Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
24 August 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 towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Stanytsia Luhanska with mortars and howitzers. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Bolotene with artillery, and Shchastya, Orikhove and Zolote with mortars. On the Popasna-Troitske-Sanzharivka line, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars and artillery. At Troitske, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with Grads (truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers). Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Svitlodarsk with artillery. Firefights with Russian-terrorist forces took place at Zaytseve (north of occupied Horlivka). Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions on the Avdiyivka-Pisky line. South of Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Slavne with artillery. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions north of Starohnativka and at Shyrkoyne with mortars and artillery. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and one was wounded.
- Ukrainian President’s Independence Day Address: “We are born free on our land. And we are ready to defend it to the end”
Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko stated at the Ukrainian Independence Day Parade in Kyiv today, “The war for Independence continues. And we will be victorious by combining our defense, diplomatic, and political efforts and steel determination. Independence Day coincides with the anniversary of the terrible tragedy at Ilovaysk almost to the day, which was the result of the direct invasion of Russian army units onto the territory of Ukraine. A year has passed, but this deep wound does not heal, the pain – does not pass. Aggression from the neighboring state has taken the lives of almost two thousand one hundred of our soldiers. Eternal Memory to the Heroes, who fell in battles for a free and independent Ukraine. And Eternal Glory to them! Please honor the Ukrainian soldiers and peaceful citizens of Ukraine, who have died in the war wrought by the aggressor with a moment of silence. We will never forget, and will never forgive. […] Because of the efforts of our army, diplomats and the entire Ukrainian people, Russia has not reach its goal. Ukraine and Ukrainians endured and survived. […] We Were, We Are, and We Will Be. And let my words be remembered in the distant future, when the first 100 years of Independence will be celebrated. […] Does all this mean that the enemy has abandoned the idea of direct invasion or offensives of militants into Ukraine? No. Russian armed units are near our border in the east, and total over 50,000 personnel. In the occupied territories, there are over 40,000, including 9,000 regular personnel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. […] We are for peace, but we are not pacifists! That is why we will increase expenditures on our armed forces; increase the wages of soldiers[…] But I cannot promise the cancellation of conscription and new waves of mobilization. […] We can neither be enslaved nor broken. We are born free on our land. And we are ready to defend it to the end, whatever the cost. […] I thank you all for your endurance, your understanding of the situation, your patience. Happy Independence Day! Glory to Ukraine’s Armed Forces! Glory to the Ukrainian People! Glory to Ukraine!” The President’s full address is available in Ukrainian at http://www.president.gov.ua/news/vistup-prezidenta-ukrayini-pid-chas-provedennya-marshu-nezal-35841
- Ukraine’s President meets with German Chancellor, French President in Berlin
Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko is meeting with German Chancellor A. Merkel and French President F. Hollande in Berlin today. The results of the meeting are not known at the time of this writing.
- Crimean Tatar leader’s appeal to Ukrainian, German and French leaders
On 22 August, Refat Chubarov, Head of the Mejlis (Representative Assembly) of the Crimean Tatar People, issued the following appeal to the Presidents of Ukraine and France, and the Chancellor of Germany, ahead of their meeting in Berlin on 24 August. “On the day of your meeting in Berlin, 542 days will have passed since the world was faced with the fact of an open special military operation of Russia against Ukraine, the result of which was the occupation of Crimea and the continuing bloody conflict in Luhansk and Donetsk oblast. For 542 days, Ukrainian society is living in conditions of war of Russia against Ukraine, during which many thousands of people (civilians and soldiers) have been killed, tens of thousands wounded and maimed, 1.5 million have been forced to flee their homes. In Russian-occupied Crimea, there is a direct threat to the very existence of the Crimean Tatar people – the indigenous people of Crimea[…] The tragic position of the Crimean Tatar people is worsening from day to day. Repressions against the members of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis continue. […] Dozens of young Crimean Tatars were violently abducted, some were later found murdered, the fate of others is unknown. Hundreds of activists of the Crimean Tatar national movement are facing repressions by the occupying administration’s punitive organs. […] Human civilization, which in the 20th century endured the mortal threats of fascist and communist regimes, cannot and should not again become the hostage of the irresponsible actions of today’s rulers of the Russian state, who have violated all norms of international law and ignored the right of peoples to freedom and peace. No country or people should be sacrificed to appease an aggressor. The Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar peoples, having survived the catastrophes of the Holodomor and Deportation, have the right to receive full assistance and support from the international community, of which they are a member. [I ask] that during your meeting in Berlin on 24 August 2015, you take effective measures aimed at restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, ensuring Ukraine’s sovereignty over its entire territory, including the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.”