Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
10 June 2015, 7 PM Kyiv time
- 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 shelled Ukrainian positions at Shyrokyne (near Mariupol) with heavy weapons, including artillery. Towards Donetsk, confrontations increased near the Donetsk airport, where Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions with artillery and mortars, and deployed tanks and armored vehicles to the line of contact. Near Horlivka, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions in the northern and western suburbs of the city, including with tanks and artillery. The RNBO reported that Kremlin-backed terrorists are firing not only on Ukrainian positions at the contact line, but also 5-10 km into Ukrainian controlled territory, which is possible only with 122-mm artillery or higher calibers. Towards Luhansk, Kremlin-backed terrorists opened heavy mortar fire near Zolote and Popasne. A battle took place at Krymske, and Kremlin-backed terrorists opened fire with small arms and grenade launchers at Shchastya and Stanytsia Luhanska. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and seven were wounded.
- Russian court extends illegal detention of Nadiya Savchenko to 30 September
A Moscow court has extended the illegal detention of Ukrainian MP and PACE delegate Nadiya Savchenko to 30 September. “Judge Pavel Melekhin also paid no heed to the fact, as pointed out by Savchenko’s lawyer Ilya Novikov, that Nadiya Savchenko enjoys international immunity as a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe [PACE] and her prosecution in Russia is therefore illegal,” the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported. Savchenko, a Ukrainian air force pilot, who was serving in eastern Ukraine, was abducted by Kremlin-backed terrorists in mid-June 2014, and taken to Russia, where she has been illegally detained and imprisoned since that time.
- US Senators call for defensive weapons for Ukraine
US Senate Democratic Whip D. Durbin (D-IL) and the Senate Ukraine Caucus met with Ukrainian PM A. Yatsenyuk on 9 June. Durbin stated, “As Russia continues its unprecedented aggression in the region, the United States should to be doing more to ensure Ukraine can defend its borders. At today’s meeting, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk made it clear that increased military aid, defensive weapons, and economic support will help Ukraine in its struggle for freedom and sovereignty. The United States must act swiftly to provide this assistance and the Senate Ukraine Caucus stands ready to help.” During his visit to the US, Yatsenyuk also met with US Treasury Secretary J. Lew, Energy Secretary E. Moniz and Deputy Secretary of State A. Blinkin and other officials. Yatsenyuk also addressed the Atlantic Council; his remarks are available at http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/putin-has-no-desire-for-peace-says-ukraine-s-prime-minister
- Ukrainian PM Addresses AJC Global Forum
On 9 June, Ukrainian PM A. Yatsenyuk addressed the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Global Forum. Yatsenyuk stated, “Ukraine matters for the unity of the European Union and the unity of the free world. Today, Ukraine is the only country in the world fighting against the regular Russian army. This is a war not just between Ukraine and Russia. This war is between the past and the future, between day and night, between freedom and dictatorship.” The AJC stated, “AJC has applauded Prime Minister Yatsenyuk for his government’s determination in the face of overwhelming adversity, and urged Western governments to stand in solidarity and respond with appropriate support. In 1991, AJC became the first Jewish organization outside Ukraine to call on President George H.W. Bush to recognize the country’s independence from Moscow. Since then, it has staunchly supported a free and democratic Ukraine.”
- EBRD President praises Ukraine’s reforms: “We are in this for the long haul”
Speaking on 9 June in Toronto, the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Sir Suma Chakrabarti stated, “A crisis of the order Ukraine currently faces is, of course, a threat to its security and stability. It is, naturally, a challenge which a nation can rise to. Or one it can flunk. It is also an opportunity, one to be grasped. Or wasted. Ladies and gentlemen, the good news is that Ukraine is not squandering this chance to build a better tomorrow. […] Many of us were, I admit now, sceptical about the prospects for such change. How had governments elsewhere fared in similar situations? The precedents were not encouraging. But it turns out that on this occasion we were wrong to have such doubts. This is the most reform-minded government that Ukraine has known. Indeed, it is one of the most professional administrations that we in the EBRD have ever worked with. […] We have seen real progress on many, many fronts: energy security, gas tariffs, fiscal reform. There is more. Strengthening the rule of law, reforming the judiciary and public procurement, improving the governance of state-owned enterprises and the cleaning up of the financial system. […]Supporters of the new Ukraine, and the Ukraine’s reforming government, need to change global narrative. Only changed mindsets will attract more investment. And we intend helping the country to do that. […] Our commitment to Ukraine is, thus, not one that is here today, gone tomorrow. We are in this for the long haul. […] What we are witnessing now in Ukraine is a huge test of its will and its courage. A test that the country has confronted with impressive determination of late. But it is also a major test for its creditors and the international community as a whole. All of the key international financial institutions, including EBRD, and key bilateral donors like Canada must put our shoulders to the wheel. And so, frankly, must the private bondholders put their shoulders to the wheel, in the restructuring of Ukraine’s debt.” A transcript of Chakrabarti’s remarks is available at: http://www.ebrd.com/news/2015/speech-transcript-the-way-forward-for-ukraine.html