Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
1 August, 7PM Kyiv time
1. Malaysian Aircraft shot down over eastern Ukraine
70 Dutch and Australian experts and OSCE Special Monitoring Mission representatives reached the crash site of Flight MH-17, and began recovery work. The Dutch government reported that “all human remains they have found will be taken away from the site.” Pieter-Japp Aalbersberg, head of the mission, stated that “We are glad that we can ensure these remains will be transported to the Netherlands now. We hope this will be of some comfort to the relatives.” The team of experts is relocating its base of operations to Soledar, northwest of the crash site. The Dutch government reported that a second victim of MH-17, a Dutch national, was identified, and his relatives informed. “A team of over 200 specialists are working hard to identify the victims but, as emphasized earlier, it could take months before the operation is complete.” Flight MH-17 was shot down by Kremlin-backed terrorists on 17 July. All 298 people on board were killed.
2. Russia’s proxy war against Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts
The National Security and Defense Council (RNBO) stated that on 31 July Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) forces “followed the terms of the ‘day of quiet’ and did not carry out active hostilities.” During the night preparations were made for the continuation of the active phase of the ATO. The press center of the ATO reports that on 31 July, north of Shakhtarsk, a battle took place between ATO forces and Kremlin-backed terrorists when Ukrainian soldiers were ambushed. 10 Ukrainian soldiers were killed. The press center of the ATO stated on 31 July that “The terrorists don’t respect the cease-fire day. On the demand of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today the cease-fire day is announced around the Boeing 777 crash site in Donetsk oblast. It is made to provide valuable work of the O.S.C.E. international experts at the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash site. On July 31 the armed forces that take part in the active phase of the ATO ceased fire. They only protect their positions from enemy attacks. But the pro-Russian terrorists don’t respect any international agreements and requirements. At 9 a.m. [Kyiv time] the [occupiers] attacked with two BM-21 “Grad” [truck mounted rocket launchers] the Peremojne settlement in Lugutino area.” The State Border Service of Ukraine reported that from 9:40 PM to 10:30 PM 50 mortars were fired from Russian territory on Ukrainian armed forces positions near Nova Vilkhova and Makariv. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, 2,210 people (746 children) have fled territory controlled by Kremlin-backed terrorists.
3. Trilateral Contact Group statement
The Trilateral Contact Group (Ukraine, Russia, OSCE) “had a face to face meeting in Minsk on July 31, 2014 with representatives of separatist groups from eastern regions of Ukraine…The Contact Group reiterated that the release of hostages and other illegally detained persons is an important element for securing a mutually agreed and sustainable cease-fire. The other elements include: the establishment of an OSCE supported monitoring and verification mechanism to become effective simultaneously with the entry into force of the cease-fire; effective control and verification on the border between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. The Contact Group agreed with the representatives of separatist groups that they will hold another meeting next week.”
4. Ukraine President signs Laws on Agreements with Netherlands and Australia
On 31 July, Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko signed The Law on the Ratification of Agreement between Ukraine and the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the International Mission for Protection of Investigation, adopted by Parliament 31 July, which establishes the International Mission for Protection of Investigation of Flight MH-17. Under the agreement, the Mission will include military (up to 700) and non-military personnel from the Netherlands, Australia and other states, whose nationals perished on Flight MH-17, as appropriate. The Mission will have freedom of movement within Ukraine to travel to areas relevant to the investigation of the aircraft crash. According to the Agreement with Australia, Australia may deploy police, civilian and military personnel (no more than 250 armed persons) to Ukraine. It will assist with the search for, and recovery of, remains and the conduct of the air accident and criminal investigations. The duration will be for as long as necessary to complete their activity.1-August-Ukraine-briefing