Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
8 December, 8 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled or fired on Ukrainian positions 55 times. 1 Ukrainian soldier was killed and 9 injured. Near Shchastya, north of Luhansk, Ukrainian forces repelled an attack by Kremlin-backed terrorists. Kremlin-backed terrorists continued to shell Ukrainian positions at the Donetsk airport, and nearby towns Adviyivka and Opytne. The RNBO reported that according to operational information, yesterday 10 civilians were killed in Donetsk as a result of mortar and artillery exchanges between rival terrorist gangs in the city. On 6 December, the RNBO reported that 2 columns (120 vehicles including 9 APCs, 7 tanks and 103 trucks) moved into Ukraine from across the Russian border.
2. Ukrainian President meets with OSCE Special Representative to Trilateral Contact Group
On 7 December, Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko met OSCE Chairperson-in-Office to the Trilateral Contact Group on the implementation of the peace plan in the East of Ukraine H. Tagliavini. “[T]he President emphasized that a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group should be held as soon as possible in order to achieve a ceasefire on December 9.”
3. Ukrainian Defence Minister: Ukrainian forces ready for ‘Day of Quiet’
Ukrainian Defence Minister S. Poltorak stated today, “Regarding the ‘Day of Quiet’, the preliminary agreement has been announced. Tomorrow we will see to what extent it will be adhered to. We respond only when we are fired upon. […] So we are always ready for ‘quiet.’”
4. Ukrainian and Canadian Defence Ministers sign Declaration of Intent
Ukraine’s Minister of Defence S. Poltorak and Canada’s Minister of National Defence R. Nicholson signed a Declaration of Intent in Kyiv. The Declaration states, “1. Canada and Ukraine are committed to continue working together to strengthen the capacity of the Ukrainian government and its security forces to defend Ukraine’s territorial integrity and its people, and to uphold and promote the institutions that serve the wellbeing of its society. We have already achieved important successes in this regard, from years of military training and cooperation offered through Canada’s Military Training and Cooperation Program, to bilateral financial and equipment contributions, to strengthening multilateral collaboration through the Joint Commission. 2. We declare our intent to continue working together to explore ways in which to build upon these gains, particularly as concerns defence capacity-building through the provision of general support training such as military police, medical and personal protective measures.” To read the full text of the Declaration: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-
5. IMF Mission to work in Kyiv December 9-18
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission will work in Kyiv from 9 to 18 December. “Following initial technical discussions completed during November 11-25 period, the mission will begin policy discussions with the Ukrainian authorities in the context of the Fund-supported economic reform program.”
6. BBC: Merkel accuses Russia of interfering in east European states’ affairs
The BBC reported that German Chancellor A. Merkel, in an interview with German newspaper Die Welt am Sontag, stated that Russia was “creating problems” for Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine. “Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine are three countries in our eastern neighbourhood that have taken sovereign decisions to sign an association agreement with the EU. […]Russia is creating problems for all three of these countries,” Merkel said, “pointing to frozen conflicts in breakaway regions like Trans-Dniester, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as Russian actions in eastern Ukraine,” the BBC reported.