Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 25 November 2015, 7 PM Kyiv time

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Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing

25 November 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 yesterday, Russian-terrorist forces intensified attacks on Ukrainian positions. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces attacked Ukrainian positions at Syze village. At Bolotene, Russian terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions north of Horlivka with small arms and grenade launchers. On the Avdiyivka-Maryinka line, Russian-terrorist forces carried out a series of attacks on Ukrainian positions, which were repelled. Near Krasnohorivka, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Bohdanivka, Pavlopol and Shyrokyne with small arms and grenade launchers. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and eight Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action.

  1. Ukraine closes airspace for Russian airlines; stops purchase of Russian natural gas

Ukraine’s Government closed Ukraine’s airspace to Russian airlines as of midnight, 26 November, the Cabinet of Ministers reported. The ban includes all transit flights over Ukraine’s airspace. Ukraine’s Government also ordered state gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy to stop purchasing Russian natural gas. Ukraine’s PM A. Yatsenyuk stated that “The Russian Federation must have misunderstood. They did not cut off gas supplies to us, we are the ones who are not buying it.” The decision was based on the fact that “pricing offers from our European partners are much better than those from the eastern neighbor,” Yatsenyuk stated.

  1. EU calls on Russia to release Sentsov and Kolchenko

Responding to the Russian Supreme Court decision to uphold the convictions of Ukrainian citizens O. Sentsov and O. Kolchenko, who were illegally sentenced to 20 and 10 years in prison, the European Union stated, “the EU considers the case to be in breach of international law and elementary standards of justice. The EU continues to call on the Russian Federation to immediately release Mr. Sentsov and Mr. Kolchenko and to guarantee their safe return to Ukraine.”

  1. Russia opens criminal proceedings against Nadiya Savchenko’s sister, Vira

According to documents published by Mark Feygin, attorney for Nadiya Savchenko, Russia has opened criminal proceedings against Nadiya’s sister, Vira Savchenko, for “obvious disrespect for the court and for the Russian judiciary.” According to the documents, Vira Savchenko allegedly stated to the judge in Nadiya’s trial, “He is not a judge, but a schmuck.” Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that “the opening of criminal proceedings against Vira Savchenko, as well as the trial of Nadiya Savchenko and other Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia are reprisals against free thinking.” Nadiya Savchenko was serving in eastern Ukraine, when abducted by Kremlin-backed terrorists in June 2014 and taken to Russia, where she has been illegally detained and imprisoned since that time. Russia has ignored repeated calls from the international community for her immediate release.

  1. NATO Secretary General’s statement on downing of Russian jet by Turkey

Following Turkey’s downing of a Russian fighter jet that violated its airspace, NATO held an extraordinary meeting on 24 November. Following the meeting NATO Secretary General J. Stoltenberg stated, “Turkey informed Allies about the downing of a Russian Air Force plane violating Turkish airspace. I have previously expressed my concerns about the implications of the military actions of the Russian Federation close to NATO’s borders. This highlights the importance of having and respecting arrangements to avoid such incidents in the future. As we have repeatedly made clear, we stand in solidarity with Turkey and support the territorial integrity of our NATO Ally, Turkey. We will continue to follow the developments on the South-Eastern borders of NATO very closely. I look forward to further contacts between Ankara and Moscow and I call for calm and de-escalation.”


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