Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
18 September 2015, 5 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday near Svitlodarsk (north of occupied Horlivka), Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions with small arms. There was no combat at the Luhansk or Mariupol sectors of the front. The RNBO reported that two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and five were wounded in landmine explosions at Mayorsk and Starohnativka.
2. The Interpreter releases report on Russia’s war in Ukraine
On 17 September, The Interpreter released its report, An Invasion by Any Other Name: The Kremlin’s Dirty War in Ukraine. The report states, “With the significant exception of the Russian government, few deny that Moscow is financially and militarily backing the ‘separatist’ war in east Ukraine and has in fact invaded its neighbor. This report aims to offer a thorough forensic accounting of Russia’s dirty war in the Donbass in two ways: first, by surveying the evidence of advanced weapons systems on the battlefield that can only have come from Russia; and second, by examining all available evidence on Russian military casualties and fatalities suffered in Ukraine. Based on the analysis contained here, it is the view of the present writers that, were it not for the heavy injection of Russian weapons and Russian soldiers into east Ukraine, the separatists would have been militarily defeated by Ukraine’s ‘Anti-Terrorist Operation’ (ATO) launched toward the close of summer 2014. Instead, Russian materiel and manpower have kept the conflict simmering, with occasional boil-overs, for more than a year with the purpose of steadily expanding the borders of the self-declared ‘Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics,’ in flagrant violation of the both the Minsk Protocol cease-fire agreement signed in September 2014 and the so-called “Minsk II” agreement signed in February 2015.” The report can be found at http://www.interpretermag.com/
an-invasion-by-any-other-name- the-kremlins-dirty-war-in- ukraine/
3. OSCE report identifies widespread human rights violations, discrimination and legal irregularities in Crimea
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and High Commissioner on National Minorities published its report, Report of the Human Rights Assessment Mission on Crimea (6-18 July 2015), on 17 September. The OSCE stated, “Since the occupation and annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in early 2014, the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms has deteriorated radically for a large number of residents and displaced persons – particularly for pro-Ukrainian activists, journalists and the Crimean Tatar community. […] Based on interviews with more than 100 civil society actors, representatives of the Ukrainian authorities, Crimean residents and displaced persons, and people travelling between Crimea and mainland Ukraine, the ODIHR/HCNM report presents numerous credible, consistent and compelling accounts of serious human rights violations and legal irregularities in Crimea.” The report is available athttp://www.osce.org/odihr/
4. NATO Secretary General to visit Ukraine 21-22 September
NATO Secretary General J. Stoltenberg will visit Lviv and Kyiv on 21-22 September. NATO stated, “The Secretary General will meet the President, Mr. Petro Poroshenko, the Prime Minister, Mr. Arseniy Yatseniuk, and the Speaker of the Parliament, Mr. Volodymyr Hroisman. The Secretary General will also attend a meeting at the National Security and Defence Council. Together Mr. Stoltenberg and President Poroshenko will open the Joint International Civilian Consequence Management Exercise ‘Ukraine 2015’ co-organized by NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Center and the State Emergency Service of Ukraine.”
5. Parliament strips immunity from MP accused of taking bribes
On 17 September, Ukraine’s Parliament stripped immunity from prosecution from Radical Party MP Ihor Mosiychuk, at the request of the General Prosecutor of Ukraine. Mosiychuk is suspected of accepting bribes and several other criminal acts. Mosiychuk was arrested outside the parliamentary chamber. Mosiychuk is appearing in court today.
6. US Treasury Secretary welcomes passage of Ukraine’s debt restructuring agreement
On 17 September, following the Ukrainian Parliament’s support for the debt restructuring deal, US Treasury Secretary J. Lew stated, “We strongly welcome the Ukrainian parliament’s decisive vote today in support of the debt restructuring agreement between the Ukrainian government and the Ad Hoc Creditors Committee. This agreement will help to improve Ukraine’s public finances, provide the authorities with breathing room to execute their ambitious reform agenda, and strengthen the groundwork for economic recovery. Today’s vote was the latest in a series of important measures taken by the Ukrainian government and parliament over the last year and a half to reform the Ukrainian economy and lay the foundation for growth. Disciplined implementation of the full set of economic, anti-corruption, and governance reforms is critical to sustaining Ukraine’s positive momentum and unlocking further assistance from the international community.”
Toronto Ukrainian Festival takes place 18-20 September
Please come visit the UCC booth at the Bloor West Village Toronto Ukrainian Festival this weekend. For more information on the Festival, please seehttp://www.ukrainianfestival.