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

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
October 26, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

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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 and one Ukrainian soldier was wounded in action. Ceasefire violations by Russian-terrorist forces escalated in the last 24 hours. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions on the Donetsk, Luhansk and Mariupol sectors of the front 15 times in the last 24 hours, including at least 5 times with heavy weapons – Grad rockets and mortars. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled residential areas of Vodyane with mortars.
2. Statement by the Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People on the release of Akthem Chiygoz and Ilmi Umerov
Crimean Tatar leaders Akthem Chiygoz and Ilmi Umerov, who were “convicted” in politically-motivated show trials and imprisoned by Russia, have been released and sent to Turkey yesterday. The Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People Refat Chubarov issued the following statement:
           “The release of Ilmi Umerov and Akthem Chiygoz was the result of efforts of many people and many countries – European Parliament MPs, PACE, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, other international institutions, Ukrainian diplomats, political leaders of European countries, USA, Canada and numerous Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian diaspora organizations around the world.
           I express my sincere gratitude to all international partners and everyone who support the Crimean Tatar People, the immediate de-occupation of Crimea and the return of Ukrainian sovereignty to the peninsula.
           On behalf of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, I express special gratitude to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan for their efforts in securing the release of Akthem Chiygoz and Ilmi Umerov. I believe in and expect the swift release of all political prisoners of Crimea – Crimean Tatars, ethnic Ukrainians, all those who are persecuted by the Russian occupation regime.”
3. EU calls for immediate release of all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens in Russia and Russian-occupied Crimea
The European Union stated on October 25, “Deputy Chairs of the Mejlis, Akhtem Chyigoz and Ilmi Umerov, who were sentenced in the Crimean Peninsula last month, in breach of international humanitarian law, were released today. This is good news. The European Union does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and therefore does not recognise the application of Russian law in the Peninsula.
           The European Union has consistently advocated for their unconditional release and appreciates the efforts of all those who also worked for this outcome.
           The European Union expects Russia to reverse the decision to ban the activities of Mejlis, the self-governing body of the Crimean Tatars, and respect the rights of the Crimean Tatars, including those of freedom of assembly and expression.
           All illegally detained Ukrainian citizens on the Crimean Peninsula and in Russia must be released immediately.”
4. CBC Report: The Magnitsky Act – How Canada set out to punish Russia’s human rights abusers
CBC The National aired a report on October 25, The Magnitsky Act – How Canada set out to punish Russia’s human rights abusers. The report can be viewed by clicking on the image below.
5. MP injured, two killed in terrorist bombing in Kyiv, police say
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “A bomb blast that Ukrainian authorities have described as a terrorist act killed two people and injured five others in Kyiv, including lawmaker Ihor Mosiychuk of the nationalist opposition Radical Party.
           The explosion occurred late on October 25 as Mosiychuk and several other people were leaving a local television station in Kyiv’s Solomyanskiy district.
           A spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), Olena Hitlyanska, wrote on Facebook on October 26 that the agency launched criminal proceedings into a suspected act of terrorism conducted by an organized terrorist group. […]
          The Interior Ministry said that one of the dead was a 30-year-old guard and special police officer. The SBU’s Hitlyanska was quoted as saying that the other person who was killed was a passerby she described as a local resident born in 1981. […]
         Mosiychuk’s Radical Party called the bombing an ‘assassination attempt.’ ‘The assassination attempt against Mosiychuk is linked to his professional activities and political views,’ Radical Party leader Oleh Lyashko wrote on Facebook.
         ‘Clearly, this is the work of our enemy’s secret services,’ he said in an apparent reference to Russia. […]
         Speaking after surgery on October 26, Mosiychuk said he believed those behind the bomb blast are most likely in Russia and that it was carried out by agents of Russia in Kyiv.”

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