Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
10 September 2015, 8 PM Kyiv time
1. 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 fired on Ukrainian positions at Shchastya with small arms and grenade launchers. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions with small arms and grenade launchers south of Avdiyvka and east of Maryinka. There was no combat at the Mariupol sector of the front. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and one was wounded.
2. European Parliament calls on Russia to release illegally imprisoned Ukrainian citizens; asks for sanctions against Russian officials responsible for their imprisonment
The European Parliament passed a resolution urging the Russian Federation to release Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Nadiya Savchenko and all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens, as well as Estonian citizen Eston Kohver, and to guarantee their safe return to Ukraine and Estonia. The European Parliament “strongly condemns the blatant violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and Estonia through the illegal kidnapping of citizens of both countries so that they could be charged before a Russian court”. The resolution urges the President of the European Council and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy “to come up with a comprehensive policy strategy which would enable the EU to regain the initiative and to pursue a more clear-cut policy towards Russia.” The European Parliament asks the European Council “to establish a common EU list of the officials responsible for the abduction, illegal detention and sentencing of Eston Kohver, Nadiya Savchenko, Oleg Santsov and Alexander Kolchenko, to impose and implement an EU-wide visa ban on these officials, and to freeze any financial assets that they, or their immediate family, may hold within the EU”.
3. Ukrainian President speaks with German, French, Russian leaders – meeting to take place in early October
Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko held a phone conversation with German Chancellor A. Merkel, French President F. Hollande and Russian President V. Putin. According to Poroshenko’s press service, “The parties discussed the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the results of the recent session of the Trilateral Contact Group and its four working subgroups held on September 8 in Minsk. […] The Ukrainian President also stressed the necessity of withdrawal of all foreign troops from the occupied territories and restoration of full control of Ukraine over the state border. Leaders of Ukraine, Germany and France agreed that the holding of pseudo elections in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions will be a violation of the Minsk agreements and endanger the entire process of further political settlement. The Ukrainian President called for immediate liberation of all Ukrainian hostages, including those illegally kept in Russian prisons – Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko and Nadiya Savchenko. The parties coordinated further schedule of contacts in the Normandy format: meeting of foreign ministers on September 12 in Berlin and meeting at the highest level in early October in Paris.”
4. Former Ukraine Justice Minister declared wanted by State Security Service of Ukraine
The State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) added Olena Lukash, former Justice Minister of Ukraine, (July 2013-February 2014) to the wanted list on suspicion of misappropriation and embezzlement of property through abuse of office.
5. US Mission to OSCE: “Russia must end its occupation of Crimea now”
Speaking at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, US Ambassador D. Baer stated, “Russia once again has an opportunity to reverse course, and to live up to its commitments as a signatory to Minsk and create a lasting peace in Ukraine, rather than continuing its aggression, ignoring Ukrainian sovereignty and international law. […] We must ensure that Russia and the separatists do not resume their high rate of attacks across the line of contact, that they allow the provision of humanitarian aid, and release all hostages. In short, it is a time for action. Finally, Mr. Chair, the Permanent Council must not lose sight of the fact that Russia continues to occupy Crimea, which remains part of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. Russia’s flagrant violation of international law and disregard of OSCE principles and commitments must end. We remain deeply concerned about reports of human rights abuses against members of Crimea’s ethnic Tatar community, including ongoing prosecutions of Tatar leadership, raids this week on Tatar homes, the recent closure of a madrassah, and reports of at least three suspicious killings of Tatars in recent weeks. Russia must end its occupation of Crimea now.”