Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
2 September, 7 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council (RNBO) reported at 12PM Kyiv time that the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation continue to concentrate soldiers and equipment in occupied areas. In Donetsk oblast, Russian units have been identified in Donetsk city, Amvrosiyvka, Starobeshev, Huselshchykov, Novoazovsk and Markino; in Luhansk oblast, Russian units have been identified in Luhansk city, Pobyeda, Novosvitlivka, and Khryshchuvate. The RNBO stated that during the night of 1-2 September, intense battlesbetween the Ukrainian National Guard and the invaders took place near Rozdolnoye, Vasylivka, and Starolapsa; Ukrainian forces repelled three attacks. The RNBO reported that in order to supply Kremlin-backed terrorists and units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation that are on Ukrainian territory, “the Russian side is using trucks of the so-called humanitarian convoy. Yesterday from the territory of the Russian Federation, toward Dmytrivka, Donetsk oblast, 4 white trucks crossed [the border] and returned an hour later.” The RNBO reported at 5PM Kyiv time that 9 Ukrainian soldiers, held hostage by Kremlin-backed terrorists, were liberated in an operation carried out by forces of Operational Command North. The RNBO stated at 5PM Kyiv time that Ukrainian forces continue to control the airport in Donetsk. The RNBO stated that Kremlin-backed terrorists continue to shell towns and settlements. Kremlin-backed terrorists fired artillery into Alchevsk, the suburbs of Luhansk city, the villages of Yuveliyne, Katerynivka, Vesela Hora, and Petrivka. Vesela Hora and Petrivka are also being shelled from the territory of the Russian Federation. The RNBO stated that Kremlin-backed terrorists are prohibiting civilians from leaving occupied towns and cities.
2. US Senator Menendez: Ukraine should be supplied with defensive weapons
The Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. R. Menendez (D-NJ) stated in an interview with National Public Radio that Ukraine should be supplied with defensive weapons, “Anti-tank type of missiles, that type of defensive weapons, certain radar systems that would give them a sense of where the fire from the enemy is coming, that would be incredibly helpful to the Ukrainians. It is those type of weaponry that I think is important to provide to the Ukrainians so they could fight for their own defense…This is a watershed moment…We have worked since the Cold War to bring Russia into the international order where disputes are solved not by force but by negotiation. And at the end of the day what we have here, after the annexation of the Crimea, forcefully, after the arming of rebels, including arms that ultimately brought down the Malaysian Airlines flight and killed hundreds of innocent civilians, now an invasion. This is a question, not just for the United States, but for the European Union, and those who…have worked for building an international order of peace and security, that if you upend the international order, there must be a consequence. And at a minimum, it seems to me that the country that is being invaded and has not provoked Putin to invade them, needs to have the wherewithal to defend themselves.” On 24 August, a bill “HR 5160 Ukraine Security Assistance Act of 2014″ sponsored by Representative J. Gerlach (R-PA) was introduced in the US House of Representatives, and referred to Committee.
3. Conclusions of European Council Special Meeting
The European Council, after a Special Meeting on 30 August, stated in the conclusions of the meeting that the Council “condemns the increasing inflows of fighters and weapons from the territory of the Russian Federation into Eastern Ukraine as well as the aggression by Russian armed forces on Ukrainian soil. It calls upon the Russian Federation to immediately withdraw all its military assets and forces from Ukraine… The European Council underlines the importance of implementing President Poroshenko’s peace plan without delay. The first step should consist of a mutually agreed and viable cease-fire, the re-establishment of Ukrainian control over its border, and an immediate halt to the flow of arms, material and military personnel from the Russian Federation into Ukraine, as well as the urgent release of all hostages held by the illegally armed groups as well as of prisoners detained in the Russian Federation…The European Council remains engaged in the monitoring and assessment of the restrictive measures adopted by the European Union and stands ready to take significant further steps, in light of the evolution of the situation on the ground. It requests the Commission to urgently undertake preparatory work, jointly with the EEAS, and present proposals for consideration within a week. It requests the Commission to include in its proposal a provision on the basis of which every person and institution dealing with the separatist groups in the Donbass will be listed.”
4. NATO Deputy Secretary General: Russia has become “nationalist and revisionist power”
NATO Deputy Secretary General A. Vershbow, delivering remarks at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in London ahead of the NATO Wales Summit (4-5 September) stated, “in the last few years, Russia has become a nationalist and revisionist power, one that violates international law and uses military power to achieve its geopolitical ends at the expense of its neighbours and wider European security.In recent days, Russia has dramatically escalated its direct military aggression against Ukraine. Russia must end the bullying, interfering, and intimidating approach it has been taking towards all the countries on and near its borders. It must understand that acting outside the internationally accepted norms and order leads only to short-term gain and long-term isolation. And it must realise that until there is a change in its behavior and attitude, then NATO will not be able to resume cooperation with Russia.”
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