Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
24 February 2015, 8 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that Kremlin-backed terrorists continue to shell Ukrainian positions in violation of the Minsk agreements. Near Shyrokino, Donetsk oblast, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions 9 times with tanks, mortars and small arms. The attack was repelled. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and 7 were wounded. The press-center of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) stated at 8 PM Kyiv time that throughout the day Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions 14 times.
2. KHPG: Savchenko experiencing kidney and gall bladder problems
The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported that “After 73 days on hunger strike, Nadiya Savchenko is experiencing kidney and gall bladder problems. That, at least, is the report from a human rights activist who visited heron Monday. In the absence of a medical examination, as she has requested, by an international team of doctors, Valery Borshchov’s assessment cannot be verified, but should clearly be taken seriously. […] According to her sister Vera Savchenko […] [Nadiya] has lost over 26% of her weight. […] According to [human rights activist Zoya] Svetova, it is now 13 days since Savchenko accepted glucose-enriched water making the risk to her health, and her life grave.” Savchenko, a Ukrainian air force pilot, who was serving in eastern Ukraine, was abducted by Kremlin-backed terrorists in mid-June and taken to Russia, where she has been illegally detained and imprisoned since that time. She was elected to Ukraine’s parliament in October.
3. US Secretary of State: Russia has lied about its activities in Ukraine
Testifying at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, US Secretary of State J. Kerry stated,
“Russia is engaged in a rather remarkable period of the most overt and extensive propaganda exercise that I’ve seen since the very height of the Cold War. […]And they have been persisting in their misrepresentations — lies — whatever you want to call them about their activities there to my face, to the face of others on many different occasions.”
4. First Deputy Speaker of Ukrainian visits Ottawa
A. Parubiy, First Deputy Speaker of Ukrainian Parliament, visited Ottawa on 23 February. He met with ministers, MPs and representatives of the Ukrainian community. In a meeting with Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs R. Nicholson, “Minister Nicholson and Mr. Parubiy discussed the security situation in eastern Ukraine, including concerns over Mariupol, and the steps taken toward reform by Ukraine’s government. Canada is committed to working closely with the Government of Ukraine to build a united, democratic and prosperous Ukraine. Mr. Parubiy thanked Canada for taking a leadership role in supporting Ukraine and for the new economic sanctions and travel bans imposed on February 17, 2015, against 37 Russian and Ukrainian individuals and 17 Russian and Ukrainian entities. Minister Nicholson and Mr. Parubiy also discussed the February 12 Minsk agreement and the persistent ceasefire violations by the Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Minister Nicholson offered his sympathies to the Ukrainian people following this weekend’s bombing of a peaceful demonstration in Kharkiv. The Minister also called on the Putin regime to withdraw its forces immediately from Ukraine and to use its influence on the separatists to have them lay down their weapons, and he reiterated Canada’s steadfast support for Ukraine.”