the eastern Luhansk region. The victim was a US paramedic and part of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The OSCE revealed that a German and a Czech national were also injured. The incident was strongly condemned by the US State Department and the EU.

Two soldiers killed in rebel shelling, Donetsk

Two soldiers of the Ukrainian armed forces have been killed and three others have been wounded in shelling fired by the Russian-backed separatist rebel forces in the Donetsk region. The shelling targeted military units stationed in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone on Saturday. The Ukrainian military officials claim that the rebel forces fired on military positions a total of 46 times in the Donetsk region throughout Saturday.

Two soldiers killed in shelling near Avdiyivka, Donetsk

Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed in shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian military sources revealed that the attack targeted a military stronghold near Avdiyivka, hitting one of the army's mechanised infantry brigades. In February, more than 17,000 residents of Avdiyivka were evacuated after fierce armed clashes affected the village's electric and water system during the severe Ukrainian Winter.

UN rejects Ukraine request to halt Russian funding to rebels

Judges at the UN-backed International Court of Justice (ICJ) have rejected Ukraine's request to impose a ban on alleged Russian support to separatist forces in eastern Ukraine. The ICJ ruled that no sufficient evidence was presented over Russian involvement with rebel forces. Russia claimed that such allegations were unfounded and accused Ukraine of mishandling the guidelines under international treaties.

One soldier wounded in rebel firing, Donetsk

At least one Ukrainian soldier has been wounded under rebel firing in the Donetsk region. The Russian-backed separatist rebels allegedly fired at Ukrainian military positions in the Chermalyk, Markina, Novohryhorivka, Pavlopil, Shyrokyne, Talakivka, and Vodiane areas in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone on Sunday 17 April. 

Ukrainian military officer killed in rebel shelling, Donetsk

A Ukrainian military officer has been killed in rebel shelling in the Donetsk region. Mortars were fired by the Russian-backed separatist forces on Ukrainian military positions near the Butivka mine. Reports state that the rebels fired mortars of 82 and 120mm caliber - thereby continuing to violate the Minsk agreement's ban on high-caliber weapons.

Police investigate explosion in Kiev

The police forces in Kiev have launched an investigation into an explosion which occurred on Vladimir street in the early hours of Tuesday morning. No casualties have been reported; however, the explosion occurred on the first floor of a building, inflicting some material damage to local businesses, restaurants, and banks. The police have confirmed that the explosion is not thought to have been an accident and is being treated as a crime. Investigators have not ruled out the possibility of links to terrorism.

Terror plot foiled in Khmelnytsky

The Ukrainian security services have allegedly foiled a terror plot in the Khmelnytsky region. According to Unian Information Agency, the Ukrainian security services detained a terror suspect - preventing an explosive attack. The Ukrainian authorities allegedly believe the suspect is a Russian-recruited agent acting on orders from the Russian intelligence service.

Three wounded in clashes during protest, Poltava

Three people have been wounded and eight people have been arrested after clashes broke out during a protest in Poltava. Approximately 50 people gathered near the arch on Sobornosti Street to carry out a peaceful demonstration when fighting erupted amongst the crowd. Security personnel (allegedly sourced from a private security company) are believed to have clashed with protesters and it is suspected that a knife was also used in the fighting, as one of the casualties had suffered a stab wound. There are likely to be further disruptions in the area should demonstrations continue.

Five soldiers wounded in Donetsk attacks

At least five Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded in rebel attacks in the Donetsk region within the last 24 hours. According to Unian Information Agency, the Russian-backed separatist rebel forces conducted at least 54 attacks on Ukrainian military positions in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone. The rebels fired on Donetsk, Luhansk and Mariupol using a range of high-caliber weapons. A ceasefire is expected to come into force soon.

Minibus drivers' strike takes place in Kiev

Minibus drivers have taken strike action in Kiev over concerns regarding government intervention in the competitive route distribution system used by trucking companies and public transport companies. Approximately 100 minibuses have gathered in Kiev and the protesters have allegedly planned to burn a bus as part of their demonstration. Travellers should avoid the gathering if possible as there is a chance that the demonstration may become violent. Public transport disruption should also be expected.

Ukrainian soldier killed in rebel shelling, Donetsk

A Ukrainian soldier has been killed by rebel shelling in the Donetsk region. The Russian-backed separatist rebels allegedly targeted Ukrainian military positions near the Butivka mine in Donetsk. According to reports, the rebels fired high-caliber mortars, violating the ceasefire. A 15-year-old boy was also allegedly wounded by rebel shelling in the Marinka area of Donetsk on Sunday.

Officer killed in car explosion in Mariupol, Donestk

An intelligence officer of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) was killed when his vehicle suspiciously exploded in the restive Donetsk region, south-eastern Ukraine. The vehicle exploded in a residential area of Mariupol on Thursday morning, while preliminary police reports suggest that the vehicle was sabotaged by Russian-backed separatist Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebels. 

New deadline for Donetsk truce

A new deadline has been announced for a truce in Donetsk. Peace talks are due to start between the Ukrainian government and the Russian-backed separatist rebels on Saturday 01 April. The scheduled ceasefire has been re-arranged due to Orthodox Easter holidays. Peace talks have often fallen short of expectations in the past, failing to calm fighting and military tensions.

Two killed in 83 rebel attacks on ATO zone, Donetsk

At least two Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and three others have been wounded in 83 rebel attacks on the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone in Donetsk over the last 24 hours. Unian Information Agency has reported that the Russian-backed separatist rebel forces shelled military positions 83 times, using a wide variety of high-caliber weapons.

Shots fired at Polish Consulate General in Lutsk

The Polish Consulate General in Lutsk, north-western Ukraine, was attacked overnight on Wednesday. Local media reported that an unknown perpetrator targeted the building with a high calibre weapon. No one was injured; however, significant damage was inflicted to the building's roof. Polish buildings and memorials in Ukraine - especially in Lviv - were systematically vandalised in recent months, which were considered acts of provocation to hinder Polish-Ukrainian relations.

Two soldiers killed in explosion, Donetsk

Two Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in an explosion in the Novoluhanske area of the Donetsk region. An unidentified explosive device was detonated as the soldiers were serving duty with a unit stationed on a mechanised bridge near Novoluhanske in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone. It's suspected the rebels were behind the explosion, however this has not been confirmed.

Two soldiers killed in rebel firing overnight, Donetsk

At least two soldiers of the Ukrainian government armed forces have been killed and four others have been wounded in overnight rebel firing in Donetsk. According to reports, the Russian-backed separatist rebel forces opened fire on Ukrainian military positions 58 times within the last 24 hours. Most of the firing was aimed at the Donetsk region, with some firing targeted at the Mariupol and Luhansk regions.

Two civilians killed in rebel shelling, Donetsk

Two civilians have been killed in rebel firing in the Donetsk region. According to reports, the Russian-backed separatist rebels started firing on inhabited areas of Zaytseve on Sunday - killing two civilians who had been in the backyard of their private property when they were hit by rebel mortars. No further information has been confirmed and the rebel forces have issued no comment on the incident.

Five killed in military helicoprt crash, Donetsk

At least five Ukrainian military personnel have been killed in a military helicopter crash in the Kramatorsk area of the eastern Donetsk region. The helicopter allegedly came down after getting caught on a power line. No civilian casualties or damages have been reported.

One soldier killed in ATO zone, Donetsk

One soldier of the Ukrainian armed forces has been killed in shelling in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone in Donetsk. Preliminary reports suggest the Russian-backed separatist rebel forces fired on a Ukrainian military stronghold in Luhansk using grenade launchers and mortars.

Three soldiers wounded in rebel attacks, Donetsk

At least three Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded in rebel attacks within the last 24 hours in Donetsk. According to Unian Information Agency, the Russian-backed separatist rebel forces opened fire on Ukrainian armed forces positions 94 times overnight. Military positions were attacked in Donetsk, Mariupol and Luhanske and coal mines were also attacked in the Avdiyivka and Butivka areas using machine guns, grenade launchers, and mortars. 

Former Russian lawmaker shot dead in Kiev

A former Russian lawmaker of the Communist Party, Denis Voronenkov, has been shot dead in Kiev. Voronenkov was shot at 11:25 local time on Thursday outside the Premier Palace hotel. According to The Moscow Times, two others were also wounded in the incident, as Voronenkov's injured bodyguard returned fire on the shooter, wounding him also. Police investigations are underway, with suspicions that the shooting was a contracted killing. Voronenkov had been a vocal critic of Vladimir Putin's regime and had fled to Ukraine for safety. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has described the incident as an "act of terrorism by Russia", claiming the attack displayed the typical trademarks of a covert operation carried out by Russian actors. 

Soldier killed in rebel shelling, Donetsk

One Ukrainian soldier has been killed in rebel firing in Donetsk. According to reports, the soldier was hit by shelling in the Avdiivka area of the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone within the last 24 hours. The rebels fired on Ukrainian positions using grenade launchers, mortars, heavy machine guns, and anti-tank missiles.

Thirteen killed, 35 wounded in fighting in last 24 hours

At least 13 people have been killed and 35 others have been wounded in fighting between the Ukrainian armed forces and the Russian-backed separatist rebel forces in eastern Ukraine. The rebel forces allegedly fired on Ukrainian military positions at least 100 times, killing at least five soldiers and wounded 19 more. The rebels used a range of small arms, artillery, machine guns, grenades, rockets, mortars, missiles, and tanks to hit targets in Donetsk, Luhansk and Mariupol. Eight rebels were also killed and 16 more were wounded in a clash between the security forces and the rebels in the Vodyane area. 

Five Ukrainian soldiers wounded in Donetsk clashes

At least five Ukrainian armed forces soldiers have been wounded in clashes with the Russian-backed separatist rebel forces in the Donetsk region over the weekend. According to reports, the Ukrainian Defence Ministry issued a briefing on Sunday which stated that the rebel forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions in the Anti-Terrorist Operations (ATO) zone 85 times over Saturday night. No civilians were wounded and no rebel casualties have been reported.

US State Department condemns Crimea annexation to Russia

Three years after Russia held a controversial referendum on the Crimea peninsula, US State Department spokesperson Mark Toner condemned on Thursday the Crimea's annexation by Russia. In an official statement, he said that: "We call on Russia to cease its attempts to suppress freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, association and religion. (...) The United States again condemns the Russian occupation of Crimea and calls for its immediate end". Toner also ensured that sanctions will remain in place until Russia hands the territory back to Ukraine.

Two killed, eight wounded in rebel attacks, Donetsk

Two Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and eight others have been wounded in overnight rebel attacks throughout the Donetsk region. Local reports suggest that the Russian-back separatist rebel forces launched 77 attacks on the Ukrainian Armed Forces within the last 24 hours. Mortars, artillery systems, machine guns, and antitank guns were used by the rebels to attack the Donetsk, Mariupol and Luhanske sectors within the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone.

Four soldiers wounded in rebel fighting in Donetsk

At least four Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded in action during rebel firing within the last 24 hours. According to reports, the separatist rebel forces fired upon Ukrainian Armed Forces positions in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone approximately 91 times. The rebels alleged fire mortars and grenades at army positions in the Donetsk, Mariupol and Luhanske sectors and also attacked using artillery fire, machine guns, infantry fighting vehicles, anti-aircraft guns, and anti-tank guns.

President calls for cargo blockage to eastern Ukraine

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko has ordered a blockage on all cargo traffic to the areas of eastern Ukraine occupied by the Russian-backed separatist rebels. In a statement directed at the Security and Defence Council, Poroshenko said that such a measure will be brought in to "prevent the destabilising of the situation in the country", which comes just days after Ukrainian protesters called off a blockade to coal shipments in the region.

Six soldiers wounded in rebel attacks, Donetsk

At least six soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces have been wounded by rebel firing within the last 24 hours. The Russian-backed separatist rebel forces allegedly fired on Ukrainian military positions in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone a total of 106 times overnight. In a statement, the Unian Information Agency stated that the rebels targeted positions in the Donestk, Luhansk and Mariupol sectors using a range of mortars, snipers, machine guns and grenade launchers alongside tanks and infantry fighting vehicles.

One soldier killed in Donetsk fighting

A Ukrainian soldier has been killed and four others have been wounded under rebel firing in the Donestk region. Russian-backed separatist rebels fired on Ukrainian positions in the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors overnight, targeting Ukrainian military positions. According to reports, the rebel forces fired on the Ukrainian Armed Forces a total of 97 times. The conflict has worsened in recent weeks after ceasefire negotiations fell through in late February.

