Ukraine: Daily Briefing – September 7, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time

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Ukraine: Daily Briefing
September 7, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time
 
Ukrainian amphibious armored personnel carriers participate in platoon movement and assault training exercise, 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 fired on Ukrainian positions near Zaytseve, Avdiivka and Pisky. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions on the Pavlopil-Shyrokyne line, Hnutove, Vodyane and several other locations. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Krymske with mortars. Near Malynove, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions.
2. During annual address to Parliament, Ukraine’s President addresses question of possible UN peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine
 
To view President Poroshenko's annual address to Parliament, please click on image above
To view President Poroshenko’s annual address to Parliament, please click on image above
In his annual address to Parliament, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko addressed the possible deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission to eastern Ukraine. Poroshenko emphasized that Russia continues provocations, obstruction of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, supply of mercenaries and weaponry to Ukrainian territory.
           “In such conditions, deployment of the Blue Helmets in the whole occupied territory of Donbas would become a real breakthrough in the process of peaceful settlement and a powerful factor of de-escalation. Certainly, this would create favorable conditions for the achievement of progress on the political track of peaceful settlement in Donbas […] Today, we achieved a very important result – we have a common position of our partners who support the Ukrainian initiative. We finally heard the reaction from the other side of the frontline. Although, we clearly realize that the devil is in the details. Certainly, Russia’s proposal to deploy the UN mission solely for the purpose of protecting the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission is at least strange. Moreover, it is the Russian militants that are the main threat to the security of the international observers,” Poroshenko stated.
           The President noted that Ukraine is willing to have a meaningful discussion at the UN Security Council on the issue, and outlined several important elements. First, the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission must be on the whole of the territory of the Donbas.  “It must be aimed not at the conservation of Russian occupation and the legalization of Russian military presence, but at the maintenance of sustainable peace in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as full restoration of our country’s territorial integrity,” the President stated.
           Second, the future UN Mission must be deployed all over the occupied territory, including the uncontrolled part of the Ukrainian-Russian border. “Third, the Mission must meet the key principles of the UN peacekeeping operations, which excludes the participation of representatives of the country-aggressor or the party to the conflict. Fourth, no coordination of parameters of the future UN Mission with Russian militants,” Poroshenko stated.
           Moreover, the work over the UN Mission cannot be a reason for the abolition of the existing international sanctions against Russia.
           Poroshenko said that he would attend the UN General Assembly later this month. “I am confident that we will establish peace, return all the occupied territories, restore Ukraine’s sovereignty jointly, especially with the assistance of Germany, France and USA,” the President concluded.
3. EU agrees to extend Russia sanctions
Reuters reported, “The European Union agreed on Wednesday to extend for another six months its blacklist of 149 Russian nationals and Ukrainian separatists, as well as 38 entities, for their role in the turmoil in Ukraine, sources in Brussels said.
During a weekly meeting in Brussels, representatives of the 28 EU states agreed on the roll over, which will formally be adopted on Sept. 14, and prolong the visa ban and asset freeze list until mid-March.”
4. France, Germany Denounce Russia’s Strategy of Intimidation, Dispute Size of War Games
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “The French and German defense ministers have condemned Russia’s upcoming military maneuvers with Belarus, saying Moscow is seeking to show off military might on the borders of the EU and NATO.
           ‘It is particularly important in this context that we reaffirm our presence in the face of…this demonstration the Russians are making which is a strategy of intimidation,’ France’s Defense Minister Florence Parly said on September 7. […]
Under Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) rules known as the Vienna Document, states conducting maneuvers involving more than 13,000 troops must notify other nations in advance and be open to observers.
           Russia and Belarus say the Zapad (West) 2017 exercises, which are set to be held in Belarus and parts of western Russia on September 14-20, will involve about 12,700 troops. But Western military officials and experts say that the true numbers could be far higher, with as many as 100,000 military personnel involved.
           ‘It is undisputed that we see a demonstration of capabilities and power of the Russians,’ German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said. ‘Anyone who doubts that only has to look at the high numbers of the participating forces in the Zapad exercise: more than 100,000.’
          NATO says it will send three observers to Belarus and Russia to monitor Zapad 2017, but repeatedly called on the two countries to allow broader monitoring of the drills. […]
           Russia’s military actions in Ukraine have increased concerns about Moscow’s intentions in NATO nations.”

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