Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
23 February 2015, 8 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 Kremlin-backed terrorists continue to shell Ukrainian position – Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions 27 times in the last 24 hours. The RNBO reported that 2 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 10 wounded in the last 24 hours. The press-center of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) reported at 8 PM Kyiv time that Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions 24 times throughout the day. On 22 February, the RNBO reported that 139 Ukrainian soldiers were freed from captivity in a prisoner exchange for 5
9 Kremlin-backed terrorists. The RNBO stated that on 21 February, a train from the Russian Federation carrying 60 military vehicles (tanks, armored personnel carriers) arrived in Amvrosiyivka, Donetsk oblast. At the border crossing at Izvaryne, two military columns (47 trucks with ammunition, etc) crossed into Ukraine.
2. Terrorist attack in Kharkiv
On 22 February, during a peaceful demonstration in Kharkiv commemorating the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred, a bomb exploded. 2 people were killed and at least 10 wounded. The Kharkiv Oblast State Administration stated that a third victim, a 15-year old boy, died today in hospital. The State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) stated that they have detained members of the so-called “Kharkiv partisans” who were planning several attacks in the city on 22 February. The detained were found with a Russian-made grenade launcher. The SBU reported that the detained suspects stated that “the leader of the criminal group received weapons for diversions, funds and instructions from curators in the Russian special services. He personally met with officers of the FSB [Russian Federal Security Service] in Belgorod (Russian Federation), reported on crimes already committed and returned with new assignments.” The SBU stated that they are still searching for other persons involved in the preparation and carrying out of the explosion. O. Turchynov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO), stated on 22 February, “This once again proves that the terrorist campaign being carried out in Ukraine has the same instigators and organizers as the aggression in Eastern Ukraine.”
3. US Secretary of State: “We’re not going to sit back and allow this kind of cynical, craven behavior to continue at the expense of the sovereignty and integrity of another nation”
4. In Moscow, people trying to honor Maidan victims arrested
The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported on 21 February that 8 people were detained in Moscow by police while trying to lay flowers outside the Ukrainian embassy. KHPG reported that 2 of the detained face administrative charges (‘disobeying a police officer’s legitimate order’), with “sentences likely of 15 days imprisonment.” “‘Disobeying a police officer’ is a standard charge used against protesters. In this case it is especially inappropriate, firstly because there was no protest, only the wish to lay flowers in memory of Nebesna Sotnya or the Heavenly Hundred – those killed on Maidan.” KHPG reported.