Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
19 August, 7 PM Kyiv time
1. Russia’s proxy war against Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts
The active phase of Anti-Terrorism Operation (ATO) in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts continues. At 12 PM Kyiv time the National Security and Defense Council (RNBO) stated that in the last 24 hours Ukrainian forces exchanged fire with Kremlin-backed terrorists 24 times in the area of Mariinka, Chervonyi Yar, Vergunskyi Rozyizd, Stanytsya Luhanska, Makarove, Utkyne, Blahodatne, Mayorske, Fashivka, Kuteinykove, Petrivske ta Savur – Mohyla. Today the Kremlin- backed terrorists attacked residential buildings in Luhansk using Grad missiles. The Ukrainian Army continues to liberate the city of Donetsk. In order to block terrorists in Donetsk, ATO forces established more than 30 road-blocks around the city. At 10AM, the National Guard servicemen have liberated two-thirds of Illovaysk and cut off the support lines of the Kremlin-backed terrorists. Russia continues to increase military presence in the Rostov region. RNBO also reported that at 7:00PM 15 bodies had been recovered after yesterday’s attack on a refugee convoy in the eastern Luhansk region.
2. SBU detained a group of terrorists planning to down a military plane on 24 August
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) arrested a group of terrorists planning to down a military aircraft of the ATO forces on 24 August, Ukraine’s Independence Day. They are 6 Russian mercenaries aged 21 to 53 years, whose activities were coordinated from Russia. The SBU uncovered evidence that indicating that the terrorists had implemented plans for terrorist attacks on strategically important objects of Kharkiv region as directed by the Russian secret services.
3. President Poroshenko had phone consultations with German Chancellor Merkel
As reported by the Press office of President, President of Ukraine P Poroshenko had telephone consultations with German Chancellor A Merkel. The Ukrainian President expressed gratitude to the Chancellor of Germany for her efforts to find a peaceful settlement of the situation in the Donbas. He also expressed appreciation for Germany’s facilitation in establishing dialogue, by holding the quadripartite meeting of Foreign Ministers of Germany, Ukraine, France and Russia on August 17. The parties agreed that the next step to find a resolution to the conflict would be a meeting at the highest level. They also discussed the possibility of continuing negotiations with the participation of the EU to find the ways to resolve the situation in the Donbas.
4. Putin, Ukrainian President Poroshenko to Meet in Minsk on August 26
The Kremlin said in a web statement on August 19 that Russian Federation President V Putin would meet with Ukraine’s President P Poroshenko, as well as officials from the European Union and the Eurasian Customs Union, (which comprises Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus). The press office of the President of Ukraine announced that the participants will discuss issues related to the implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, energy security and the stabilization of the situation in the Donbas.
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