Europe: Week in Brief [May 19-26, 2014]
HOSTILE OCCUPATION, UKRAINE by RUSSIA | Context
Ukraine’s first elected President after its recent crisis took office today. Petro Poroshenko, the so-called Chocolate King, a rousing 56 percent of the votes from 21 candidates on the ballot. Russian President Vladmir Putin immediately backtracked on his promise to respect the results of the election. Newly elected Poroshenko has said that he would not negotiate with the separatists, who he calls terrorists.
Meanwhile, Ukranian helicopters and fighter jets pounded separatists in the Eastern city of Donetsk after separatists occupied the airport. A BBC reporter says Ukrainian soldiers resisted a counter attack by rebels and now hold some parts of the airport. Earlier in the week, sixteen Ukranian soldiers were killed in the East in two separate attacks. An armored vehicle was ambushed at a checkpoint in Donetsk, and a convoy attacked in the Luhansk region. An Italian journalist was also killed while covering the violence in the area.
ISLAMIC INSURGENCY, RUSSIA (NORTH CAUCASUS) | Context
Seven militants in the North Caucasus province of Ingushetia were killed in a three-hour gun battle with Russian security forces after which their hide-out was consumed by fire. Among the dead was the leader of a local militant group accused of being behind the killing of a regional security chief last year and the deaths of several other security and police officers.
Meanwhile, the leader of the terrorist group in the area, Ali Abu-Mukhammad, has released a new video in which he warns that insurgents are preparing to inflict “crushing blows” on the enemy.