Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
10 July 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 towards Mariupol, firefights with Russian-terrorist forces took place east of Volnovakha. At Novohryhorivka, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars, artillery and tanks. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Hranitne with Grads (truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers) and artillery. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Maryinka with artillery and mortars. Towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces attacked Ukrainian positions near Stanytsia-Luhanska and Krymske. Ukrainian forces repelled the attack. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and ten were wounded.
2 Nadiya Savchenko’s letter from prison
Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadiya Savchenko, who remains illegally imprisoned, sent a letter from her Russian prison cell, published by her attorney M. Feygin. She wrote that she and her attorneys have reviewed the materials in the “case” against her, and are ready for trial. “The materials in the case are fully fabricated and falsehoods. But justice will prevail despite the dishonest verdict of the court. […] Thank you for not abandoning me during this long, difficult year of my imprisonment. […] Thank you to all patriotic Ukrainians the world over for your support.” Savchenko was serving in eastern Ukraine, when abducted by Kremlin-backed terrorists in June 2014 and taken to Russia, where she has been illegally detained and imprisoned since that time. Russia has ignored repeated calls from the international community for her immediate release. On 6 July, Russia brought additional fabricated charges against Savchenko, accusing her of directly participating in the killing of two Russian reporters, in addition to attempted murder and illegally entering Russian territory. On 9 July, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, “The Russian investigators once again ignored all evidence presented by the defense of her innocence in these charges. […] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine again demands that the Russian Federation stop this judicial farce and immediately release Savchenko.”
- Nominee for US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff supports providing weapons to Ukraine, considers Russia greatest threat to US security
On 9 July, US Marine Corps Commandant, Gen. Joseph Dunford, nominated by the Obama Administration to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at his nomination hearing at the US Senate Armed Services Committee, was asked whether the US should provide Ukrainian forces counter-battery systems to defend themselves from Russian artillery and rocket strike, and Javelin or TOW anti-tank missile systems to defeat Russian tanks. Dunford stated, “From a military perspective, I think it’s reasonable that we provide that support to the Ukrainians, and frankly, without that kind of support, they’re not going to be able to protect themselves against Russian aggression.” Asked what he considers the greatest threat to US national security, Dunford stated, “My assessment today is that Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security. […] In Russia, we have a nuclear power, we have one that not only has the capability to violate the sovereignty of our allies and to do things that inconsistent with our national interests, but they’re in the process of doing so. So, if you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d have to point to Russia. And if you look at their behavior, it’s nothing short of alarming.”
- US State Department previews US-Ukraine Business Forum to be held 13 July
On 9 July the US State Department held a briefing previewing the US-Ukraine Business Forum, which will take place on 13 July in Washington at the US Chamber of Commerce. Deputy Secretary of Commerce B. Andrews stated, “Recognizing that the American business community has an invaluable role to play in helping Ukraine build an independent, stable, and prosperous country, we have two goals for this forum. First, we want to highlight Ukraine’s recent progress in improving its business climate. And second, we want to help make Ukraine an even more attractive location for American companies to do business. […]At the same time, American business leaders can make additional recommendations on additional steps that Ukraine can take to attract foreign investment and improve its business climate. This forum is part of an existing effort by our two governments to expand economic ties between our two nations. […]And that is what we’re very focused on, which is how can investment and business dealings between United States companies help create a more prosperous, and frankly, a successful Ukraine in the future. And that’s why we’re here, because we want to see – the United States Government – it is a very high priority to see a prosperous and successful Ukraine. And so this is an additional step in how do we make sure that future is bright.”
- President appoints Ukraine’s Ambassador to United States
Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko appointed Valeriy Chaliy Ukraine’s Ambassador to the US. Chaliy was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (2009-10), deputy director of the Razumkov Center (2010-14) and deputy head of the Presidential Administration (2014-15).