Ukraine: Daily Briefing – September 11, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
September 11, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian soldiers participate in urban terrain training, Yavoriv Training Centre.
 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, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded in action. On September 8-9, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and seven Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Zaytseve, Avdiivka, Mayorsk, Verkhnotoretske and Pisky. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Lebedynske and Shyrokyne with mortars. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Vodyane, and several other locations. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Novotoshkivsk. At Krymske, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions.
2. Russia sentences Crimean Tatar leader Akhtem Chiygoz to 8 years in openly lawless trial
The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported, “Russia has sentenced Crimean Tatar leader Akhtem Chiygoz to eight years’ imprisonment for upholding Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty during a demonstration that took place on Ukrainian territory and under Ukrainian law.  Chiygoz’s imprisonment since January 29, 2015 and this ‘trial’ are therefore demonstrations of the most cynical legal nihilism, in which Russia is even in breach of its own criminal code. […]
           The invading country has, without any right to it, staged this judicial travesty, and Chiygoz was in no doubt about the true aims of those who had commissioned this trial. He had no grounds for expecting the court to show objectivity and independence.
            He was, tragically, correct.  ‘Prosecutor’ Anastasia Supryaga, and ‘judges’ Viktor Zinkov, Igor Kryuchkov and Alexei Kozyrev did not merely continue a judicial farce that should have been terminated immediately.  They also openly ignored the lack of any evidence for the charges, and the overtly discriminatory, anti-Crimean Tatar, nature of this lawless prosecution.” The full report from KHPG is available at Russia sentences Crimean Tatar leader Akhtem Chiygoz to 8 years in openly lawless trial 
3. Statement by Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Russia’s illegal sentencing of Akhtem Chiygoz
Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its resolute protest over the illegal sentence of Ukrainian citizen Akhtem Chiygoz by the Russian occupation authorities on the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to 8 years of imprisonment.
           Akhtem Chiygoz, the Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, was punished by the Russian occupants for his support of territorial integrity of Ukraine and his fight for human rights. It is yet another manifestation of Russia’s repressive policy on the Crimean peninsula, aimed at suppressing dissent voices and opposition to the Kremlin regime, as well as yet another evidence of discrimination against Crimean Tatars.
           We demand from the Russian Federation to release Akhtem Chiygoz, to stop repressions against Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians on the territory of the occupied Crimea and to restore the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
           We call on the international community to consistently respond to the cynical human rights violations in Crimea and to strengthen the political and diplomatic pressure on the Kremlin in order to ensure the return of the aggressor state to the tenets of international law.”
4. United Kingdom: Sentencing of Chiygoz demonstrates deeply concerning persecution of Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians opposed to the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation
The UK Minister for Europe and the Americas, Sir Alan Duncan, stated, “The guilty verdict and sentencing of Akhtem Chiygoz to 8 years for ‘organising mass un-rest’ in Crimea demonstrates the deeply concerning persecution of Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians opposed to the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation.
           The trial itself appears to fall well short of international standards: Chiygoz was denied the option to attend court proceedings and his legal representative faced intimidation, which included arrest and temporary detention earlier this year. The alleged offence took place before Russia had even claimed control of Crimea through its illegal annexation, and appears part of a worrying effort to repress any political opposition in Crimea.
           The UK calls for the release of Chiygoz as well as the growing number of Crimeans the ‘de-facto’ Russian authorities have imprisoned for opposing the illegal annexation.
           Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine, and as such the UK does not recognise the legitimacy of Russian ‘de-facto’ authorities in Crimea including those ‘elected’ since the illegal annexation of the peninsula, such as the so-called ‘Governor of Sevastopol’.”
5. State Border Guard Service of Ukraine on Saakashvili entry into Ukraine
Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service reported on September 10 that at approximately 8PM Kyiv time at the Shehyni (Ukraine-Poland border) crossing, a group of people “forced their way through the checkpoint and fostered an illegal violation of the state border by a group of people, including Mikheil Saakashvili and Members of Ukraine’s Parliament.
          During the incident 12 National Police Officers and 5 State Border Guard Officers were injured. An investigation team from the military prosecutor’s office has been dispatched to the scene, which, together with the National Police, will establish all the circumstances of the illegal mass border breach,” the Border Guard Service stated.
6. Ukraine’s President: It doesn’t matter who violates Ukraine’s border – there must be legal responsibility
Reacting to the incident at the Shehyni border crossing where Mikheil Saakashvili crossed the border, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko “reminded that on July 26, he had issued a Decree to terminate his citizenship on the basis of the submission by the State Migration Service, which clearly set forth the verified facts of falsification and provision of inaccurate information during the procedure of obtaining citizenship,” the President’s press service reported.
           Poroshenko stated, “The President cannot make any other decision, for it would have been criminal inaction if we hadn’t responded to such facts.”
           According to the President, in any legal state, a person has the right to appeal against any regulatory enactment in an administrative court, in this case it is the Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine.
           “As President, I will fulfill any court decision. You do not agree with the decision of the Ukrainian court, there is the European Court of Human Rights. This is a legal plane,” Poroshenko stated.
           According to the President, since the Decree has been signed nobody has appealed to the court. “Instead, a crime is committed. There is a constitutional principle of inviolability of the state border. This is a matter of national security of the state. […] It doesn’t matter who violates the state border. […] There must be an absolutely clear legal responsibility,” Poroshenko said.

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