Ukraine: Daily Briefing
August 8, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
RPG training, Yavoriv, Ukraine. Photo – US Army Europe
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 two Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Avdiivka with mortars. Near Nevelske, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Dokuchayevsk and Shyrokyne with mortars. At Vodyane, Maryinka and several other locations, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Krymske, Troykhizbenka and Novotoshkivsk with mortars. At Stanytsia Luhanska and other locations, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions.
2. “Prosecutor” in Russian-occupied Crimea demands 8-year sentence for Crimean Tatar leader Akhtem Chiygoz
The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported, “The de facto prosecutor in Russian-occupied Crimea has demanded an 8-year sentence for Crimean Tatar leader Akhtem Chiygoz in a ‘trial’ that breaches even Russian law and which has openly targeted only Crimean Tatars.  This has been recognized as a political trial from the outset, and Russia is clearly hoping to get Chiygoz convicted during August when many people are on holiday in the hope of attracting less publicity.” The full report from KHPG on the illegal trial orchestrated by the occupation “authorities” in Russian-occupied Crimea is available here:
3. Radio Free Europe Report: In New Russia sanctions law, a US warning of things to come
Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported on August 4, “Legislation signed into law this week by a reluctant U.S. President Donald Trump hits hard at Russia, cementing existing sanctions and adding on a few more for good measure to punish Moscow for its actions in Ukraine, Syria, and allegedly cyberspace.
          Buried in the bill’s dry legislative language, however, is arguably something more important: a road map, and a signal, for what might follow if Moscow doesn’t change its behavior more toward Washington’s liking. […]
          One section focuses on Russian sovereign debt, which the Kremlin has used to stabilize strategically important companies since sanctions were first imposed by the United States and European Union in 2014, following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.
          The measure, which received overwhelming support in Congress, calls on the Treasury and State Departments, along with intelligence officials, to analyze the ‘potential effects of expanding sanctions…to include sovereign debt and the full range of derivative products.’ […]
          Daniel Fried, a veteran diplomat who was the State Department’s sanctions coordinator in 2014, said the law was smartly crafted because it hints at the direction Congress will go in the event of an escalation.[…]
         Fried said the reports mandated by the new legislation will also help the administration and Congress focus on punitive measures that can actually be implemented without causing other problems. […]
          Another key section could pack a similar punch. It orders administration agencies to identify ‘the most significant senior foreign political figures and oligarchs in the Russian Federation, as determined by their closeness to the Russian regime and their net worth.’ […] Expanding the sanctions to target relatives of individuals with close ties to the Kremlin or government power centers — for example, keeping the daughter of a government minister from studying at a U.S. university — would be a clear escalation, Fried said.
          ‘That would be an escalation, but quite frankly, what do you expect?’ he said. ‘[If] you buy into that sort of government, you enrich yourselves with that kind of government, you’re asking for trouble.'” The full report from RFE/RL is available here:

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