Ukraine crisis round-up

A man rides a scooter past a billboard urging people to vote in the upcoming referendum, at the Crimean port of Sevastopol March 14, 2014.

Goldman Sachs: Russia capital flight $45-50 bln this year, full year may be $130 bln

CEOs of biggest Russian firms could be hit by sanctions: paper

Ukraine crisis sharpens focus on European shale gas: Ukraine’s crisis underscores the importance of Europe’s drive for greater energy security and could buoy development of shale gas as the continent looks to cut back on Russian supplies.

Putin says Russia did not initiate crisis over Ukraine.

Russia blocks top opposition news sites: Russia has blocked three major opposition news websites as well as the popular blog of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, the latest in a media crackdown that comes amid Moscow’s standoff with the West over Ukraine.

Germany warns Russia of further EU sanctions if Moscow doesn’t step back

Ukraine prompts fresh U.S. look at use of Russian rocket engines

Maidan self-defence activists walk as anti-war placards are hung in Kiev on Thursday. Ukraine has moved to mobilise a volunteer force to ward off Russia’s expansionist threat

U.S. bill on Ukraine delayed as Congress debates IMF, campaign finance: The U.S. Senate is unlikely to vote until later this month at the earliest on a bill providing aid to Ukraine, congressional aides said on Thursday, as lawmakers debated whether International Monetary Fund reforms should be included in the package.

OECD puts Russian membership process on hold: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said on Thursday that it had postponed the process for Russian membership and said it would boost links with Ukraine.

Police separate participants of anti-war and pro-Russian rallies as they clash in Donetsk, Ukraine March 13, 2014

Amid Ukraine tension, U.S. F-16 fighters land in Poland: U.S. F-16 fighter jets landed at Poland’s Lask air base on Thursday in a gesture of support for NATO’s eastern members after Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw said.

Ukrainian gas oligarch Firtash arrested in Vienna on FBI warrant: Industrialist Dmytro Firtash, one of Ukraine’s most influential oligarchs with close links to Russia through his gas interests, has been arrested in Austria at the request of the United States.

Ukraine acting president sees risk of Russian invasion

Women hold Crimean Tatar flags and placards reading “Peace in Crimea it is peace in all world” during an anti-war rally in Simferopol

Russia’s Gazprom says wants to avert Ukraine gas crisis: Russia’s Gazprom said it wanted Ukraine to be able to pay for gas supplies and did not want a “gas crisis” over prices and debt, a allusion to past disputes that led to cuts in gas flows from Russia to Europe

Ukraine says Russia fired on plane over Crimea: Ukraine accused Russian forces in Crimea of firing on one of its reconnaissance planes from an armored personnel carrier on Thursday, close to the isthmus that joins the Black Sea peninsula to mainland Ukraine.

Crimean Tatar leader tells Putin secession would break post-Soviet pact: A Crimean Tatar leader told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that the secession of Crimea from Ukraine to join Russia would violate an international treaty in which Russia, Britain and the United States vowed to keep Ukraine intact.

UPDATE 2pm Eastern:

U.S. hopes Ukraine crisis won’t harm work with Russia on Iran

Russia says has no plans to invade eastern Ukraine

Russia vows to veto U.S. draft at U.N. declaring Crimea vote illegal: The United States circulated a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council on Thursday that would declare Sunday’s planned referendum on independence for Ukraine’s Crimea region illegal, but Russia has vowed to veto it, council diplomats said.

ECHR has not accepted Ukraine’s complaint against Russia yet (Warning: TASS news site)

Radical right group eyes power in Ukraine: Several weeks after mass protests ousted Russian-leaning President Viktor Yanukovych, hundreds of members of the radical ultranationalist group, the Right Sector, continue to patrol central streets and occupy buildings in Kiev, while some more radical members have burst into regional government offices, brandishing rifles, harassing bureaucrats and even punching a prosecutor.

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