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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Ukraine Live Day 552

Publication: Ukraine Liveblogs
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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Ukraine's President Calls For "Special Status" Agreement For Donbass

Today was Ukrainian Flag Day, a celebration of the national symbol which comes on the eve Ukraine's Independence Day, commemorating Ukraine's declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

 Ukrainian President Poroshenko, however, was in a somber mood as he addressed Ukraine's current crisis. In a speech today he called for the State Duma to pass a constitutional amendment to grant "special status," and greater autonomy, to areas of the Donbass. Reuters reports:

Referring to Ukrainian blood spilt in the east at the hands of the "Russian aggressor", he said: "My direct call to all political forces, in the first instance to those who are together in the parliamentary coalition, is to come together now for the sake of Ukraine."

Allowing for "decentralization" to give the regions more say in managing their own affairs was among Ukraine's undertakings made in February in peace talks in Minsk, Belarus, involving Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France, which resulted in a ceasefire agreement.

Poroshenko is likely to give an account of what he has done to honor the Minsk agreement, which includes holding local elections in the east, when he meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande in Berlin on Monday.

Voice of America adds:

"My direct call to all political forces, in the first instance to those who are together in the parliamentary coalition, is to come together now for the sake of Ukraine," [Poroshenko] said.

But Poroshenko also added what Reuters calls "one of the gloomiest predictions for the country's conflict with Russia."

[Poroshenko] saw a possibility of a "large-scale escalation" of military action from Russian-backed separatists around Ukraine's Independence Day, which falls on Monday.

"The military threat from the east is a tangible reality for decades to come. This threat will not go away in the near future and every generation of Ukrainians must have army experience," he said.

Military call-ups and mobilization would continue, he added. "The time of ill-considered pacifism and short-sighted neglect of the defense issues have now receded into the past," he said.

According to Reuters, Ukrainian military spokesperson Andrei Lysenko said that 1 Ukrainian soldier was killed and another 4 injured over the last 24 hours.

-- James Miller

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