Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
11 August, 9PM Kyiv time
1. Ukrainian President’s phone call with US President
Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko spoke with US President B. Obama on 11 August. According to the press service of President Poroshenko, “The U.S. President expressed support to the actions of the Ukrainian President, particularly, to his initiative on the international humanitarian mission for Luhansk under the aegis of the International Committee of the Red Cross with participation of the EU, Russia, Germany and other partners. Barack Obama confirmed the intention of the USA to take active part in the international humanitarian mission.” President Poroshenko expressed gratitude to the US for initiative to propose the Ukraine Security Assistance Act, and expressed the hope that the Act would be passed by Congress and signed by the US President. The Presidents agreed to hold a bilateral meeting during the NATO Summit that will be held in Wales on 4-5 September.
2. European Commission President’s phone calls with President Poroshenko and President Putin
European Commission President J.M. Barroso held separate telephone calls with Ukrainian President Poroshenko and Russian President Putin. “Speaking with President Poroshenko, President Barroso emphasised the EU’s readiness to increase its support to the Ukrainian government-led humanitarian response efforts as well as to international humanitarian organisations. The President of the Commission welcomed President’s Poroshenko willingness to seek international humanitarian assistance. In this vein President Barroso announced that the European Commission would take this week an emergency Decision on additional humanitarian support as a contribution to the UN-led international response plan…Speaking with President Putin, President Barroso said that the EU would join in international efforts to assist people in need as a result of the conflict. President Barroso expressed concern at the gathering of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border, as well as the continuing flow of arms, equipment and militants from Russian territory, which run counter to efforts towards de-escalating the crisis. President Barroso warned against any unilateral military actions in Ukraine, under any pretext, including humanitarian. President Barroso also appealed on Russia to use its influence to ensure that civilian populations could safely and freely leave areas of conflict controlled by illegal armed groups. In both phone conversations, President Barroso underlined the EU’s firm stance in upholding Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence and support for the implementation of the agreed peace plan.”
3. 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.At 12PM Kyiv time, the National Security and Defense Council (RNBO) stated that in the last 24 hours, ATO forces continued offensive operations in four directions – Donetsk, Luhansk, Alchevsk-Stakhanov, and Torez-Snizhne. RNBO spokesman A. Lysenko stated that Kremlin-backed terrorists have sustained heavy losses. In the last 24 hours, ATO forces exchanged fire with Kremlin-backed terrorists 26 times. The RNBO stated that on 10 August, “after Russian shelling from Grad [truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers] the village of Stepanivka, where over 1000 civilians live, was destroyed.” Photos of the village after the shelling are available at http://mediarnbo.org/?p=4377. Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that “hundreds of residents of Stepanivka village, Donetsk oblast, have been left without a roof over their heads as a result of massive shelling on 10 and 11 August from the territory of Russia…Only in the last week, Ukrainian border units were fired upon from the territory of the Russian Federation over 13 times, and 9 incidents of the violation of Ukrainian airspace by Russian helicopters were recorded…All of these provocations are carried out by Russia against the background of loud statements from the Kremlin about the need to address the humanitarian disaster in eastern Ukraine. The cynicism of the situation is that by killing Ukrainian military and civilians, destroying the infrastructure of Ukrainian towns and villages, Russia and the terrorists under her control are themselves the root cause of the humanitarian crisis.” The RNBO stated that shelling of ATO positions from the Russian Federation continues, and Russian mercenaries continue to attempt to illegally cross the border into Ukraine. On 10 August, artillery and mortars were fired from Manotsky, Russia, at the Ukrainian border checkpoint Stanychno-Luhanske. At 5 PM Kyiv time, the RNBO stated that Russia continues to deploy armed forces to border areas – nearly 45,000 troops, 160 tanks, 1360 armored vehicles, 390 artillery systems, 192 combat aircraft and 137 attack helicopters are deployed in border regions.
4. Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement on humanitarian aid to Luhansk oblast
Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that, “because of the complex humanitarian and social situation in the Donbas, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko took the initiative to send an international humanitarian aid mission to Luhansk oblast. In addition to supplies prepared by the Ukrainian side, the mission will also include an international component, specifically, humanitarian aid given by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the USA, European Union, and also Russia. The delivery to Ukraine of humanitarian supplies will take place in accordance with Ukrainian legislation and international law, and in accordance with the approaches used by the International Committee of the Red Cross…The logistical support to the international humanitarian aid mission, including the delivery of aid and its distribution, will be provided by representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Ukraine. It is important that the humanitarian aid will be distributed only to the civilian population of Luhansk, which for an extended period of time has been suffering from the actions of illegal armed groups and terror.”
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