Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
12 May 2015, 8 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PMKyiv time that Kremlin-backed terrorists continue to fire on Ukrainian positions with mortars and artillery. Towards Mariupol, Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions with artillery. Towards Donetsk, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions near the Donetsk airport with mortars, and there were several clashes with small arms near the suburbs of Horlivka. Towards Luhansk, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions near Shchastya and Stanytsia Luhanska with small arms. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, three Ukrainian soldiers were killed and one was wounded.
2. Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs announces additional support for Ukraine
Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, R. Nicholson announced additional support for Ukraine, and launched a Call for Proposals “to seek out three to five projects from Canadian organizations that would promote the competitiveness and growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Ukraine,” for up to $30 million in total funding. More information on the Call for Proposals can be found at: http://www.international.gc.
3. Nemtsov Report on Russia’s war against Ukraine published
Colleagues of murdered Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov published a report, Putin. War. , based on research Nemtsov began about Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict, the Guardian reported. The 65-page report also details Russia’s invasion and illegal occupation of Crimea, and estimates on the economic costs of the war. According to the report, at least 200 Russian military personnel have been killed fighting in eastern Ukraine – at least 150 Russian military personnel were killed in August 2014, and at least 70 at Debaltseve in February 2015. One of the contributors to the report, Ilya Yashin, Nemtsov’s friend and fellow activist, stated at a press conference presenting the report that the actual total number of Russian military casualties was much higher.
4. European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee: Russia is openly positioning itself against the international democratic community
In a resolution adopted 11 May by 53 votes to 10, with 3 abstentions, the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee stated that a return to “business as usual” with Russia is now out of the question. EU countries should “refrain from doing bilateral deals with Russia and step up their own collective efforts to withstand it,” according to a statement from EU Parliament. “By illegally annexing Crimea, waging an armed conflict against Ukraine, imposing illegal trade embargoes and concluding treaties with separatist regions; Russia has ‘profoundly damaged its relationship with the EU’ and can no longer be considered a ‘strategic partner’. […] Russia is now openly positioning itself against the international democratic community and its law-based order and seeking to redraw borders within Europe by force, say MEPs, who call on the European Commission and EU member states to earmark money for specific ‘soft power’ projects to withstand Russia,” the European Parliament release stated.
5. Ukrainian PM asks General Prosecutor, courts to confiscate $1.4 billion in frozen assets of Yanukovych and his circle
Ukrainian PM A. Yatsenyuk appealed to the General Prosecutor of Ukraine and Ukrainian courts to confiscate and return to the state budget 1.4 billion USD in assets of former President Yanukovych and his circle frozen by the Ukrainian government. “If these funds are returned to the budget, from which they were stolen, this will give the Government the ability to raise social standards for citizens, and increase funding for the army and the fight against corruption,” Yatsenyuk stated.