Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.
The Kyiv Post reports that five pro-Russian separatists have been killed and one wounded, as the government’s anti-terror operations continues in eastern Ukraine. Earlier today, Ukrainian forces repelled an attack on a military base in the city of Artemivsk, while troops regained control of the city council building in Mariupol, which had been under rebel control since April 13. The Guardian (Mark Tran) has live updates on the latest developments in Ukraine.
Speaking in Tokyo, President Obama said Russia was not abiding by “the spirit or the letter” of last week’s Geneva agreement on Ukraine, and warned that the U.S. had “teed up” additional sanctions against Russia [The Hill’s Justin Sink]. Obama acknowledged, however, that “additional sanctions may not change Putin’s calculus.”
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki expressed “deep concern” about the kidnapping of U.S. citizen and journalist, Simon Ostrovsky, “reportedly at the hands of pro-Russian separatists.” Psaki said the U.S. has asked Russia to use its influence to secure the immediate release of all hostages.
The Federal Aviation Administration is banning U.S. airlines from flying in a portion of Crimea and its surrounding waters, which the agency says is necessary to “prevent a potential hazard to persons and aircraft engaged in such flight operations” [Politico’s Kevin Robillard].
The New York Times (Steven Erlanger) notes that NATO’s Eastern European members “are growing increasingly nervous about Russia’s moves and the alliance’s ability, or even willingness, to counter them.” Dutch fighter jets intercepted Russian military aircraft that entered Dutch airspace yesterday, in “a fairly routine action,” but one that comes amid increased tensions between NATO members and Russia, reports CNN (Lindsay Isaac and Greg Botelho).… continue »