Ukraine: Daily Briefing – September 29, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
September 29, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian army special forces training exercises.  Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence

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, two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and two Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy mortar shelling of Ukrainian positions and residential areas of Maryinka. At Berezove and Pavlopil, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions on the Avdiivka-Pisky line. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Krymske.
2. Canada’s Minister of Defence concludes visit to Ukraine
Canada’s Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan speaks with CAF personnel deployed to Ukraine on Operation UNIFIER. Photo – DND

Canada’s Department of National Defence stated on September 28, “Today, Minister of National Defence Harjit S. Sajjan concluded his second visit to Ukraine, during which he reaffirmed Canada’s steadfast commitment to the country.
           On arrival in Kyiv, the Minister was met by Ukrainian soldiers who welcomed him with an Honour Guard. Following this, Minister Sajjan met with Ukrainian Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak to discuss Canadian-Ukrainian defence relations, and to reinforce Canada’s commitment to Ukrainian sovereignty and security. The meeting was an opportunity to take stock of the progress made since the Canada-Ukraine Defence Cooperation Arrangement was signed in April of this year and to discuss areas of further defence cooperation.
           While in Kyiv, the Minister visited an innovative unit that utilises the expertise of engaged Ukrainians to enhance communications and intelligence capabilities.
Minister Sajjan also travelled to Lviv where he visited Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel deployed on Operation UNIFIER, Canada’s military training and capacity building mission in Ukraine. There he witnessed CAF personnel working alongside their Ukrainian counterparts, was provided an update on the progress of Operation UNIFIER, and participated in a town hall discussion with Canadian troops.”
           Minister Sajjan stated, “The Government of Canada remains fully committed to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people as they work to build a more secure, stable, and prosperous country. I am proud of the ongoing collaboration between our two military forces and look forward to sustained cooperation between our two countries. The people of Ukraine can rest assured that we will continue to stand in solidarity with you.” To read Minister Sajjan’s full remarks with Minister Poltorak, please see HERE
3. EU: Conviction by Russia of Crimean Tatar leader Ilmi Umerov is serious violation of his human rights and breach of international law
The European Union stated on September 28, “On Wednesday, a so-called ‘court’ in Crimea sentenced Crimean Tatar leader and Deputy Chair of Mejlis Ilmi Umerov to two years in prison. The European Union does not recognise the illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by the Russian Federation and therefore does not recognise this ‘court’ and its sentence.
          The sentencing of Mr Umerov is a serious violation of his human rights, another example of persecution of the Crimean Tatar community, and a further and clear illustration of the severe deterioration of human rights on the Crimean peninsula, as most recently documented by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in his report published earlier this week.
          Mr Umerov has been convicted for voicing dissent against the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula, under Article 280.1 of the Russian criminal code on “public calls to action aimed at violating Russia’s territorial integrity”. This conviction is in breach of international humanitarian law and the European Union expects it to be reversed.
         The European Union is unwavering in its support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. We reiterate that all illegally detailed Ukrainian citizens on the Crimean peninsula and in Russia must be released immediately.”
4. Invictus Games Update
Invictus Games archery competition. photo – Invictus Team Ukraine

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.
          For more information on how to attend the Games and cheer on Team Ukraine and Team Canada, please see here
Follow Team Ukraine on twitter at @invictusgamesua and #InvictusGamesTeamUkraine
Follow Team Canada on twitter at @IGTeamCanada and
For information on tickets to this event, please see HERE

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