Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
11 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 despite the “regime of quiet”, the situation in the Donbas remains difficult because Kremlin-backed terrorists continue to violate agreements and continue to shell Ukrainian army positions and towns. The RNBO report at 12:30 PM that, in the last 24 hours, Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled or fired at Ukrainian positions 22 times. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours 3 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 8 injured. At 5:30 PM Kyiv time, the RNBO reported that between 7 AM and 3 PM Kyiv time, there were no incidents of Kremlin-backed terrorists shelling Ukrainian positions.
2. Parliament approves Government Action Program
Ukraine’s Parliament approved the Government Action Program, which sets out the reforms to be undertaken. Speaking in Parliament, Ukrainian PM A. Yatsenyuk stated, “In order for the situation in Ukraine to stabilize by 2016, we need to pass difficult budgetary and tax measures, and receive necessary international financial assistance. […] In the next two weeks we will be passing very difficult and very, very unpopular decisions. […] These reforms were carried out in the Baltic countries, Greece, Spain, Italy, and Germany and France.” 269 MPs supported the Government’s Action Program.
3. Parliament removes MPs who voted for January 16 “dictatorship laws” from Committee Executive positions
Ukraine’s Parliament passed a resolution changing the membership of parliamentary committees, removing from executive positions (head, first deputy head, deputy head and secretary) those MPs who were members of the previous parliament and voted for the January 16, 2014 “Dictatorship laws.” According to the resolution 14 MPs were removed from these positions and reappointed as members of committees. 252 MPs supported the resolution.
4. Parliament calls for release of Nadia Savchenko from Russian detention
Ukraine’s Parliament passed a resolution calling on the State Duma of the Russian Federation and the President of the Russian Federation to release from detention Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadia Savchenko. 321 MPs supported the resolution. Savchenko, a Ukrainian armed forces pilot serving in eastern Ukraine was abducted by Kremlin-backed terrorists in mid-June and taken to Russia, which has illegally detained and imprisoned her since that time. She was elected to Ukraine’s parliament in October.
5. Ukraine appoints former European Commissioner as Business Ombudsman
The Cabinet of Ministers approved the appointment of Algirdas Semeta to the position of Business Ombudsman. Semeta had previously served as European Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Statistics, Audit and Anti-Fraud. The ombudsman position is part of the Anti-Corruption Initiative established in May. The post is “a key element in the Initiative agreed under a Memorandum of Understanding among the Ukrainian government, international organisations, including the EBRD and the OECD, […] the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, the European Business Association, the Federation of Ukrainian Employers, the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.” The governing body of this initiative unanimously nominated Semeta, a Lithuanian national, for the position.