Ukraine: Daily Briefing – December 14, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
December 14, 2017, 6 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian soldiers participate in counter improvised explosive device (IED) training,Yavoriv. 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, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and one Ukrainian soldier was 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 30 times in total, including at least 13 times with heavy weapons – mortars and artillery.
2. Canada adds Ukraine to Automatic Firearms Country Control List
On December 13, Canada added Ukraine to the Automatic Firearms Country Control List (AFCCL). The Department of Global Affairs stated that the inclusion of Ukraine in the AFFCCL “will enable Canadian companies and individuals to apply for a permit to export certain prohibited firearms, weapons and devices to Ukraine. Each permit application will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to ensure its consistency with Canada’s international obligations and foreign policy and defence priorities.”
          Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland stated, “I’m delighted to make this announcement today. The addition of Ukraine to the AFCCL reflects the close ties our countries share. Canada and Canadians will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine and support Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.”
3. US Mission to OSCE on Russia’s ongoing violations of international law in Ukraine
The US Mission to the OSCE stated, “Only a full and permanent ceasefire will ease the human suffering in eastern Ukraine, as this conflict enters its fourth winter. The Russian Federation has the ability to end the violence. […]
           Russia initiated and continues to fuel the war in eastern Ukraine. Russia must improve security and implement its commitments under the Minsk agreements […]
While many participating States observed International Human Rights Day on December 10, Russia continued its systemic harassment and abuses against Crimean Tatars and others in Crimea opposed to the occupation. […]
           Mr. Chair, human rights organizations have documented over 60 Ukrainian political prisoners detained or imprisoned by Russian authorities in occupied Crimea or in Russia for simply speaking out against Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation. […]
          The United States fully supports Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. As Secretary of State Tillerson clearly stated last week during his opening statement at the OSCE Ministerial: ‘We will never accept Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea. Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns full control of the peninsula to Ukraine.’ […]
           We join our European and other partners in restating that our sanctions against Russia for its invasion of eastern Ukraine will remain until Russia fully implements its commitments under the Minsk agreements.”
4. Ukraine will start broadcasting in Crimean Tatar language to Russian-occupied Crimea
The BBC reported that Ukraine will start broadcasting the news in the Crimean Tatar language to the population in Russian-occupied Crimea.
           The BBC stated, “The state radio company’s general producer Dmytro Khorkin said regular broadcasts should start next year. ‘These people, who are facing persecution for their nationality, religion, and political views, will be able to listen to broadcasts in their own language,’ he told the Crimean service of Radio Liberty.
           The Muslim Crimean Tatars, who make up about 12% of the population, enjoyed considerable cultural autonomy under Ukrainian rule, but Russia has since banned their Mejlis national council as an ‘extremist organization.’
           Mr Khorkin said Radio Ukraine has been broadcasting in Russian to get its message across to the mainly Russian-speaking Crimea for the last three years, but now wants to recruit ‘presenters and announcers with a good knowledge of Tatar, as the language needs to be protected and encouraged.’ […]
           The State Broadcast Committee has been making determined efforts to boost Ukrainian-language television signals to Crimea over the last year, and Dmytro Khorkin said regular medium-wave radio broadcasts are audible in parts of the peninsula after sunset.”

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