Ukraine: Daily Briefing – December 5, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

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Ukraine: Daily Briefing
December 5, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
 
Lt. Col. Kristopher Reeves, Commanding Officer, Joint Task Force-Ukraine, speaks with CTV news about training of Ukrainian Army by the Canadian Armed Forces, Operation UNIFIER. To watch interview please click on image above


 
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. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire 21 times on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk, Donetsk and Mariupol sectors of the front, including at least 9 times with heavy weapons – mortars and artillery. Russian-terrorist forces shelled residential areas of Vrubivka with artillery. On the Debaltseve-Svitlodarsk line, Ukrainian forces repelled an attack by Russian-terrorist forces, after a five-hour battle.
2. Canada demands border access for any Ukraine peacekeepers
The Associated Press reported, “Canada’s foreign minister says her country would back e a peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine but only if it could have access to border areas with Russia.
          Chrystia Freeland told reporters in Brussels Tuesday that ‘a peacekeeping option for the Donbas is possible only if those peacekeepers are on Ukraine’s border.'”
3. Ukraine’s Prosecutor General: Saakashvili suspected of receiving financing from Yanukovych criminal group
Video presentation of Prosecutor General's Office and State Security Service on allegations against Saakashvili
Video presentation of Prosecutor General’s Office and State Security Service on allegations against Saakashvili. To view video, please click on image above
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko stated that former Odesa Oblast governor Mikhail Saakashvili is suspected of receiving financing from a member of the criminal group of former President Viktor Yanukovych – Serhiy Kurchenko. Kurchenko, a close ally of Yanukovych, is currently in hiding from Ukrainian law enforcement in Russia.
          “With their money, Saakashvili and people close to him financed protests, the goal of which was the seizure of state power in Ukraine and assisting members of the criminal organization of Yanukovych-Kurchenko in stopping the criminal prosecutions against them, and renewal of control over assets that they had gained control over through criminal activity,” Lutsenko stated at a press briefing today.
           Lutsenko stated that direct communication between Kurchenko and his associates and Saakashvili and his associates has been established, regarding financing of activities by transferring approximately $500,000 for organizing mass protests in Ukrainian cities, as well as agreements on monthly financing of these protests of approximately $1 million. The Prosecutor General’s office presented what it stated were audio and video recordings of conversations between Kurchenko, Saakashvili and their associates during the press briefing.
 
4. Saakashvili flees from law enforcement custody
Following his detention by law enforcement officers, former Odesa Oblast governor Mikhail Saakashvili fled law enforcement custody.
           Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported, “Amid a dramatic standoff between police in riot gear and hundreds of protesters who blocked streets in an effort to prevent the authorities from taking him away, Saakashvili was pulled from the van despite police resistance.  […]
           He then led hundreds of people in a march toward parliament and urged Ukrainians to rally on Maidan Nezalezhnosti, or Independence Square […]
          The fast-shifting developments came after law enforcement agents entered Saakashvili’s apartment and arrested the former Odesa governor, accusing him of criminal ties with Yanukovych.”
5. Prosecutor General calls on Saakashvili to appear for questioning
Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko briefed Ukraine’s Parliament on the investigation into former Odesa Oblast governor Mikhail Saakashvili. Lutsenko stated, “In 24 hours, the law enforcement system of Ukraine will do everything necessary to ensure that Saakashvili faces the investigator for declaration of suspicion, and then court.” Lutsenko stated that he believes that “the appearance of Saakashvili at the investigator’s office of the Security Service of Ukraine tomorrow at 9am will save the country from unnecessary destabilization.”
6. US Embassy in Ukraine: We expect any investigation will be conducted expeditiously and in accordance with Ukrainian law

The US Embassy in Ukraine stated, “We are aware that Mr Saakashvili was detained and that protests are ongoing. We call for all sides to deescalate tensions and avoid violence. We are monitoring the situation closely and expect any investigation will be conducted expeditiously and in accordance with Ukrainian law.”


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