Ukraine: Daily Briefing – September 18, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
September 18, 2017, 5 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian soldiers set up 120mm mortar system while conducting field training exercise during Exercise Rapid Trident 17 near Yavoriv. Photo – US Army Europe

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 and one Ukrainian soldier was wounded in action. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Avdiivka and the Pisky-Nevelske line. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions along the Novtroitske-Starohnativka and Pavlopil-Vodyane lines. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near the Bakhmut highway with artillery and mortars. Near Popasne, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions.
2. New Commander to lead Operation UNIFIER in Ukraine
Photo – Canada’s Department of National Defence
On September 16, Canada’s Department of National Defence reported, “Today, Joint Task Force-Ukraine (JTF-U) held a ceremony to welcome Lieutenant-Colonel Kristopher Reeves, who assumed command from Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Lubiniecki at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre in Starychi, Ukraine.
           As commander of JTF-U, Lieutenant-Colonel Reeves commands approximately 200 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel with the mission to conduct training with the Ukrainian Armed Forces in areas such as tactical army skills, leadership development, explosive ordnance disposal, battlefield medical aid, military police skills, and logistics modernization. Since the start of the mission in September 2015, more than 5580 Ukrainian Armed Forces members have participated in training provided by the CAF via some 140 course serials.
          Operation UNIFIER is providing military training and capacity building to Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel to support Ukraine in its efforts to maintain sovereignty, security, and stability.”
          Lieutenant General Stephen Bowes, Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command, stated, “I’m proud to welcome Lieutenant-Colonel Kristopher Reeves, the incoming Commander of Operation UNIFIER. The Canadian Armed Forces men and women deployed in Ukraine will benefit from his leadership and experience to continue delivering outstanding training to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. I would also like to commend Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Lubiniecki and his troops for their dedication to this training mission and for their professionalism during their deployment in Ukraine.”
3. Ukraine’s President to visit Canada September 22-23
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko will make a working visit to Canada on September 22-23. The Presidential Administration stated, “The President will meet with Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, Canadian MPs and business representatives.
          The Head of State will take part in the festive ceremony of opening the Invictus Games where the national Ukrainian team will participate for the first time. The Head of State will also meet with representatives of the Ukrainian organizations in Canada.”
4. Ukraine’s President begins working visit to United States
Today, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko begins a working visit to the US to take part in the UN General Assembly Session. He will be visiting the US from September 18-21. The Presidential Administration stated, “Petro Poroshenko will deliver a speech in the course of the general debates of the UN GA, take part in the summit of the UN Security Council on the peacekeeping issue, participate in the high-level events on the UN reformation and the issue of countering the use of Internet for terrorist purposes.
            In the framework of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, the Head of State will hold a series of bilateral meetings with the world leaders, including the U.S. President.
           The President will traditionally meet with the Ukrainian community of the United States, representatives of the Crimean Tatar organizations and the leading American political science and business circles.”
5. Ukraine returns to external bond market with $3 billion issue
Reuters reported, “Ukraine raised $3 billion on Monday in its first sovereign issue since a 2015 debt restructuring, placing a 15-year dollar-denominated Eurobond with a yield of 7.375 percent, a source close to the deal said. […]
          The source said nearly 400 investors participated in the issuance with orders of around $10 billion. Of the $3 billion raised, $1.7 billion will go on the debt swap. The remaining $1.3 billion is earmarked for fresh financing, the source said. Returning to the international financial market by selling hard-currency denominated bonds is part of a $17.5 billion aid-for-reforms programme from the International Monetary Fund.”

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