Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
7 November, 7 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) stated at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that the transfer of military equipment and personnel from the Russian Federation to the zone of the Anti-Terrorism Operation (ATO) continues. On 6 November, 32 tanks, 16 howitzers and 30 Kamaz trucks with ammunition and personnel entered Ukraine towards Krasnyi Luch, Luhansk oblast, from Russian territory. Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions near Frunze and Hirske with Grads (truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers), and shelled Ukrainian positions near Krymske and Nyzhne with mortars. Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions at the Donetsk airport twice with artillery, mortars and grenade launchers, and shelled Ukrainian positions near Tonenke, Pisky, Maryinka, Slavne and Adviyivka. Near Orlivka, the Ukrainian army repelled an attack by Kremlin-backed terrorists. Near Debaltsevo, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired mortars and grenade launchers on Ukrainian forces near Nikishine, Orlovo-Ivanivka, Chornykhune and Mius. In Luhansk oblast, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired mortars on Ukrainian positions near Stanytsia Luhanska, Staryi Aydar, and Sokilnyky. The RNBO stated that in the last 24 hours, 5 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 16 wounded. The RNBO reported that Kremlin-backed terrorists continue to shell residential areas in Luhansk oblast. In Hirske, 3 residential buildings were destroyed; one shell hit school no. 15, but did not explode. There were no children present in the school. The press center of the Anti-Terrorism Operation (ATO) stated at 1:25 PM Kyiv time that Ukrainian artillery units defending the Donetsk airport destroyed or damaged four tanks, 2 armored personnel carriers, 2 howitzers, 1 infantry fighting vehicle and killed up to 200 Kremlin-backed terrorists who were shelling the Donetsk airport.
2. US Lawmakers: NATO should buy Mistral ships from France
Several media outlets, including Reuters, Foreign Policy and Stars and Stripes, reported that a bipartisan group of US Congressmen sent a letter on 4 November to the NATO Secretary General stating that NATO should buy or lease two Mistral warships that France is contracted to deliver to the Russian Federation. France agreed to postpone delivery of the ships but has not cancelled the contract. According to Reuters, the Congressmen stated, “Sensitive to the financial burden France may incur should it rightly refuse to transfer these warships to Russia, we renew our call that NATO purchase or lease the warships as a common naval asset. […]Such a decisive move by NATO is not without precedent and would show President Putin that our rhetorical resolve is matched by our actual resolve and that this Alliance will not tolerate or abet his dangerous actions in Europe. According to Foreign Policy, the letter was signed by Eliot Engel (D-NY), House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member, Mike Rogers (R-AL), Mike Turner (R-OH), Bill Keating (D-MA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), and Steve Chabot (R-OH).
3. Poroshenko to Merkel: Russia has not paid for gas transit
Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko spoke with German Chancellor A. Merkel. According to Poroshenko’s press service, the leaders “discussed the implementation of the gas agreements reached in trilateral format EU-Russia-Ukraine. The President informed that Ukraine had paid the first tranche of its gas debt, but hadn’t yet received the payment for the transit of Russian gas to the EU countries in September and October. Petro Poroshenko and Angela Merkel negotiated further coordination of the international efforts aimed at peaceful resolution of the situation in the Donbas on the eve of the G20 Summit to be held in Brisbane, Australia on November 15-16.”
4. US Ambassador to OSCE: Russia’s ongoing blatant disregard of OSCE principles
US Ambassador to the OSCE D. Baer stated on 6 November to the OSCE Permanent Council, “The United States remains gravely concerned by the ongoing blatant disregard for OSCE principles and commitments by the Russian Federation in Ukraine, and Russia’s continued failure to implement fully the agreements it signed in Minsk. Over six months ago, when the Geneva Joint Statement was signed, the international community, including the United States, repeatedly urged Russia to implement its obligations and take the path of de-escalation; Russia failed. […] There is a path back to the peace process, but that path is viable only if Russia and its proxies fully implement the commitments they made in the Minsk Protocol and agreements. Ukraine has made progress on its end of the deal. The time is long overdue for Russia and the separatists it supports to do the same. If they do not do so, there will be additional costs.”