Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
15 August, 4 PM Kyiv time
1. 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 Ukrainian forces exchanged fire with Kremlin-backed terrorists 25 times. ATO forces have liberated three towns – Chernukhine, Luhansk oblast, Bulavinske and Oleksandrivske, Donetsk oblast. ATO forces continue to advance and are completing the encirclement of Kremlin-backed terrorists in Luhansk city. Positional battles are continuing near Donetsk, Luhansk, Horlivka, Ilyovaysk, Pervomaisk and Krasnyi Luch. The RNBO reported that Kremlin-backed terrorists continue to destroy the infrastructure in Donbas. In Donetsk city, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired artillery from near the railroad station into the center of the city. A. Lysenko, spokesman for the RNBO, stated that on the night of 14-15 August, at the border checkpoint Izvaryne, which is not under the control of Ukrainian authorities, a column of Russian heavy military equipment entered Ukrainian territory. The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine reports that from 9:15AM to 9:30AM Kyiv time on 14 August, and during the night of 14-15 August, BM-21 Grad (truck mounted multiple rocket launcher) were fired from the territory of the Russian Federation at the border checkpoint Uspenka, Donetsk oblast. This is the third attack in the last days; as a result the infrastructure of the border crossing has been destroyed.
2. Red Cross: Five person team present in vicinity of Russian aid convoy
The International Committee of the Red Cross stated that it will be deploying additional staff to Russia and Ukraine and scaling up logistics to prepare for the delivery of aid to eastern Ukraine. “The two countries are still finalizing such practical details as inspection and clearance procedures for the Russian convoy and confirmation of the strictly humanitarian nature of the cargo…A five-person ICRC team is already present in the vicinity of the Russian convoy, which is currently parked in the Rostov region, and 15 more staff are on the way.”
3. EU Foreign Ministers meet to discuss situation in Ukraine
The Foreign Ministers of the states of the European Union are meeting in Brussels today to discuss the situation in the Eastern Neighbourhood (Ukraine) and Southern Neighbourhood (Iraq and Syria, Gaza, Libya). In a statement issued before the beginning of the meetings, the EU stated that it is “following with concern developments related to the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. It considers in particular essential to address this situation in full respect of independence, neutrality and impartiality and with the clear consent of Ukrainian authorities, to further mobilize the international community in this regard, to support the capacity of Ukrainian administration in the delivery of humanitarian aid and to coordinate the relevant Member States’ interventions.”
4. 17 July shoot-down of Flight MH-17
The Dutch government stated that a further 62 victims of the MH-17 air disaster were identified. 47 victims were Dutch nationals, 15 victims were nationals of other countries. The total number of victims now identified is 127. Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17 was shot down by Kremlin-backed terrorists in eastern Ukraine on 17 July. All 298 people on board were killed.
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