Dozens of activists arrested in eastern Ukraine

Over 40 activists have been arrested by The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) in the restive eastern region. The operation took place in separate locations in Toretsk, Shtshebryiovka and Kudryumovka; where activists have been blocking coal shipments since January. 

Two Ukrainian soldiers killed in Mariupol sector

Two Ukrainian soldiers have been killed by rebel firing in the Mariupol sector within the last 24 hours. The Russian-backed separatist rebels allegedly fired upon Ukrainian military positions a total of 75 times in the Donetsk, Luhanske and Mariupol sectors of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone. The rebel forces reportedly used a range of small arms, machine guns, grenades, tanks, and mortars in the attacks.

Three killed and 16 wounded in Donetsk fighting

Three people have been killed and at least 16 others have been wounded in fighting between the Ukrainian forces and the separatist rebels in the Donetsk region. Two Ukrainian soldiers have been killed, 16 soldiers have been wounded and one rebel fighter has been killed in clashes overnight on Saturday. The Ukrainian government forces have claimed the rebels commenced firing.

Five soldiers wounded in Donetsk fighting

Five Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded in fighting with the separatist rebels in the anti-terrorist operations (ATO) zone in Donetsk. According to Unian Information Agency, the Russian-backed rebels fired on Ukrainian Army positions a total of 80 times with the last 24 hours - wounding five soldiers in the process. The Donetsk, Luhansk and Mariupol sectors were targeted by the rebels using heavy weapons, such as grenade launchers and mortars. 

One rebel killed in Donetsk clashes

One rebel has been killed in a clash between the Ukrainian government troops and the Russian-backed separatist rebels in the Donetsk region. The clashes came about whilst the rebel forces were firing on Ukrainian positions overnight. Ukrainian troops allegedly located a group of rebel snipers and engaged in a gunfight - killing one rebel sniper. Overall, the rebels have fired upon Ukrainian positions in the Donetsk, Mariupol and Luhanske areas  69 times within the last 24 hours.

Ukraine accuses Russia of sponsoring terrorism

Ukrainian government officials have accused the Russian government of sponsoring terrorism through their support of the separatist rebels fighting the Ukrainian military in Crimea. The accusation has been presented as a case to the primary judicial branch of the United Nations - the International Court of Justice (ICJ), situated in The Hague in the Netherlands. ICJ judges will determine whether or not the Russian support of the pro-Russian separatist rebels should be interpreted as discrimination against non-Russians and subsequently, whether or not the Russian government should stop funding the rebels in Crimea.

One soldier killed and five wounded in rebel shelling, Donetsk

Rebel shelling on Ukrainian military positions in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone has killed one Ukrainian soldier and wounded five others within the last 24 hours. The Russian-backed pro-separatist rebels allegedly launched 112 attacks targeting Ukrainian positions in the Mariupol, Donetsk and Luhansk directions.

Donetsk water filtration system shut down amid fighting

The Donetsk water filtration system (DFS) has been shut down amid intense rebel firing and workers have been evacuated. The DFS is located on the neutral territory part of the contact line approximately one kilometre from Yasynuvata town - which is about 12 km from Donetsk. The shelling of the DFS comes just over a week after the rebels stated that they were going to start targeting key Ukrainian businesses. Last week the football stadium in Donetsk was taken over by rebel forces.

Two soldiers killed, 33 wounded in rebel firing, Donetsk

At least one Ukrainian government soldier has been killed and 13 others have been wounded in recent rebel firing in the Donetsk region. On Friday, military authorities confirmed that one soldier had been killed and 22 others had been wounded in rebel shelling in the Avdiivka, Novoluhanske, Pisky, Pohody and Zaitseve areas in the fighting zone of the Donestk region. Another soldier was then wounded on Saturday in rebel firing on a border security checkpoint in the Kramatorsk area of Donetsk. Another soldier was killed and 10 others were wounded in further rebel attacks between Saturday and Sunday. The government forces have claimed that 110 rebel attacks were repelled over the weekend.

Eight killed and scores missing in coal mine explosion in Lviv

At least eight mining workers have been killed in a coal mine explosion in Lviv, western Ukraine. The incident happened on Thursday afternoon when a methane explosion trapped 34 miners underground. Over 20 workers remain missing as emergency services rushed to the mine located in Sokal.

Rebels seize businesses and mines in eastern Ukraine

Russian-backed militants seized dozens of factories and mines in the restive region of eastern Ukraine. According to DW, more than 40 factories and coal mines in Donetsk were taken on Wednesday. A regional leader said that the move was called as a retaliation to the blockade erected by right-wing Ukrainians to railways across rebel-held territories.

Rebel gunmen occupy Donetsk football stadium

Gunmen of the Russian-backed separatist rebel forces have captured the Donbas Arena in Donetsk amid an ongoing coal trade dispute with the Ukrainian government forces. The Telegraph reported that a charitable foundation run by the owner of the stadium, Rinat Akhmetov, issued a statement confirming the occupation of the stadium by rebel gunmen. The capture of the stadium came a short while after the rebel forces warned that if the Ukrainian government did not lift blocks on coal shipments from rebel-held territory then the rebels would start taking control of Ukrainian registered businesses.

Five soldiers wounded in rebel shelling

Five Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded in continued rebel firing in the eastern Donetsk region. The Russian-backed separatist rebels allegedly fired on Ukrainian military positions in the Donetsk, Mariupol, and Luhansk areas 47 times on Friday night - wounding five Ukrainian Army soldiers. Thousands of people also took to the streets in Kiev to protest against the conflict among other things in a right wing anti-government rally. Three nationalist groups rallied to demand change in the country's leadership and a stronger, more hardline approach to the conflict with the rebels in eastern Ukraine.

MP kidnapped by unknown men in Odessa

A Ukrainian MP has been kidnapped by unknown individuals in the southern port area of Odessa. The abduction of Oleksiy Honcharenko, an avid supporter of President Petro Poroshenko, was confirmed by the Prosecutor-General' Office. Media reported that Honcharenko was last seen on Wednesday in the capital Kiev, just moments before leaving to go to Odessa. Honcharenko has since been safely recovered, and his kidnappers have been detained and remain in police custody for questioning.

Russia to return 12 Ukrainian prisoners

The Russian government has agreed the return of 12 Ukrainian prisoners, who had been serving sentences in a Crimean prison and were wrongfully moved to a Russian prison. The transfer of prisoners has been scheduled to take place on Friday 03 March. The Ukrainian authorities have been very clear in stating that the prisoners were not being held as political captives - they had been sentenced to prison by Ukrainian courts and had the right to return to Ukrainian territory after being illegally moved to a Russian prison. 

Ukrainian soldier wounded in Donestk firing

One Ukrainian soldier has allegedly been wounded in rebel firing in the Donestk region. According to the Ukrainian military, the Russian-backed separatist rebels conducted 27 attacks on Ukrainian positions in the Donetsk area. Just days ago, there had been reports of a ceasefire agreement in progress, however the rebel troops have allegedly taken advantage of the decreased military offensive and resumed high-intensity offensive attacks.

Ultra-nationalists clash with police in Kiev over coal blockade

Ukrainian ultra-nationalists have clashed with the police in Kiev during a demonstration to support the blockade of Russian-backed coal from some eastern Ukrainian regions. Hundreds stormed the capital in support of the measure taken since mid-January. President Petro Poroshenko said that several risks are implied in the blockage, including energy shortages. The protest came as an internationally brokered ceasefire was agreed at the Munich Security Conference.

New ceasefire agreement to come into effect

A new ceasefire agreement between the Ukrainian troops and the Russian-backed separatist rebels has been agreed over the weekend and is scheduled to come into effect soon. There has been a violent escalation in fighting between the two sides recently - who have been warring with each other for the past 30 months. The two sides are expected to withdraw heavy weaponry from front line areas this week. However, such agreements have been reached in the past only to fall short of expectations when put into practice. A BBC report further suggested that no real progress has been made towards solving the political disagreement between the two sides: a sign that the latest ceasefire proposal - like others before it - may not last.

Civilian killed in rebel firing, Avdiivka

A civilian has been killed by rebel firing in the town of Avdiivka, in the Donetsk sector. The Russian-backed separatist Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) rebels performed an artillery attack on a residential block during the daytime. The shelling comes just a few hours after intense rebel shelling was conducted in three sectors overnight. The DPR troops have since moved on from the area and rtescue teams are now operating at the site of the shelling, where one 43-year-old male civilian was killed by shrapnel.

Three soldiers killed in rebel attacks

Three Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and ten others have been wounded in rebel attacks carried out within the last 24 hours in the Donetsk, Mariupol, and Luhansk sectors. The Russian-backed separatist rebels allegedly launched a series of 66 attacks on Ukrainian military positions. Rebel shelling targeted the Avdiyivka, Kamyanka, Pisky, Vekhniotoreske, and Zaitseve areas in the Donestk sector. Further shelling targeted Krymske, Lobacheve, Novozvanika, Novo Oleksandrivka, and Stanytsia Luhanska in the Luhansk sector - and further attacks were carried out on Bohdanivka, Hnutove, Lybidynske, Maryinka, Novoselivka, Novotroyitske, Pavlopil, and Shyrokyne. A range of mortors, grenades, anti-tank rockets, small arms, armoured personnel carriers and infantry combat vehicles were used in the rebel assaults.

One killed, three wounded in Donetsk shelling

One Ukrainian soldier has been killed and three others have been wounded in recent shelling in the Donestk area. Russian-backed separatist rebels have allegedly performed overnight shelling of the Adviivka, Hnutove, Krymske, Lobacheve, Novooleksandrivka, Novoselivka Druha, Novotroitske, Novozvanivka, Opytne, Pavlopil, Pisky, Shyrokyne, Vodyane, and Zaitseve areas in the Donetsk, Luhansk and Mariupol directions - hitting Ukrainian military positions 49 times. 

Rebel commander killed in fighting, Donetsk

A highly ranked rebel commander, Mikhail Tolstykh, has been killed in fighting between the Ukrainian troops and the Russian-backed separatist rebels in the Donestk area. The rebel forces confirmed the death this morning - claiming Tolstykh was killed in what they have called a 'terrorist attack by Ukraine'. Tolstykh was among the team of separatist rebels who tortured Ukrainian troops defending Donetsk Airport - who later were forced to become prisoners of war. Thousands of people have been evacuated from residential areas near and around Donetsk amid the recent escalation in fighting.

Two soldiers killed, four wounded amid heavy shelling, Donetsk

Two Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and four others have been wounded amid heavy shelling in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. Intense fighting has broken out between the Ukrainian troops and the Russian-backed separatist rebels amid ceasefire violations along the front line in the Avdiivka area. Thousands of civilians have been prepared to evacuate the area.

Thousands prepare to evacuate Donbas amid fighting

Approximately 12,000 people are preparing to evacuate the Donbas region amid an overnight escalation in fighting. The Ukrainian troops had obtained a ceasefire agreement with the Russian-back separatist rebels in earl January, however this ceasefire was violating over the weekend and fighting between the two sides quickly escalated overnight - leading to casualties on both sides and hundreds of people being trapped in a coal mine amid a power cut caused by shelling. The emergency services are on standby in the Avdiivka area of Donbas - where local residents are caught in heavy fighting, with no electricity or water.

Seven killed and hundreds of coal miners trapped amid Donetsk shelling

Seven people have been killed, at least 27 others have been wounded and hundreds of coal miners remain trapped amid shelling along the front line in Donetsk. Ceasefires which had been agreed in early January have been violated in recent days - leading to an escalated exchange of fire overnight between separatist rebels and Ukrainian troops along the Donetsk front line. Three Ukrainian troops and four rebels have been killed, while at least 20 Ukrainian troops and seven rebels have been wounded in the overnight fighting. The fighting has allegedly cut off power to the Zasyadko coal mine in Donetsk - trapping at least 200 workers inside.

Five killed, nine wounded in ceasefire violation, Donetsk

At least five people have been killed and nine others have been wounded in ceasefire violations between the Ukrainian troops and the separatist rebel forces in the Donetsk region. Military authorities released a statement on Sunday 29 January confirming the deaths of five soldiers under rebel shelling - which also wounded nine other soldiers. The fighting allegedly broke out along the front-line near the separatist stronghold in Donetsk, north of Mariupol. Rebel sources have allegedly claimed that military firing killed one civilians and wounded three others, however this has not been confirmed. The eastern regions of Ukraine have been dominated by the conflict between the Ukrainian troops and the separatist rebels since 2014.

