Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
1 October, 12 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council (RNBO) stated at 12PM Kyiv time that Kremlin-backed terrorists continued to violate the conditions of the ceasefire and continue to shell Ukrainian positions. “Grad” truck mounted multiple rocket launchers and mortars were fired on the Donetsk airport, Nikishine, Starohnativka, Ridkodub. As a result of shelling of Donetsk by Kremlin-backed terrorists, electric power was lost in three residential districts of the city. The RNBO stated that in the last 24 hours, 5 Ukrainian soldiers were wounded.
2. US State Department: Russian forces still in Ukraine; Ukraine fulfilling ceasefire commitments
On 30 September, US State Dept. spokesperson J. Psaki stated, “We remain deeply concerned by the intensifying violence in eastern Ukraine. Russian military forces and equipment are still in Ukraine, and the Russia-Ukraine border is still unsecured. Since the ceasefire was signed on September 5th, attacks on Ukrainian positions and towns, including around the Donetsk airport and the village of Popasna in Luhansk, have killed and wounded scores of Ukrainian armed forces and civilians and destroyed critical infrastructure. We call on Russia and the separatists it backs to immediately end these attacks. We also call on Russia to withdraw all Russian military forces and equipment from inside Ukraine. OSCE monitors are on the ground in Ukraine monitoring and verifying the ceasefire, and ready to further support the implementation of the September 5th Minsk protocol and September 19th Minsk agreement. Russia must allow them to do their work. Ukraine continues to fulfill its ceasefire commitments and pursue a peaceful resolution of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Now is the time for Russian authorities and the separatists they back to immediately implement their obligations under the Minsk agreement they signed.”
3. Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on illegal detention of Ukrainian citizens by Russia
On 29 September the Lefortovo district court (Moscow) prolonged the detention of Ukrainian citizen Oleh Sentsov until 11 January 2015. Sentsov was arrested by Russian occupying authorities in Crimea and taken to Moscow. Ukraine’s MFA stated that despite numerous requests to allow Ukraine’s consul to meet with Sentsov and other Ukrainians detained in Russia, Russian authorities refuse to allow representatives of Ukraine to meet with detainees. On 30 September, the MFA of Ukraine stated, “We are dealing with a flagrant violation by Russia of international and bilateral conventions, which directly obligate Russia to immediately allow access for diplomats to those detained. The MFA expresses its strong protest to the actions of the Russian authorities, who, using fabricated charges, are preparing demonstrative repressions against Ukrainian citizens, residents of Crimea, who refuse to resign themselves to occupation.” Regarding the case of Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko, the MFA of Ukraine stated that on 24 September, the Russian Investigative Committee ordered that Savchenko be sent for a forced psychiatric evaluation; at the 26 September hearing regarding Savchenko’s complaint against the decision to send her for forced psychiatric evaluation, the Basman district court (Moscow) held a closed hearing at which neither Savchenko nor a representative of the Ukrainian embassy were present. The MFA of Ukraine stated on 30 September that “we call on the entire democratic world to strengthen pressure on Russia in order to force Russia to respect international law and human rights, and demand that Russia immediately release all illegally detained citizens of Ukraine.”
4. Former Prime Minister of Norway takes over as NATO Secretary General
Jens Stoltenberg took the position of NATO Secretary General on 1 October. He will chair a meeting of the North Atlantic Council today. Stoltenberg was PM of Norway from 2000-2001 and 2005-2013. He succeeds A. Fogh Rasmussen’s as NATO Secretary General who served for 5 years and 2 months.