Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 14 November 2016, 6 PM Kyiv time

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
14 November 2016, 6 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Krymske with mortars and tanks. Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy mortar shelling of Ukrainian positions near Stanytsia Luhanska. At Popasne, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Avdiyivka with mortars. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions along the Pavlopil-Shyrokyne sector of the front with mortars. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and one Ukrainian soldier was wounded in action. The RNBO reported that on 11-12 November, two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and six Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action.
2. Fitch upgrades Ukraine debt ratings, outlook stable
Fitch Ratings upgraded Ukraine’s debt ratings to B- from CCC on 11 November. “The macroeconomic policy framework has been strengthened through increased exchange rate flexibility and tight monetary policy. Macroeconomic stability has improved, despite the delay in completing the second EFF review, as reflected by rapidly declining inflation, slower currency depreciation and a mild growth recovery. […] Growth is forecast to accelerate to 2.5% in 2017 and 3% in 2018, from a projected 1.1% in 2016. While investment has supported growth in 2016, it is likely to remain low relative to ‘B’-rated peers, highlighting the importance of improving the business environment. Privatisation has yet to gain momentum,” Fitch stated.
3. Khatia Dekanoidze resigns as National Police Chief of Ukraine
Khatia Dekanoidze, appointed National Police Chief in November 2015, resigned today. Dekanoidze stated, “I am proud of the fact that trust in the National Police of Ukraine has grown, and that police officers are ready to work according to new principles. […] But cleaning out corruption […] in the largest law enforcement body is a very large task, which demands not one year of work, and demands tough political will. We have created the foundation and I hope the changes will not end.”
4. NATO Secretary General: Now is not the time for US to abandon NATO – nor should its European allies go it alone
In an op-ed for the Guardian, NATO Secretary General J. Stoltenberg stated, “We face the greatest challenges to our security in a generation. This is no time to question the value of the partnership between Europe and the United States. For 67 years this partnership has been the bedrock of peace, freedom and prosperity in Europe. It enabled us successfully to deter the Soviet Union and bring the cold war to an end. […]In the last few years we have seen a dramatic deterioration of our security, with a more assertive Russia and turmoil across north Africa and the Middle East. Nato allies have responded together. We have implemented the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the cold war. […]This is deterrence, not aggression. We do not seek to provoke a conflict, but to prevent a conflict. Nato battalions numbering thousands of troops cannot be compared with Russian divisions numbering tens of thousands just across the border. Our response is defensive and proportionate. But it sends a clear and unmistakable message: an attack against one will be met by a response from all. […]It is all too easy to take the freedoms, security and prosperity we enjoy for granted. In these uncertain times we need strong American leadership, and we need Europeans to shoulder their fair share of the burden. But above all we need to recognise the value of the partnership between Europe and America. […] Going it alone is not an option, either for Europe or for the United States.”

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