Two killed, three wounded in Russian rebel attacks, Donbas

Two Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and three others have been wounded in the Ant-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone amid recent shelling from the Russian rebels. The Russian occupants allegedly ignored all ceasefire agreements and attacked the ATO zone a total of 63 times. The rebels reportedly used mortars of a variety of calibers as well as heavy artillery. Travellers should avoid all travel to the Donbas area.

Two soldiers wounded in military clashes, Donbass

Two Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded in recent military clashes in the Donbass region. The injuries occurred on Sunday 22 January in the Anti Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone in Donbass. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman, Oleksandr Motuzianyk, confirmed the injuries in a briefing in Kiev on Tuesday - also stating that no military deaths had occurred in the ATO zone. Travellers have been advised to avoid the conflicted Donbass region whilst military tensions remain high.

Right wing groups protest in Kiev

Right wing groups have protested in the centre of Kiev today in commemoration of the Maidan Movement. The Nationalist OUN Battalion and Right Sector groups clashed with police during the demonstration, which occurred on Thursday. The nationalist protesters allegedly marched from Independence Square to Hrushevskoho street with flags and flares. Some protesters allegedly set fire to tires - prompting the clashes with police forces. Those in the area should be aware of the high tensions following the protest and the possibility of further violent demonstrations.

Five soldiers killed and six wounded in Svitlodarsk

On 18 December, five Ukrainian soldiers were killed and a further six wounded as they repelled an attack by pro-Russian separatists in the Svitlodarsk arc area. The fighting lasted for two hours around the village of Kalinovka, near Debaltseve.

Five soldiers killed amid clashes in eastern Ukraine

At least five Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and 16 others have been injured amid fierce clashes with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The casualties were reported over a 24-hour period when Ukrainian troops repelled an attack launched by the militias. The announcement was made by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, which revealed the death of at least 20 insurgents near Svitlodarsk - located between the border betwen Donetsk and Lugansk. The ongoing eastern Ukrainian conflict regards the control of the international border against Russian aggression, which is allegedly supporting separatists groups operating on Ukrainian soil.

Protest outside Russian Embassy in Kiev against Russian action in Syria

On 15 December, protesters gathered outside the Russian Embassy in Kiev to demonstrate against alleged war crimes against the civilian population of Aleppo, Syria. Anti-Assad and anti-Putin chants and placards were present at the protest. It is not known exactly how many protesters were present but no arrests or violence was reported. 

One civilian killed and one wounded in shelling at Mayorsk checkpoint, Donetsk

At 09:00 local time, on 14 December, one civilian was killed and one other was wounded when an armed militant group opened fire on the Mayorsk checkpoint in the Donetsk region from 50 metres away. The deceased civilian was reportedly hit in the head and the wounded civilian sustained wounds to the shoulder. Traffic in the area was immediately suspended and border guards evacuated people waiting to cross the checkpoint. 

Ukrainian Defence Ministry website shut down by cyber attack

On 13 December, the website of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry was shut down after being hit by a cyber attack. It appeared that the attack was aimed at disrupting the updates on the separatist conflict ongoing in eastern regions of the country. The website if regularly hit by denial-of-service attacks, but these do not always manage to affect the operation of the site. Last week, the Finance Ministry and State Treasury websites were attacked, and the Finance Ministry blamed the attack on hackers seeking to discredit the government's reform drive. It is not yet known who is responsible for the attack on the Defence Ministry website, but the situation has reportedly been rectified

Ultra-nationalist Azov Civil Corps march through Kharkov

On 11 December, approximately 2000 members of the ultra-nationalist Azov Civil Corps marched through the city of Kharkov, holding nationalist banners and Azov Battalion flags. Local authorities deployed 550 police officers to guard the march and no incidents were reported. 

Three soldiers killed and two wounded in Donbas

On 10 December, Oleksandr Motuzianyk, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Defence Ministry, stated that three Ukrainian military personnel had been killed and one other wounded near the town of Krasnohorivka, Maryinka district, Donetsk region. One other serviceman was wounded near the village of Verkhniotoretske,in the Yasynuvata district. All of the casualties came during the previous 24 hours and came as a result of hostile mortar shelling. 

Five soldiers wounded in army operations, Donbass

Five Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded in recent army operations in Donbass. The Ukrainian Defence Ministry spokesman, Andriy Lysenko, confirmed the injuries occurred during a shelling incident on the frontline. The Ukrainian security forces have been engaged in fighting against the Donetsk Peoples' Republic (DPR) and Luhansk Peoples' Republic (LPR)  since 2014 - when pro-Russian DPR and LPR insurgents protested against the government and quickly gained popularity and strength in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions ('Donbass'). Travellers have been advised to avoid visiting the region as it is hevaily dominated by the fighting.

Ten injured in fight between football fans in Kyiv

On 6 December, ten people were injured after a fight broke out between fans from Dynamo Kyiv and Besiktas. Two of those injured were stabbed. All ten of those involved were described as "foreigners." Large crowds fought in the streets with sticks and fireworks, with some Besiktas fans clashing with police inside the stadium. 

Five police officers killed in shoot-out, Knyazhychi

Six police officers have been killed in a friendly-fire shoot-out between Ukrainian security forces and officers from Kiev's Criminal Investigation Department (CID). The unfortunate incident occurred when a burglar alarm sounded in the house neighbouring a stake out where two CID officers were undercover. Security forces arriving to investigate the alarm mistook the CID officers for the burglars, and vice versa, prompting the shoot out. The real burglars have since been identified and detained. Security forces and police procedures have been brought into question by the unfortunate incident.

Five police officers killed by friendly fire

Five police officers have been killed near Kiev in a friendly fire incident.  The officers were carrying out an operation to arrest robbers when they engaged in a shootout with another group of police, both believing the other to be criminals.  "Last night a devastating tragedy took place that killed five police officers," said Anton Gerashchenko, a lawmaker and adviser to the interior ministry.  The incident happened near the town of Knyazhychi, around 30km east of Kiev.

One soldier killed, three wounded in Donbass

One Ukrainian soldier has been killed and three others have been wounded in the military operation zone in Donbass, eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian Defence Ministry confirmed the death occurred during clashes with hostile forces. Travellers have been reminded to avoid areas afflicted by military conflict in Ukraine.

Ukrainian military launches missile tests near Crimea

On 1-2 December, the Ukrainian military will hold tests for the S-300 medium range surface-to-air missile in the Kherson region, 30km from Crimea's airspace. In response to the tests, Russia put its air defence forces on high alert and maneuvered warships in the Black Sea. However, they received coordinates for test showing that there will be no threat to the airspace over Russian territorial waters. 

BRSM-Nafta staff to protest seizure of company

On 30 November, 1200 employees of BRSM-Nafta will rally in protest against the operations of the company being blocked by the State Fiscal Service. They will also demand the resignation of Roman Nasirov, the head of the State Fiscal Service. The protest will take place near the Cabinet of Ministers in Kyiv. 

Five Ukrainian military personnel wounded in the past 24-hours

On 29 November, Oleksandr Motuzianyk, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Defence Ministry, stated that five Ukrainian servicemen were wounded in combat operations in the Donbass area of eastern Ukraine in the previous 24-hours. No soldiers were killed. 

Saakashvili supports rally in Kyiv for early elections

On 27 November, up to 2000 protesters attended a rally on the crossing of Hrushevsky Street and Muzeiny Alley in  Kyiv in support of early parliamentary elections and ex-Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's newly-created political movement, the Movement of New Forces. After resigning as governor of Odesa Oblast on 7 November after accusing President Poroshenko of blocking his efforts to reduce corruption in the region, Saakashvili announced plans to launch a political party in an effort to come to power and replace Ukraine's political establishment. 

Ukraine citizens to get visa-free travel to EU

On 24 November, European Council President Donald Tusk announced that Ukrainian citizens will be able to travel to most EU countries without a visa. He stated that Ukraine had met relevant standards and that EU officials will work out how the scheme can be implemented in coming weeks. The scheme will allow Ukrainian nationals with a biometric passport to enter the Schengen area, including some non-EU countries like Iceland and Switzerland, for up to 90 days without a visa. They will not be allowed to enter the UK or Ireland without a visa. 

One killed, three wounded in Donbas

One serviceman has been killed and three others have been wounded in fighting in Donbas. Andriy Lysenko Ukraine’s Defence Ministry spokesperson has confirmed the casualties had occurred within the last 24 hours.

Russia claims Ukraine has abducted two Russian soldiers in Crimea

The Russian Defence Ministry has accused Ukraine of abducting two of its servicemen from the Crimean peninsular on 20 November. Ukraine claims the two soldiers, named as Ensign Maxim Evgenyevich Odintsov and Junior Sergeant Alexander Vyacheslavovich Baranov, are deserters who defected to Russia from the Ukrainian military following the annexation of the region. The men have reportedly been taken from Crimea to the Mykolaiv region, with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) claiming that the two men were arrested after crossing into Ukrainian-controlled territory. 

Two Tartars arrested in Crimea

On 17 November, two Crimean Tartars were arrested in Crimea after searches for banned literature, drugs and weapons. Both men were arrested in the Bakhchisarai district, with another search being carried out simultaneously in Simferopol district. It is not known if the two searches are related. 

One soldier killed and one wounded in Donbas

On 17 November, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Defence Ministry stated that one Ukrainian soldier had been killed and one other had been wounded in combat operations in Donbas in the previous 24 hours. Eight strikes were recorded in the Donetsk region, three of which involved the use of heavy weapons. A further 24 strikes were recorded near Mariupol, seven of which involved the use of heavy weapons. 

Ukrainian national arrested with weapons in Crimea

On 15 November, a Ukrainian national, suspected to be a member of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry's defence intelligence unit, was arrested by Russian law enforcement in Simferopol, Crimea. A grenade, firearm and components to make an improvised explosive device (IED) were seized. 

Multiple incidents reported in Donbas region in previous 24 hours

On 16 November, the Ukrainian army press centre reported that there had been 37 incidents in the Donbas region in the past 24 hours, with the majority of attacks taking place in the Mariupol area. In Donetsk, mortars were used near Luhanske and Avdiyivka. Mortars are not allowed under the Minsk agreement. On the evening of 15 November, mortars, grenade launchers and heavy machine guns were used near Novozvanivka, Novooleksandrivka and Katerynivka, in the Luhansk region. 

Chief of police resigns

On 14 November, Ukraine's Chief of police, Khatia Dekanoidze, resigned form the position over political interference and her inability to bring change. She says that political meddling has affected her ability to bring meaningful change. On the same day, Yulia Marushevska, a prominent customs officer appointed in 2015 to end corruption and bribe-taking at the Odessa port customs, resigned. Mrs Marushevska accused the government and her boss of blocking her reforms. These resignations are the latest in a string of reformers who have either quit or been dismissed in recent months. 

Kreshchatyk street to be closed due to increased terror threat

On 14 November, the Chief of National Police, Andriy Kryshchenko, said that Kreshchatyk street in Kyiv will be closed during protests on 15 and 17 November, due to an increased terror threat. On 15 November, protesters demanding to be paid back their deposits, lost when some banks became insolvent, will demonstrate, and the protests may last several days. On 17 November, trade unions will be protesting and demanding better salaries and lower utility rates. 

One soldier killed and two wounded in eastern Ukraine

On 11 November, the head of Luhansk region's state administration confirmed that one Ukrainian soldier had been killed and two others wounded in the region in the previous 24 hours. The ceasefire had been violated eight times during that time period. Anti-tank rockets, sniper and small-arms fire had been reported in Schastia city and Krymske village. Mortars were used near Novozvanivka village in Popasna district. Grenade launchers, snipers and small-arms were used four times against Ukrainian military positions near Stanytsia Luhanska.

One Ukrainian soldier killed

On 10 November, the Ukrainian Defence Ministry announced that one Ukrainian soldier had been killed and four others wounded during military operations in the Donbas region in the previous 24 hours. Two other military personnel were reported to have been injured in the region. 

Russian FSB detains group of Ukrainian saboteurs in Sevastopol

On 9 November, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) reported that they had detained three Ukrainian military personnel who were planning to attack military sites and infrastructure in Crimea. They reportedly seized explosive devices, weapons and maps. The Ukrainian government has dismissed the Russian reports as a fabrication. 

Four officers injured in attacks in Luhansk

On 8 November, the a Ministry of Defence spokesman stated that militants had violated the uneasy ceasefire in the Luhansk region nine times. Two of the instances involved the use of heavy weapons. No one was reported to have been killed in the attacks, but four Ukrainian officers were wounded. Ten militant attacks were also reported in the Donetsk region, of which four involved the use of heavy weapons. 

