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- extrajudicial confiscation of private property;
- mandates state control over mass media;
- prohibits anti-regime protests, demonstrations, rallies, marches or other public gatherings;
- bans opposition parties and media "acting against Ukraine's independence;" and
- requires forced labor for all working-aged Ukrainians not currently performing military service.
Nearly 7,000 civilians have lost their lives in the year-long war in eastern Ukraine between government troops and pro-Russian forces, Ukraine's president says.
More than 1,000 people also remained unaccounted for and 1,657 Ukrainian troops died in combat, added Petro Poroshenko in an address before the parliament on Friday.
President Poroshenko's figures mark a sharp upward revision compared to the latest estimate provided by the United Nation, which had suggested a tally of about 6,100 dead people.
The peace deal remained the only solution in place for bringing back stability to eastern Ukraine, Poroshenko noted.
“This has enabled some degree of de-escalation in the conflict,” he added. “Every day in which nobody dies is like a feast day for me.”
In the latest development, however, Ukrainian military spokesperson Andriy Lysenko said on Friday that two servicemen had been killed and 26 others injured on Thursday.
Ukraine’s warring sides reached a truce deal, though a shaky one, dubbed Minsk II, at a summit attended by the leaders of Russia, France, and Germany in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk on February 11 and 12. The agreement introduced measures such as a ceasefire, which commenced on February 15, the pullout of heavy weapons, and constitutional reform in Ukraine by the end of the year.
The peace deal has dampened much of the fighting in Ukraine's volatile provinces but failed to halt regular violence at key hotspots.
Donetsk and Luhansk, the two mainly Russian-speaking regions, have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Moscow forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations in April 2014 to crush pro-Russians there.
- Nicholai Sergienko: former deputy "Ukrzaliznytsia" head;
- Nikolai Kolesnik: former Kharkov (Ukraine's second largest city) regional council head;
- Sergey Valter: former Melitopol mayor;
- Sergey Bordyuga: Melitopol deputy chief of police; and
- Stanislav Melnik: former MP.
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While reports indicate that pro-Western intelligentsia and activists are leaving their country in droves, the situation in Ukraine today cannot be properly understood without fully appreciating the role of quasi-fascist paramilitaries and their private-sector backers, who now exert tremendous influence on the leadership in Kiev and the political climate in Ukraine more generally.
Though the crisis in Ukraine remains a domestic conflict between the majority of citizens in the west who favor ties with Brussels and those in east who seek autonomy, independence or ascension into the Russian Federation, the growing internationalization of the conflict risks an irreversible escalation.
The recent Nato exercises in the Estonian frontier town of Narva that saw a parade of military hardware laden with American flags some 300 yards from Russia’s border, prompting counter-exercises from Moscow, is indicative of the increasingly provocative measures being taken. As the neo-conservative faction in Washington essentially steers the Obama administration’s policy, the idea of a Cold War-style stand-off between Russia and Nato grows ever more plausible.