Ukraine: Daily Briefing – May 18, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time

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Ukraine: Daily Briefing
May 18, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time
 
The Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Refat Chubarov, MP, addresses Ukraine's Parliament on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Genocide of the Crimean Tatar People. To view video, please click on image
The Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Refat Chubarov, MP, addresses Ukraine’s Parliament on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Genocide of the Crimean Tatar People. To view video, please click on image


1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and five Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy artillery, mortar and tank shelling of Ukrainian positions near Avdiivka. Russian-terrorist forces shelled residential areas of Avdiivka, damaging three residential buildings. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Verkhnotoretske and west of Svitlodarsk with mortars. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Kodema (5 km from the contact line) with artillery. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Pavlopil and Krasnohorivka with mortars. Shelling by Russian-terrorist forces damaged a school in Krasnohorivka, which was empty at the time of the shelling. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Krymske and Novooleksandrivka with mortars.
2. Address by President of Ukraine on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Genocide of the Crimean Tatar People
 
President Poroshenko. addresses Requiem on occassion of Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Genocide of the Crimean Tatar People. Photo – Presidential Administration
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko addressed the Requiem on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Genocide of the Crimean Tatar People. In 2015, Ukraine’s Parliament recognized the 1944 deportation of the Crimean Tatar People by the Soviet regime an act of Genocide, and established May 18 as the Day of Remembrance. President Poroshenko stated, “Today, we commemorate the 73rd anniversary of deportation of Crimean Tatars from their historic homeland – Crimea. We remember with compassion other ethnic groups of Crimea that faced this challenge: Germans, Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians, Karaites and others. […] Deportation is a crime without a statute of limitations and criminals who cold-bloodedly planned this act of genocide are not eligible for forgiveness. […] In 2014, shortly before the seventieth anniversary of deportation, post-Soviet but still authoritarian Russia annexed the Ukrainian Crimea. Thousands of Crimean Tatars were forced to leave their home again. Invaders do everything to squeeze the freedom-loving people out of their native land. Isn’t it a new undeclared, deviously hidden deportation. […]The sacred right of Crimean Tatars to live freely on their native land will be restored – finally and irreversibly. Due to all possible means and mechanisms approved in a civilized world. […] Crimea is Ukraine, and Ukraine is Europe. Part of the civilized world that values human dignity and sovereign rights of nations.”
3. Government to support Magnitsky bill in Canada
The Globe and Mail reported on May 17, “Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says the Liberal government will support a Senate bill that would establish Magnitsky-style sanctions against human-rights abusers in Russia and around the world, following in the footsteps of the U.S. and Britain. The announcement comes a month after the House of Commons foreign affairs committee urged the Liberal government to expand Canadian sanctions legislation to include human-rights abusers, freezing their assets and denying them visas. U.S.-born financier and anti-Putin campaigner Bill Browder has led the international effort to sanction human-rights abusers worldwide, in memory of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was murdered in 2009. Mr. Browder has made many trips to Ottawa in recent years, pressing both the former Conservative and current Liberal government to implement a Magnitsky Act. ‘In Canada and around the world, the issue of human-rights sanctions and in particular the case of Sergei Magnitsky have drawn strong interest, and rightly so,’ said Ms. Freeland in a speech to the House of Commons on Wednesday night. ‘However, there is no current Canadian law that authorizes the imposition of sanctions specifically for violations of international human rights obligations in a foreign state or for acts of corruption.’ Ms. Freeland specifically expressed support for Bill S-226, tabled by Conservative Senator Raynell Andreychuk. The legislation, essentially modelled on the Magnitsky Act that passed in the U.S. Congress in 2012, passed the Senate in April. The House is expected to start debating it Friday. Ms. Freeland said the government will work with parliamentarians to bring forward some ‘some technical amendments to strengthen the bill,’ but did not say what those amendments will look like.”

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