Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
25 February 2015, 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 Ukrainian positions 17 times. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed, one Ukrainian soldier was wounded. The press center of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) stated at6:00 PM Kyiv time that Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions 4 times throughout the day. The press-center of the ATO stated that the enemy is concentrating forces towards Mariupol.
2. UK to send advisory and training teams to Ukraine
UK PM D. Cameron announced on 24 February that the UK will be sending advisory and training teams to Ukraine to “build the capacity and resilience of its Armed Forces. As part of wider efforts to support Ukraine and ensure a robust international response to Russia’s aggression, the teams will provide medical, logistics, infantry and intelligence capacity building training from mid March,” a UK government release stated.
3. Moscow Court rejects Savchenko’s appeal of her illegal detention
A Moscow Court judge rejected Nadiya Savchenko’s appeal against her illegal detention, the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported. “As well as the flagrant irregularities of this case, and fact that Savchenko has a provable alibi, Judge Andrei Mokhov also ignored clear signs that Savchenko is gravely weakened and may indeed not live to her next hearing. Now into her 75th day of hunger strike, she could be seen via the video link with her cell either lying down or leaning her head on her arms.” KHPG stated. 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, 2014.
4. Canadian Minister of National Defence: We’re exploring options actively about assisting Ukrainians with military training
During a media scrum, Canadian Minister of National Defence J. Kenney stated, “We’re exploring options actively about assisting Ukrainians with military training. We’ve just signed an agreement with the Ukrainians to provide them with radar satellite images to help them track Russian troop movements, and we provided tons of non-offensive military equipment that have been hugely helpful to the Ukrainian military, so we are looking at other ways in which we can be helpful, including training. […]We’re examining all of our options, and I would say stay tuned, but we believe there’s an important role for Canada to play as a responsible ally in assisting Ukraine in defending its territorial integrity. […] Canada, together with our NATO allies, stands with our eastern European friends against any intimidation or territorial aggression on the part of Vladimir Putin. And the message we’re sending to him with respect to Ukraine is to get out of Ukraine now. And that is why we have provided tons of nonlethal military equipment to the Ukrainian military. It’s why we are now providing radar satellite images that can assist the Ukrainians in tracking strategic Russian troop movements. And it’s why we are considering possibly playing a role in terms of troop training.”
5. US Forces Europe Commander testifies at House Armed Services Committee
Gen. P. Breedlove, US Forces Europe Commander, testified at the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, in his annual “posture” statement on his command. “Since the beginning of 2014, President Putin’s Russia has abandoned all pretense of participating in a collaborative security process with its neighbors and the international community. Instead, Russia has employed ‘hybrid warfare’ (which includes regular, irregular, and cyber forms of war as well as political and economic intimidations) to illegally seize Crimea, foment separatist fever in several sovereign nations, and maintain frozen conflicts within its so-called ‘sphere of influence’ or ‘near abroad.’ Undergirding all of these direct approaches is the pervasive presence of the Russia propaganda machine, which inserts itself into media outlets globally and attempts to exploit potential sympathetic or aggrieved populations.” The full statement can be found athttp://www.eucom.mil/mission/
6. European Council President: Additional sanctions remain on the table
Speaking at European Parliament, European Council President D. Tusk stated, “The European Union still hopes for peace so that the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine can be restored as soon as possible. However, we remain very skeptical. The 2014 Minsk agreement was not honoured. Debate among the leaders focused on how to support the implementation of the new peace deal. If this does not happen, we will not hesitate to take the necessary steps. The ceasefire, which was supposed to take effect at midnight on February 15th, has been violated more than 800 times according to the OSCE. I am in contact with Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande, and in consultations with all leaders. The European Union stands united on this question and will stay the course. Additional sanctions remain on the table. We should be ready for any development, good or bad.”