Head of Odessa Regional State resigns

On 7 November, Mikhail Saakashvili, the head of Odessa Regional State Administration, announced his resignation. The announcement comes after he declared that he had been unable to stop corruption in Odessa. Mr Saakashvili has accused President Poroshenko of supporting corruption in the country. 

Two soldiers killed and three wounded in eastern Ukraine

On 3 November, a Ukrainian military spokesman stated that one Ukrainian serviceman had been killed and two others wounded in eastern Ukraine over the previous 24 hours. Another serviceman was killed during an attack on Avdiyivka, and one other was wounded in the village of Semyhirya. Seven shelling incidents were reported in the Popasna, Stanytsia, Orikhove and Triokhizbenka districts in the Luhansk sector. More than 60 mortar rounds were reported to have been fired on Ukrainian army positions in the Avdiyivka industrial zone. Separatists also fired mortars and sniper rifles at Ukrainian positions in the Mariupol area. 

Large demonstration in Maidan, Kyiv, on 4 November

Large demonstrations and public gatherings are expected to take place on the Maidan in Kyiv on 4 November, including roads surrounding the square. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised travellers to avoid all demonstrations and public gatherings. 

Two soldiers killed and five wounded in Donbas in previous 24 hours.

On 2 November, the spokesman for the Defence Ministry, Andriy Lysenko, stated that two Ukrainian soldiers had been killed and another five had been wounded in combat operations in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, over the previous 24 hours. 

Fighting intensifies in Donetsk

On 27 October, six people were killed in an intensification of violence between Ukrainian forces and separatist militants in the Donetsk region. One Ukrainian serviceman was confirmed to have been killed, along with at least two separatist fighters. The separatists also reported the deaths of three civilians, allegedly killed in shelling by Ukrainian forces. Eighteen other civilians were reported to have been wounded in the fighting.

One soldier killed and seven wounded in Donbass

On 28 October, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and seven others were wounded in the Donbass region. The casualties arose as a result of ongoing hostilities in the region between the Ukrainian military and separatist forces. 

Maryinka checkpoint attacked in Donbas

On 27 October, the Maryinka checkpoint in Donbas was attacked by militants armed with small arms and grenades. No Ukrainian personnel were reported to have been wounded. Reports state that Ukrainian army positions had come under attack 54 times in the previous 24 hours. Attacks were reported in the Mariupol sector, Krasnohorivka and Shyrokyne.

State of emergency declared in Odessa after hurricane kills three people

On 13 October, the Governor of Odessa region, Mikheil Saakashvili, declared a state of emergency across the state after a hurricane killed three people. 11 regions across the state are without electricity as a result of the storm, and state services are attempting to restore power. Officials have advised people to stay at home. 

Two soldiers killed and eight wounded in Donbas in previous 24 hours

On 11 October, the spokesperson for the Ukrainian Defence Ministry, Andriy Lysenko, stated that two Ukrainian servicemen had been killed during combat operations in Donbas in the previous 24 hours. Eight others had been wounded and three had suffered concussions in the same time period. 

Eleven killed and five wounded in Donbas and Luhansk

On 9 October, the Ukrainian Defence Ministry reported that one serviceman had been killed and another wounded in the previous 24 hours. It happened when they hit an explosive device in Troyitske at the Svitlodarsk arc. The Ministry also confirmed that ten militants were killed and four wounded in the Luhansk district and near the city of Mariupol. Ukrainian military positions had reportedly come under fire 16 times during that time period, including seven strikes involving heavy weapons. 

Suspected Ukrainian spy arrested in Russia

A Ukrainian national, Roman Sushchenko, was arrested by the Federal Security Service (FSB) on charges of espionage. Sushchenko claimed to be a journalist but arrived in country without a journalistic visa. The FSB alleges that Sushchenko is a member of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry's chief intelligence office, and that he was collecting state secrets on the activities of the Russian Armed Forces and National Guard troops. Ukraine's chief intelligence office has stated that Sushchenko does not work for them and is simply a journalist. 

Three soldiers killed in east Ukraine

On 13 September, Oleksandr Motuzianyk, a presidential administration spokesman, stated that three Ukrainian soldiers had been killed in the previous 24 hours during combat operations. Two soldiers were killed in a military clash near the village of Stanytsia Luhanska and another soldier was killed by 122mm artillery fire outside Chermalyk village. 

Rebel leader announces unilateral ceasefire

A Russian-backed separatist leader in eastern Ukraine has announced that his militia will hold a ceasefire starting midnight local time on 14 September. Alexander Zakharchenko, commander of the rebel forces in Donetsk, berated the Ukrainian government for their “lack of willingness to solve the problem in a peaceful manner" and urged them to join rebels in a ceasefire. 

One soldier killed and two wounded in Donbass

On 9 September, a Presidential Administration spokesperson reported that one Ukrainian soldier was killed in combat operations near Marinka, in the Donbass region, over the previous 24-hours. Two other soldiers were wounded in the same operations. 

One soldier killed, two other soldiers and one policeman wounded in Donbass

On 5 September, Presidential Administration Spokesman, Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, confirmed that one Ukrainian soldier was killed, with another two soldiers and one policeman wounded in combat actions in Donbass over the previous 24 hours. The casualties occurred during military operations near Avdiyivka and Shyrokyne. 

Pro-Russia TV station set on fire by protesters in Kiev

A pro-Russia Ukrainian TV station was the target of arson attacks on Sunday. A Kiev-based media outlet HQ was set on fire during a protest staged by around 20 people. According to local news sources, a smoke bomb was thrown inside the building, which forced all the operations to be suspended. Six suspects were arrested in connection to the attack. The TV Inter station is regarded by many Ukrainians as having a strong pro-Russia bias, and has been the target of several recent protests amid the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Two soldiers wounded by mortar attack in Lugansk

One civilian and two Ukrainian soldiers have been wounded by a mortar attack in Lugansk, eastern Ukraine. According to security sources, unknown militants fired grenades and mortars at the northern village of Stanistsa Luganskaya on Wednesday. It is also reported that a gas pipeline was damaged by the attack, however it did not present any further risks or service interruption. Several pro-Russia militant groups operate on the volatile eastern front, where recently dozens of Ukrainian soldiers have been killed along the Russian border in multiple targeted attacks.

Six Ukrainian soldiers wounded in Donbass

On 22 August, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Presidential administration reported that six Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in combat operations in Donbass over the previous 24-hours.

Travel advice for Independence Day on 24 August

The British FCO has advised citizens travelling to Ukraine to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings in the run-up to and aftermath of Ukraine's Independence Day, on 24 August. You should monitor the media for information about possible safety or security risks. Due to the political situation present in the country, public demonstrations can escalate into violence with little warning. 

Anti-corruption bureau under pressure from public prosecutor

Pressure from the public prosecutor's office on Ukraine's National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NACB) has been causing uproar in the parliamentary committee backed by president Petro Poroshenko. A member of the anti-corruption committee, Serhiy Leshchenko, stated that the move is an attempt to make the NACB irrelevant, which could harm ties with the European Union (EU). The NACB is one of the conditions demanded by the EU in exchange for financial aid and visa liberalization to Ukrainian nationals.

Amid high tensions President Vladimir Putin visits Crimea

Following the accusations that the Ukrainian government was behind military armed incursions in Crimea, Russia's President Vladimir Putin headed to visit the disputed peninsula on Friday. According to a Russian news agency, RIA, Putin is set to meet with his security council and to attend a youth forum. This is the fifth visit of the Russian president to Crimea, annexed from Ukraine in March 2014. At the same time, the news source announced that naval and ground forces are executing military logistical training in the area. President Petro Proshenko stated this Thursday that tensions in the region remain high and the situation has worsened, as he can "not exclude a full-scale Russian invasion".

Three Ukrainian soldiers killed in Donbass

Today, Ukrainian presidential administration spokesperson, Oleksandr Motuzyanik, announced that three Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and a further six wounded in the Donbass region. The deaths and injuries all occurred as a result of combat actions undertaken in the last 24 hours. 

Eight Ukrainian soldiers wounded in Donbass

On 17 August, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian presidential administration, Oleksandr Motuzyanik, reported that eight Ukrainian soldiers had been wounded in combat operations in Donbass over the past 24 hours. There were no reported fatalities.  Local officials in the Anti-Terrorist Operation Zone (ATO) also said armed groups had fired 52 times at the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Tuesday.

Ukraine puts troops on alert over Russia tensions

Ukraine has ordered the security forces to be combat ready amid rising tensions with Russia.  “I ordered a high level alert of all units in the region of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and along the entire contact line in Donbas,” President Petro Poroshenko said after meeting with his national security council.  On Wednesday Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Ukrainian troops had carried out cross-border operations in Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.

Two security personnel shot dead in Crimea

The Russian Intelligence Agency (FSB) announced on Wednesday that two security personnel were killed in separate terror-linked incidents in the Crimean Peninsula. The FSB stated that one of its agents died in an attack by alleged Ukrainian militants in Armyasnk, where several explosives and a cache of ammunition were found. In a separate incident, the FSB reported that one Russian soldier was killed when a group of Ukrainian officers with armoured vehicles tried to execute a raid in the area. The incident raised some concerns over the ongoing conflict, triggered by Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Soldier killed during counter-terror operation in Donetsk

At least one Ukrainian soldier has been killed and five others injured during clashes with pro-Russian militants in the war-torn Donetsk region. The Ukrainian military spokesperson, Col. Oleksandr Motuzianyk, stated on Tuesday that the casualties were caused during an ongoing counter-terrorism operation in Mariupol. Despite the ceasefire deal established by the Minsk II agreement, signed in February 2015, the region still witnesses frequent clashes between government troops and separatist rebels.

Separatist rebels killed in fresh Donbas clashes

A speaker of the presidential administration on the Anti-terrorist Operation Zone (ATO) announced on Tuesday that 11 rebels have been killed and 14 others injured in fighting in eastern Ukraine. Andrei Lysenko also confirmed that clashes between the insurgents and security forces erupted in the Avdiivka industrial zone, where two rebels were killed and three others were injured. In the beginning of July a week-long operation led to the death of 13 people and left scores injured in the same ATO in Donbas.

Belorussian journalist killed in Kiev car bomb

A Belorussian journalist has been killed in a car bomb attack in Ukraine's capital, Kiev. Pavel Sheremet died when his car suddenly exploded after it started. The car belonged to his employer, Alyona Pritula, chief editor of the Ukrainskaya Pravda, a popular Ukrainian online newspaper. The Interior Ministry stated that the bomb was planted underneath the vehicle and was possibly remotely detonated as part of a targeted assassination. According to a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Sheremet was “a professional who was not afraid to tell different authorities at different times all that he thinks of them".

Several killed in Donbas clashes

Thirteen Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and nearly 60 others injured in fighting over the past six days in the eastern region of Donbas. Ukrainian MP Ivan Vinnyk told the local news agency UNIAN that the fatalities were recorded inside an anti-terrorist operation zone in the city of Donetsk. Vinnyk also stated that rebel groups have become more active and are employing large-calibre artillery. The conflict in the Donbas region started in 2014, when civil unrest led pro-Russian militants to occupy government and law-enforcement buildings across eastern Ukraine.

Three separatists killed and eight others captured in Donetsk

Eight alleged Russian-backed separatists have been captured and three others killed by Ukrainian security forces in the Donetsk region. The incident occurred on Monday near Mariupol after Ukrainian forces approached the suspected members of the Donetsk People's Republic. According to local media, the militants were stationed in Donetsk's grey zone and had carried out successive attacks against government forces, violating the truce established by the Minsk Protocol in September, 2014.

Hundreds protest against mayor in Odessa

Around 2,000 people took to the streets of the Black Sea town of Odessa on Tuesday to protest against the local mayor. The demonstrators demanded the resignation of Gennady Trukhanov, who has been accused of having  hidden assets in the British Virgin Islands. Other sources claim that the protests were related to the ongoing conflict between the politician and the owner of the town's largest construction company, Kadorr Group.

Euro 2016 terror plot thwarted in Ukraine

The head of Ukraine's security services claims that a French national arrested last month was planning mass attacks during the Euro 2016 football tournament, which begins on Friday.  Vasyl Hrytsak said Gregoire Moutaux, 25, planned 15 attacks and had obtained a large cache of weapons and explosives, including 125kg on TNT.  The suspect is reported to be an ultra-nationalist who planned to target Muslim and Jewish places of worship.

