Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
13 April 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reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that Kremlin-backed terrorists continue to use heavy weaponry that was supposed to be withdrawn as part of the Minsk agreements. In the last 24 hours, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions 9 times with 120-mm mortars, 8 times with 122-mm artillery and 4 times with tanks. At Shyrokyne (near Mariupol), Kremlin-backed terrorists attacked a Ukrainian checkpoint 8 times with mortars, grenade launchers, a tank, and small arms. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and 6 were wounded. The RNBO reported that Russia is preparing a 24th so-called “humanitarian” convoy and that the activity of Kremlin-backed terrorists increases after the arrival of these Russian convoys. The press-center of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) reported that on 13 April from midnight to 6 PM Kyiv time, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions 25 times, including 15 times with mortars.
2. US Paratroopers arrive in Ukraine for training mission
On 10 April, US Paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne brigade arrived in western Ukraine for Operation Fearless Guardian, a six-month training mission with Ukraine’s National Guard. “The convoy of 50 paratroops and 25 vehicles traveled through Austria, Germany and Poland before arriving in Yavoriv, Ukraine. Formal training with Ukraine’s national guard will begin later this month. About 300 U.S. soldiers will deploy for the effort, which centers on training three battalions of Ukrainian troops in a range of infantry tactics,” Stars and Stripes reported.
3. German Foreign Minister: Putin will not be invited to G7 Summit
German Foreign Minister F. W. Steinmeier stated that Russian President V. Putin will not be invited to the June G7 Summit in Germany, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported. In an interview with Die Welt on 12 April, Steinmeier stated, “The way back to the G8 will come through respecting the unity of Ukraine and implementing Russian obligations from the Minsk treaty,” RFE/RL reported. G7 foreign ministers and the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy will meet in Lubeck, Germany, on 14 and 15 April.
4. Ukrainian, German, French, Russian Foreign Ministers meet in Berlin for talks
Ukrainian Foreign Minister P. Klimkin, is meeting with his German, French and Russian counterparts in Berlin today. Ahead of the talks, German Foreign Minister F.W. Steinmeier stated, “the military intensity has receded, but there are still two or three places where we are seeing an increase in combat again, so it’s of great urgency to come back together again today,” RFE/RL reported. The results of the talks are unknown at the time of this writing.
5. Minister of Defense of Ukraine: all units have been transferred to Armed Forces or National Guard
Ukrainian Minister of Defense S. Poltorak stated on 11 April, that on the orders of the President of Ukraine “all military units have been transferred to the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine or regular units of the National Guard.” in the zone of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO).
6. US officials to file official complaint about Russia’s intercept of US reconnaissance plane
The BBC reported that US officials stated that they will file an official complaint about a Russian fighter’s intercept of US reconnaissance plane, which occurred over the Baltic Sea on 7 April. “US officials say the fighter intercepted the US aircraft at a high rate of speed from the rear, and then proceeded to conduct two more passes using ‘unsafe and unprofessional maneuvers’ in close proximity,” the BBC stated.