Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
22 September, 9 PM Kyiv time
1. Trilateral Contact Group signs Memorandum on cease-fire commitments
On 19 September the Trilateral Contact Group (Ukraine-OSCE-Russia) and “representatives” of “certain districts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions” signed a Memorandum “outlining the parameters of the cease-fire commitments laid down in the Minsk Protocol on 5 September, 2014.” The OSCE stated that “Among the nine provisions included in the Memorandum, a line between the armed formations is established which serves as reference point for the withdrawal of military personnel and all types of arms, weapons and ammunition. Within an area of 15 kilometers on both sides of the line there shall be no military units or their weapons or ammunitions. Any offensive actions shall be prohibited. All foreign armed formations, military equipment as well as combatants and mercenaries shall be withdrawn from the Ukrainian territory. There was also agreement on the monitoring of the provisions of the Memorandum by the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE which is already operating on the ground in Ukraine.”
2. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council (RNBO) reported at 12PM Kyiv time that Ukrainian armed forces began preparations for moving heavy weapons out of the 15-km buffer zone. The RNBO stated that for the most part there was a decrease in the use of heavy weapons by Kremlin-backed terrorists. At the same time, however, Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions in the area around the Donetsk airport, and near the towns of Debaltseve, Vynohradne, Hnutove, Trudivske, Hranitne and Hostra Mohyla. On 21 September, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired artillery into residential areas of Putyvlskiy district of Mariyinka city, Donetsk oblast. The RNBO stated that Ukrainian armed forces opened fire only when fired upon; in the last 24 hours, 2 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 2 wounded.
3. Tens of thousands rally for peace in Moscow
On 21 September, tens of thousands (estimates in media ranged from 20,000-50,000) of people rallied in Moscow against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Washington Post stated, “The demonstration drew a mixed crowd of old and young, families and organized factions, who walked the route chanting songs and slogans – the most common being a simple, ‘No to war’.”