Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
21 August, 12 PM Kyiv time
1. Russia’s proxy war against Ukraine in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts
The Anti-Terrorism Operation (ATO) in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts continues. The ATO forces continue carry out operations to liberate the cities of Donetsk, Luhansk, Ilovaisk, Krasny Luch, Shakhtarsk, Torez, Snizhne, Zuhres, Horlivka, Stanytsya Luhanska. At 12 PM Kyiv time the National Security and Defense Council (RNBO) stated that in the battle near Luhansk, Ukrainian forces captured two APC’s of the Russian Pskov Airborne Division. In one of the vehicles, a complete documentation package (including driver’s licenses) was found. The personnel and vehicles were attached to the military unit 74268 first paratroopers company Pskov Airborne Division. The crew had abandoned their vehicle. In Luhansk region, terrorists shot down a SU-24 Military aircraft of the Ukrainian Air Forces, which was returning from a combat mission. Both pilots ejected. RNBO stated that in the last 24 hours ATO forces exchanged fire with Kremlin-backed terrorists 30 times.
2. Red Cross: Russian humanitarian convoy may enter Ukraine tomorrow
A Russian “humanitarian convoy” of 280 KamAZ trucks may cross the Ukrainian border on Friday after all customs procedures are completed. The Head of Operations for Europe and Central Asia of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Laurent Corbaz said in Moscow on Thursday. He said the ICRC hopes the convoy will enter Ukraine tomorrow. According to Corbaz, the ICRC has taken all the necessary administrative and preparatory measures to ensure the passage of the Russian convoy. At this stage the convoy is on the border with Ukraine (in Russia) in anticipation of customs procedures. These procedures have already begun and will continue in the near future.
3. President of Ukraine appointed Mustafa Dzhemilev as Commissioner on the Affairs of Crimean Tatars
The Press office of the President reported that President of Ukraine P Poroshenko signed a Decree on the Commissioner of the President on the Affairs of Crimean Tatars, appointing people’s deputy Mustafa Dzhemilev to the position. “To stipulate that the powers of the President of Ukraine to ensure the observance of constitutional rights of the Crimean Tatar people as an indigenous people of Ukraine are delegated to the Commissioner of the President of Ukraine on the Affairs of the Crimean Tatar people,” the Decree reads. Under the Decree, the position of the Commissioner was established to preserve and develop ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of the Crimean Tatar people within Ukraine.
4. Deputy UN Under-Secretary–General Jeffre
UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman met with President of Ukraine P Poroshenko. The President expressed gratitude to Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon for the support of peace and de-escalation of the situation in the Donbas. Poroshenko emphasized that it was not an internal conflict in Ukraine. “People in Donetsk and Luhansk strive for peace. Implementation of our peace plan defines our actions. We understand that it is impossible to solve the situation solely by military means,” the President noted. The President emphasized that Russian military personnel were present in the Donbas and drew attention to the problem of hostages seized and illegally kept in Russia. “Ordinary Ukrainian citizens were kidnapped by terrorists and there is no explanation why did they find themselves in Russian prisons. We want the international community to help us liberate our hostages,” the President said. Mr. Feltman expressed gratitude to the President on behalf of the Secretary-General for his peace initiatives and invited him to take part in the meeting of the UN General Assembly that is to be held in New York in September.
5. President Poroshenko: Elections are the best form of lustration.
The constitutional grounds for the dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada will come into effect on Independence Day. Decision on the future of the current convocation of the Verkhovna Rada will be made taking into account the Constitution and the will of people, President Poroshenko noted. “The decision will be made when there will be constitutional grounds and, as we know, their time falls on the Independence Day,” the President told journalists in Mykolaiv. Poroshenko indicated that he would hold consultations with factions and executives of the Verkhovna Rada on the issue. “In my decisions I will be guided by the aspirations of Ukrainians. Ukrainians demand reset and lustration. Elections are the best form of lustration,” the President emphasized.
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