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Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Friday 23 October [Ukrainian sources]

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Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Friday 23 October [Ukrainian sources]

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:55 am

FRIDAY

Please scroll down to view news items added during the course of the day.


NEWS:

Three passengers on the boat that went down around Zatoka can't be found.

Terrorists still shooting at ATO troops.

Corruption and bribery are still big issues that have to be tackled. It's so entrenched in Ukraine's society that many are frustrated. Fighting corruption and bribery is not an easy task that has been laid on the laps of the government. A prosecutor and judge were busted which should send a message to the rest, but it's such a normality in Ukraine that there's still no concern about the increase in the fight against it. Then you have the crooked judges that will (of course via bribes) just slap them on the hand and send them home. IMO, it'll catch-up with all of them. The Venice Commission doesn't think it's a good idea to replace all judges. Obviously, they're not aware how bad bribery and corruption is in Ukraine.

Many more headlines will be added. So, pop in every once in while.

WEATHER:

Mostly sunny throughout Ukraine. +6c in Kyiv. In the south, +11c. Good swimming weather (for a goose)

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Ukrainians facing 4-year terms in jail for attacking Chelsea fans

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:59 am

Kyiv police have opened a criminal investigation into the fight between Dynamo and Chelsea fans on Oct. 20.

The police say public order at the stadium was kept by Dynamo-hired stewards, and they were not in the know about the accident until The Guardian posted a video on the Internet.

To investigate the fight, the Kyiv police will now interrogate several fans they have already detained.

If charged, the fans face a 4-year term in jail, Livy bereh reports Oct. 23.

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Rebels fire on Ukraine army positions near Pisky, Opytne and Shyrokine

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:00 am

Starting from 21.42 on Oct. 22 through 23.00 Donbas terrorists were keeping Ukraine army positions near Pisky under small-arms fire. The rebels used grenade throwers near Opytne, Ukraine army press center reports Oct. 23.

Near Shyrokine the rebels kept sporadic fire using grenade throwers and small arms and an 82-mm mortar in the period between 00.26-00.31.

The Ukrainian army, however, did not return enemy fire – in line with the Minsk agreements.

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Ukraine army and police have 40 new generals

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:02 am

Since the start of the war in Donbas 40 army and police colonels have been promoted to generals, defense ministry reports Oct. 22.

In total, there are 104 generals.

Of these, there are 72 major-generals (one-star generals).

There are 29 lieutenant-generals (two-star generals).

And there only one colonel-general (3-star general) and one general of the army (big star general).

Under the Ukrainian law, officers are promoted to generals by the president who is commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

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Russian invaders redeploy military hardware to Crimea again, convoys head towards Feodosia. (VIDEO)

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:06 am

Local residents of the Russia-occupied Crimea are recording redeployment of military equipment. The convoys are heading towards Feodosia.

Relevant video has been published by the Center for Investigative Reporting, Censor.NET reports citing Glavkom.

The footage shows 20 military trucks with troops, nine armored personnel carriers, 16 GAZ trucks, and four escort vehicles.

Read more: Russian recruiting centers in occupied Donetsk hire mercenaries for Syrian war, - Defense Ministry Main Intelligence Directorate

According to a witness, this is the second convoy of military equipment moving in the direction of Feodosia over the last week.



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Russian expert clarifies Putin’s vision of world: “Hit first”

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:13 am

Western expert cannot grasp Putin’s vision of the world order which is based on his firm conviction that Russia has to hit first, Liliya Shvetsova writes in Facebook Oct. 23, Obozrevatel reports.

“Addressing an international Valdaj discussion club session in Sochi Oct. 22, Putin proposed several senseless concepts. One of them is: how can deals be struck with the US if they are guilty of everything?” the expert says.

Simultaneously, Moscow opts for such world order when aggressor Russia can act as a mediator of the Donbas conflict Putin started, when Putin wants to create an international coalition, forgetting that he wiped his feet on the Budapest memorandum and invaded Ukraine, Shvetsova believes.

Let’s see how western experts will find sense in what Putin said in Sochi, the expert says.

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New cases of shelling by pro-Russian rebels pave ways for disruption of Minsk agreements, - Army General Staff

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:19 am

The Ukrainian Army General Staff says mercenaries' violation of the cease-fire is a precedent paving the ways for disruption of the Minsk agreements.

This was announced by the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces press officer Vladyslav Selezniov, Censor.NET reports citing UNIAN.

