Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
24 July 2015, 7 PM Kyiv time
- Russian Invasion of Ukraine
“Yesterday there was no fighting towards Mariupol.” ATO Spokesperson, Col. Andrii Lysenko stated, “For the first time since the conclusion of the Minsk agreements five and a half months ago.” Instead, Lysenko briefed that the situation near Donetsk is worsening with ceaseless fighting in the area between Avdiyivka and Maryinka last night. “In particular, the pro-Russian enemy pulled significant forces to Oleksandrivka, including heavy weapons, therefore increasing attacks on Ukrainian positions near Maryinka was recorded. In addition, our positions were shelled near Berezove village, located at a strategic highway Donetsk – Mariupol” said Lysenko. According to ATO Staff, yesterday Russian terrorists fired 78 times on ATO forces from tanks and artillery. Over the last day, one Ukrainian serviceman was killed and three others were wounded as a result of clashes in ATO area. “Also, according to updated information, on 22 July, one officer of the Special Forces of the Interior Ministry was killed in Avdiyivka, and another one was wounded. Unfortunately, he also died in the hospital from serious injuries.“ stated Lysenko.
- 200 Ukrainians Are In Militants’ Captivity – Security Service of Ukraine
About 200 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are in the captivity of the illegal armed formations “DPR” and “LPR”. As reported by “Radio Svoboda“, this was stated by Yuri Tandit, Head of the Coordination Center for the release of hostages at the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, who was appointed today as adviser to the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine. According to him, about 60 of the hostages are civilians, and the rest of them belong to the armed forces and volunteer battalions. In addition, he noted that about 30 citizens of Ukraine were illegally taken to Russia. Ukraine’s Security Service tracked the location of 11 of them.
- ATO spokesman: Russian terrorists fired 260 times at Ukrainian military over the last three days
From July 21-24, Russian terrorists fired 260 times on the positions of Ukrainian troops along the entire front line using heavy weapons. “The militants used 152 and 122-mm artillery pieces 18 times, used 120 mm mortars 56 times and fired from tanks nine times. Most of ceasefire violations were in the Donetsk sector,” said ATO spokesperson Lt. Col. Dmytro Hutsulyak at a press briefing. Ukrainian troops registered how the Russian terrorists attacked residential districts of Novhorodske from a tank, firing from the vicinity of militant-controlled Horlivka. “On July 24, militants continued attacking Ukrainian troops. They fired from tanks near Pisky and 120 mm mortars near Krasnohorivka. Other armed provocations involving small arms were registered near Maryinka, Pisky, Kryakivka, Luhanske, Popasna, Lozova,” said Lt. Col. Hutsulyak.
- President had a conversation in the Normandy format
President of Ukraine P Poroshenko had a telephone conversation with German Chancellor A Merkel, French President F Hollande, and Russian President V Putin. The leaders discussed the results of the last meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group and its four subgroups held on 21 July in Minsk. Poroshenko mentioned the deteriorating security situation in the Donbas, including increasing attacks by militants. The leaders emphasized the need to ensure proper monitoring and verification of the ceasefire by the OSCE and supported the initiative of the President of Ukraine on immediate signing the Trilateral Contact Group Agreement for the withdrawal of tanks, guns with calibre below 100 mm, and mortars. The President of Ukraine stressed the need for release of all hostages, including those illegally detained in Russia, and in particular Nadia Savchenko. The leaders also discussed the upcoming elections in some parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In that context, Petro Poroshenko emphasized that arranging fictitious elections scheduled for 18 October and 1 November would be unacceptable and such elections would not have legal consequences. The leaders agreed to continue the dialogue.
- Oleksandr Turchynov: Communist Party of Ukraine loses the right to act as a political party
The Secretary of National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine O Turchynov announced at a briefing that
“Today, according to the law adopted by the Parliament, Minister of Justice signed a decision, by which the communist parties of Ukraine lose their right to be the subject of political and electoral process” Turchynov called this decision an act of historical justice, because it is the Communist Party who bears the responsibility for torturing Ukrainian people, mass repressions, Holodomor “From the first days of Russian aggression, the Communist Party has demonstrated its treacherous position and acted as a fifth column, supporting and contributing to the occupation of the Crimea and supporting the invasion of Russian troops in the east of Ukraine”. The NSDC Secretary noted that the materials, proving criminal activities of the Communist Party against their own country, have been submitted to the court.
- PM Yatsenyuk met with EP delegation led by Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Elmar Brok
Prime Minister of Ukraine A Yatsenyuk met with a delegation from the European Parliament headed by Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee E Brok. The participants of the meeting also discussed the topical issues of social and economic situation in Ukraine. “A lot depends on the debt restructuring process”, accentuated Yatsenyuk. He added that the Government of Ukraine had met all the demands of the International Monetary Fund and expected a positive decision on the outcome of a meeting of the IMF Board on July 31 regarding the next tranche. “But it is not a final decision. We need to jump-start Ukraine’s economy and support those who need it, whose standards of living have dropped significantly. The Government is trying to find a way to increase social spending. We will solve this problem together”, stressed the Prime Minister of Ukraine.
Ottawa’s inaugural CAPITAL UKRAINIAN FESTIVAL kicks off tonight with a concert featuring UKRAINIA and LEMON BUCKET ORCHESTRA and continues over the weekend. For more information, please see http://capitalukrainianfestival.com/