Five Ukrainian troops killed near Donetsk

Five Ukrainian soldiers have been killed by separatists near the eastern city of Donetsk, according to military officials.  Four troops died in an ambush at Verkhnetoretskoye, near Avdiivka, while a fifth was killed when his vehicle hit a landmine.  A spokesman for the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) said two rebels also died in shelling on Sunday.

Seven soldiers killed and several others injured in eastern Ukraine

Ukraine's National Security Council head Oleksandr Turchynov announced on Tuesday that seven of its soldiers were killed and nine others wounded in fighting in the east of the country. The incident comes came as leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine opened negotiations to find ways to settle the conflict. Since April 2014, over 9,000 people have been killed in fighting between Ukraine's security forces and pro-Russian separatists.

Three soldiers killed in fresh clashes

Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and four others wounded in clashes with separatist rebels on Saturday.  The fighting occurred near the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, with separatists claiming government troops had fired dozens of shells at their side of the front line in recent days.  The latest unrest came despite a new truce, which was agreed between the two sides in the Belarusian capital, Minsk.

Hundreds protest in Kiev against labour reform plan

Around 1,000 workers gathered in the streets of Kiev on Thursday to protest against public sector reform plans. The demonstrators are demanding the withdrawal of the proposals, which could lead to layoffs and a rise in the retirement age of some professions labelled as unhealthy. The protest took place in front of the Ministry of Social Policy and moved towards the government building, causing road traffic disruptions in central streets of the capital.  

Five civilians killed in eastern Ukraine

At least five civilians have been killed and 10 others wounded in shelling in eastern Ukraine.  Separatist rebels claim the victims, who included a pregnant woman, were killed by shell fire from government troops; however the army denies any involvement. The incident happened near the village of Olenivka, close to the line of demarcation agreed in a fragile ceasefire between Ukraine's government and the rebels.

Volodymyr Groysmann appointed as new PM

Ukraine's parliament approved Volodymyr Groysmann as the country's new prime minister on Thursday. Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Groysmann's predecessor, handed his resignation to the parliament after facing accusations of corruption and criticism for his inability to push through reforms. Groysmann is a member of the same party as President Petro Poroshenko, Conscience of Ukraine, and faces the difficult task of implementing the EU-backed reform programme.

Ukraine PM Yatsenyuk resigns

Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk has resigned from office, just two months after surviving a no-confidence motion in February.  Yatseniuk's government has been accused of corruption and incompetence over the disbursement of aid under a $17.5bn IMF bailout.  "I have taken the decision to resign as prime minister of Ukraine. On Tuesday, April 12, my request will be submitted to the parliament," Yatseniuk said in a televised address.

Ukrainian protesters demand pilot's release

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Russian embassy in Kiev on Sunday to demand the release of pilot Nadiya Savchenko, who is on hunger strike.  The protesters threw eggs and rocks at the building, while an embassy spokesman said armed men damaged vehicles and threw smoke bombs.  Ms Savchenko is on trial in Russia in connection with the deaths of two Russian journalists in 2014.

Three soldiers killed by landmine in Luhansk

Three Ukrainian soldiers have been killed by a landmine in the eastern Luhansk region.  "A vehicle carrying servicemen from the 80th brigade was blown up on the road between residential areas of Novotoshkivske and Hirske today, on March 1. According to the preliminary information, three servicemen were killed and two suffered injuries," the Luhansk Regional Military-Civilian Administration said in a statement.

Three soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine

Three Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and seven others wounded in fighting with pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.  "Yesterday the situation on the front line escalated. In general, every third enemy attack is from a heavy weapon or mortar banned under the Minsk (ceasefire) agreement," military spokesman Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said in a daily televised briefing.  The clashes took place near the village of Zaitseve, around 50km from the city of Donetsk.

Two killed in Ukraine landmine blast

Three people have been killed and several others wounded after a civilian bus hit a landmine in the Donetsk region.  The bus was travelling near the line of demarcation between Ukraine and the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) when it hit the device on Wednesday morning.  A nearby car was also hit in the blast.

Ukrainian soldier killed as violence rises in east

A Ukrainian soldier has been killed and eight others wounded in the latest outbreak of fighting with pro-Russian separatists near the eastern city of Donetsk. "The most difficult situation is still around Donetsk airport, where illegal groups cynically violated agreements, firing at Ukrainian positions using 120 caliber mortars," Ukrainian military spokesman Oleksander Motuzyanyk said.  On Saturday the govenment confirmed that five soldiers had been killed in 24 hours of fighting in the region.

Ukraine prosecutor survives assassination attempt

Ukraine's leading prosecutor has survived an assassination attempt in the country's capital, Kiev.  Officials said a sniper fired three shots at the office of General Viktor Shokin on Monday night, adding that the building's bulletproof glass saved his life.  At the weekend a small group of protesters called for Mr Shokin's resignation, claiming that he had failed to bring any corruption cases to court and accusing him of sabotaging the country's anti-corruption progrramme.

Ukrainian soldier killed near Donetsk airport

A Ukrainian soldier has been killed in an attack by separatist rebels near Donetsk airport. "Yesterday, the positions of the Ukrainian army near Pisky and Opytne came under fire that killed one Ukrainian soldier," spokesman Oleksandr Zavtonov told AFP. On Monday a rebel spokesman accused the military of launching an attack in the area, while local residents have reported heavy fighting in the area.

Two killed in Luhansk ambush

Two people have been killed and six others wounded in an ambush near the eastern city of Luhansk.  A military spokesman said an army vehicle hit a landmine and then came under sniper fire on Tuesday.  The incident came despite a renewed ceasefire agreed between the army and pro-Russian separatists.

One killed in anti-autonomy protests outside Parliament

One national guard serviceman has been killed and over 100 injured in violent protests outside Ukraine's parliament. Clashes between nationalists and riot police erupted after MPs gave initial backing to reforms for more autonomy in the rebel-held east. Police have reported that some in the crowd through live grenades at police. The clashes were minor to begin with, but then reports came in of small explosions, followed by a much larger one, apparently from a grenade. The demonstrators, numbering only a few dozen, tried to pull the police away from their lines, beat them and took their shields and helmets. The Ukrainian Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov said some 30 people have been arrested, including an ultra-nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) member who confessed to throwing a grenade. Of the 122 people hospitalised, more than 11 are in a critical condition. A policeman's leg was reportedly blown off below the knee in the blast. 

Four Ukrainian soldiers killed as fighting tests truce

Four Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and 14 wounded in fighting with pro-Russian rebels in the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian military has said, as a new wave of violence gives the impression that the ceasefire in place could collapse. Ukrainian military spokesman Oleksander Motuzyanyk reported renewed rebel shelling of government positions near the separatist-held city of Donetsk and mortar fire in villages near the strategic Kiev-controlled port city of Mariupol. "In this area the enemy does not engage in direct fighting with the Ukrainian army, but regularly fires chaotically from howitzers and GRAD multiple rocket launchers," he said. Separatist officials accused Ukrainian troops in turn of shelling rebel territory, including residential areas.

Shelling in east Ukraine kills nine as clashes escalate

At least nine people have died in heavy exchanges of artillery fire between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine. Russia has said that the latest fighting suggested preparations for a new offensive by the Ukrainians. But Kiev has accused the rebels of shelling the outskirts of Mariupol - a key port city - from 12km away. Among the dead were seven civilians and two government soldiers, reports claim. Sartana and Lebedynske - two villages on the outskirts of Mariupol - came under heavy artillery fire, which resulted in the deaths of two civilians and two Ukrainian troops.

Surge in fighting violates ceasefire

The European Union (EU) says that escalating attacks on government-controlled areas in eastern Ukraine violate a February peace deal with pro-Russian separatists. "The Minsk Agreements must be implemented in good faith, starting with the full observation of the ceasefire and genuine withdrawal of heavy weapons," the EU said. Ukraine on Monday accused rebels of carrying out the heaviest shelling since the truce began.

Ukraine reports heavy tank battle with pro-Russian rebels

Ukraine has said that it had repelled a rare tank assault by pro-Russian rebels that threatened to erase a shaky cease-fire and dangerously escalate the 16-month war in its breakaway east. President Petro Poroshenko said about "200 insurgents used tanks to storm" Novolaspa - a village halfway between the separatists' de facto capital Donetsk and the Kiev-held port of Mariupol - in a pre-dawn raid that caught government soldiers off guard. The Ukrainian forces repelled the assault. A second attack was later reported on the same village whose outcome was not immediately clear. 

Five troops, one civilian reported killed in eastern Ukraine

Five Ukrainian soldiers are reported to have died in clashes with pro-Russian rebels, with another six reported to have been wounded, in the past 24 hours. Meanwhile, pro-Russian rebels accuse government troops of killing a civilian after one of their shells hit a jail and started a fire in the rebel-held town of Gorlivka. 

Four soldiers killed ahead of new Ukraine peace talks

Four soldiers have been killed in clashes with pro-Russian rebels. Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said that another 15 servicemen had been wounded in the past 24 hours of fighting across the eastern Russian-speaking provinces of Lugansk and Donetsk. The report of the four fatalities came only hours ahead of fresh talks on ending the 15-month separatist revolt.

Four civilians killed in Ukraine fighting

Four civilians have been killed by heavy artillery shelling between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian rebels. Two civilians were killed in Dzerzhynsk, and two killed in Gorlivka. Four other civilians were wounded in Gorlivka, including two children. It is not yet clear which side is responsible for the casualties, although both sides are blaming each other. 

Eight government soldiers killed in clashes with rebels

Eight Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in clashes with pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.  The fighting in the Luhansk region is some of the heaviest since a ceasefire was agreed in February.  Ukraine military spokesman Adriy Lysenko said three soldiers were killed by shelling and five others died in a landmine explosion.

Six Ukrainian soldiers killed in rebel attack

Six Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and 14 others wounded in rebel attacks in eastern Ukraine.  Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said the attacks took place over the last 24 hours near the city of Donetsk. “The enemy threw tanks, armoured personnel carriers and heavy artillery into battle. We emphasis that rebels are also firing at residential areas,” he said.

Violence erupts during gay pride march in Kiev

Five police officers have been wounded after violence erupted during a gay pride march in Ukraine's capital, Kiev.  A group of unidentified people threw smoke bombs and stones at the rally, which was only the second gay pride march to be held in Ukraine.  Ahead of the event a number of politicians and right-wing groups had pledged to disrupt the event, while LGBT activists say homophobia is still widespread across the country.

President Poroshenko claims troops control Maryinka

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko says the town of Maryinka is now under complete control of the army. Poroshenko said: “Maryinka is completely clear of insurgents as a result of a clean-up operation. Twelve people were captured, including one citizen from the Russian Federation.” He added that “they put up an armed resistance to the Ukrainian army.”

Heavy fighting erupts in eastern Ukraine

Heavy fighting has been reported between government troops and pro-Russian rebels near Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.  Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said rebels launched a major offensive against government-held areas on Wednesday. “The enemy is trying to advance. Ukrainian troops are repelling all attacks and successfully holding on to their positions,” Lysenko said.  More than 20 government soldiers are reported to have been wounded in the latest fighting.

Five killed in latest Ukraine clashes

At least two civilians and three government soldiers have been killed in clashes in eastern Ukraine.  The civilians died when shells hit the village of Shyrokyne and the town of Horlivka on Sunday, while a military spokesman said the soldiers were killed in fighting with rebels in the last 24 hours.  On Monday the United Nations (UN) said there was increasing evidence of Russian state involvement in the country. "We are speaking about increasing inflow of (unofficial) fighters and increasing evidence that there are also some (Russian) servicemen involved in fighting," Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic told a news conference in Geneva.

Six killed in latest fighting

For pro-Russian separatists, a Ukrainian soldier and a civilian have been killed in the latest fighting in eastern Ukraine.  A civilian died in an artillery fire strike on the outskirts of Donetsk, while a Ukrainian soldier was killed when his military ambulance was hit by shelling near the Russian border.  Heavy fighting has also been reported in the cities of Horlivka and Mariupol in the last few days.

Rebel leader killed in Ukraine ambush

A separatist leader has been killed in an ambush in eastern Ukraine.  Alexey Mozgovoy, head of the rebel Prizrak brigade, died along with several other fighters on Saturday when their car was ambushed in the self-proclaimed Luhansk region. “There are seven dead in total,” deputy Lugansk prosecutor Sergei Gorenko said at a press conference.

Captured soldiers admit to being in Russian army

Two soldiers captured by Ukraine's security forces over the weekend have admitted to being members of Russia's armed forces, according to European mediators.  The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said the two men were interviewed in Kiev and had travelled to Ukraine on a "reconnaissance mission".  Russia's ministry of defence claimed the soldiers had been mistreated by Ukrainian special forces who had "beat convenient testimony out of them".