"The violation of the cease-fire by terrorists is a precedent which paves the ways for disruption of the Minsk agreements," he said.

On the other hand, Selezniov said, the night mortar fire conducted by terrorists was a so-called provocation shooting.

"The rebels were firing at our direction, but it was unaimed fire," the General Staff representative commented.

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Three people are unaccounted for upon completion of Ivolha boat inspection, - Odesa Regional State Administration. (PHOTO)

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:22 am

No new bodies of passengers were found on board the boat, which flipped over near Zatoka.

"The inspection of Ivolha is completed - three people are unaccounted for," Head of the Odesa Regional State Administration Volodymyr Zhmak wrote on Facebook, Censor.NET reports.

"The inspection of Ivolha was completed yesterday. We managed to inspect its most secluded cubbyholes. No one else was found. Three persons, whose presence on board the vessel on the day of the tragedy (Oct. 17) has been confirmed, are unaccounted for as well as two more individuals, whose absence has been reported by their relatives, but their presence on the vessel has not been confirmed. The meeting of the Regional State Administration Commission for Emergency Situations took place this morning. All involved services have been instructed to continue search operations in the sea and on the coast," he said.



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Border Guards caught their command covering smuggling in ATO area. (VIDEO)

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:24 am

The border guards caught their commanders running protection racket of scrap metal smuggling. And now the soldiers suspect that the case against the servicemen-smugglers may be softpedaled.

The scrap metal was dug on the demarcation line near Mariupol, Censor.NET reports.

The thieves were cutting the irrigation system pipes into pieces and transporting scrap into the territory occupied by the militants. The contraband was accompanied by the officers of the State Border Guard Service when it was passing the checkpoints. Nearly 400 meters of pipes were stolen from one field only this summer.



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Last edited by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:50 pm; edited 1 time in total


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The Daily Vertical: Is The Force With Odessa? (VIDEO REPORT)

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:32 am



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Ukraine: Forget about corruption - invest!

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:37 am

"Many companies are running out of patience." Alexander Markus, German business representative in Ukraine, sums up what many managers think as they meet Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko in Berlin on Friday.

Kyiv knows full well that Ukraine's economic crisis cannot be overcome without investments from the West. At a Berlin conference, the country is courting investors, but back home, the reform process has been slow.

Markus is one of several who fear the momentum created by the pro-European Maidan revolution last year could be dying down. The reform process, they say, is moving too slow.

But this is not the time for frustration, says Jaresko. The reason companies are having a hard time, she points out, is because the toppled regime of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich made arbitrary decision and stole assetss.

"By contrast, our doors are always open for you," she says.

Everything is different now, Ukraine's Infrastructure Minister, Andriy Pyvovarsky, tells DW. Reforms are being implemented, he says, reforms the nation has been waiting for for 24 years. Assets can be bought on the cheap, he adds.

Stabilized national currency

In fact, the country's finance ministry and central bank have bent over backwards to stabilize Ukraine's hryvnia with the help of the International Monetary Fund. For 2016, the Finance Minister has penciled in an inflation rate of 16 percent and GDP growth of 2 percent. This would mark the first expansion of the national economy in years.

In the crucial energy sector, the system of intermediate gas delivery dealers was done away with – a scheme which had played into the hands of many oligarchs.

But the biggest problem persists all the same. According to Transparency International, Ukraine ranks 142nd out of 172 nations on the global corruption index. Ministerial officials keep resisting any change. "Some simply buy a doctor's certificate and calling in sick for half year," says an observer. That's because under current law, they cannot be transferred for disciplinary reasons.

It's even worse in the judiciary, with even well-disposed western officials losing patience. During a recent visit to Kyiv, Norbert Röttgen, chairman of the German parliament's cross-party foreign affairs committee, said the judiciary had widely known "structural problems," pointing out that no judges, let alone the Attorney General, had been replaced since the new government came to power. If leading positions were seen as a trophy for "merited people" from one's own network, Röttgen warned, western support for Ukraine would be strained.

Wrong priorities................

To read further go to this link: time-ua.com



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The silent secession of eastern Ukraine

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:42 am

Ukraine's Donbas is adopting Russian currency, schoolbooks and, soon maybe, passports. Russia, which annexed the Crimean Peninsula last year, hasn't had to take any formal control to move the secession along.

