Ukraine: Daily Briefing – June 9, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
June 9, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
Lithuanian instructor oversees live fire exercise at Yavoriv combat training centre. Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence
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, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and 14 Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Avdiivka with mortars and tanks. At Kamyanka, a 15-year old civilian was injured as a result of shelling by Russian-terrorist forces. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Horlivka, the Donetsk airport and Svitlodarsk. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled residential areas of Sartana with artillery. At Maryinka, Krasnohorivka, Vodyane and Shyrokyne, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. In Maryinka a civilian woman was injured as a result of shelling by Russian-terrorist forces. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Troykhizbenka and Katerynivka with mortars. Near Stanytsia Luhanska and Popasne, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions.
2. Ukraine’s Parliament votes to reform health care system but fails to adopt new funding model
On June 8, Ukraine’s Parliament passed legislation that reforms Ukraine’s health care system but failed to adopt legislation on a new funding model for the health care system. Ukraine’s acting Minister of Health Ulana Suprun stated on June 8, “Today, Parliament adopted in first reading bill No. 6327, which introduces a new health care system. However, MPs defeated bill No. 6239, which establishes a new funding model. Without this legislation, there will be no changes, because there will be no financing. This is a war of two systems –  the old Soviet and the new European. […] We are proposing a new system – all finances that Parliament allocates for treatment of Ukrainians must be distributed according to simple rules, which are the same for everyone. The state will finally start paying for your health care. […] We will be re-introducing the legislation with changes to the Budget code and require that they be passed by the end of this session, so that the reforms can begin, which has been demanded by the President, National Council of Reforms, and demanded every day by Ukrainians.”
3. US Mission to OSCE on ongoing violations of international law by Russia
Speaking at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on June 8, US charge d’affaires Kate Byrnes stated, “The United States notes with regret that the June 1 renewed ceasefire commitment, timed to coincide with International Children’s Day, did not last even a full day. The SMM reported 162 explosions and ceasefire violations throughout the evening of June 1 and into the morning of June 2.
Three years after Russia initiated this conflict, civilians continue to suffer. On the first day of June, a man and two women waiting at a bus stop in central Avdiyivka were gravely injured by an explosion; all three remain hospitalized. On June 5, the SMM reported that shrapnel from an artillery shell killed a mother and wounded her nine-year old son; the boy remains hospitalized. […] Artillery attacks on critical infrastructure carried out by Russian-led separatists ensure civilians remain on the cusp of a humanitarian crisis. […]
As if it was not enough to kill and maim in war-torn eastern Ukraine, Russian abuses also take the form of politically-motivated prosecutions, even against librarians. A Russian court sentenced Natalia Sharina to a four-year suspended sentence under fabricated charges including “inciting national hatred” and embezzlement for not purging books by renowned Ukrainian authors. Several well-respected human rights groups believe Ms. Sharina – head librarian of the state-run Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow – was targeted as part of an effort to close a facility housing books donated by the Ukrainian diaspora. […]
The United States continues to fully support Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognized borders. We will never recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea. We join our European and other partners in affirming that our sanctions against Russia will remain in place until Russia fully implements its Minsk commitments, and our separate, Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns full control of the peninsula to Ukraine.”

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