Soldier killed in clashes in eastern Ukraine

A Ukrainian soldiers has been killed in fresh clashes in the east of the country. "Fighting has not died down along a broad stretch of the frontline from Krasnogorivka to Svitlodarsk," Oleksander Motuzyanyk, Ukrainian military spokesperson, said on Thursday. Mr Motuzyanyk did not confirm if this was the area where the soldier was killed.

Two Russian officers captured in Ukraine

The Ukrainian government said that two Russian officers who were opertating in east of the country have been captured.  Two soldiers were seized by the volunteer Aidar battalion near the town of Shchastia in the Luhansk region on Sunday. Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said the two men were being questioned.

Ukraine rebels release IRC aid workers

Pro-Russian separatists have released two American aid workers from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) who were detained for alleged spying. "We have freed two Americans that we arrested earlier. One of the two is a CIA agent, the other was enlisted," said rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko on Saturday. IRC President David Miliband said that aid workers "should never be targeted", adding that they are now in a safe location.

Three killed in latest Ukraine clashes

Two Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and five others wounded in the latest clashes with pro-Russian separatists.  The troops died when their armoured vehicle hit a landmine in the Luhansk region near the border with Russia.  In a separate incident an army volunteer was killed by mortar fire near the airport in Donetsk on Monday.

Observers report heavy shelling in eastern Ukraine

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said that they have witnessed intense shelling in eastern Ukraine. "On 26 April, the SMM (special monitoring mission) observed what it assessed to be the most intense shelling in Shyrokyne... since fighting began in the area in mid-February 2015," the OSCE said in a spot report issued overnight. "For the last 12 hours, and on-going at the time of this report, the SMM has observed sporadic to continuous exchanges of fire involving small arms, machine gun, rocket propelled grenade and automatic grenade launcher," the Vienna-based security body said.

Prominent Ukrainian journalist shot dead in Kiev

The prominent Ukrainian journalist, Oles Buzina, has been shot dead in the capital, Kiev.  Mr Buzine, who was known for his pro-Russian views, was shot by a passing car on Thursday afternoon.  In 2012 he ran for parliament on the Russian party ticket.

Six government soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian officials said six government soldiers have been killed and 12 others wounded during the latest outbreak of fighting in the east of the country.  Clashes erupted around the rebel stronghold of Donetsk in the early hours of Tuesday morning, with officials claiming that army positions were fired on 26 times.  Until recently the level of fighting in the east had dropped after a ceasefire deal was agreed back in February.  However, on Monday, Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France expressed "grave concern" over the surge in violence. 

Six soldiers killed in separatist attacks

At least six government soldiers have been killed in attacks by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine on Sunday.  Four troops died when their vehicle was hit by a shell in the town of Schastye, while later two other soldiers died when they hit a landmine near Mariupol.  The latest casualties follow another incident on Saturday when three soldiers were killed by a landmine near Donetsk.

Civilian bus hits landmine in eastern Ukraine

At least four people have been killed and 19 others wounded after a civilian bus hit a landmine in eastern Ukraine.  Local officials said the incident happened at a checkpoint near the town of Artemivsk in the Donetsk region.  The area is covered with landmines following months of heavy fighting between government forces and pro-Russian separatists.

Ukraine begins heavy weapons withdrawal

Ukraine's military has started to withdraw heavy weapons from the front-line in the war-torn east of the country.  The defence ministry said the removal of 100mm guns is "the first step" and would be monitored by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).  Pro-Russian separatist rebels said they have also started withdrawing weapons but these claims have not been verified.

Ceasefire violated by Kharkiv blast

A bomb has killed a police officer and a civilian during a political rally in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.  The "unknown explosive device" went off as thousands of people gathered to mark the first anniversary of the ousting of former president, Viktor Yanukovych.  Security forces have arrested four suspects, who are accused of receiving training and weapons from Russia.

Fighting continues despite ceasefire

Heavy fighting has continued around the key strategic town of Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine despite a ceasefire deal.  International observers deployed to observe the ceasefire have been unable to enter the town.  Pro-Russian separatists said the peace deal, which has been observed in other parts of the country, does not apply in Debaltseve because they have almost seized control of the town.

Heavy fighting continues ahead of ceasefire

Heavy fighting has been reported between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists.  At least 26 people were killed in the region, with artillery and rocket fire continually hammering the town.  The fighting came ahead of a ceasefire agreed in Minsk which is due to start on Sunday. 

Leaders agree Ukraine ceasefire at peace talks

An agreement has been reached aimed at ending the conflict in eastern Ukraine following peace talks in Belaurs.  The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France announced that a ceasefire would begin on 15 February. "Even though we have not accomplished everything ... this represents 'serious hope' for Ukraine... it is also a big relieve for Europe ... and it's a good example of what Germany and France can do for peace," said French President Francois Hollande. Russian leader Vladimir Putin said they had reached agreement on the "main" points.

Deadly clashes continue in east ahead of peace talks

At least 24 people have been killed in the latest outbreak of violence to hit eastern Ukraine.  Nineteen Ukrainian soldiers died and dozens more were wounded in attacks by pro-Russian separatists near the town of Debaltseve.  Five people were also reportedly killed when shells hit a bus station in the rebel-held city of Donestsk.  The latest fighting comes as leaders from Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France head to Belarus for peace talks.

Renewed fighting reported in eastern Ukraine

At least 16 civilians have been killed and dozens more wounded during the latest outbreak of violence in eastern Ukraine.  The United Nations has criticized the government and pro-Russian rebels for targeting areas with large civilian populations, adding that more than 220 people had died in the last three weeks.  Ukraine's army also said that five soldiers died during clashes near the town of Debaltseve.

Heavy fighting reported in eastern town of Debaltseve

Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebels have been engaged in heavy fighting around the strategic eastern town of Debaltseve.  Medical services in the area say they are struggling to cope with the large influx of casualties, with around 50 to 60 people being brought in every day.  There have also been reports that the nearby village of Vuhlehirsk has been captured by the rebels.

Seven soldiers killed in eastern clashes

Seven Ukrainian soldiers have been killed during fighting with pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.  The clashes come after 30 civilians died in rebel shelling in the port city of Mariupol on Saturday.  The UN Security Council has called a special meeting to discuss the recent escalation of violence, while Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said he had evidence of Russia's involvement in the events in Mariupol.

Bus stop hit by shelling in Donetsk

At least 13 people have been killed after shelling hit a bus stop in the eastern city of Donetsk. "Twelve people were killed in the trolleybus and another who was in a car that was passing nearby," said an official with the emergency services in the city. The deaths came as Ukraine's military said it was withdrawing its forces from the disputed airport in the city after months of heavy fighting with pro-Russian separatist.

Government troops launch assault on Donetsk airport

Ukrainian troops have recaptured most of the area around the airport in Donetsk after heavy fighting with separatist rebels. The decision was taken for a mass operation," military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said on TV. "We succeeded in almost completely cleaning the territory of the airport, which belongs to the territory of Ukrainian forces as marked by military separation lines."  At the same time thousands joined a peace rally in the capital, Kiev, for the 13 civilians who died last week in a rocket attack in the east of the country.

Rebel shelling kills 11 in Donetsk

At least 11 people have been killed and 13 others have been wounded in rebel shelling in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.  Local officials said a shell hit a civilian bus at a checkpoint near the town of Volnovakha on Tuesday. "An investigation is in progress. The road between Donetsk and Mariupol has been closed," said Donetsk regional interior ministry department chief Vyacheslav Abroskin.

Six killed in Donetsk clashes

Four Ukrainian soldiers and two civilians have been killed in rocket and mortar attacks in the eastern city of Donetsk.  A military spokesman said several army positions in the city had been targeted by pro-Russian separatists in the past day.  The violence comes a week ahead of proposed peace talks in Kazakhstan between the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France.

Hundreds freed in prisoner exchange

Ukraine's government and pro-Russian separatists have started an exchange of hundreds of prisoners of war.  The agreement to swap 125 soldiers for 225 rebels came after peace talks on Wednesday, and were part of a wider 12-point peace plan signed in September.  A ceasefire was also central to the plan; however around 1,300 people have been killed in fighting since September.

Six soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine clashes

Six Ukrainian soldiers have been killed during renewed clashes with pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country. "Terrorists are violating agreements and continuing to fire on positions of the Ukrainian military and civilians. Tanks and artillery were used, but our forces did not respond," said Andriy Lysenko, a National Security and Defence Council spokesman.

Army and separatist agree new ceasefire in Luhansk

The Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists have agreed a new ceasefire in the eastern region of Luhansk. "All agreed in principle to a total ceasefire along the entire line of contact between Ukrainian Armed Forces and those under control of the [Lugansk People's Republic], to be effective from 5 December," the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe said in a statement late on Monday.  Separate peace talks are ongoing in the neighbouring Donetsk region, where heavy fighting has been reported in recent days.

Kiev claims Russian tanks have crossed into Ukraine

Ukraine has accused Russia of sending tanks and other military vehicles across the border.  A military spokesman said that at least 32 tanks and 16 artillery systems had crossed into eastern Ukraine, along with dozens of trucks carrying armed men and ammunition.  The alleged move comes after pro-Russian separatists held an election in Donetsk over the weekend.  Alexander Zakharchenko was named as the incumbent "prime minister" of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic.

Rebel leader ambushed in eastern Ukraine

A pro-Russian separatist leader has been wounded in an ambush in eastern Ukraine.  Gunmen opened fire on Pavel Gubarev's car in the Donetsk region, causing the vehicle to crash into a concrete pillar.  Mr Gubarev is recovering in Rostov hospital.

Heavy fighting continues near Donetsk airport

At least 10 people died on Wednesday during renewed fighting near the government-held airport in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.  The deaths were reported in residential areas in the north-west of the city as pro-Russian separatists tried to reclaim the airport. "In two, or maximum three, days the Donetsk airport will come under our control," said rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko.

Deadly clashes in Donetsk threaten ceasefire

At least 12 soldiers and civilians have been killed during fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists.  Security officials said on Monday that seven soldiers died when a shell hit their armoured personnel carrier near the main airport.  The latest fighting comes after a week of talks in the Belarusian capital, Minsk.

Six killed in post-ceasefire violence

At least six people have been killed and 15 others wounded in shelling in the eastern city of Donetsk, the worst outbreak of violence since a ceasefire was agreed between the government and rebels on 5 September.  The city council said that two northern areas of the city were hit particularly badly, with casualties reported in several residential areas.  A government spokesman said the pro-separatist rebels were responsible for the shelling.

Rebels free 1200 captives in Ukraine

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko says 1,200 people held by pro-Russian rebels have been freed.  The move comes after a ceasefire was agreed on Friday, which included an exchange of prisoners.  Mr Poroshenko made the announcement during a vising to the south-eastern port city of Maripol, which has been shelled by rebels over the weekend.

Ukraine agrees permanent ceasefire with Russia

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko says that an agreement has been reached with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on a "permanent ceasefire" in eastern Ukraine. "The conversation resulted in an agreement on a lasting ceasefire in Donbas. Mutual understanding was achieved regarding steps that would promote the establishment of peace," said the president's office in a statement.  Around 2,6000 people have been killed and more than a million others displaced since fighting erupted in eastern Ukraine in April. 

NATO says 1,000 Russian troops are fighting in Ukraine

NATO have said that more than 1,000 Russian soldiers are now fighting alongside separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.   NATO's Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that "despite hollow denials", it was now clear that Russia had illegally crossed Ukraine's border.  The UN security council called an emergency session to discuss the development on Friday.

Refugee convoy hit by rocket fire outside Luhansk

A convoy of buses carrying refugees has been hit by rocket fire near the eastern city of Luhansk.  Both the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels are blaming each other for the strike, which reportedly killed dozens of people.  Around 500 people a day have been fleeing the city, which has been left almost entirely without water and electricity for more than two weeks.

Ukraine targets Russian military vehicles along shared border

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said the military had destroyed a large column of armoured vehicles crossing the border from Russia.  NATO said the advance was a "military incursion", adding that they had witnessed "a continuous flow of weapons and fighters from Russia into eastern Ukraine".  The incident happened close to where a large Russian convoy of aid trucks has been stationed awaiting inspection by Ukrainian troops.

