Ukraine: Daily Briefing – September 8, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time

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Ukraine: Daily Briefing
September 8, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time
 
Ukrainian forces participate in machine gun training exercises.
 Photo – Joint Multinational Training Group Ukraine


 
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 in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Horlivka, Adviivka and Zaytseve. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Maryinka with mortars and grenade launchers. At Starohnativka, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Lobacheve with mortars.
2. Ukraine’s President hopes to secure defensive weapons from Western partners
Reuters reported, “Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday said he hoped to complete talks with Western allies on the supply of defensive weapons, as he warned that upcoming Russia-Belarus military exercises could be cover for an invasion of Ukraine.
           ‘The creation of new strike groups of Russian troops for an invasion of Ukrainian territory can’t be ruled out,’ he said in a speech to parliament. ‘I hope that we will successfully complete negotiations with our Western partners on supplies of defensive weapons,’ he said.
3. Russia admits to abducting 19-year-old Ukrainian Pavlo Hryb
The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported, “13 days after 19-year-old Ukrainian Pavlo Hryb vanished after entering Belarus, Russia’s FSB [Security Service] has admitted that he is in Russian custody in a Krasnodar SIZO [remand prison].  There are serious questions to be asked regarding the Belarusian authorities’ apparent complicity in this abduction as well as grave concern about Russia’s motives for holding the young man incommunicado for so long.
          Vasyl Kyrylych, head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s Consular Service, reported on August 7 that the FSB for the Krasnodar Region had informed of Hryb’s ‘detention’.  It claimed that he had been arrested on August 25 on charges of ‘terrorism’.
           The date given is almost certainly a cover for both the FSB and Belarusian authorities, since Hryb disappeared soon after arriving in Gomel, Belarus a day earlier, on August 24.  There can be no question that the young man, who has openly criticized Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, voluntarily crossed into Russia, nor was there any indication when he crossed the border into Belarus that he was on any ‘wanted list’.
           Ihor Hryb sounded the alarm almost immediately after himself travelling to Belarus to find his son, and it was suggested from then on that Pavlo might be held in the Krasnodar SIZO.  Even were there any conceivable grounds for accusing the young man of ‘terrorism’ in a country he had never set foot in, the delay in admitting what could not be concealed, suggests that the reason could be to put pressure on Pavlo. […]
           Both Russia and Belarus remained silent as all of the above was made public, together with admission by the 17-year-old girl with whom Hryb had been corresponding. She told a Ukrainian TV station that she had been forced by the FSB to get Pavlo Hryb to Belarus, and that the FSB are threatening her also with the same ‘terrorism’ charges.
           The worst fear must be that the delay was in order to produce the same type of ‘confession’ which the FSB or Russia’s Investigative Committee have tortured out of other Ukrainians it held incommunicado. The full report from KHPG is available hereRussia admits to abducting 19-year-old Ukrainian Pavlo Hryb 

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