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

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
December 6, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
US soldiers observe live-fire training exercise, Yavoriv, Ukraine. 
Photo – US Army Europe
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 on the Luhansk, Donetsk and Mariupol sectors of the front 24 times in total.

2. President of Ukraine’s speech on Day of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
Ukraine's President speaks on Day of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. To view video, please click on image above
Ukraine’s President speaks on Day of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. To view video, please click on image above
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko spoke at the International Center for Peacekeeping of the National Ground Forces Academy in Lviv oblast on the Day of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. President Poroshenko stated, “From the height of three and a half years of armed confrontation with the Russian aggressor, we can confidently state that only due to the heroic actions of the Ukrainian army, the support from the volunteers, the entire Ukrainian people, our country survived and retained its freedom.
           The Armed Forces of Ukraine, our army, the National Guard, and other security units firmly hold the line in the east of our country. […]”
           Hence, the enemy puts an increasing stake in striking in the back, undermining us from inside and destabilizing the situation in Ukraine. […] Moscow spares no efforts and money for that.”
3. Canada calls on Russia to respect obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law
Speaking in the House of Commons on December 5, MP Matt DeCoursey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated, “Mr. Speaker, the government has been unreserved in our condemnation of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. The report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, on the situation of human rights in Crimea, detailed grave human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, ill-treatment, and torture.
           We are deeply concerned by the arbitrary detentions and recent unwarranted searches of the homes of Crimean Tatars. Last week the Crimean Tatars lost one of their leading voices in opposing the illegal annexation of Crimea, Vedzhie Kashka. We honour the memory of Vedzhie Kashka, whose life’s work was defending the interests of the Crimean Tatar people.
           We call on Russia to respect its obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law and to release all political prisoners. We will continue to call for the protection of the rights of all communities in the Crimean peninsula, including the Crimean Tatar community.”
4. Saakashvili refuses to turn himself in to law enforcement for questioning
Former Odesa Governor Mikheil Saakashvili has vowed to continue to resist arrest after he fled law enforcement custody on December 5. Saakashvili is wanted on suspicion of receiving money from the criminal group of former president Yanukovych, the Office of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General stated yesterday. The Prosecutor General’s Office yesterday presented what it stated were audio and video recordings of conversations between Saakashvili and a close ally of Yanukovych, Serhiy Kurchenko, who is in hiding in Russia, and their associates.
           Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported today, “Facing a deadline to turn himself in to the authorities later in the day, Saakashvili told supporters at a protest camp near parliament early on December 6 that he would not comply. […]
           His remarks came after prosecutors on December 5 issued a 24-hour deadline for Saakashvili to turn himself in to police, and after a predawn clash between National Police officers and protesters camping out near the Verkhovna Rada. Authorities said at least four police officers were injured in clashes that broke out as they began searching tents in an attempt to locate Saakashvili. […]
           Larisa Sarhan, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor-general, said on December 6 that Saakashvili now faced three criminal charges: attempting to commit a crime, involvement in premeditated criminal activity by a group of persons, and providing assistance to a criminal organization and concealing their criminal activities.”

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