April 17, 2015

Events In Ukraine Continue

Just because it has calmed down somewhat in Ukraine doesn't mean that we can now ignore the chance of more mayhem. Things are still brewing. From the UK Telegraph:

A former Ukraine deputy was shot dead in Kiev on Wednesday, the fourth ally of ousted pro-Moscow ex-president Viktor Yanukovych to die in suspicious circumstances in the past two months.

The body of Oleg Kalashnikov was found at his home on Wednesday evening, the interior ministry said in a statement.
More fighting:
Dutch-led investigators hope to retrieve the remains of the final two victims of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 disaster, after the frontline finally moved away from a battlefield where part of the airliner crashed nine months ago.

The announcement comes amid the most serious upsurge of fighting in the Ukraine conflict since a shaky ceasefire came into force in February.

At least two Ukrainian servicemen were wounded and one killed in fighting in the past 24 hours, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Both sides have accused one another of stepping up attacks at key flash points in the past week.
The latest violence comes after an OSCE monitoring mission and several journalists were caught up in fighting in the frontline village of Shirokino on Tuesday.
The Forecast: Even more fighting?
The US fears that Moscow and pro-Russian separatists will reignite the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine following a February ceasefire that has largely held, a US diplomat warned on Wednesday. 
"Russia can reignite the conflict at any time of its choosing," the senior State Department official told journalists.

[..]"Obviously there has been a dramatic decline in the level of violence," the diplomat said, but added that "there has not been a shift in Russia's strategic direction. Russia continues to send equipment across the border."

"We now know that the ceasefire after the first Minsk agreement (in September) was used by the Russians to run a very large 'train and equip' program," the diplomat said.

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