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Agreement on stabilizing ceasefire another important step towards de-escalation, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office says

BERN, September 20 2014 - Didier Burkhalter, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss Foreign Minister, noted with satisfaction the signing of a Memorandum on 19 September, 2014, outlining the parameters for the implementation of the cease-fire commitments laid down in the Minsk Protocol of 5 September 2014.

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Kiev, rebels ink deal creating buffer zone

Under the deal, both sides agreed to pull back heavy weapons by 15 kilometres (nine miles) from their point of contact, thereby creating a buffer zone of "at least 30 kilometres wide".

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Ukraine: Situation report No.12 as of 19 September 2014

Highlights

· The long outstanding IDP legislation was not adopted by Parliament on 16 September. The next parliamentary session to review the draft law is scheduled for 14 October. This is a major setback in terms of initiating standardized registration procedures and facilitating IDP access to Government services and humanitarian assistance.

· The UN Resident Coordinator led a high-level donor mission to Kharkiv, Sloviansk and Sviatohirsk from 17 – 19 September to highlight priority needs and response.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.

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Ukraine: ICRC steps up aid amid fragile ceasefire

The 5 September ceasefire agreement has brought some respite to people affected by the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Amid hopes that this will lead to a permanent cessation of hostilities, the ICRC is helping people face the consequences of the fighting.

Situation

Today, the ICRC delivered 60 tonnes of food aid to Lugansk, supplementing supplies received from Russia and elsewhere over the past weeks which were distributed by the local authorities to people in need.

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New Ukraine peace talks open in Minsk

09/19/2014 17:10 GMT

by Tatiana KALINOVSKAYA with Tanya WILLMER in Kiev

MINSK, September 19, 2014 (AFP) - Face-to-face talks aimed at finding a way to end Ukraine's brutal five-month war began Friday in the Belarussian capital of Minsk, trying to build on a ragged ceasefire that was agreed in the same city two weeks ago.

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Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 18 September 2014

The SMM continued to carry out activities related to the monitoring of non-use of weapons in areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Interlocutors from the Crimean Tatar community informed the SMM that the building of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People in Simferopol had been searched by Russian Security Services.

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OSCE/ODIHR opens election observation mission for early parliamentary elections in Ukraine

KYIV, 19 September 2014 – The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) today formally opened an election observation mission for the 26 October 2014 early parliamentary elections in Ukraine. The mission’s deployment follows an invitation from the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The mission is led by Tana de Zulueta and consists of 16 experts based in Kyiv and 80 long-term observers to be deployed across the country. In addition, ODIHR will request 600 short-term observers to monitor election day proceedings.

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Emergency Supplies to Ukraine Waiting for Sealift

At this moment in Ukraine, an estimated 310,000 people have been displaced from their homes. Families are struggling to secure basic necessities and anxiously anticipating the harsh winter ahead.

At this moment in Arkansas, Texas, and Mississippi, and Indiana, there are four 40 foot ocean containers waiting to be shipped, each loaded with 5-gallon kits carrying essential items such as soap, toothpaste, Band-Aids and antibiotics. Other containers include pounds of rice and still more include shoes, winter clothing, medical supplies, and bedding, beds, and mattresses.

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Canada Announces Support for Free and Fair Elections in Ukraine

September 16, 2014 - In the lead-up to Ukraine’s parliamentary elections in October, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today detailed support for advancing democracy that will see more than 300 Canadian observers travel to Ukraine to monitor the elections.

“Canada is proud of its long-standing support to the Ukrainian people in advancing freedom and democracy,” said Baird. “These are ideals that we share and that we will courageously defend and protect as the cornerstone of our enduring friendship.”

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Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 17 September 2014

The situation in Donetsk and Luhansk continues to be tense. The main power plant in the Luhansk region was severely damaged as a result of shelling.

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Ukraine: Civil unrest - Revised Emergency appeal n° MDRUA007 (September 2014)

Glide n° OT-2013-000151-UKR

16,000 people to be assisted

CHF 317,790 DREF allocated

Appeal initially launched: May 2014

Revised appeal issued: September 2014

Ends March 2015 (extended from November 2014)

Summary

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Acknowledging recent progress in implementing Minsk protocol, OSCE CiO says stabilizing cease-fire key for peace process in eastern Ukraine

Bern, September 17 2014 – Following the adoption of two important laws in the Ukrainian Parliament, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter commended Ukraine for the progress made in the implementation of the Minsk Protocol signed on 5 September. This protocol aims at the implementation of President Poroshenko’s Peace Plan and of President Putin’s initiatives.

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Weekly update from OSCE Observer Mission at Russian Checkpoints Gukovo and Donetsk based on info as of 08:00 (Kyiv time), 17 September 2014

KAMENSK-SHAKHTINSKY, Russian Federation,17 September – The Observer Mission (OM) is operating at full capacity. Cross-border traffic flows remained steady at both Border Crossing Points (BCPs). Similar to the previous week, more people left the Russian Federation (RF) for Ukraine at the two observed BCPs. The total number of border-crossings remained at increased levels, particularly at Donetsk BCP. The OM observed considerable numbers of persons in camouflage clothing crossing the border. The majority of them entered the RF from Ukraine, especially at Donetsk BCP.

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Deadly gunbattles in east Ukraine despite autonomy offer

09/17/2014 11:15 GMT

by Joe SINCLAIR with Tanya WILLMER in Kiev

DONETSK, September 17, 2014 (AFP) - Fierce gunbattles erupted around the Ukrainian rebel stronghold of Donetsk on Wednesday, with two civilians killed just a day after lawmakers in Kiev held out an offer of self-rule to the pro-Russian separatists.

Heavy shelling has been reported around the flashpoint eastern industrial hub almost daily despite the warring sides signing up to a ceasefire deal almost two weeks ago.

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Ukraine + 1 other
OSCE Project Co-ordinator, Canada launch multi-year project to help Ukraine improve protection of human rights by courts

KYIV, 16 September 2014 – The OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine and the Government of Canada officially launched a € 2.2 million, four years project, which aims to enhance the functioning of the Ukrainian judiciary in line with international standards of human rights protection.

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Latest from OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine based on information received as of 18:00 (Kyiv time), 15 September 2014

The overall security situation remains volatile in the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk.

In Kharkiv the SMM monitored a joint pro-Ukrainian rally of the football clubs “Kharkiv Metalist” and “Dnipropetrovsk” of some thousand individuals in Shevchenko Park, and at the military hospital where they painted the exterior hospital wall yellow and blue. Some participants threw smoke bombs onto the streets. The police were present and visible.

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World + 52 others
Global emergency overview Snapshot 10–16 September

The weekly Global Overview aggregates information from a range of sources and provides the latest updates on and a ranking of current humanitarian crises.

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Self-rule for east Ukraine: the main points

09/16/2014 10:18 GMT

by Dmytro GORSHKOV

KIEV, September 16, 2014 (AFP) - Ukrainian lawmakers adopted legislation on Tuesday giving the separatist east limited self-rule under government proposals aimed at ending a deadly insurgency.

President Petro Poroshenko has said the proposals will pave the way for decentralisation while guaranteeing "the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence" of Ukraine.

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