Briefly about the most important today's events in our digest of events
that have happened in Ukraine today
PACE President explains, why Russia has not been expelled from the Council of Europe
Russia's expulsion from the Council of Europe would mean "the end of dialogue" and deprive PACE of power to have an influence upon the RF, including to resolve the Ukrainian crisis, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Anne Brasseur has told in an interview with European Truth (Ukrainska Pravda).
Ms Brasseur also explained that Russia cooperated with the Council of Europe at all levels, except for the Parliamentary Assembly.
"By the way, Russians used to deny their involvement in developments in Ukraine at first, but they do not now. Well, they keep denying their participation in Donbass events, but not in the overall situation, as it was last year," she added.
According to Anne Brasseur, "one could kick Russia out of the Council of Europe.
Yes, it is possible. But it means that the citizens of Russia would lose the protection accorded by the Convention… And if we approve a unilateral resolution in Strasbourg - "OK, you have already done enough; we do not want to see you" - then, such a decision will be to the detriment of Russia's citizens, “Anne Brasseur said.
According to her, the EC should punish those members who do not meet liabilities; however, "an expulsion cannot be a punishment for doing so… An expulsion is the end of dialogue."
France ratifies Ukraine-EU Association Agreement
French National Assembly has ratified the EU Association Agreement with Ukraine, the Ukrainian ambassador to France, Oleh Shamshur, posted on Twitter on Thursday.
"I welcome the ratification of the Association Agreement by the National Assembly of France," Shamshur said.
As reported earlier, the French Senate ratified the Association Agreement on May 7.
As of today, 21 European Union member states have ratified the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
Another three countries, namely the Czech Republic, Belgium and the Netherlands – have ratified the document in one of their parliament's chambers, while preparations for ratification are still under way in other EU member states - Austria, Greece, and Cyprus – that reportedly deliberately stall the process.
OSCE: 139 blasts near the Donetsk airport; the situation is tense
The situation near the Donetsk airport has remained tense in recent days, a dedicated report of the mission reads.
The situation at and around Donetsk airport remained tense. Between 12:35 and 18:00hrs, at the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) observation point at Donetsk central railway station (“Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”)-controlled, 8km north-west of Donetsk city centre), the SMM heard, and in some cases saw, 139 explosions consistent with artillery, mortar fire (82mm and 120mm) impacting 2.5-10km to the north, north-east, north-north-east, north-north-west, north-west, south-west and west. Fighting was ongoing throughout the afternoon, despite two attempts by the JCCC to broker a ceasefire between the parties. The situation remained relatively calm in Mariupol and Shyrokine.
In the Luhansk region, the overall situation remained tense. The JCCC in Luhansk informed the SMM that after an alleged recent shelling of a water pumping station at the Raivka (“LPR”-controlled, 16km north-west of Luhansk); an area inhabited by around 30,000 people was experiencing water shortage, including Metalist (“LPR”-controlled, 6km north of Luhansk). According to the interlocutor, in the coming days, the water shortage was also expected to affect Luhansk city.
Yet another Russian convoy heading to Ukraine
A column of trucks of the Russian Emergency Ministry carrying "humanitarian aid" has set off to Donbass, TASS reported with a reference to the press service of the Ministry of Emergencies of Russia.
Russia’s emergencies ministry has send the thirty first humanitarian convoy to Donbass, a ministry spokesman told TASS on Thursday.
"A convoy of trucks set off from the emergencies ministry’s Don rescue centre at 04:00 a.m. Moscow time. Before the border, the convoy will break in two to deliver cargo to Donetsk and Lugansk. Both convoys will pass through all necessary border crossing procedures," the spokesman said.
It is comprised of more than 100 trucks carrying more than 1,000 tonnes of humanitarian cargoes.
As reported earlier, Ukraine speaks against Russian so-called "humanitarian convoys" crossing into its territory; however it has no control over a segment of the Russia-Ukraine border, so the Russians deliver aid for separatists crossing the border exactly in this sector.
ATO headquarters: The situation complicated near Mariupol; militants fire banned weapons
Rebels carried out over 30 attacks on army positions in the period between 6PM and midnight, the ATO press-centre posted on Facebook.
The situation near Mariupol is becoming more and more difficult. Ukrainian positions near Shyrokine and Talakivka were fired upon with 152-mm howitzers.
Berdyanske came under artillery fire (numerous bombardments with 122-mm artillery systems). Shyrokine was assaulted with machine-guns, grenade launchers, and portable Grad-P MLRSs.
Insurgents fired 120-mm mortars on Pisky and Opytne.
Leninske, Kirove, Schastya, and Stanyzia Luganska were also shelled with large calibre mortars.
In total, there were 43 rebel armed attacks recorded in the past 24 hours.
Stanyzia Luganska bombarded with mortars; a gas pipe damaged
Stanyzia Luganska was fired upon with 80-mm mortars and machine-guns in the period between 10PM and midnight on Wednesday night.
Rebels carried out attacks from their positions on the right bank of the Siversky Donets held by the so-called PRL army, the governor of the Lugansk region, Gennady Moskal, reported.
A gas pipe was damaged as a result of shelling. Part of the village had no gas supply; however, emergency teams managed to repair the damaged pipe and resume gas supplies to the area.
ATO Headquarters: no casualties in the ATO area in the past 24 hours
No losses were reported in the area of the anti-terrorist operation in the past 24 hours, a spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council, Andriy Lysenko, reported at a briefing on Thursday.
However, according to him, the enemy continues armed provocations, with the most complicated situation in the Donetsk direction.
Lysenko also added that 7 rebel UAVs had been spotted spying over the ATO area on Wednesday.