Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
8 July 2015, 9 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 number of incidents of shelling of Ukrainian positions by Russian-terrorist forces doubled in the last 24 hours. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy mortar and artillery shelling of Ukrainian positions at Hranitne and Novohryhorivka and shelled Ukrainian positions at Pavlopol with mortars and tanks. Towards Donetsk, firefights with Russian-terrorist forces took place throughout the day yesterday at Maryinka. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Shchastya, Stanytsia Luhanska, and other locations. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and ten were wounded.
- Ukrainian World Congress named an “undesirable” organization by Russian lawmakers
Russia’s Federation Council, the upper house of Russian Parliament, appealed to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, and Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice “to scrutinize the operations of [12 foreign organizations] with a view to possibly declaring them ‘undesirable’ and shutting them down,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported. The 12 groups named on what Russian legislators called a “patriotic stop list,” are: the Ukrainian World Congress; Ukrainian World Coordinating Council; Crimean Field Mission on Human Rights; Freedom House; Open Society; National Endowment for Democracy; International Republican Institute; National Democratic Institute; the MacArthur Foundation; Charles Steward Mott Foundation and Education for Democracy Foundation. The lawmakers’ request, approved by a unanimous vote, “was the first since President Vladimir Putin signed a law in May that enables the government to brand foreign and international organizations ‘undesirable’ and shutter their Russian offices if they are deemed to pose a threat to the country’s security, defense capability, or public order,” RFE/RL reported.
- European Commission adopts decision to disburse 600 million Euro loan to Ukraine
The European Commission adopted a decision to initiate the process of disbursing a 600 million Euro loan to Ukraine, the first installment of 1.8 billion Euros in macro-financial assistance under the Loan Facility Agreement signed in May between Ukraine and the EU.
- OSCE Parliamentary Assembly: Actions by Russia in Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk “constitute acts of military aggression against Ukraine”
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, meeting in Helsinki July 5-9, adopted a Resolution “The Continuation of Clear, Gross and Uncorrected Violations of OSCE Commitments and International Norms by the Russian Federation.” The resolution was principally sponsored by Dean Allison, the Head of Canada’s delegation to the OSCE. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 96-7 (32 abstentions). The OSCE PA “Condemns the Russian Federation’s unilateral and unjustified assault on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and the continuation of clear, gross and uncorrected violations of the principles of the Helsinki Final Act which define this assault; […]Considers that the actions by the Russian Federation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, as well as in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, constitute acts of military aggression against Ukraine; […]Calls on the Russian Federation to immediately release and return to Ukraine detained pilot and member of the Verkhovna Rada, Nadiya Savchenko, filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, Oleksander Kolchenko and all other illegally detained Ukrainian citizens.” The resolution is available at http://www.oscepa.org/publications/all-documents/annual-sessions/2015-helsinki/supplementary-items/2939-15-the-continuation-of-clear-gross-and-uncorrected-violations-of-osce-commitments-and-international-norms-by-the-russian-federation-eng/file
- President calls on Parliament to eliminate bail for corruption suspects
Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko called on Parliament to introduce legislative amendments that would eliminate the opportunity for officials suspected of corruption to be granted bail. “Once again, I call on people’s deputies: please, make amendments to the legislation and deprive corrupt officials of the opportunity to be released on bail,” Poroshenko stated.
- Ukraine’s Armed Forces Chief of Staff meets with US Army Chief of Staff
The Chief of the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Col. Gen. Viktor Muzhenko met with US Gen. Ray Odierno, US Army Chief of Staff and Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Commander US Army Europe in Lviv yesterday. They discussed “planning of joint activities related to troops training to be held in the second half of the year 2015 and in 2016, as well as they discussed the possibility of provision the Armed Forces of Ukraine with material technical support,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense stated. The US generals are visiting the Yavoriv training center, where US airborne troops are training Ukrainian armed forces personnel.