Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
22 October, 6 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council (RNBO) stated at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that on 21 October, Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko spoke with Russian President V. Putin; during the discussion the need for a full ceasefire regime and artillery silence was stressed. The RNBO reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that the intensity of shelling has diminished in the last 24 hours. No Ukrainian soldiers were killed, 5 were wounded. However, in some areas of the Anti-Terrorism Operation (ATO) Kremlin-backed terrorists continued to violate conditions of the ceasefire. Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions near Krasnohorivka, Pisky, Tonenke, Novobakhmutivky, and Mykolaivka village. Kremlin-backed terrorists fired mortars on Ukrainian positions near Smyle, and fired on a Ukrainian checkpoint near Maloorlivka with tanks, artillery and small arms. Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions at the Donetsk airport 4 times, and attacked the airport twice. Both attacks were repelled, and Kremlin-backed terrorists took heavy losses. The RNBO reported that the frequency of armed clashes between Kremlin-backed terrorists of the so-called Luhansk “Peoples’ Republic” and illegal armed formation of the so-called Russian “cossacks” have increased.
2. US Mission to OSCE: Russia continues to obstruct expansion of border checkpoint observation mission
The US Mission to the OSCE stated that “Despite repeated requests from OSCE member and partner States, the Russian Federation continued to block the expansion of the Border Checkpoint Observation Mission beyond the two border checkpoints where it is currently deployed. These checkpoints together make up just 1 km of the hundreds of kilometers of the international border between Ukraine and Russia. U.S. Permanent Representative to the OSCE Ambassador Daniel Baer expressed his regret that Russia refused to agree to expanding the observation mission to additional checkpoints and the border areas between them– as the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship had proposed. Russia also vetoed a modest increase in the number of observers, as requested by the Chief Observer, to reduce the excessive workload faced by the observer mission’s small working teams.” Ambassador Baer stated, “We continue to call on Russia to support full implementation of the Minsk protocol, which clearly foresees OSCE monitoring and verification on both sides of the Ukrainian-Russian international border, as well as the creation of a security zone in the border areas of Ukraine and Russia. “Russia must also withdraw its fighters and heavy weapons from Ukraine and return all hostages, as Russia signed up to do at Minsk.” Because of the blocking of the expansion by Russia, the OSCE Permanent Council could only approve a one-month extension of the current mission, which has 16 observers at only two checkpoints.
3. Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group: Persecution of Russian Activist Continues
The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) stated that Ludmila Bogatenkova, the 73-year-old head of a regional Russian Soldiers’ Mothers Committee in Buddyonovsk, Russia, was released from detention on 20 October. The KHPG stated that “The reason for this apparently humane move isunfortunately brutally cynical: Bogatenkova’s state of health made the authorities fear that she would not survive the detention, and her arrest had already received wide media coverage.” Bogatenkova and her committee “have been actively investigating the death of Russian conscripts and contract soldiers in Ukraine. The major offensive against her since Oct 17 began with a search of the Soldiers’ Mothers’ Committee premises. This revealed nothing that could legitimately be of police interest. Bogatenkova was back at home when the investigators turned up and arrested her on suspicion of ‘fraud on a particularly large scale’. A court on Oct 18 ordered that the 73-year-old who is in poor health, with a number of serious illnesses, and needs daily medication be remanded in custody. As if this were not enough, she was taken by car to Pyatygorsk, a city some 140 kilometres away. There, however, the SIZO [detention centre] staff refused to admit her because her condition was so life-threateningly bad. Despite this damning verdict on the Russian court that issued her detention order, she was still held for two nights in a police holding facility in Buddyonovsk. […] Ludmila Bogatenkova has now been released on a signed undertaking ‘not to abscond’. She has difficulty moving without assistance and would die without daily medication, making any suggestion that she might try to hide preposterous. […]It seems most likely that this extraordinary case is linked with her active investigation of the deaths that the Russian authorities are trying to conceal or lie about – those of soldiers and conscripts who died fighting in Russia’s undeclared war against Ukraine. On Aug 28 her Committee drew up a list of around one hundred Russian soldiers killed and a further three hundred injured. At the time Bogatenkova told TV Dozhd that the list had been put together from various sources in the armed forces which, for obvious reasons, she could not reveal. It was sent to the President’s advisory committee on human rights. […] Please help circulate information about this case and about the investigations into the deaths of Russian soldiers that Moscow is so clearly trying to silence, together with those brave individuals who speak out.”
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