Ukraine: Daily Briefing – November 22, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
November 22, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
Canadian Armed Forces member mentors Ukrainian instructor during Improvised Explosive Device Disposal Training in Ukraine, Operation UNIFIER. Photo – Joint Task Force-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. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions 9 times in total on the Donetsk, Luhansk and Mariupol sectors of the front, including 5 times with heavy weapons – mortars and artillery.
2. Ukraine’s President holds meeting of the Military Cabinet
Ukraine’s Presidential Administration reported on November 21, “Given the escalation of the situation in certain districts of Luhansk region, President Petro Poroshenko held an extraordinary meeting of the Military Cabinet of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.
           The Head of State heard the report on the recent developments from the senior military officials, particularly as regards the illegal crossing of the Ukrainian border in Krasnodon district of Luhansk region by Russian tanks, as well as the increasing frequency of provocations by militants.
           ‘Given the increasing number of Russian servicemen and intensification of the mercenaries’ activities, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are ready for any developments to guarantee security of civilians,’ Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
           The Head of State also instructed the Ukrainian representative in the Joint Control and Coordination Center for the issues of ceasefire and stabilization of the delimitation line to intensify interaction with the OSCE SMM and inform our western allies.”
3. US Congressional Ukraine Caucus calls on Russia to release Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko
Roman Sushchenko_ Photo – PEN America
On November 21, US Congressional Ukraine Caucus Chairs, Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Andy Harris (R-MD), Sander Levin (D-MI), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), stated the following on the targeting of journalists in Russia including the continued imprisonment of Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko by Russian authorities:
            “We remain troubled by the targeting and detention of journalists by Russian authorities for no crime other than seeking the truth. Freedom of the press is a fundamental principle of democracy, transparency, and the rule of law. The wrongful treatment of journalists like Roman Sushchenko is part of a larger trend of politically-motivated persecution and violation of fundamental human rights by Russian authorities. We join the international community in calling for their swift release.”
           On September 30, 2016, Roman Suschenko was arrested on a private trip to Moscow by the Russia security service known as the FSB on charges of espionage. He is being detained in Moscow’s Lefortovo Prison and his arrest has prolonged.  He is a permanent correspondent of UKRINFORM in Paris, France and has worked for the agency for 15 years.
4. Ukraine’s Government approves Naftogaz Supervisory Board members
The Ukrainian government has approved the new Naftogaz Supervisory Board, with four independent members, from the UK, France, the United States and Canada, and three representatives of Ukraine.
            Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers stated, “The approved Supervisory Board of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine is completely independent, serving the aim to improve corporate governance, thereby increasing the company’s competitiveness, investment attractiveness, and providing an opportunity to more effectively address the challenges in the process of securing energy independence of the State and to de-monopolize the gas market to ensure that consumers have the lowest possible market prices and are protected by receiving uninterrupted gas supplies.”
            Canada’s Ambassador to Ukraine Roman Waschuk stated on Twitter, “Welcome the appointment of new slate of Directors to Naftogaz board, and Cabinet commitment to energy sector reform. Four distinguished Euro-Atlantic independents including Alberta oil and gas geologist and stakeholder management expert Steve Haysom.”
            The US Embassy to Ukraine stated on Twitter, “Congratulations on appointment of qualified, reputable new members of Naftogaz supervisory board! Key for good governance and reform in energy sector and state owned enterprises.”

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