Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
7 August, 6PM Kyiv time
1. Malaysian Aircraft shot down over eastern Ukraine
On 6 August, Dutch Prime Minister Rutte stated that “Over the past few days, the security situation in eastern Ukraine – including the MH17 crash site – has been getting progressively worse. Tensions are on the rise. As a result, experts are unable to do their work in much of the area. And it is our firm belief that this state of affairs is unlikely to change in the near future. In this light it is currently not advisable to continue the repatriation mission.” On 6 August Pieter-Japp Aalbersberg, head of the recovery mission stated that “we aim to return to the crash site as soon as we have the opportunity to work there for a longer period under stable conditions.”
2. Russia’s proxy war against Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts
The active phase of the Anti-Terrorism Operation (ATO) in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts continues. A. Lysenko, spokesman for the National Security and Defense Council (RNBO), stated that ATO forces are preparing for the liberation of Donetsk and Luhansk cities from Kremlin-backed terrorist control. The RNBO stated at 12PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, ATO forces exchanged fire 19 times with Kremlin-backed terrorists near Mayorske, Zelenopillya, Dyakove, Ilovaysk, Tryokhizbenka, Andriyivka, Krasnyi Yar, Pisky, Sabidka, Lisne, Novohannivka, Maryanivka, Krasnyi Yar, and Luhansk. The RNBO reported that Kremlin-backed terrorists targeted residential areas and infrastructure in the Zhovtneve, Lenin, Kamyanobrodsk and Artemivsk districts of Luhansk city with mortar fire. The State Border Service of Ukraine reported that from 10:30-10:40 PM Ukraine time on 6 August, 46 howitzer rounds were fired from Russian territory into Ukrainian territory near Yuhanivka. The RNBO stated that Russia continues to supply weapons and mercenaries to eastern Ukraine. On 6 August, military equipment was transferred from Russian territory into Ukraine near Chervona Zorya village, Donetsk oblast, and near Provallya village, Luhansk oblast, 9 tanks, 3 infantry vehicles, and four 4 armored personnel carriers were sent into Ukraine from Russia.
3. Security Service of Ukraine: Terrorists planned to shoot down Russian plane as pretext for invasion
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) stated that during the investigation into the downing of Flight MH17, law enforcement and intelligence bodies have established that the terrorists planned a terrorist attack against the civilian aircraft Aeroflot, Flight AFL2074, on route from Moscow to Larnaca, which was flying over Ukrainian territory at the same time as MH17. The head of the SBU, V. Nalyvaychenko underlined that “the crime was planned as a ground for bringing of Russian troops into Ukraine, that is – CASUS BELLI for the Russian military invasion.” The full English-language statement by the SBU can be found at http://www.sbu.gov.ua/sbu/
4. National Security and Defense Council Secretary resigns
Andriy Parubiy resigned as Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (RNBO). President P. Poroshenko accepted Parubiy’s resignation, praising his work as Secretary of the RNBO. Poroshenko stated that Parubiy “remains a part of the President’s team.” Parubiy did not give a reason for his resignation, stating that it would be inappropriate to comment on his resignation while the war continues, but that he will continue to work to support the front, most importantly the volunteer battalions.
5. NATO Secretary General visits Ukraine
NATO Secretary General A. Fogh Rasmussen visited Ukraine on 7 August. He met with President P. Poroshenko, PM A. Yatseniuk, Parliamentary speaker O. Turchynov, and Foreign Minister P. Klimkin. Rasmussen and Poroshenko discussed how best to use the four trust funds established to assist Ukraine, in areas such as command and control, logistics and retraining of military personnel. They decided to hold a special meeting with Ukraine at the NATO Summit in Wales in September, and are “planning more joint exercises, more cooperation and more shared training and education.” Rasmussen stated, “…Russia has massed large forces on the Ukrainian border, to shield separatists and to use any pretext to intervene even further. So I call on Russia to step back from the brink. Step back from the border. Do not use peacekeeping as an excuse for war-making.”
6. Ukrainian President, US Vice President speak
On 6 August, Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko spoke with US Vice President Joe Biden. “The two leaders expressed concern with Russian statements suggesting a role for Russian “peacekeepers” in Ukraine, with Russia’s ongoing military buildup on Ukraine’s border, and with Russia’s continuing transfer of weapons to Russian proxies in Ukraine. President Poroshenko reaffirmed his commitment to avoiding civilian casualties and minimizing collateral damage while trying to restore law and order in eastern Ukraine. The two leaders also discussed the possibilities for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis.”
Follow us on Twitter @ukrcancongress, or on Facebook at: