Ukraine: Daily Briefing – August 14, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
August 14, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian army artillery units take part in training exercises. 
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, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and three Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled residential areas of Maryinka with mortars and grenade launchers.  At Chermalyk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Near Vodyane and Shyrokyne, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Avdiivka with mortars. At several locations on the Donetsk sector of the front, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Popasne. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at several locations on the Luhansk sector of the front.
2. Saving lives: Canadian Armed Forces members mentor Ukrainian Combat First Aid instructors
Ukrainian combat medics participate in casualty evacuation exercise under mentorship of Canadian and American medical personnel. Operation UNIFIER. Photo – Joint Task Force Ukraine
In an article published by Canada’s Department of National Defence, Major Carrie McQuiggan, Canadian Armed Forces Nursing Officer, OC of Medical Training for Operation UNIFIER, wrote, “The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Operation UNIFIER is providing Combat First Aid instruction and mentorship to aid the Ukrainian Armed Forces in their efforts to save lives.
             Soldiers are receiving the lifesaving knowledge and equipment they need thanks to the donations of equipment and Individual First Aid Kits provided by Canada, the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF), partner nations, and charitable organizations.
            Along with the United States and Great Britain, Canada has been working with Ukrainian Medical Reforms staff and Instructors from the 205th Ukrainian Armed Forces Tactical Medicine Training Centre. They are developing medical training programs. Completed programs include a basic level lifesaver course designed for all soldiers, as well as an enhanced program and a Combat Medic course.
          ‘The Canadian staff, Regular and Reserve Force Medical Technicians, belong to Line of Effort 5 on Operation UNIFIER,’ explained Sergeant T.S. Shackhouse, the lead instructor for the Line of Effort 5. ‘They are responsible for establishing a cadre of Combat First Aid Instructors within the Ukrainian Armed Forces to ensure delivery of basic lifesaving skills to their soldiers.’
            UAF instructors from across Ukraine have demonstrated a keen interest in learning and sharing their own knowledge and experience with the Canadian team.
‘They joined other instructors from around Ukraine, and under the mentorship of medical staff from Canada and the United States, the instructors conducted a combat first aid course for over 600 Ukrainian soldiers,’ said Sergeant Stackhouse.
            Combat First Aid instructor candidates arrive for training with a variety of combat experiences and previous knowledge. Many of them have deployed to the Anti-Terrorist Operation and have seen and assisted casualties with severe injuries and multiple traumas. They have put their Combat First Aid training into action and are able to share their previous experience with their students through realistic tactical scenarios.[…]
            Ukrainian Instructors at the Tactical Medicine Training Centre are designing high quality programs that reflect NATO standards and use modernized equipment. They have reviewed literature and products from trauma experts around the world and are incorporating this knowledge into the development of their courses. They should be very proud of the work they have accomplished.”
3. AP report: US takes another look at providing lethal weapons to Ukraine
The Associated Press reported, “Seeking leverage with Russia, the Trump administration has reopened consideration of long-rejected plans to give Ukraine lethal weapons […]
            The proposal, endorsed by the Pentagon and the State Department, reflects his administration’s growing frustration with Russian intransigence on Ukraine and a broader deterioration in U.S.-Russian ties. The tensions were seen most recently in Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s order for America to eliminate more than half its diplomatic personnel in Russia.
             Awaiting Trump and his closest advisers is an authorization to provide Ukraine with anti-tank and potentially anti-aircraft capabilities, according to U.S. officials familiar with the plan. It’s not dramatically different from proposals rejected by President Barack Obama […]
            While Obama was still in office, Trump’s campaign also rejected the idea of arming Ukraine, preventing it from being included in the Republican platform.
Now, however, it’s under discussion by Trump’s senior national security aides, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk about the matter publicly.  […]
            Some U.S. officials say the idea is gaining currency because of Washington’s impatience with Russia and its start-and-stop implementation of a 2015 agreement designed to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine […]The objective now is to change Russia’s strategic thinking, one official said, and providing defensive weapons to Ukraine would be one way to do that.”

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