Ukraine: Daily Briefing – September 26, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
September 26, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian soldiers participate in Exercise Rapid Trident 17 training exercises. Photo – US Army Europe
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. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled residential areas of Maryinka, damaging seven residential buildings. At Lebedynske, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Novotroitske and the Pavlopil-Shyrokyne line. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Avdiivka and Horlivka. There was no combat on the Luhansk sector of the front.
2. UN Report Details Grave Human Rights Violations in Russian-occupied Crimea
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stated on September 25, “The human rights situation in Crimea has significantly deteriorated under Russian occupation, with ‘multiple and grave violations’ committed by Russian state agents, according to a landmark report by the UN Human Rights Office published today.
           ‘Grave human rights violations, such as arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, ill-treatment and torture, and at least one extra-judicial execution were documented,’ the report says.
            It reiterates that all residents of Crimea were affected when Ukrainian laws were substituted by those of the Russian Federation, and tens of thousands impacted by the imposition of Russian Federation citizenship. These and other actions highlighted in the report have taken place in violation of international humanitarian and human rights law. […]
            Hundreds of prisoners and pre-trial detainees have been transferred to the Russian Federation, the report says, despite the practice being strictly prohibited by international humanitarian law. […]
           Some detainees were ill-treated, and at least three died after they did not receive the medical care they needed, the report says.
           The report also highlights the severe impact of judicial and law enforcement changes introduced under Russian occupation. […]Among other abuses, it notes the use of forced internment in a psychiatric hospital as a form of harassment against political opponents, and at least 10 disappearances in which the victims remain missing.
          ‘Education in the Ukrainian language has almost disappeared from Crimea,’ it adds, highlighting numerous impacts across civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.”
3. Canada’s Minister of National Defence travels to Ukraine and Latvia
Canada’s Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan arrives in Ukraine. 
Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence

On September 25, Canada’s Department of National Defence reported, “Minister of Defence Harjit S. Sajjan will travel to Ukraine and Latvia, to participate in bilateral meetings with Defence counterparts and meet with Canadian Armed Forces personnel.
           In Ukraine, Minister Sajjan will participate in bilateral meetings with his Ukrainian Defence counterpart, Minister Poltorak, and visit Canadian Armed Forces personnel participating in Operation UNIFIER, the Canadian Armed Forces’ mission to support the Ukrainian armed forces in Ukraine.
           Following his meetings in Ukraine, Minister Sajjan will travel to Riga, Latvia, where he will meet with the Latvian Minister of Defence, Raimonds Bergmanis, and participate in a ceremony at Adazi military base marking the full operating capacity of the Canadian-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup in Latvia. While in Latvia, Minister Sajjan will also speak on a panel at this year’s Riga Conference, taking place September 29.”
4. Ukraine’s President interview on CBC The National
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko was interviewed on CBC’s The National on September 25. To view the interview please click on image below.
5. US deeply troubled by conviction of journalist Mykola Semena in Russian-occupied Crimea
The US State Department stated on September 25, “The United States is deeply troubled by the decision of a court in Russian-occupied Crimea against Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist Mykola Semena, convicting him of separatism charges and handing down a two-and-a-half year suspended sentence and a ban on future journalistic activity.
          This conviction was based on the fact that Mr. Semena had criticized Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea in his writing. We call on the Russian occupation authorities to vacate Mr. Semena’s conviction, allow him to resume his journalistic activity, and cease their campaign to stifle dissent in Crimea. Crimea remains an integral part of Ukraine, and the United States remains steadfast in its support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.”
6. Ukraine Team wins two more medals at Invictus Games
Invictus Games founder Prince Harry meets with Ukrainian athletes. Photo – Invictus Team Ukraine
Yesterday, Team Ukraine’s Oleh Zimnikov won a gold medal in the men’s IT7 1500 m, and Oleksandr Tkachenko won a silver medal in the men’s 400 m. The Invictus Games are an international multi-sport competition in which wounded, ill and injured military personnel and veterans take part. The Games are being held in Toronto until September 30. Follow Team Ukraine at the Invictus Games on twitter at

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