Ukraine: Daily Briefing – August 28, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
August 28, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian army amphibious armored personnel carriers participate in live-fire training exercises, Yavoriv. Photo – Joint Multinational Training Group Ukraine
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Avdiivka with mortars. Near Svitlodarsk and Horlivka, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Vodyane, Bohdanivka, Hnutove and Lebedynsk. There was no combat on the Luhansk sector of the front.
2. Moody’s upgrades Ukraine’s rating, outlook changed to positive from stable
On August 25, Moody’s Investors Service “upgraded the government of Ukraine’s local and foreign currency issuer and senior unsecured ratings to Caa2 from Caa3, and changed the rating outlook to positive from stable. Consequently, Moody’s has upgraded to Caa2 from Caa3 the ratings of Ukraine’s nine senior unsecured eurobonds issued in the context of the government’s debt exchange operation in November 2015. […]
           The upgrade of Ukraine’s government ratings to Caa2 from Caa3 is based on the following key drivers:
  1. The cumulative impact of structural reforms that, if sustained, are expected to improve government debt dynamics;
  2. The significant strengthening of Ukraine’s external position.”

The full press release from Moody’s is available here


3. Former NATO Deputy Secretary General:  provision of lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine under “active consideration” in Washington
Former NATO Deputy Secretary General Vershbow. Photo – NATO
Former NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow stated in an interview with Deutsche Welle, “Debate is picking up on the question of expanding military support for Ukraine. US Defense Secretary James Mattis indicated that providing additional forms of assistance including lethal defensive weapons is under active consideration in Washington.
             I hope as a friend of Ukraine that the US will decide to lift former President Obama’s ban on lethal defensive weapons in order to give Ukraine the means to defend itself. This would give more support to ambassador [Kurt] Volker in his efforts to achieve a negotiated solution. The Russians recognize that they are not going to be able to maintain the status-quo including their daily attacks on Ukrainian forces with impunity. […]
             I think ultimately the provision of lethal defensive weapons will improve the chances of a negotiated solution. These weapons are not meant to enable Ukraine to fight to a military victory. They are leveling the playing field to improve the chances for a negotiated solution in accordance with the Minsk agreements.”
The full interview with Vershbow is available here

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