Rebels ambush loyalist militia in Donetsk

Pro-Russian separatists have ambushed a bus carrying pro-government militiamen near the restive eastern city of Donetsk.  At least 12 members of the Right Sector group - a volunteer battalion - were killed in the attack, while an unknown number were captured. "We have suffered terrible losses. We will avenge this," Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh said.

Government forces prepare final assault on Donetsk

Ukrainian troops are preparing for the final stage in their operation to recapture the eastern city of Donetsk from pro-Russian separatists, according to a military spokesman. "The forces of the 'anti-terrorist operation' are preparing for the final stage of liberating Donetsk" Andriy Lysenko told the Reuters news agency.  Meanwhile overnight shelling hit a high-security prison on the outskirts of the city, leading to a jailbreak during which more than 100 inmates escaped.

Heavy fighting reported in Donetsk

Heavy fighting between rebels and government troops has been reported in a suburb of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.  Ukrainian soldiers targeted pro-Russian separatist positions in the city, forcing thousands of residents to flee.  On Monday more than 300 soldiers retreated across the border into Russia under heavy fire from rebels.

Government troops seize town of Avdiivka from rebels

Ukrainian troops have seized the key strategic town of Avdiika from pro-Russian separatists following days of heavy fighting.  At least 19 people were killed in clashes in the town, which is located on the outskirts of the major city of Donetsk.  Fighting was also reported in the town of Ilovaysk, close to the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Dozens killed in fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine

At least 22 people have been killed in fierce clashes between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.  Officials said 17 people, including five children, died in fighting in the town of Horlivka on Monday night, while five elderly civilians were killed when a mortar shell hit a retirement home in Luhansk.  The latest unrest comes as the EU imposed new economic sanctions against Russia over its support of the rebels, a charge which Moscow denies.

Two Ukraine fighter jets shot down by rebels

Pro-Russian rebels have shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets in the east of the country, close to where the Malaysian airliner was downed last week.  A military spokesman said the two Sukhoi-25 jets were shot down at around 13:30 local time near the town of Savur Mogila.  The fate of the pilots has not yet been established.

Malaysian airliner shot down in east Ukraine

A Malaysian airliner carrying 295 people has crashed in eastern Ukraine amid reports that it was shot down.  The Boeing 777 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed around 50km from the Russian border.  The Ukrainian interior ministry said the plane was brought down by a ground-to-air missile but denied any involvement by the Ukrainian military.  None of the 280 passengers and 15 crew members onboard survived the crash.

Airstrike kills 11 in rebel-held town of Snizhne

 At least 11 people have been killed in an airstrike on the rebel-held town of Shizhne near Donetsk.  Rockets hit a block of flats and a tax office at around 07:00 local time on Tuesday morning.  Rebels claim that the government carried out the strike - although military officials insist that none of its planes had taken off since Monday.

Heavy fighting reported in Luhansk

Heavy fighting has been reported outside the rebel-held city of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine.  Rebel military leader Igor Strelkov claims that government troops tried to storm the city with tanks but that his forces had repelled them.  On Sunday at least 15 people were killed in fighting outside Luhansk and the neighbouring region of Donetsk.

Three bridges destroyed outside Donetsk

Three bridges on key roads leading into the eastern city of Donetsk have been destroyed, reportedly by pro-Russian separatists attempting to halt an offensive by the Ukrainian military.  Troops reclaimed control of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk over the weekend, forcing the rebels to regroup in Donetsk.  Heavy fighting is expected in the city in the coming days.

Pro-Russian separatists regroup following loss of Sloviansk

Pro-Russian separatists are regrouping in the eastern city of Donetsk after they were forced out of their key stronghold of Sloviansk.  Government troops regained control of the city on Saturday, a move which President Petro Poroshenko said was of "huge symbolic importance" and "the start of a turning point in the fight against the militants".

Government ends ceasefire with separatists

Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, has announced that the country's armed forces will renew operations against pro-Russian separatists after a ceasefire agreement ended on Monday night.  Mr Poroshenko blamed "criminal elements" for thwarting any chance for peace, saying "the decision not to continue the ceasefire is our answer to terrorists, militants and marauders".

Fresh talks planned as clashes continue in east

Ukraine's new president, Petro Poroshenko, is to hold fresh talks with the leaders of Russia, France and Germany in a bid to extend a ceasefire with pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.  The existing deadline is due to expire on Monday evening, although clashes have been reported over the weekend in the east of the country.  A military spokesman said five Ukrainian soldiers had been killed in fighting in Sloviansk, while in Donetsk a Russian TV cameraman was fatally wounded by troops near a military base.

Ukraine signs partnership agreement with EU

Ukraine's new president has signed a landmark trade deal with the European Union, a move strongly opposed by neighbouring Russia.  Petro Poroshenko joined fellow ex-Soviet states Georgia and Moldova in signing the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, saying "over the last months, Ukraine paid the highest possible price to make her European dreams come true."  Last year Mr Poroshenko's predecessor, Viktor Yanukovich, rejected the agreement under pressure from Russia, sparking the widespread political unrest which led to the collapse of his government.

Ukrainian helicopter shot down by rebels

A Ukrainian military helicopter has been shot down by rebels in the east of the country, killing all nine people on board.  The helicopter was carrying technicians who had been setting up specialist monitoring equipment when it was hit near Sloviansk.  The incident comes despite a ceasefire declared by the country's president on 20 June.

President Poroshenko set to offer unilateral truce

Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, has said that he will offer a unilateral truce to pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country as part of a 14-step peace plan.  Mr Poroshenko said the ceasefire would allow the militants to lay down their arms and begin negotiations with the Ukrainian government.  According to the government 147 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed and more than 250 others wounded in fighting with the rebels since March.

Troops clash with separatists in Maripol

Ukrainian troops have clashed with pro-Russian separatists in the port city of Mariupol, leaving at least five rebels and two soldiers dead.  The Interior Minister Arseny Avakov said government forces were now in control of the city, which has changed hands several times in recent weeks.

Deadly clashes in east as new president takes office

At least 15 pro-Russian separatists have been killed in clashes with government troops at a border crossing with Russia in eastern Ukraine.  Interior Minister Anton Herashchenko said the border guards fought gun battles with the armed men who crossed from Russia in trucks near the village of Marynivka.  The latest fighting came as Petro Poroshenko was sworn in as the country's new president, during which he insisted he would not hold talks with rebels, who he described as "gangsters and killers".

Rebels storm border camp near Luhansk

At least five militants have been killed in clashes between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian troops near the restive eastern city of Luhansk.  The clashes erupted when hundreds of separatists attacked a border guards' camp on the outskirts of the city on Monday.  Ukraine has dispatched military aircraft to support the border guards.

Army helicopter shot down by rebels near Sloviansk

A Ukrainian military helicopter has been shot down by pro-Russian rebels near the eastern city of Sloviansk, leaving 14 people dead.  The helicopter was reportedly dropping off troops at a nearby military base when it was hit by anti-aircraft fire.  The outgoing president, Olexander Turchynov, said that a general was among the dead.

Heavy fighting in Donetsk leaves 30 separtists dead

At least 30 pro-Russian separatists have been killed in clashes with Ukrainian troops in the eastern city of Donetsk.  The interior ministry said the rebel fighters had attacked the city's airport but had been rebuffed by security forces.  The fighting came as Petro Poroshenko claimed victory in Ukraine's presidential elections.

Ukrainian soldiers killed in Donetsk clashes

At least 14 soldiers have been killed in an attack by pro-Russian separatists in the eastern city of Donestsk.  Heavily armed militants targeted an army checkpoint in the Volnovakha area, around 20km south of the city.  Clashes were also reported in the neighbouring Luhansk region, and come just three days before Ukraine's presidential election.

Six soldiers killed in east Ukraine ambush

Ukraine's defence ministry said that six government troops have been killed in an ambush near the eastern city of Krematorsk.  The unit was reportedly attacked by a group of around 30 heavily-armed separatist fighters at 1300 local time.  The statement also said that eight soldiers were wounded in the "prolonged fighting", which it blamed on "terrorists".

Donetsk region seeks to join Russia

The self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk has asked to join Russia after the results of an unofficial referendum were released.  Separatist leader Denis Pushilin has called on Moscow to listen to the "will of the people" after 90 percent of people voted to leave Ukraine.  The EU, US and the Ukrainian government have all said that the polls were illegal.

Heavy fighting in Mariupol leaves 20 dead

Ukraine's interior ministry have said that 20 pro-Russian fighters have been killed during fighting with government troops in the eastern port city of Mariupol.  Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said "terrorists" tried to seize the police headquarters before they were fought off by security forces.  Local residents have disputed the government's account, saying many of the victims were civilians.

Independence vote scheduled in eastern Ukraine

An independence vote in eastern Ukraine will go ahead this weekend, despite calls from Russian President Vladimir Putin to postpone the vote.  The leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, said the referendum would be held on 11 May.  The European Union (EU) responded by saying that "such a vote could have no democratic legitimacy and would only further worsen the situation".

Ukrainian helicopter shot down in Sloviansk

A Ukrainian helicopter has been shot down in the eastern city of Sloviansk, while at least four soldiers have been killed in clashes with pro-Russian militants.  The Mi-24 helicopter came under heavy fire on the outskirts of the city and crashed into a nearby river before the crew were evacuated.  The army are trying to reclaim Sloviansk from the militants, who have taken up positions in the city centre.

Fire breaks in Odessa during rival clashes

At least 38 people have been killed after a fire broke out in a trade union building in the southern port city of Odessa during clashes between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian protesters.  Local police said that some of the victims had been overwhelmed by smoke, while others died when they jumped from the building's windows.  Earlier a group of pro-Russian gunmen opened fire on a nationalist protest in the city, leaving at least one person dead and several others wounded.

Pro-Russian rebels killed in government offensive

Several pro-Russian separatists have been killed during a government operation to reclaim control of Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine.  Interim President Oleksandr Turchynov said two Ukrainian soldiers were also killed in the fighting, "which is significantly complicated by the fact that the terrorists' bases are located in the crowded cities and the terrorists themselves hide behind the civilians".  Earlier pro-Russian forces shot down two Mi-24 helicopter gunships in the city, killing one pilot while another was captured. 

Ukraine reinstates conscription as fighting continues

Ukraine has reinstated military conscription in an attempt to deal with the deteriorating security situation in the east of the country.  The country's interim president, Oleksandr Turchynov, signed the decree after troops lost control of further regions to pro-Russian separatists.  He also said Ukraine was on "full combat alert" with fears that the 40,000 Russian troops stationed across the border could invade.

Pro-Russian activists storm Luhansk HQ

Hundreds of pro-Russian separatists have stormed the regional government headquarters in the eastern city of Luhansk.  The police did nothing to stop the armed men from seizing the building, with an aide to the interior minister telling the Reuters news agency that "the regional leadership does not control its police force."

Mayor of Kharkiv shot in the back

The mayor of Ukraine's second-largest city has been shot and critically wounded during ongoing unrest in the east of the country.  Hennady Kernes, the mayor of Kharkiv, was shot in the back on Monday morning and is currently in a critical condition in hospital.  Meanwhile pro-Russian separatists have seized another local government building in the southern town of Kostyantynivka.

Troops clash with separatists in eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian troops have clashed with pro-Russian separatists in several towns in the east of the country.  The government said that it has regained the city hall in the southern port city of Mariupol, while troops also repelled an attack on an army base in Artemivsk.  Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, said "the attackers were repelled and suffered significant losses". 

Deadly shooting reported in Sloviansk

According to reports in Russia at least five people have been killed in an attack on pro-Russian activists in the eastern city of Sloviansk.  Russia has expressed "outrage" at the shooting, claiming that Ukraine's Right Sector nationalists were behind it.  Ukraine says it will launch an investigation into the incident.

Three separatists killed east Ukraine clashes

Three pro-Russian separatists have been killed in clashes with Ukrainian forces in the Black Sea port of Mariupol.  The fighting erupted when around 300 armed separatists attacked a National Guard base in the city, leading to a gunfight with troops.  According to Interior Minister Arsen Avakov 13 separatists were wounded and 63 have been arrested.  The incident, which is the deadliest since the crisis began, comes as the US, Russia, the EU and Ukraine hold crisis talks in Geneva.

Ukrainian officer killed in gun battle with separatists

A Ukrainian security officer has been killed and five others wounded in a gun battle with pro-Russian separatists in the eastern city of Sloviansk.  A group of armed pro-Russian forces seized control of the city on Saturday, prompting the Ukrainian government to launch an "anti-terrorist" counter operation.

