Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
20 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 ATO forces carry out actions to liberate the cities of Donetsk, Luhansk, Ilovaisk, Krasny Luch, Shakhtarsk, Torez, Snizhne, Zuhres, Horlivka, Stanytsya Luhanska. Ukrainian troops have taken up defense positions on Savur-Mohyla, Donetsk airport, and are also preventing invasions of Kremlin-backed illegal armed formations and sabotage-intelligence groups from Russian territory. RNBO stated that in the last 24 hours ATO forces exchanged fire 32 times with Kremlin–backed terrorists. The terrorists continue to fire on civilians in their temporarily controlled areas. The terrorists fired eight bursts at the village of Olenivka, Donetsk region, from Grad rocket launchers, sent from Russia. The Russian side commanding active intelligence work from the Azov Sea coast.
2. President of Ukraine discussed the ratification of EU Association Agreement
The press office of the President of Ukraine reported that Petro Poroshenko met with deputies of the “Batkivshchyna” faction to discuss ratification of the Association Agreement with the EU. “All of us have done a lot for the Association Agreement to come true. Ukraine has no more discussions whether we should or shouldn’t ratify this important document,” the President said. According to him, the Agreement will be ratified in September. Deputies agree that they should coordinate their actions with the Head of State in the issue of the Association Agreement ratification and assured that they would do everything necessary for ratification.
3. Angela Merkel to visit Ukraine on 23rd of August
German Chancellor A Merkel will visit Kyiv on Saturday, 23 August 2014. The visit comes on the eve of Ukraine’s Independence Day. Merkel will meet with Ukraine President P Poroshenko and Prime Minister A Yatsenyuk. During the visit, Merkel will discuss current issues, including support to Kyiv in its struggle against pro-Russian terrorists. This will be Merkel’s first visit to Ukraine since the crisis started.
4. U.S. to help modernize and technically assist Ukrainian Air Force
The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine announced that the U.S. will help to modernize Ukrainian Military Aviation with effective protection against enemy’s Air Defense Systems. The United States is considering the volume of material and technical assistance for aircraft and personnel of the aviation units of the Ukrainian military according to the Defense Attaché at the Embassy of the USA in Ukraine Colonel Joseph Hickox. During a meeting in Vinnytsia with representatives of the Ukrainian Air Force Command with the military delegation of the Command of the US Air Forces in Europe and the United States Office of the Defense Attaché at the Embassy of the USA in Ukraine, the parties discussed determining the appropriate volume of material and technical assistance from the United States Armed Forces to Ukraine.
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