Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing Note
- Parliament will not meet this week
After a meeting with Parliamentary Speaker Rybak, Party of Regions and Communist factions decided that Parliament will not meet this week. This despite calls to have the Rada consider a return to the 2004 Constitution. Therefore, Parliament will not sit until 18 February. Importantly, the Amnesty Law expires on 17 February. This is another indication that the Presidential Administration and the parliamentary majority that supports the president are playing for time.
- Court closes cases against Popov and Sivkovytch
The Kyiv Prosecutor has announced that the Kyiv Pechersk and Shevchenko district courts have closed the cases against former head of the Kyiv city Administration Popov and former deputy secretary of the Security and Defense Council Sivkovytch. The cases relate to their role in the violent crackdown against demonstrators on 30 November 2013. Despite the existence of myriad evidence, many witnesses, and that both the President and the General Prosecutor have acknowledged that the crackdown was illegal, nobody in an official position has been brought to justice. The Kyiv prosecutor’s office stated that the court was acting in accordance with the amnesty law, which removes from criminal responsibility anyone involved in the events of 21 November to 26 December 2013. In effect, the state has removed responsibility for illegal actions from itself. The Commission for the Investigation of Violations of Human Rights in Ukraine, an independent commission created in January 2014, headed by Ambassador V. Vasylenko, former Justice of the Criminal Tribunal on Yugoslavia (2002-2005), has called the decision illegitimate.
- Peoples’ Deputy Moskal appeals to Prosecutor to investigate attacks on journalists
Deputy Hennadiy Moskal, who is to head (the creation of the Commission is awaiting the signature of Speaker Rybak) the Temporary Parliamentary Investigative Commission “On illegal actions of law enforcement bodies, violations citizens’ rights and freedoms during events related to mass protests,” has asked the Prosecutor General to open criminal investigations of 124 cases that allege attacks on journalists by law enforcement between 24 November 2013 and 25 January 2014. It is unlikely that, even if opened, anything will come of these investigations.
- Kharkiv Governor calls for Federalization of Ukraine by bypassing Parliament
Kharkiv Governor Mykhailo Dobkin has called for a referendum on federalization of Ukraine, bypassing Parliament. The attempt to put the discussion of federalization of Ukraine on the table is clearly in the interests of Russia and an attempt to heighten tensions in Ukraine. A political ploy, the introduction of federalization, is an attempt to create divisions within the country.
- Fule meets with Yanukovych and Opposition Leaders
EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule met with opposition leaders Yatseniuk, Klitschko, and Tyahnybok and President Yanukovych. According to Yatseniuk, Europe continues to offer financial aid for reforms in Ukraine. The Presidential Administration, stated Fule and Yanukovych discussed the possibility of stabilizing the political situation in Ukraine through dialogue between the authorities, opposition and civil society.
- Yatseniuk and Turchynov meet with Tymoshenko
Opposition leaders Yatseniuk and Turchynov met today with imprisoned former PM Tymoshenko. After the meeting, Yatseniuk had green disinfectant sprayed on him. Police have not commented on the attack.