Ukraine: Daily Briefing – August 2, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
August 2, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian soldiers participate in platoon movement training exercise, Yavoriv. Photo – US Army Europe
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and two Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Avdiivka, Zaytseve and Verkhnotoerestke with mortars. Near Svitlodarsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Kransohorivka and several other locations on the Mariupol sector of the front. At Shyrokyne Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Popasne with grenade launchers. At Krymske, Stanytsia Luhanska and Troitske, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions.
2. US President signs Russia sanctions bill into law
Reuters reported, “U.S. President Donald Trump has signed into law new sanctions against Russia that were passed overwhelmingly by Congress last week and that run counter to his desire to improve relations with Moscow. A White House official said on Wednesday he had signed the bill, and White House adviser Kellyanne Conway confirmed this during an interview with Fox News. […]
          The new sanctions measure, the first major foreign policy legislation approved by Congress since Trump took office in January, includes a provision allowing Congress to stop any effort by the president to ease existing sanctions on Russia.
          The legislation will affect a range of Russian industries and might further hurt the Russian economy, already weakened by 2014 sanctions imposed after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. […]
          Several provisions of the new sanctions target the Russian energy sector, with new limits on U.S. investment in Russian companies. American companies also would be barred from participating in energy exploration projects where Russian firms have a stake of 33 percent or higher.The bill includes sanctions on foreign companies investing in or helping Russian energy exploration, although the president could waive those sanctions.
          The bill would give the Trump administration the option of imposing sanctions on companies helping develop Russian export pipelines, such as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline carrying natural gas to Europe, in which German companies are involved.”
For an analysis and overview of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act from the Atlantic Council, please see The Russia Sanctions Bill is a Decisive Moment for US Policy – Now What?
3. Human Rights Group reports on inhuman conditions for political prisoners in Russian-occupied Crimea
The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reports on the inhuman conditions at the Simferopol SIZO [remand prison], where several Crimean Tatars and pro-Ukrainian activists are illegally imprisoned by the occupation authorities in Russian-occupied Crimea.
          KHPG states that the conditions in the remand prison constitute “inhuman and degrading treatment which is prohibited under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and other such documents which Russia has committed itself to observe.” Read the full report from KHPG here –

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