Ukraine: Daily Briefing – August 31, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time

Ukraine: Daily Briefing
August 31, 2018, 5 PM Kyiv time
Note to our readers: The UCC Ukraine Daily Briefing will be not be published September 3-7, 2018. The UCC Ukraine Daily Briefing will return Monday, September 10. Thank you for your interest!


1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense 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 and Donetsk sectors of the front 12 times in total.
2. US State Department condemns Russia’s Harassment of International Shipping Transiting the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov
The US State Department stated on August 30, “The United States condemns Russia’s harassment of international shipping in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. Russia has delayed hundreds of commercial vessels since April and in recent weeks has stopped at least 16 commercial ships attempting to reach Ukrainian ports.
          Russia’s actions to impede maritime transit are further examples of its ongoing campaign to undermine and destabilize Ukraine, as well as its disregard for international norms.
          The United States supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters. We call on Russia to cease its harassment of international shipping in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.”
3. Freedom House report – Russian-occupied Crimea: Victims and Oppressors
On August 30, Freedom House published a report, Occupied Crimea: Victims and Oppressors, “a review of the forces at work in Crimea, and why the international community must keep up its pressure on Moscow.”
         The report states, “While Russia’s policy toward Crimea has not budged, it is essential to maintain international solidarity on the issue. The United States, EU countries, and likeminded democracies must continue to use sanctions and other available means to make it clear that Russia’s illegal seizure of territory and repression of the local population-in violation of its own international commitments-are unacceptable in the 21st century.”
The full report is available here: Occupied Crimea: Victims and Oppressors
4. Ukraine’s President travels to US to pay tribute to late Senator John McCain
Ukraine’s Presidential Administration reported, “On August 31 – September 1, 2018, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko will make a private visit to the United States of America to attend a farewell ceremony for U.S. Senator John McCain.
          ‘On behalf of the people of Ukraine and on my own, I intend to pay tribute to the outstanding personality, the great friend of Ukraine. The invincibility of his spirit motivates. His sense of historical moment is impressive. His vision of the future inspires,’ the Head of State noted before departing to Washington.
         ‘In the memory of Ukrainians, Senator McCain will forever remain a close friend who stood side by side in defense of democracy at the Kyiv Maidan and a loyal brother in arms who shared a New Year’s dinner with Ukrainian soldiers on the line of combat clashes. His faith in the Ukrainian people cannot be overestimated, as well as the contribution to the deterrence of the Russian aggressor. John McCain’s credible voice will forever remain one of the loudest in support of an independent, democratic and prosperous Ukraine,’ the President said.”

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