Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
11 May 2015, 6 PM Kyiv time
- 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 fire on Ukrainian positions with artillery, and mortars in violation of the Minsk agreements. Towards Donetsk, the area of most intense confrontation is around Pisky, where Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions 10 times. Towards Mariupol, Kremlin-backed terrorists opened fire on Ukrainian positions 17 times around Shyrokyne. Towards Luhansk, Kremlin-backed terrorists violated the ceasefire at Shchastya, Stanytsia Luhanska, Zolote and Krymske. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and five were wounded.
- NATO Secretary General: Russia and separatists can launch new attacks with very little warning time
Speaking to reporters ahead of the NATO Foreign Ministers meetings in Antalya, Turkey, on 13-14 May, NATO Secretary General J. Stoltenberg stated, “We have seen over several weeks and months continued support from Russia to the separatists with heavy weapons, with artillery, with advanced air defense systems, with training and also with forces […] In eastern Ukraine we see more loss of life, a rise in cease-fire violations, obstruction of the monitors, and continued Russian support for the separatists. This is a disturbing trend in the wrong direction. […] Russia and the separatists have the capacity capabilities which enable them to launch new attacks with very little warning time […]They have the capacity; what the intention is, I will not speculate on,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
- Reuters Special Report: Russian soldiers quitting army because of conflict in Ukraine
A Reuters Special Report published 10 May states, “Some Russian soldiers are quitting the army because of the conflict in Ukraine, several soldiers and human rights activists have told Reuters. Their accounts call into question the Kremlin’s continued assertions that no Russian soldiers have been sent to Ukraine, and that any Russians fighting alongside rebels there are volunteers. Evidence for Russians fighting in Ukraine […] is abundant. […] Until now, however, it has been extremely rare to find Russian soldiers who have fought there and are willing to talk. It is even rarer to find soldiers who have quit the army. Five soldiers who recently quit, including two who said they left rather than serve in Ukraine, have told Reuters of their experiences.” The Special Report can be read in full at http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/10/us-ukraine-crisis-soldiers-specialreport-idUSKBN0NV06Q20150510
- German Chancellor in Moscow: Criminal and unlawful annexation of Crimea, military hostilities in eastern Ukraine are a violation of the foundation on which European peace is built
On 10 May in Moscow to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, and meet with Russian President V. Putin, German Chancellor A. Merkel stated, “Germans and Russians can together work for a better future. In recent years we have repeatedly aimed for greater cooperation in Europe.” This cooperation, Merkel stated, has been seriously compromised by the “criminal and unlawful annexation of Crimea and the military hostilities in eastern Ukraine […] It is serious because we see these acts as a violation of the very foundations on which our common European peace order is built.” Merkel’s press service stated that “The Chancellor did not attend the official Russian victory parade on Saturday [9 May] because of profound differences of opinion with Russia over the conflict in Ukraine.”
- Canadian Foreign Minister travels to Ukraine
Canadian Foreign Minister R. Nicholson is visiting Ukraine today and tomorrow. Nicholson will meet with Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko, PM A. Yatsenyuk, Foreign Minister P. Klimkin and civil society leaders. He will also visit a military hospital. “I cannot overstate Canada’s vehement opposition to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Russia continues to send weapons and fighters into Ukraine and is continuing its crackdown on dissent over its illegal annexation of Crimea. Canada will not recognize the annexation of Crimea or Russia’s attempts to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty in its eastern regions,” Nicholson stated.
- US Secretary of State to meet with Russian President
US Secretary of State J. Kerry will meet with Russian President V. Putin, Foreign Minister S. Lavrov and other Russian officials on 12 May in Sochi, Russia. “This trip is part of our ongoing effort to maintain direct lines of communication with senior Russian officials and to ensure U.S. views are clearly conveyed,” the US State Department stated.
CALL TO ACTION!
Support Freedom for Nadiya Savchenko – #FreeSavchenko
Today is Nadiya Savchenko’s 34th birthday. 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 an MP of Ukraine’s parliament in October and appointed a delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in January. You can write to Nadiya Savchenko at
ФКУ СИЗО-1 УФСИН России по Москве,
ул. Матросская тишина д 18,
Савченко Надежде Викторовне.