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Live Blog: Ukraine In Crisis

Activists hold placards reading "Free Sentsov" as others hold pictures of 70 Ukrainian political prisoners jailed in Russia, including the sailors detained in the Azov Sea conflict, during a rally in front of the EU Embassy in Kyiv on December 11.

Latest News

-- The European Parliament has awarded imprisoned Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov its 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

-- A court in Kyiv has reinstated Roman Nasirov to the position of head of the State Fiscal Service after he was fired in January following his arrest on suspicion of embezzlement.

-- Retired Russian Navy officer Leonid Parkhomenko has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after a military tribunal in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don found him guilty of passing classified documents to Ukrainian intelligence.

-- Prominent Crimean lawyer Emil Kurbedinov has been released from jail after serving a five-day term on "extremism" charges.

-- The European Union has blacklisted nine individuals involved in the organization of last month's elections in the areas controlled by Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

*Time stamps on the blog refer to local time in Ukraine

15:55 6.12.2018

Another item from RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service:

Ukraine's Parliament Approves Bill To Terminate Friendship Treaty With Russia

KYIV -- Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, has approved a move by President Petro Poroshenko to terminate the country's Treaty of Friendship with Russia.

On December 6, 277 lawmakers voted to terminate the treaty by allowing it to expire. Passage of the bill required only 226 votes.

The treaty is due to expire on March 31, 2019. Under the Ukrainian legislation, it will not be prolonged after that date.

Signed in 1997, the treaty obliges Russia and Ukraine to "respect the territorial integrity of each other and confirm inviolability of current mutual borders."

It also says that Ukraine and Russia should build bilateral relations "based on principles of mutual respect of sovereign equality, inviolability of borders, peaceful resolution of differences, without use of force or threat to use force."

Ukrainian government forces have been fighting against Russia-backed separatists in the eastern Ukraine since April 2014, shortly after Russia military forces seized Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and annexed the territory.

Although Moscow denies interfering in Ukraine's domestic affairs, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in November 2016 ruled that the fighting in eastern Ukraine is "an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation."

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