Violence in Kyiv following controversial constitutional amendments

In Kyiv three members of the National Guard died as a result of injuries sustained by a grenade explosion during protests in the Ukrainian capital on Monday. A further 140 people, mostly law enforcement officers, were hospitalized after a group of protesters tried to storm the parliament and clashed with the National Guard. The far-right Svoboda party organized protests with the participation of other far right-wing/populist groups, which took place after the parliament voted in favor of a proposed constitutional amendment expanding autonomy to the separatist-held territories in Eastern Ukraine, in accordance to the terms of the second Minsk cease-fire agreement. President Petro Poroshenko puts the blame on ultra-nationalist groups as Svoboda and Right Sector and called the violence “a stab in the back” and “an anti-Ukrainian action”. His prime minister Arseniy Yetsenyuk stated that “so-called pro-Ukrainian political forces” were weakening the country by “opening a second front inside the country”.

String of murders keep Kyiv captivated

On 16 April 2015, two pro-Russian journalists were killed in Kyiv. Olex Buzyna, a pro-Russian journalist, was murdered in the yard of his house by two unidentified gunman. His death comes directly after another journalist, Sergey Sukhobok, was also killed. Both men played a role in the ‘’Anti-Maidan’’ movement, which opposed pro-European protests in 2014. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has voiced concern over the ongoing killing spree. The deaths are the latest in the string of murders that afflict Kyiv.

Aankondiging: Movie-afternoon and Debate, Vladimir Putin’s long shadow

Date: Sunday 19 April 2015
Time: 15:00-18:00 (Doors open at 14:30)
Location: Podium O950, Oostmaaslaan 950 (Rotterdam)

We invite you to a film-screening – “Blinibioscoop” - and debate on Putin’s influence on Russia’s neighbouring states. The FMS will organize this event in cooperation with COVOR.

During this afternoon the documentary ‘Vladimir Putin’s long shadow’, a 2015 CBC News-production, will be shown. The documentary tells the story of Putin’s rise to prominence. It shows Putin’s history, from a former KGB-agent to Russian President, and most notably his methods to achieve various goals. The documentary concludes with Putin’s role and involvement in Russia’s neighbouring countries.

Is Putin unable to leave the war he needed?

At the moment of this writing, the Minsk-2 agreement appears never to really have reached the Donbas region, as fighting never stopped and western powers are losing patience. Washington openly considers sending arms to Ukraine, and also EU-president Donald Tusk is sharpening his rhetoric: “We are clearly reaching a point when further diplomatic efforts will be fruitless unless credibly backed up by further action.”

Sfeerverslag debat: Oekraïne tussen hoop en vrees

Op donderdagavond 18 februari organiseerden de FMS en het interationaal secretariaat van de PvdA een debat over de huidige situatie in Oekraine. In het licht van het recent gesloten akkoord in Minsk was dit op voorhand een interessant moment om te reflecteren op de recente ontwikkelingen. Daarnaast is het inmiddels een jaar geleden dat het conflict begon. Met Bert Koenders (Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken), Kati Piri (lid van het Europees Parlement voor de PvdA), Tony van der Togt (instituut Clingendael) en de Oekraïense ambassadeur Alexander Horin, waren er in ieder geval interesante sprekers aanwezig.

Debat: Oekraïne tussen hoop en vrees

Wij nodigen u uit voor een debat over de situatie in Oekraïne, waarbij verschillende hoogstaande en inspirerende sprekers aanwezig zullen zijn. Het debat wordt georganiseerd door de PvdA en de FMS.

Met Bert Koenders (Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken), Kati Piri (lid van het Europees Parlement voor de PvdA), Tony van der Togt (instituut Clingendael) en de Oekraïense ambassadeur Alexander Horin (ovb.) zullen de sprekersstoel beklimmen en hun mening geven over het akkoord dat is bereikt in Minsk.

Updated: Ceasefire in Ukraine agreed in Minsk

After more than 13 hours of negotiation, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed on the Minsk Peace Agreement consisting of 13 points. Angela Merkel states that Poroshenko ‘’did his utmost to stop the bloodshed,’’ that has been going on in his country. Putin apparently exerted pressure on the separatists to agree with the ceasefire that will take into place on the 15th of February at 0.00h. Also, a $17,5 billion facility has been agreed between the International Monetary Fund and Ukraine.

Will Putin survive Ukraine?

Putin’s position is anything but self-evident. On December 4th, 2011, the Duma election was a severe loss for Vladimir Putin and his party ‘United Russia’. The party’s previous advantage of 64% now fell to a slight majority of 50%(1), and more than 30.000 protesters signed up for a protest on December 10th(2), that led to one of the largest protests in Moscow since the 1990s, aimed against ‘United Russia’ and Putin. It made quite clear that his leadership was vulnerable and it needed a boost.

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