Ukraine: Daily Briefing – June 28, 2017, 7 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing

June 28, 2017, 7 PM Kyiv time
Briefing ahead of live-fire training exercise in Starychi, Ukraine, #OpUNIFIER. Photo – Canada’s Department of National 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, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Svitlodarsk, Horlivka, and the Kamyanka-Avdiivka line. At Luhanske village and Kamyanka, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. On the Pavlopil-Shyrokyne line, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrianian positions near Shchastya, Popasne and other locations with mortars. At Stanytsia Luhanska, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions.
2. EU extends Russia sanctions
The European Union’s External Action Service stated, “The EU today prolonged targeted economic sanctions against Russia in view of the continued lack of full implementation of the Minsk Agreements aiming to end the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.The EU imposed sanctions on Russia in July 2014 after Russia violated Ukraine’s sovereignty by illegally annexing Crimea and Sevastopol and by sending fighters and weapons into eastern Ukraine. […]
On 19 March 2015, the European Council agreed to link the duration of the sanctions to the complete implementation of the Minsk Agreements, which was foreseen to take place by 31 December 2015.Today, following an update from French President Macron and German Chancellor Merkel on 22-23 June on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, all 28 EU Member States voted unanimously to prolong the sanctions until 31 December 2017.
The sanctions target the financial, energy and defence sectors, and the area of dual-use goods. They include an export ban on arms and goods that can be used for military ends in Russia.”
3. Atlantic Council: In Ukraine, Health Security is National Security

The Atlantic Council stated, “Three years after its invasion of Ukraine, Russia continues to pummel the country with cyberattacks, ruthless propaganda, and Grad missiles.
But Ukraine’s dysfunctional institutions, especially its health care system, undermine Ukraine’s national security as well. Policies to reduce the enormous stress on Ukraine’s military and government alone ignore the delivery of core services. Without those services, Ukraine’s citizens remain vulnerable to its enemies, like Russia, who benefit from a weak state.
That’s why civil society, countless experts, and thousands of activists have stood with Dr. Ulana Suprun, acting Minister of Health, to demand an entirely new model for health care in Ukraine. […]There’s no question that Ukraine’s health care system is broken. […]
 Essential services, like health care, are strategic components of a resilient state. […] The comprehensive health care reform effort pending in Ukraine’s parliament is a question about national stability, not just health. The international community must urge parliament to adopt a new health care model before July 14, when the current parliamentary session ends. […]
Still, prominent parliamentary factions remain strongly opposed to change. If health care isn’t passed by July 14, it’s unlikely that the system will be overhauled for several more years. This would leave a core Ukrainian institution all the more vulnerable to external pressures.
Ukraine’s future hinges on lawmakers in the United States and Europe standing behind reformers like Suprun. This means making health care a key facet of parliamentary diplomacy and diplomatic efforts. […]
Suprun and the thousands of activists and experts standing with her have toiled for years to secure more than reform; they are building a functional institution-the National Health Service-from scratch. It needs support from civil society and a firm mandate from the Rada. The international community must recognize that mandate and shape international assistance to replace strategic vulnerabilities with resilient institutions. Ukraine’s national security depends on it.”

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