Ukraine: Daily Briefing – February 13, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
February 13, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
Ukrainian army artillery training exercises. 
Photo – Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence
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 two Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions on the Luhansk and Donetsk sectors of the front 11 times in total, including at least 5 times with heavy weapons.
2. US State Department on third anniversary of Minsk Agreements
The US State Department stated, “Yesterday marked the somber third anniversary of the signing of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements. Sadly, Russia continues to disregard its commitments under the Minsk agreements, stoking a hot conflict in Ukraine that has cost over 10,000 lives, including more than 2,500 civilians, and has displaced 1.6 million Ukrainians.
           Russia continues to deny its direct involvement, while Russian-led forces intimidate and deny secure access to unarmed OSCE monitors and suppress the work of independent media and civil society. Ukraine has passed legislation-including amnesty for anti-government forces and special status for the Donbas-indicating Ukraine’s desire to implement the Minsk agreements.
          Working closely with France and Germany, the United States continues to urge the Russian government to cease its aggression in Ukraine. The United States takes this opportunity to reiterate that our sanctions will remain in place until Russia fully implements its commitments under the Minsk agreements. Our separate Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns the peninsula to Ukraine.”
3. The future agenda of US-Ukraine military relations
Stephen Blank, Senior Fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, writing in SLD, stated, “Although the U.S. announced late in 2017 that it would transfer Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine; nobody should think that this transaction suffices or will terminate USA defense ties to Ukraine.Quite the opposite, in fact, is true.
           This relationship is only beginning and in the interests of both parties needs to go further. There has been no progress on the political negotiations between Ambassador Kurt Volker and Vladimir Surkov of Russia.
           Indeed, Volker publicly decried the lack of political will in Moscow to implement the Minsk accords of 2015 and remove its own forces and proxies from Ukraine. Meanwhile by all accounts Russia continues to rebuild military infrastructure and capability in and around Ukraine. […]
          Indeed, according to Ukrainian sources the two corps in the Donbass, (Donets and Luhansk Provinces) are now fully integrated into the VII Army along with local terrorist groups operating under Russian authority and possess 750 Main Battle Tanks (MBT). […]
         Therefore there are no grounds for believing that merely sending Javelin missiles (which, in any case have yet to arrive) suffices to show resolve and convince Putin to withdraw.
         Ukraine still has great need of radio-electronic and ISR capabilities to counter Russian UAVs, fire-control capabilities, and Russian ISR.
         Besides these capabilities for land and potentially aerial warfare we must also pay heed to Ukraine’s naval needs. It needs to rebuild its fleet virtually from scratch and remains vulnerable to naval operations launched by Russia. […]
        Only when [Putin] is convinced beyond any shadow of a doubt that no military victory or political outcome based on his superior ability to use force is possible can we realistically expect a political process that has a chance of succeeding in resolving the crisis.[…]
       This logic therefore necessarily means an expansion of the already flourishing US-Ukraine defense relationship. […] The 10,000 fatalities that are the result of Moscow’s aggression in this war are sacrifices on behalf of NATO and NATO as well as Washington need to understand that further sacrifices will occur unless we can truly deter Moscow from further aggression in Europe.”
The full article is available here
4. Westinghouse to continue nuclear fuel delivery to Ukraine through 2025
On January 29, Westinghouse Electric Company “signed a nuclear fuel contract extension with Ukraine’s State Enterprise National Nuclear Energy Generation Company (SE NNEGC) Energoatom. The contract includes nuclear fuel deliveries to seven of Ukraine’s 15 nuclear power reactors between 2021 and 2025, expanding and extending the existing contract for six reactors that was set to expire in 2020.
           ‘This contract extension solidifies Westinghouse’s role as a strategic partner for Energoatom and demonstrates our ability to support Ukraine with their energy diversification. Under the terms of the new contract, our relationship with Ukraine will be strengthened through our plan to source some of the fuel components from a Ukrainian manufacturer,’ said José Emeterio Gutiérrez, Westinghouse president and chief executive officer. […]
         The manufacturing and assembly of the nuclear fuel will be performed by the Westinghouse fuel fabrication facility in Västerås, Sweden, where parts of the production lines are solely dedicated to VVER-1000 fuel. Deliveries against the contract will begin in 2021, immediately following the conclusion of existing contract,” Westinghouse stated.

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