Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 13 July 2015, 7 PM Kyiv time

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing

13 July 2015, 7 PM Kyiv time

  1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Shyrokyne. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Svitlodarsk and Luhanske village with artillery. Near Horlivka, Russian-terrorist forces continue heavy shelling of Verkhnotoretske with artillery and tanks. Near the Donetsk airport attacks by Russian-terrorist forces continue to a wide front from Adviyivka to Pisky. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Stanytsia Luhanska and fired on Krymske, Novoshkivske and Zolote with mortars and small arms. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Popasna with artillery. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 5 were wounded. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine reported that as a result of shelling of Adviyivka, Donetsk oblast, with heavy artillery by Russian-terrorist forces on 11 July, 2 civilians were injured.

  1. Ukraine’s PM to visit Canada on 14 July

Ukraine’s PM A. Yatsenyuk will visit Canada on 14 July. Canadian PM S. Harper’s press service stated, “Discussions between the two leaders will focus on the Putin regime’s illegal occupation of Crimea, and on ways to create jobs and strengthen economic relations between Canada and Ukraine, amid global economic volatility.” Yatsenyuk will also meet with Canadian business leaders and representatives of the Ukrainian Canadian community.

  1. US-Ukraine Business Forum held in Washington

The US-Ukraine Business Forum is taking place in Washington, DC. “The Forum aims to advance the Ukrainian economy through a series of high-level discussions focused on the prospects for including Ukraine in global value chains and the further development of its market. Both senior U.S. government officials as well as members of the Ukrainian cabinet of ministers – including Ministers of Finance and Economy – intend to participate,” the US Chamber of Commerce stated. The event is being live-streamed at . US Vice President J. Biden and Ukraine’s PM A. Yatsenyuk are scheduled to address the Forum at approximately 3PM Eastern time.

  1. RNBO Secretary: 14 battalions and 6 companies of Russian armed forces in Donetsk, Luhansk oblasts

The Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) O. Turchynov stated that there are currently 20 tactical formations (14 battalions and 6 companies) of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk oblast. In addition 56 tactical formations (42 battalions and 14 compaines) are on the Russian-Ukrainian border along the occupied territory, which can cross the border at any moment. “The goal of Russia, which has occupied Crimea and certain regions of Donetsk and Luhansk oblast, is to destabilize the situation in the country in any way possible and destroy Ukraine as an independent, democratic state. […] To make it impossible to implement the Minsk agreements and solve the problem through peaceful means – this is the goal that is being realized by the Kremlin.”

  1. Russian soldiers face prison for refusing to fight in Ukraine

The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported that “Several dozen Russian contract soldiers could face up to 10 year prison sentences for having left a military unit in the Rostov oblast, fearing that they would be sent to fight in Ukraine.  Soldiers allege that were offered up to 8 thousand roubles a day for ‘volunteering’ to go to Ukraine, and effectively held there until they agreed.[…] All the soldiers are from the Maikop reconnaissance brigade and on contract service. 23-year-old Anatoly Kudrin has already received a 6 month term of imprisonment for going absent without leave, and two others are facing similar charges.  Their lawyers say that the young men left the Kadamovsky unit in the Rostov oblast (which borders Donbas) as they believed they would be sent to Ukraine. The men are now facing charges under Article 337 of the criminal code (going absent without leave) which carries a sentence of up to 5 years imprisonment and Article 338 (desertion) – up to 10 years. All the men complain of appalling conditions, but are adamant that they left because they were under heavy pressure to go to Ukraine and were not prepared to take part in the fighting there – for any amount of money.”

  1. Malaysia’s PM: Investigation into downing of MH-17 “close to naming those guilty”

Malaysia’ PM N. Razak stated that the investigation into the downing of Flight MH-17 is “really close to naming those guilty,” and that the investigation is “expected to be finished at the end of 2015 at least,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported. “Malaysia and other countries participating in the Joint Investigation Team — Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Ukraine — are pushing for the establishment of a UN-mandated international tribunal to prosecute those accused of shooting down the plane. Russia said on July 9 that it would oppose such a resolution,” RFE/RL stated.

  1. Ukrainian Catholic University, University of Winnipeg to jointly establish school

The Ukrainian Catholic University and the University of Winnipeg signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish an international private school in Lviv. “The school will incorporate the high standards of the Canadian educational system along with an innovative Ukrainian curriculum that will allow students to receive both Canadian and Ukrainian graduation diplomas,” the University of Winnipeg stated. The aim is to have the school open for the fall term in 2017.

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