It is often just a single letter that makes the difference. On the outskirts of Donetsk, separatists have removed a diacritical mark from the sign announcing the city's name - thus transforming a Ukrainian word into a Russian one. Separatists love to have their picture taken here. For the past several months, street and city signs with Ukrainian names have been replaced with signs written in Russian throughout the country's east.

"It's another country now," says Igor Martynov, who was named mayor of Donetsk by the separatists. Ukrainian flags and crests will continue to be removed from the public sphere as well.

During negotiations in Minsk, it was agreed that the 2-3 million residents of the regions surrounding Donetsk and Luhansk would receive more autonomy but remain part of Ukraine. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande most recently reiterated those points during meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Paris this October.

Yet, exactly the opposite is taking place. Although guns have been silent since the beginning of September, the separation of the coal mining region Donbass from the rest of Ukraine, which was begun in the spring of 2014, is quietly continuing. Largely unnoticed by the world at large, facts are being created on the ground. This is happening without Russia having to formally take control of the region, or having to annex it like it did with the Crimean Peninsula.

The ruble as official currency

The separatists first introduced the Russian ruble alongside the Ukrainian hryvna months ago. Then, on September 1, the ruble was declared the official currency of the Luhansk Oblast. The separatists justified the move with claims that Ukraine no longer sends money to the province. The resumption of retirement and salary payments was agreed to in Minsk, however, the implementation thereof is nowhere in sight.

There have also been changes in education. According to media reports, "humanitarian convoys," as Moscow calls them, brought some 500 tons of schoolbooks to the separatist provinces. Students in Donetsk and Luhansk now learn from Russian textbooks, which are different from Ukrainian textbooks, especially in subject areas such as history. Russian curricula are also being widely adopted.

Control of separatist troops..............

To read further go to this link: dw.com


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Here are 2 problems that could sink the Russian military in a war

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:54 am

1st Lt. Alexey Chaban, of the Ukrainian army's 17th Tank Brigade, told War Is Boring and despite the fact that there are Russian soldiers fighting us, they don't have experience and make huge mistakes. Dying by the hundreds — they're not even real fighters.

By Jeremy Bender for Business Insider, Oct 21, 2015

With a frozen frontline inside Ukrainian territory, the successful annexation of Crimea, and an ongoing intervention in Syria, Russia's military prowess appears firmly established.

But despite the Kremlin's recent successes, the Russian military faces two deep structural problems that could prove disastrous if it ever faced off against another large conventional force.

According to Dave Majumdar of The National Interest, Russia's military is facing deep manpower and hardware shortfalls.

Conscription is a big part of Russia's military shortfall. A vast majority of military personnel, outside of the Strategic Missile Forces, airborne forces, and naval infantry, still rely on unmotivated conscripts who receive little training.

Only about a quarter of Russian ground forces are fully staffed, well-trained professional troops, Majumdar notes. Those professional soldiers — who are not quite trained to Western standards — are part of a corps of rapid reaction forces.

The remainder of Russian forces still rely on the draft to fill their ranks. That dependence, and the resulting lack of professionalism through much of the military, is readily apparent in the Kremlin's latest adventurism.

It doesn’t seem like we're fighting something big, just some alcoholics and homeless guys, 1st Lt. Alexey Chaban, of the Ukrainian army's 17th Tank Brigade, told War Is Boring. Despite the fact that there are Russian soldiers fighting us, they don't have experience and make huge mistakes. Dying by the hundreds — they're not even real fighters.

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Venice Commission says dismissal of all Ukrainian judges doesn't meet European standards

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:00 pm

The European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) released conclusions about the draft changes to the Ukrainian constitution, saying that the dismissal of all judges is inconsistent with European standards and the principle of the rule of law.

"The Venice Commission noted that the dismissal of all judges, save for exceptional cases, such as the changing of the constitutional system, is not consistent with European standards and the principle of the rule of law. At the same time, it does not rule out the renewal of the corps of judges through mechanisms of reorganizing certain courts and evaluating all judges on the subject of their conformity to the professional, ethical and good standing criteria, which coincides with the position of the Constitutional Commission," deputy chief of the Ukrainian presidential administration, Oleksiy Filatov, was quoted by the president's press office as commenting on the conclusions.

At its plenary session on October 23, the Commission issued a favorable conclusion on the relevant draft changes to the constitution, the press office said. "In its final conclusion on the draft, the Venice Commission notes that the final version of constitutional changes is very positive and well-prepared, and merits full support," the statement said.

