Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ukraine News Updates: Instability Continues Amid Fascist Coup

Ukraine turmoil LIVE UPDATES

Published time: February 18, 2014 15:03

Political instability settled over Ukraine as the opposition-controlled parliament voted to appoint its newly-elected speaker as acting president, with eastern and southern Ukraine saying they no longer see parliament as legitimate.

Wednesday, February 26
16:23 GMT:
Ukraine’s Interior Ministry says that Maidan self-defense groups should take off their masks and lay down their arms.

“A decision was made yesterday that all the members of the self-defense groups are taking off their masks. Also, they should be unarmed,” Deputy Interior Minister Nikolay Velichkovich said, RBC Ukraine reported.

16:20 GMT:
Ousted President Viktor Yanukovich has been put on the international wanted list, Reuters reported newly appointed Ukrainian Prosecutor General Oleg Makhnytsky as saying.

15:51 GMT:
NATO will continue helping Ukraine to push ahead with democratic reforms, said Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

"Ukraine is a close and long-standing partner to NATO. And NATO is a sincere friend of Ukraine," he said, AFP reported. "We stand ready to continue assisting Ukraine in its democratic reforms," Rasmussen added, speaking ahead of a regular NATO defense ministers meeting.

15:41 GMT:
Mikhail Dobkin, the governor of Kharkov in northeast Ukraine, has resigned to run in May’s presidential elections. His first deputy will become acting head of the region, Itar-Tass reports.

14:57 GMT:
Ukraine’s traffic police will be reformed and activists taking part in protests on Kiev’s Independence Square will be involved in a public council that will supervise the new force, acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov told reporters. The country’s Interior Troops will also undergo changes and will be become National Guards, he told a media briefing.

14:33 GMT:
Russia is taking steps to provide security for the Black Sea Fleet’s facilities and arsenals, says Sergey Shoigu, Russia’s Defense Minister.

14:22 GMT:
Ukrainian football championship has been suspended for uncertain period over the situation in the country, vice president of the Ukrainian Footbsll Association, Anatoly Popov has told Izvestia daily.

14:21 GMT:
Moscow is urging Kiev to prevent further aggravation of the situation and to stop the country from descending into inter-religious confrontation.

“Russia is worried about non-stop excesses by radicals in Ukraine,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a comment posted on its website. The radicals, who are confident in their “permissiveness and impunity,” are continuing to impose their will and rules, the ministry said.

Following political destabilization, the “fragile peace” between religious confessions is now also under fire, Moscow said, adding that there has been an increasing number of threats against Ukrainian Orthodox Church clerics as well as attempts to seize Orthodox sacred places.

Such tendencies are “extremely dangerous” and may lead to “new upheavals and provoke an even deeper split of Ukrainian society,” the Foreign Ministry said.

13:39 GMT:
The UK is “taking note” of the activities of the Russian Armed Forces and opposes “external interference in Ukraine,” Defense Secretary Philip Hammond was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Hammond’s comments come as Russia is staging a surprise military drill.

12:16 GMT:
A group of US financial experts have arrived in Kiev to consult the new government on “immediate economic reforms,” Interfax-Ukraine reports, citing US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns.

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