Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
24 September, 7 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council (RNBO) reported at 12PM Kyiv time that Ukrainian forces continue to respect the terms of the ceasefire. By contrast, pro-Russian terrorists continue to shell and fire upon Ukrainian positions and checkpoints in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. The RNBO reported that terrorists fired rocket artillery on the village of Malo Orlivka, Shakhtarsk district as well as in the area of Donetsk airport and Debaltseve. In the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed, though 8 were injured. Within the framework of President’s Poroshenko Peace Plan, 10 more Ukrainian servicemen held captive were released. The RNBO also reported that Russian armed forces are using range stations in the border districts, which are jamming mobile operators’ signals in the territory of Ukraine and interfere with radio traffic of the State Border Service and Armed Forces of Ukraine.
2. Pro-Russian Rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts declare early poll date
Itar-Tass reported that Russian-led and backed rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine announced elections on 2 November, rejecting the terms of the “special status” law approved by the Ukrainian parliament. “We do not have an election legislation yet, but we do hope to draft and adopt it by that date,” the leaders of the self-declared “people’s republics of Luhansk and Donetsk” said to the news agency. Both “republics” aim to elect a Supreme Soviet (parliament) and their own leaders. Ukraine is holding parliamentary elections on October, 26.
3. New NATO Secretary General: Ukraine will be the main priority for the Alliance
Jens Stoltenberg, the new NATO Secretary General, who takes the post of the NATO secretary general on October 1, said that the situation in Ukraine triggered by Russian aggression will be a priority for NATO. He also noted that a return to the old format of relations between Russia and NATO was not being considered. “The seriousness of the current situation in Ukraine is indicated by the fact that military force is used to change the borders of states. Ukraine is a NATO partner and, in addition, it borders the member states of the alliance,” Stoltenberg was quoted as saying.
4. Japan imposed new sanctions against Russia over Ukraine
Japan announced new sanctions against Russia in response to its annexation of Crimea and the crisis in eastern Ukraine, bringing it closer in line with steps taken by the U.S., Canada and the European Union. The new sanctions include restrictions on arms exports and a ban on Russian banks from issuing securities in Japan. Earlier, the Japanese government had issued two sets of sanctions on Russia this year, targeting two organizations and 40 individuals. Russia’s foreign ministry says it is disappointed with new sanctions imposed by Japan, saying the decision to impose them seems illogical and an “unfriendly step.”Crisis-in-Ukraine-Daily-Briefing-24-09-2014