Commenting on the final conclusion by the Venice Commission, Filatov said that the Commission confirmed that the draft conforms to European standards. "We are grateful to the Venice Commission experts for this high assessment and hope the finalized draft of constitutional changes will soon be approved at a plenary session of the constitutional commission and submitted by the president for consideration by Verkhovna Rada," he said.............

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Merkel: Germany wants good economic ties with Ukraine and Russia

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 12:14 pm

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a European Union free trade agreement with Ukraine is not directed against Russia and that Berlin desired good economic ties with both Ukraine and Russia, according to Reuters.

"This free trade agreement is not directed against Russia," Merkel told a German-Ukrainian economic conference in Berlin on Friday, the report says.

"In contrast, we want Ukraine to have good economic relations with the European Union, with Germany but at the same time also with Russia," she said.

Merkel pressed Ukraine to continue with its economic reforms and tackle corruption and roll back the influence of oligarchs, saying German businesses are ready to invest there if the right conditions are in place..........

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Re: Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Friday 23 October [Ukrainian sources]

Post by Odessite on Fri Oct 23, 2015 1:27 pm

@Admin wrote:Kyiv police have opened a criminal investigation into the fight between Dynamo and Chelsea fans on Oct. 20.

The police say public order at the stadium was kept by Dynamo-hired stewards, and they were not in the know about the accident until The Guardian posted a video on the Internet.

To investigate the fight, the Kyiv police will now interrogate several fans they have already detained.

If charged, the fans face a 4-year term in jail, Livy bereh reports Oct. 23.

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Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:10 pm

Not a good move by Ukrainian fans. What kind of message does that send to the west? Especially the UK.


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Western journalist: Russia was involved in the increase in the flow of refugees from Syria in the E

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:11 pm

Ex-head of Russian service of Radio "Liberty", a European writer and journalist Efim Fishteyn not rule out that Russia was involved in the direction of the flow of refugees from Syria to Europe. He said this in an interview with "Commander in Chief".

The journalist noted that "under the doctrine of" hybrid ", ie Nonlinear policy, Moscow is trying to make the most out of any situation. "

"Feeling that in the region there was a power vacuum that Russia has decided to fill it. Any outcome plays in its favor. Occurs in southern Syria Alawite enclave defended borders, with a fairly long coastline? That's fine, which will keep the military bases. This will push millions of refugees to Europe? Even better, the incredible costs of their integration for a long time the Europeans beat off the hunt to deal with problems in Ukraine. The war will go on the decline? Excellent - in any case remain in the region for a long time the memory of the one who dared to intervene and who prefer pie-given dreams "- said Fishteyn.

According to him, there are signs, albeit indirectly, the fact that Russia has participated in restoring the flow of refugees to Europe.

"Czech Defense Minister Martin Stropnitsky, claiming that Moscow finances the bus transportation of migrants to the Turkish coast, referred to intelligence sources, although not disclosed. Given that the Czechs are unlikely to have a strong spy network in the region, it can be assumed that these data are American. Then already seems quite ironic that, having such data, Washington has not tried to counter Russian activity own game, "- said the journalist.

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Berkut riot police commander Antonov reinstated by court, - PGO

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:27 pm

The court allowed Berkut company commander Yevhen Antonov, who took part in the dispersal of rally on Maidan on Nov. 30, 2013, to return to work, without taking into account the actual circumstances of criminal proceedings.

Censor.NET reports citing Facebook page of PGO's Department of Special Investigations.

According to the statement, Berkut company commander Antonov, who took an active part in the events on Nov. 30, 2013, has been repeatedly reported by media to continue working in law enforcement up to now. Following the results of investigation into the violent dispersal of rally on Maidan on Nov. 30, 2013, indictments against four Berkut commanders, including Yevhen Antonov, were forwarded to the court, the statement notes.

"Back in January 2015, Antonov was suspended for two months from his post by court's decision. He was put under around-the-clock house arrest and forced to refrain from communicating with witnesses in criminal proceedings, including his subordinates most of whom are such witnesses. However, the court of appeal upheld the house arrest with certain changes - prohibition to leave the place of residence during the time period from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. Given the complexity of the case as well as the grounds for discharging the suspect, the investigator asked the court for an extension of the suspension period. However, the investigating judge, not having taken into account the actual circumstances of criminal proceedings and the obligation of the suspect to refrain from communicating with witnesses, groundlessly denied the prosecutor's motion, allowing the suspect to get to work which can not be done without communication with subordinates," the PGO notes.

