Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
29 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 the intensity of shelling by Kremlin-backed terrorists has intensified. Russian-terrorist armies continue to use weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements – mortars, artillery, tanks and Grads (truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers). The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported at 9:00 AM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours, there were 101 violations of the Minsk II ceasefire agreement by Kremlin-backed terrorists. The RNBO reported that towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist armies fired on Ukrainian positions at Hranitne and Shyrokyne. Shelling was heaviest near Donetsk – Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions near Horlivka, the Donetsk airport, Maryinka and Krasnohorivka. Towards Luhansk, Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled several Ukrainian positions, and attacked Ukrainian positions near Novoshkivske. The attacks were repelled. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and five were wounded.
- Ministry of Finance: international creditors have refused to enter negotiations under standard confidentiality terms
Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance stated, “The Ministry of Finance regrets that for the last three months the members of the ad hoc Creditors Committee have consistently refused to enter direct negotiations with Ukraine under standard confidentiality terms. Concerns about the impact of receiving confidential information on their trading activities has been used as an excuse not to meet with the Ukrainian representatives, including Minister Jaresko, to negotiate the terms of a debt operation that meets the three targets in Ukraine’s IMF program. In addition, and despite previous statements to the contrary, the proposal by the ad hoc Creditors Committee does not meet the three criteria agreed with the IMF. That proposal includes utilizing $8 billion from the international reserves of the National Bank of Ukraine for no consideration. This measure has been strongly rejected by the IMF in their statement of 12 June 2015. The Minister has repeatedly stated her desire to meet with the Committee and enter into direct negotiations. The Minister once again calls upon the Committee to seek a collaborative solution with the Ukrainian authorities as soon as possible. If the Committee enters into confidentiality agreements, the Minister remains ready to meet with the Committee without preconditions. The Minister looks forward to bridging the current differences and at last starting direct negotiations.”
- Canada’s Minister of National Defence announces additional support for Ukraine
Canada’s Minister of National Defence, J. Kenney, visited Canadian Armed Forces personnel in Yavoriv, Ukraine on 27 June. Kenney announced “more than $15 million in additional Canadian support to democracy and institution building in Ukraine,” including $3 million in funding to support investigative reporting and $12.4 million to support judicial reform. “Canada is fully engaged in supporting Ukraine in its efforts to maintain sovereignty, security, and stability in the face of the Putin regime’s unjustified aggression. We have demonstrated our commitment through our contribution to Ukraine’s efforts to strengthen its democracy and institutions, as well as the capacity building and training of Ukrainian government forces,” Kenney stated.
- US Senator: Putin doesn’t want a diplomatic solution, he wants to dominate Ukraine
US Senator J. McCain, in an op-ed for the Washington Post on 26 June, wrote, “Along the front lines, separatist forces backed by Russia violate the cease-fire every day with heavy artillery barrages and tank attacks. Gunbattles are a daily routine, and communities at the front bear the brunt of constant sniper fire and nightly skirmishes. […] It is time that the United States and our European allies recognize the failure of the Minsk agreement and respond with more than empty rhetoric. But at this point it should be clear to all that Putin does not want a diplomatic solution to the conflict. He wants to dominate Ukraine, along with Russia’s other neighbors. […] We must do more to deter Russia by increasing the military costs of its aggression, starting with the immediate provision of the defensive weapons and other assistance the Ukrainians desperately need. President Obama has wrongly argued that providing Ukraine with the assistance and equipment it needs to defend itself would only provoke Russia. Putin needed no provocation to invade Ukraine and annex Crimea. Rather, it is the weakness of the collective U.S. and European response that provokes the very aggression we seek to avoid. Of course, there is no military solution in Ukraine, but there is a clear military dimension to achieving a political solution. If Ukrainians are given the assistance they need and the military cost is raised for the Russian forces that have invaded their country, Putin will be forced to determine how long he can sustain a war he tells his people is not happening. […] Around the world, friend and foe alike are watching to see whether the United States will once again summon its power and influence to defend the international system that has kept the peace for decades. We must not fail this test.”