Ukraine

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Hundreds of people gathered at the parliament on Maidan square in Ukraine and demanded the resignation of acting President Oleksandr Turchynov and acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.Activists set car tyres on fire, protesting against actions of the government in the eastern part of Ukraine. The protests ended at about midnight. People warned that they will gather again today.

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Azerbaijani cyclist arrives in St. Petersburg

A famous Azerbaijani velotourist Ramil Ziyadov has reached St. Petersburg by bike, where he was greeted by the Consul General of the Republic of Azerbaijan in St. Petersburg, Elshad Gulamov.Ramil Ziyadov will stay in St. Petersburg for a few days to meet with representatives of the local Azerbaijani Diaspora, get acquainted with the cultural diversity of the Northern capital of Russia. He will then continue his way through the woods of Karelia in the city of Murmansk, Trend reports.

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State border between Ukraine and Crimea to open on April 25

Russian state border crossing rules between Crimea and Ukraine will take effect on April 25, the Acting Head of the Federal Migration Service of Russia in the Republic of Crimea, Petr Yarosh, said today.Today the republic's patrols monitor 27 …

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Russia’s ambassador to United Nations Vitaly Churkin warned the Kiev government at an ad hoc UN session Monday that the upcoming crisis talks between Ukraine, Russia, US and EU could fail if the regime cracked down on protesters in the country’s southeast, RIA Novosti reports.“Do you expect us to write papers for the meeting if tomorrow there is military operation going on in the southeast?” RIA Novosti quotes Churkin asking at the special UN Security Council session. “Should this happen, the chances of such a meeting taking place would be quite slim,” he cautioned.

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Ukraine's Supreme Court closes Tymoshenko's case

Ukraine's Supreme Court has closed the "gas case" against the ex-premier of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, according to which she had been sentenced to seven years in prison. The case was closed due to the absence of a crime, Timoshenko's lawyer …

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Anatoly Aksakov: "The ruble will start becoming stronger"

The deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, Anatoly Aksakov, said that lately the ruble had weakened considerably, partially due to the political crisis in Ukraine. The expert said that by the end of the year the ruble would partially recover.

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The special operation against the unrest in the eastern part of Ukraine was declared after a secret visit of CIA Director John O. Brennan and his meeting with Ukrainian acting intelligence authorities. People were killed in Slavyansk yesterday. Ukrainian MP Vladimir Golub emphasized that US coordination had not been a secret for quite a while, even during times when Valentine Nalivaychenko had been the head of the Ukrainian Security Service.Ukrainian acting Interior Minister was specialized in business. He is one of the top 150 richest people in Ukraine, owning assets worth $100 million. Before February 4, 2005, he was the head of Investor and the Bazis Bank in Kharkov. President Viktor Yushchenko appointed him as the head of the Kharkov Oblast administration on February 4. He became a member of the Kharkov Oblast Council where he worked until the presidential polls of 2010.Avakov lived in Italy in 2010-2012. In this period, he joined the Fatherland Party of Yulia Tymoshenko, became the head of the Khakov office of the party. He lost the elections of the Kharkov city head and was put on the international wanted list for illegal land privatization. On March 29, 2012, he was arrested in Italy. Italy refused to extradite him.A year later, Avakov joined the parliament as a member of the Fatherland Party, focusing on ethical and status-related issues of legislators. In February 2014, he was named the interior minister, having 8 months of experience as a member of the National Security and Defense Council in 2007.Secretary of the Security and Defense Council Andrey Parubiy was notable for anti-government protests even in the Soviet times. Oleg Tyagnibok and Parubiy were co-founders of the Social-National Party, renamed into the Freedom Party, notable for nationalism. Having worked at the Lviv City Council for 13 years, Parubiy entered the parliament as a member of the Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defense bloc in 2007. He joined the committee for international affairs. He joined the Fatherland Party in 2012. An activist of the Orange Revolution, Parubiy one of the leaders of the Euromaidan protest movement in late 2013. His group occupied the parliament, presidential administration, the Cabinet and the Interior Ministry on the night after signing of the February 21 agreement.Alexander Yakimenko, ex-head of the Ukrainian Intelligence Service, insists that Parubiy has direct contacts with US agents. He believes that snipers were shooting from the Kiev philharmonic occupied by Parubiy’s men.Valentine Nalivaychenko, acting security chief of Ukraine, worked at embassies in Finland, Denmark, Norway and the USA. He was supervising European integration processes in the first years of the Orange Revolution, achieving a simplified visa regime for Ukrainian citizens to visit the EU and 5-year visas to visit the US. In 2006 Nalivaychenko became the head of the Ukrainian Security Service. He became an oppositionist as soon as Victor Yanukovych became the president. He joined the Our Ukraine Party, then UDAR and entered the parliament in 2012.He was under investigation in September 2013 for allegedly giving CIA agents secret information. Ukrainian protest leader Dmitry Yarosh is said to be in good ties with Nalivaychenko.The special operation against the unrest in the eastern part of Ukraine was declared after a secret visit of CIA Director John O. Brennan and his meeting with Ukrainian acting intelligence authorities. People were killed in Slavyansk yesterday. Ukrainian MP Vladimir Golub emphasized that US coordination had not been a secret for quite a while, even during times when Valentine Nalivaychenko had been the head of the Ukrainian Security Service.

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EU Chief Diplomat Catherine Ashton has arrived for the meeting of 28 foreign ministers in Luxembourg and said that the Council of the European Union will consider the idea of a federalization referendum in Ukraine, ITAR-TASS reports.The issue will be discussed in the context of stabilization in Ukraine. The upcoming meeting of chief diplomats of Russia, US, EU and Ukraine in Geneva will focus on the problem. Ashton said she was in touch with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

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The State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) has opened new fueling stations in Georgia, making a total of 110, Trend reports.SOCAR Georgia Petroleum owns 110 petroleum stations and 16 CNG stations. About 3-4 petroleum and some 15 CNG stations will open in Georgia this year.The SOCAR plans to have a total of 35 stations by the end of the year. The network will consist of over 130 stations.The SOCAR has petroleum stations in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Romania and Switzerland.

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Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti said that Sudan, being under similar pressure from the West, supported Russia’s position over the situation in Ukraine and voted for Russia at the UN, ITAR-TASS reports.

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Leader of the Fatherland Party Yulia Tymoshenko said that the situation in the eastern parts of Ukraine should be settled via negotiations, not force, Interfax reports.She proposed requesting the international society to assist in the process. Tymoshenko added that presence of high-ranking officials in Geneva meant that the world was concentrated on Ukraine and its problems.

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Oleksandr Turchynov, speaker of the Ukrainian parliament and acting president, said that the All-Ukrainian referendum on state system may coincide with the presidential polls of May 25, Interfax reports.He expressed confidence that the majority would vote for an indivisible, independent, democratic and unitary Ukraine.

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Ukrainian police storm state buildings in Slavyansk

1 police office died, 5 more were injured as well as several separatists as the Ukrainian law-enforcement agencies stormed state building occupied by pro-Russian protesters in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk, Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov is quoted as saying.

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