Security forces storm offices seized by separatists

Ukraine's security forces have carried out "anti-terrorist" operations against pro-Russian separatists in the eastern city of Kharkiv.  Troops stormed the regional administrative building which had been under the control of protesters since yesterday, arresting around 70 people in the process.  The Ukrainian authorities said that other buildings held by separatists in Luhansk and Donestsk would be freed shortly.

Pro-Russian activists storm government offices in east

Pro-Russian activists have stormed government buildings in three cities in eastern Ukraine, proclaiming the creation of a sovereign republic.  "Seeking to create a popular, legitimate, sovereign state, I proclaim the creation for the sovereign state of the People's Republic of Donetsk," said a spokesperson in the city of Donetsk where protesters rallied in the city square.  Other unrest was reported in Luhansk and Kharkiv where protesters clashed with police and hung Russian flags from government buildings.

Russian energy giant rises gas price for Ukraine

Russian energy firm Gazprom has increased gas prices for neighbouring Ukraine by more than 40 percent.  The company's chief executive said the decision had been taken because the Ukrainian government had failed to pay its bills.  The interim government said last week that it will raise gas prices for consumers by 50 percent in order to secure a much needed aid package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Former PM Tymoshenko set to run for president

Ukraine's former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, has announced that she will run for president in elections scheduled for May.  Ms Tymoshenko, who was released from prison last month following the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych, said she would stand as a candidate for "Ukrainian unity".

Far-right leader shot dead in western Ukraine

The leader of a far-right group has been killed in a shoot-out with police at a cafe in western Ukraine.  Oleksandr Muzychko, also known as Sashko Bily, was the leader of the ultra-nationalist Right Sector group which was prominent during the recent anti-government protest movement.  According to reports Muzychko opened fire on the special forces officers when they attempted to arrest him near the town of Rivne.

Russian troops seize more military bases in Crimea

Russian troops backed by helicopter gunships have seized control of a Ukrainian naval base in Crimea.  "The invading troops were using stun grenades and also firing automatic weapons. The interior of the compound is full of Russian troops," said Vladislav Seleznyov, a Ukrainian military spokesman in Crimea.  The Feodosia base is the latest in a series of military sites to be captured by Russia since the region was annexed in a referendum on 16 March.

Two people shot dead in eastern Ukraine

Two people have been killed in a shootout in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.  According to local reports members of a far-right nationalist group clashed with pro-Russian demonstrators on Friday night.  The incident follows similar clashes in Donetsk on Thursday which saw one person killed and 17 others wounded.

Thousands join rival rallies across Ukraine

Tens of thousands of people have taken part in rival pro-Ukraine and pro-Russia rallies as Crimea prepares to vote on its future.  Rival protesters clashed in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, with pro-Russia militants and Cossacks allegedly attacking their opponents.  Meanwhile Russia's foreign ministry claim that masked far-right militants opened fire on peaceful protesters in the eastern city of Kharkiv on Saturday.

Crimean parliament votes to join Russia

MPs in the autonomous region of Crimea have voted to leave the Ukraine and to join the Russian Federation, with a public referendum on the issue scheduled for 16 March.  Crimea's deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temurgaliyev said that the decree was effective immediately and that Russian soldiers are the only legitimate forces in Crimea, while Ukraine's interim PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk said the move had no legal grounds.

Russia orders Ukrainian navy to surrender

Russia has ordered the Ukrainian naval forces in Crimea to surrender by 0300 GMT on Tuesday or face a military assault, according to a commander in Ukraine's navy.  Russia has denied the claims, while the country's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, has refused international calls for the Russian army to pull out of their bases in Crimea.

Ukraine's army put on full combat alert over Russian "invasion"

Ukraine's new interim government has put its army on full combat alert and called up all its reserves after Russia approved the deployment of more troops across the border.  On Friday Russian soldiers seized control of several installations in the south-eastern region of Crimea, which is home to Russia's Black Sea naval fleet. Ukraine's interim president Arseniy Yatseniuk said "this is actually a declaration of war on my country. We urge President Putin to pull back his troops from this country and honour bilateral agreements."

Russian troops seize two airports in Crimea

Ukraine's new interior minister has accused Russia of carrying out an "armed invasion" in Crimea after unidentified troops seized two airports in the region.  The incident occurred as the country's ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych, appeared on Russian TV to say that he was "not overthrown" and that he was driven out by "young neo-fascist thugs".

Rival protesters rally in divided Crimea

Pro-EU and pro-Russian protesters have held mass rallies in the eastern region of Crimea, leading to clashes with police which left at least one person dead.  More than 10,000 Muslim Crimean Tatars gathered in the regional capital Simferopol on Wednesday in support of Ukraine's interim leaders, while on Thursday a group of armed men seized control of two government buildings in the city and raised Russian flags.

Parliament sacks President Viktor Yanukovych

Ukraine's parliament has voted to dismiss President Viktor Yanukovych, naming its speaker as the interim president.  Oleksandr Turchynov will form a new unity government and lead the country into fresh elections in May.  The parliament also voted to free former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was jailed two years ago.  According to the health ministry 88 people were killed during clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters last week.

President Yanukovych calls early elections

Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych has agreed to hold presidential elections before the end of the year following all-night crisis talks with the opposition.  During the EU-brokered talks he has also committed to making constitutional changes which will reduce the power of his office and to the creation of a national unity government.  At least 75 people have been killed in two days of violence between protesters and riot police in Kiev's Independence Square.

Truce shattered by further violence in Kiev

At least 23 civilians and two police officers have been killed today after a short-lived truce collapsed amid renewed clashes in Kiev's Independence Square.  Some victims have died of single gunshot wounds, and there is widespread speculation that snipers have been targeting protesters.  Last night a ceasefire was agreed between President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders; however both sides have accused each other of ignoring the agreement.

Protest death toll rises to 25

At least 25 people have now been killed in the latest outbreak of civil unrest to hit Ukraine's capital, Kiev.  The violence started on Tuesday morning when police blocked an anti-government march towards parliament, before the security forces stormed barricades setup at the main protest site in Independence Square.  Around 20,000 demonstrators gathered in the square and began throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at the police, who responded with water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets - although some reports suggest live rounds were also used.

Protesters clash with police in Kiev

At least seven people have been killed after anti-government protesters clashed with police in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, in the latest outbreak of civil unrest since demonstrations started last November.  Thousands of people tried to march on the country's parliament before they were blocked by a security cordon, leading to protesters throwing rocks at the riot police, who responded with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets.

Flight diverted to Turkey after hijack attempt

A flight from the Ukraine has been diverted to Turkey following a reported hijacking attempt.  A Turkish official told Al Jazeera that the Pegasus Airlines plane was being searched at Istanbul airport after a passenger claimed that there was a bomb on board.  According to reports the pilot sent out an alert when a man tried to gain access to the cockpit of the plane, leading the Turkish military to scramble an F-16 military jet.

President accepts PMs resignation

President Viktor Yanukovych has accepted the resignation of the prime minister and his cabinet, a move which has been greeted positively by anti-government protesters in Kiev's Independence Square.  Mykola Azarov was seen as being behind much of the violent crackdown against the protesters; however opposition leaders are still calling for the president to also step down.

Parliament abolishes anti-protest laws

The Ukrainian parliament has voted to annul controversial laws banning protests, less than two weeks after the measures were introduced.  The decision came after Prime Minister Mykola Azarov offered his resignation to President Victor Yanukovych, which under the Ukrainian constitution would result in the resignation of the entire cabinet.

Opposition rejects government deal

Ukraine's opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk has rejected President Viktor Yanukovych's offer to appoint him as the country's PM.  In a speech on Sunday Mr Yatsenyuk said "the country is on the verge of bankruptcy. They've robbed the country in the past three and a half years to the extent that the treasury is empty. The country has been driven by them into total chaos."  Further demonstrations have been held in the country as thousands mourned a protester who was killed in clashes with police last week.

Three killed in third night of clashes

Three people have been killed in a third night of clashes between protesters and riot police in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.  The violence erupted when the security forces attempted to break up a protest camp on Hrushevskyy Street, near the site of the main protest at Independence Square.  Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said that the protesters "are criminals who must answer for their actions".

Clashes continue between protesters and police in Kiev

Anti-government protesters have clashed with riot police for a second consecutive night, leaving more than 100 protesters and 100 officers wounded.  One man lost a hand when he tried to throw a sound grenade, while other protesters threw petrol bombs at police and set fire to vehicles.  The police responded by violently beating any of the protesters they captured.

Thousands gather in Kiev despite anti-protest laws

Around 100,000 people have gathered in Ukraine's capital, Kiev, if defiance of new laws aimed at curbing protests in the country.  President Viktor Yanukovych signed the bills last week which ban the installation of tents or stages and permits police to arrest anyone wearing masks or helmets.  Many of the protesters wore pots and colanders on their heads in a move to deride the new legislation.

Ex-minister wounded in Kiev clashes

Ten people have been wounded during clashes between protesters and riot police in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.  Former interior minister Yuri Lutsenko, who served under jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, was among the wounded.

Ukrainian journalist brutally attacked near Kiev

A prominent journalist and opposition activist has been brutally attacked by a group of unknown men near Kiev.  Tetyana Chornovol was driving when her car was rammed on a road outside the city around midnight.  She was dragged from the vehicle, severely beaten and left in a nearby ditch.  Ms Chornovol has investigated several of the country's leading politicians, accusing them of corruption and greed.

Ukraine and Russia sign $15bn bond deal

Russia has agreed to buy $15bn of Ukrainian government bonds, a move intended to ease Ukraine's growing economic crisis and help it avoid default.  Russia also agreed to reduce the cost of gas from $400 per 1,000 cubic metres down to $268.5 during the talks at the Kremlin in Moscow.  The Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the deal "is not tied to any conditions" and claimed that the he had not discussed Ukraine's accession to a customs union with his counterpart, President Viktor Yanukovich.  There have been mass anti-government protests in the Ukraine in recent weeks over the government's decision to stall on a trade deal with the EU.

Protesters hold huge rally in Kiev's Independence Square

Around 200,000 people gathered in Kiev's Independence Square on Sunday in the latest protest against the suspension of trade negotiations with the EU.  President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign a landmark agreement under alleged pressure from Russian President Vladimir Putin.  US Republican Senator John McCain addressed the huge crowds saying "people of Ukraine, this is your moment. The free world is with you, America is with you, I am with you."

Riot police retreat after Independence Square clashes

Riot police have retreated from Kiev's Independence Square after failing to dislodge a group of protesters from the city hall building, which they have occupied for several weeks.  Clashes erupted on Tuesday evening when the police tried to remove barricades and tents from the protesters camp, who responded by hosing the police with water.  The country's interior minister said that there would be "no storming of the square" as he attempted to defuse the situation.

500,000 join mass anti-government protest in Kiev

More than 500,000 people are reported to have gathered in the centre of Ukraine's capital, Kiev, to join the latest in a series of anti-government protests.  The rally comes a day after the country's president, Viktor Yanukovych, met his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, who recently urged Ukraine to reject a landmark pact with the European Union in favour of a Russian customs union.

100,000 defy protest ban in Kiev

More than 100,000 people have gathered in Kiev's Independence Square in the latest protest against the government's refusal to sign a deal with the European Union.  A group of demonstrators used a tractor in an attempt to break through a line of riot police near the president's office, while another group stormed the city council offices.  It is the largest opposition rally in the country since the Orange Revolution nine years ago.

Riot police clash with pro-EU protester

Ukrainian riot police have clashed with protesters in the capital, Kiev, over the government's decision to delay a landmark agreement with the European Union.  More that 100,000 people joined the mass rally in the centre of the city on Sunday, while a pro-government rally elsewhere in the city attracted some 10,000 supporters.

Opposition holds demonstrations over EU deal breakdown

Hundreds of demonstrators have gathered in central Kiev to protest against the government's decision to pull out of a trade and association agreement at a summit with the European Union (EU) next week.  The EU and internal opposition groups have accused Russia of 'blackmailing' the Ukraine into pulling out of the deal.

Thousands gather for opposition rally in Kiev

Around 7,000 opposition supporters have gathered in Ukraine's capital, Kiev, to protest against the government.  The rally coincided with the release from prison of ex-interior minister Yuriy Lutsenko, a close ally of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Ukraine Data Sheet

Population:
44.8 million
Major Religion/s:
Christianity
International dialing code:
+380
International dialing prefix:
810
Emergency services:
112
Drives:
Right
Voltage:
220V
Climate:
Temperate
Ohter Major Cities:
Kharkiv, Odessa, Donetsk, Lviv
Borders:
Belarus, Russia, Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland