Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
26 November, 8 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Defense and Security Council of Ukraine (RNBO) stated at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that there is a probability of increased hostilities towards Lysychansk and Stanytsia-Luhanska. Kremlin-backed terrorists are focusing their efforts on establishing control over the Lysychansk-Luhansk highway and capturing the right bank of the river Siverskyi Donets. There is also a probability of attacks from Russian territory towards Nyzhnya Vilkhova, in the Stanytsia-Luhanska district. There is also a threat of attacks by Kremlin-backed terrorists in an attempt to encircle Ukrainian forces near Debaltsevo. The RNBO stated that Russia is continuing to directly support terrorist activity. On 25 November, about 40 trucks crossed into Ukraine from Russia at Izvaryne. They were accompanied by 2 armored vehicles; 7 of the trucks were carrying soldiers, and over 20 were pulling artillery. Kremlin-backed terrorists continue to shell Ukrainian units near Debaltsevo, Donetsk, Luhansk, and the Bakhmutivka highway with Grads (truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers), artillery, and mortars. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, 2 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 2 injured.
2. NATO Commander General Breedlove visits Ukraine
US General P. Breedlove, NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, visited Ukraine for meetings with the President, Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and the head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Breedlove stated, “We discussed frankly the severe challenges that the military and the people of Ukraine are facing right now and how important these partnerships are during these very difficult times. I expressed to them and I express to you now my respect for the people of Ukraine and its leaders who are facing this crisis in the East with courage and with resolve. Ukraine’s preservation of its sovereignty, which is under immediate threat from Russia, is the top priority of the country’s leadership and one that the international community fully supports. […][I]n our U.S. capacity, U.S. European Command and Major General Kee […], has entered into a series of conversations, what I would call very comprehensive and deep conversations, with the Ukrainian military to understand across 25 visits what they need in every part of their military establishment. We have developed a comprehensive plan that begins to accomplish these things that would build those capabilities and capacities in the Ukrainian military that we see and that your senior leaders have talked to us about. The good news is, this work is already happening. We already have a team here working on some of the issues that were identified in this. […] [T]he Ukrainian military has acquitted itself very well in the field. And so I believe, frankly, that they have surprised their adversaries. They have performed very well. And so there are many things that we can work together with in this military. I don’t think it’s appropriate to label their top need. That would be information that their adversary would probably really like to have […]”
3. Canadian Minister of Defence announces additional non-lethal aid to Ukraine’s armed forces
Canadian Minister of National Defence Hon. R. Nicholson announced that Canada will provide further non-lethal military equipment to Ukraine’s armed forces. The gear will include tactical communications systems, explosive ordinance disposal equipment, tactical medical kits, night vision goggles and winterized kits – 30,000 coats, 30,000 pairs of pants, 70,000 pairs of Gore-Tex boots and 4,500 pairs of gloves. The first shipment is scheduled to arrive by the end of November. According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the aid totals $11 million.
4. New Parliament to vote on PM, Parliamentary leadership tomorrow
V. Hroisman, the head of the preparatory group for the new session of Parliament, set to open tomorrow at 10AM Kyiv time, stated that after being sworn in to office, MPs will vote on Parliamentary leadership (speaker, vice-speakers); form a majority coalition; and consider the candidacy for the post of Prime Minister.