Ukraine: Daily Briefing – November 23, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
November 23, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
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 three Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. Three more Ukrainian soldiers were wounded when their engineering vehicle struck an IED near Taramchuk village, on the Donetsk sector of the front. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions 12 times in total on the Luhansk, Donetsk and Mariupol sectors of the front.
2. Veteran Crimean Tatar Activist Dies After Associates Detained by Russia
Veteran Crimean Tatar Activist Vedzhie Kashka. photo – RFE/RL

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “An elderly Crimean Tatar activist has died after her associates were detained by Russian security officers in Crimea amid continuing pressure on a group that has broadly opposed Moscow’s 2014 seizure of the Ukrainian peninsula.
           Vedzhie Kashka, 83, became unwell and was taken away by ambulance in the Crimean city of Simferopol on November 23 after several fellow activists were detained by Russian officers. […] Kashka subsequently died, according to sources in a local hospital and fellow Crimean Tatar activists. […]
           Edem Semedlyayev, an attorney who has represented Crimean Tatars in the annexed Ukrainian region, told RFE/RL that Kashka was taken from the scene of the detentions by ambulance. […]
           Kashka’s death triggered an outpouring of outrage and grief among fellow Crimean Tatars. ‘They’ve come for our elders,’ journalist Aidar Muzhdabayev wrote on Facebook, adding that it’s ‘impossible to hold back tears.’
           Muzhdabayev and others said Russian security officers had planned to detain the veteran activist as well before she fell ill. That could not be immediately confirmed, and Russian authorities did not immediately release an official statement on the matter.”
           In an official statement, Refat Chubarov, Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, stated, “Today, November 23, 2017, in several regions of Crimea, searches were conducted in the homes of Crimean Tatars and activists of the national movement were detained. […] Activists of the national movement Bekir Degermenji, Kurtseit Abdullayev, Asan Chapukh, Ruslan Trubach and Kazim Ametov have been detained. […]
           Later, we received news from Crimea about the death of a veteran of the Crimean Tatar national movement, the legendary Vedzhie Kashka, who became ill during a search of her home. Vedzhie Kashka died in the ambulance.
           Analysis of the information coming from Crimea indicates a large-scale special operation conducted by the FSB of Russia in occupied Crimea, the goals of which are the arrest of more activists of the national movement and compromising the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People.”
3. Ukraine’s President: Russia must be held responsible for all crimes it has committed in occupied Crimea
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko stated today that Russia must be held responsible for all crimes it has committed in occupied Crimea and against the Crimean Tatar People.
           Poroshenko, speaking with journalists following a meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk, stated that he informed Tusk about the events in Russian-occupied Crimea today – searches of homes and detentions of Crimean Tatar activists, and the death of veteran Crimean Tatar activist Vedzhie Kashka during these events. Poroshenko stated, “I want to stress that the only form of protection for the Crimean Tatar People is the liberation of Crimea from occupation.”
4. Heritage Foundation: It’s time for the US to provide weapons to Ukraine
In a report published November 22, the Heritage Foundation stated, “In the coming weeks, President Donald Trump will decide whether to approve the sale of U.S. weapons, including advanced anti-tank weapons, to Ukraine. Russia invaded Ukraine. Russia illegally occupies Crimea. Russia provoked and now supports a separatist movement in eastern Ukraine that did not previously exist. Russia is the aggressor and Ukraine is the victim.
           Every country has the right to self-defense. The people of Ukraine have shown a commitment to the transatlantic community, and the U.S. should provide advanced weapons and other tactical enablers, such as secure communications, to the Ukrainians. […]
           It is in America’s interest that Ukraine remain independent and sovereign, and maintains the ability to choose its own destiny without outside interference. […]
At this moment of crisis for Ukraine, the U.S. should be ready to help the people of Ukraine defend themselves by sending vital weapons and equipment in a responsible way. […]
          The exact types of weapons needed are best determined by U.S. and Ukrainian military experts on the ground […] In general, the following capabilities are urgently needed by the Ukrainian military: Anti-tank/armor weapons; […] Counter-battery radars; […] Increased secure communications equipment and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) […]
         The U.S. should help Ukraine defend itself. Providing weapons and the advanced defensive capabilities will raise the cost to Moscow for further Russian aggression. […]
          While the future success of Ukraine will rest in large part on the shoulders of Ukrainians themselves, U.S. leadership is essential for counteracting Russian aggression and supporting reform. The Trump Administration should not hesitate to provide weapons and other military capabilities to Ukraine. The U.S. should seize the opportunity to move quickly and robustly to reaffirm American commitment to, and support for, the people of Ukraine.” The full report is available here:

It is Time for the US to Provide Weapons to Ukraine

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