As also reported, during the consideration of PGO's appeal, the leadership of Kyiv police unexpectedly asked the court to uphold the decision by the investigating judge and reinstate Antonov in office. As a result, the appeal was not satisfied, with the decision remaining unchanged. "At the moment, the trial against Antonov continues. The investigators did their utmost in this case," the statement reads.

"The examples of reinstating Berkut officers, who were involved in the events on Maidan, are not rare. The question of the public "Why is former Berkut officer Yevhen Antonov reinstated?" remains rhetorical," the PGO concludes.




censor.net.ua In Russian

This decision has to be answered to. Everyone clearly knows who was in charge during the Maidan protests and who was in position to call the shots on all the actions by the Berkut during that period.

I strongly believe Poroshenko she do something about this. It's like giving a green light to kill Ukrainians for protesting. These were orders by Yanukovich and Antonov followed the orders. If he didn't think the orders weren't justified, he would've taken off. But he didn't. He gave orders to shoot and kill his own civilians. He's guiltiy as sin.


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US provides equipment to Ukraine to restore broadcasting in Donbas

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:46 pm

The U.S. have provided three FM-transmitters to Ukraine to arrange broadcasting in the Donbas.
This is stated by U.S. Embassy in Ukraine press service, Censor.NET reports citing Ukrainski Novyny.

"The equipment provided by the U.S. government will greatly enhance the capability of television and radio broadcasting in the Donetsk region in reaching a larger audience and will help significantly improve the quality of broadcasting," the press service writes citing Deputy Minister of Information Policy Tetiana Popova.

Broadcasting of Ukrainian radio stations renewed in occupied Crimea.

In turn, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt said that the United States continue to support Ukraine in its efforts to establish communication with the residents of the occupied territories and to ensure their consistent and accurate informing.

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Defense Ministry buys boots for soldiers at inflated prices, - MP Vinnyk

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:50 pm

The Ministry of Defense continues to use time-proven tender schemes and buys boots at inflated prices.
Secretary of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on National Security and Defense, Poroshenko Bloc MP Ivan Vinnyk writes about it in his article (in Ukrainian).

"I initiated and continue to keep a close eye on the investigation under criminal proceedings instituted on the facts of abuse in public procurement of Arctic diesel fuel for the needs of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine in March-April 2015," he wrote.

"Today's public procurement of military boots is mirroring the situation with the purchase of diesel fuel. The "Volunteer Troops" [social activists and volunteers who came to work at the Ministry of Defense - ed.] continue to use time-proven tender schemes and buy boots at inflated prices. I hope that in the end, the prices will be reduced to that on the market, since even the "Volunteer Troops" representatives already ran out of arguments to explain why the company called "Talanlehprom" should get a contract totaling UAH 300 mln (about $13.4 mln), while failing to fulfill it on time and to a good quality and earning super profits which, according to experts, make approximately UAH 100 mln (about $4.48 mln). The victory of a certain participant is achieved through the adoption of new production standards. As Tetiana Chornovol [People's Front MP - ed.] has it: "There is an ironclad rule: if you see monopoly, look for corruption." But when the prices are reduced, these "Facebook soldiers" will call it "their victory" and accuse the committee of interfering with their work," Vinnyk said.

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Donetsk Rebels Ban Doctors Without Borders

Post by Admin on Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:53 pm

A representative of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying: "I can confirm the decision to strip its (MSF's) accreditation."

MSF director of operations Bart Janssens called the decision disturbing and "vague."

Janssens was quoted by AFP as saying the group was "extremely worried."

"MSF is the largest player in the region and now we will have to stop people's treatment," Janssens told AFP.

According to Ukrainian media reports, MSF representatives mostly worked in Donetsk's tuberculosis hospital and prisons.

The rebels said on October 23 that they had spared the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Czech Republic's People in Need -- two other earlier targets of alleged violations.

MSF and nine other aid organizations were kicked out of the neighboring rebel region of Luhansk late September.

The Luhansk separatists accused MSF of "illegally storing psychotropic medication" that lacked proper registration in either Russia or Ukraine.

MSF denies the allegation.

According to UN figures at least 8,000 people were killed and 18,000 injured in the Ukrainian conflict.

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Re: Ukraine crisis. News in brief. Friday 23 October [Ukrainian sources]

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