Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 18 July, 2014, 6 PM Kyiv time

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Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing

18    July, 2014, 6 PM Kyiv time

1. Malaysian Aircraft shot down over eastern Ukraine

Evidence continues to mount that Kremlin-backed terrorists are responsible for shooting down Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17 over Donetsk oblast on 17 July, killing an estimated 295 innocent people. On 17 July, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) released excerpts of intercepted phone conversations between terrorist leader I. Bezler (aka ‘Bes’), his coordinator, a colonel of the Main Intelligence Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, V. Heranin, in which Bes informs Heranin about the downed aircraft. The released tapes also have the terrorists discussing, after arriving on the scene of the crash, the fact that they shot down a civilian aircraft. The released tapes are available with English subtitles at the SBU’s Youtube channel – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbyZYgSXdyw&feature=youtu.be. The head of the SBU, V. Nalyvaychenko, presented evidence that the terrorists received the Buk-M surface-to-air missile complex,together with a crew, from the Russian Federation, which is confirmed by additional intercepted phone calls between terrorists. These intercepted phone calls can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgdqdklrqDA

 

Nalyvaychenko stated that, “For us right now it’s most important to….to obtain from the Russian side the names of all three members of the crew – Russian military personnel – that directly managed the Buk-M and who directly pressed the trigger that launched the rocket against a civilian airplane.” The Ministry of Internal Affairs released photo and video evidence, collected by covert surveillance units at 4:50 am Kyiv time on 18 July, of a caterpillar-track missile carrier moving through Krasnodon towards the Russian border. Two of three rockets were in place, while the middle one was missing. The Minister of Internal Affairs stated that this was likely the missile system ‘Buk’ from which the airplane was fired upon, “The SBU and Ministry of Internal Affairs have collected, and continue to collect more undeniable facts and evidence that the instigators of this tragedy are the terrorist organizations of the Donetsk and Luhansk ‘Peoples’ Republics,’ and its Russian Putinist patrons.” The photos and videos can be found at http://mvs.gov.ua/mvs/control/main/uk/publish/article/1103327

2. President Poroshenko’s address to the nation

On 17 July, following the terrorist attack against flight MH-17, Ukrainian President Poroshenko addressed the nation. He stated, “…Today terrorists killed three hundred people with one shot. Among them innocent children, people of many countries of the world…I and all Ukrainians grieve for the hundreds of innocent passengers who sadly have become victims of an aggression against us. We offer our compassion to the relatives of those passengers and crew who will not see their loved ones again. For weeks we have shed tears over our own dead. We have tears left for the innocent victims of this crime.  Today, Ukraine mourns with you…I have ordered the government of Ukraine to create an investigation commission. It will join efforts with the experts of the International Civil Aviation Organization and representatives from the Netherlands, Malaysia and the United States. Every possible search and rescue will be made. We will do everything possible for the objective international investigation. It is very unfortunate that the terrorists have already declared their desire to hide the evidence and transport the aircraft’s black boxes to Moscow. Today’s tragedy proves again that terrorism is not a local, but a global issue. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is not only our problem, but a threat to the European and global security. Addressing this threat requires a unified global response… Russia more and more often militarily intervenes against Ukraine. Our territory is being fired on from across the border. Our planes are being shot down. Russia supplies military personnel and state of the art weapons. The hybrid war is showing all signs of an external aggression .In the past couple of weeks, thanks to the courage and heroism of our soldiers, the territory, controlled by the terrorists, bandits and Russian mercenaries has decreased by more than half. Each and every citizen of Ukraine is fighting for our independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Today, the whole world had seen the real face of the aggressor. Shooting down a civilian aircraft is an act of international terrorism, targeted against the entire world. This is a wake-up call for the whole world.  We expect for an adequate response from the international community.”

3. Speaker of Ukrainian Parliament calls on international community to provide military aid

Ukrainian Parliamentary Speaker O. Turchynov called on the international community to provide military aid to Ukraine for the destruction of terrorism. He stated, “because of the attempts of some western politicians to negotiate with Putin, encouraging ‘appeasement of the aggressor,’ Russia became more brazen…We are grateful for the support, sympathy and economic sanctions, but the time has come to put an end to aggression. The time has come for the entire civilized world to unite with Ukraine and assist in the destruction of terrorists, wherever they may be, beginning with providing us with modern weapons and military equipment.”

4. Russia’s proxy war against Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts

The active phase of the Anti-Terrorism Operation (ATO) in Donetsk and Luhansk continues. The National Security and Defense Council (RNBO) stated at 12PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, ATO forces have advanced into Kremlin-backed terrorist-controlled territory by 10-15 km. Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on 19 positions and checkpoints of the Ukrainian armed forces. The RNBO stated that according to information from the Luhansk city council, in Luhansk, from a moving car terrorists shot at buses that were supposed to evacuate residents of the city, and that terrorists are opening fire on passing pedestrians. “According to preliminary information almost 20 bodies of people killed by Russian mercenaries have been left in the streets of the city. The terrorists are not allowing the bodies to be removed until the arrival of Russian television journalists. The dead are then to be presented as victims of the Ukrainian military.”

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