Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
14 April 2015, 7 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 yesterday, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions with mortars, artillery and with tanks. The most active firefights were at Shyrokyne and Pavlopil (towards Mariupol), Hranitne, the area around the Donetsk airport and towards Horlivka, and Sukhodil (towards Luhansk). More than half of the violations of the ceasefire by Kremlin-backed terrorists took place at Avdiyivka, Opytne and Pisky (towards Donetsk). The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, 6 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 12 were wounded. The RNBO reported that as a result of mortar shelling of Leninske and Kirove (near Horlivka) by Kremlin-backed terrorists, two teenagers were injured. The press center of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) reported that from midnight to 6 PM Kyiv time on 14 April, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions 28 times.
2. Canada to provide training to Ukrainian soldiers
Canada will provide training to Ukrainian soldiers. A release from Canada’s Prime Minister S. Harper stated, “Canada will be deploying approximately 200 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel to Ukraine until March 31, 2017, to develop and deliver military training and capacity-building programs for Ukrainian forces personnel. CAF members will be deployed on both a sustained and periodic basis depending on the type of training being conducted. Their activities will include explosive ordnance disposal and improvised explosive device disposal training, military police training, medical training, flight safety training, and logistics system modernization training. Canada will also be providing individual and unit tactics training to Ukrainian National Guard personnel along with the United States.”
3. US Ambassador to Ukraine: “Russia has command and control elements in eastern Ukraine to coordinate military operations”
US Ambassador to Ukraine G. Pyatt stated on his twitter account, “Russia has command and control elements in eastern Ukraine to coordinate military operations there. Russia continues to provide support to the separatists. We know Russia established training areas in eastern Ukraine to train separatist fighters in gunnery and artillery firing. Russia continues to maintain advanced surface-to-air missile systems near the front lines in violation of the Minsk agreements.”
4. IMF forecasts drop in real GDP in Ukraine in 2015, return to growth in 2016
In the World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected that Ukraine’s Real GDP will drop by 5.5% in 2015, after falling 6.8% in 2014. In 2016, Ukraine’s real GDP is projected to grow by 2.0%.
5. Ukrainian President meets with candidates for Director of Anti-Corruption Bureau
Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko met with the final candidates for the position of Director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Artem Sytnyk and Mykola Siryi, as selected by the selection Commission. Poroshenko stated, “The key idea of the Anti-Corruption Bureau shouldn’t be revenge or violence. The key word should be justice.” The President also stated that foreign experts from countries with successful anti-corruption records should be involved in the work of the Bureau.
6. Canadian Foreign Minister: “Now is the time to send Mr. Putin a strong message that he cannot evade his responsibilities under the Minsk agreements”
Ahead of meetings with his G7 counterparts on 14 and 15 April, Canadian Foreign Minister R. Nicholson stated, “Canada is proud to be playing a leading role in supporting Ukraine’s long-term stability, security and prosperity, together with our G7 partners. Now is the time to send Mr. Putin a strong message that he cannot evade his responsibilities under the Minsk agreements through denials of involvement or blurring of the facts through state-controlled media. We are watching implementation closely and will judge according to his actions.”
7. Foreign Ministers of Ukraine, Germany, France and Russia meet in Berlin
The Foreign Ministers of Ukraine, Germany, France and Russia met in Berlin on 13 April to “discuss the way ahead on the ceasefire and the political process in order to implement the Minsk Agreements in their entirety.” According to an Agreed Statement published by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Regarding the implementation of the ceasefire, the situation remains tense because of numerous violations. […]We call on all sides to stop fighting and demonstrate their commitment to fully implementing the ceasefire and conclude the withdrawal of heavy weapons definitely. We furthermore call for the withdrawal of mortars and heavy weapons below 100mm as well as all types of tanks.”
8. Ukrainian Government opens registration for International Support for Ukraine Conference
The Government of Ukraine announced that registration is open for the International Support for Ukraine Conference, which will take place in Kyiv on 28 April. “At the International Conference the Government of Ukraine will demonstrate the results of their activity to stabilize the economy and implement reforms. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine announces that by participating in the event, the international community will have an opportunity to better understand economic and security challenges Ukraine is currently facing as well as its short- and mid-term reform strategy. Apart from that institutions and private investors will have a chance to familiarize with changes and improvements in the Ukrainian business environment,” the Cabinet of Ministers stated. More information on the Conference is available at http://supportforukraine.com/.