Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
21 September 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 fired on Ukrainian positions at Sokilnyky with mortars. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Luhanske village and Mayorsk with small arms. There was no combat on the Mariupol sector of the front. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and one was wounded.
- NATO Sec. General: no NATO country will recognize fake “elections” in occupied Donetsk, Luhansk
NATO Secretary General J. Stoltenberg stated, “Any elections that take place in eastern Ukraine not according to Ukrainian legislation, will be considered a violation of the Minsk agreements, they will be considered fake elections and will not be recognized by any NATO member country.”Stoltenberg and Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko opened 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. Over 1,110 first responders from 28 nations participate in the four day event,” NATO stated.
- Crimean Tatars begin blockade of Russian-occupied Crimea
On 20 September, Crimean Tatars and several Ukrainian civic organizations began a blockade of Russian-occupied Crimea. All three crossings from mainland Ukraine to Crimea were blocked to trucks; cars and people on foot were allowed through “Mustafa Dzhemiliev, Crimean Tatar leader and the President’s Representative on Crimean Tatar Affairs, was present and stressed that the situation is unheard of where a country whose territory has been occupied by an aggressor state continues to provide the occupied territory with food, electricity, etc., There is no excuse for trade, he says, which enables both the occupation regime and Ukrainian oligarchs to act as though nothing had happened,” KHPG reported. Demands to the Russian occupying regime are: “1. Release Ukrainian political prisoners: Ali Asanov; Akhtem Chiygoz and Mustaf Degermendzhy; Oleksandr Kolchenko and Oleg Sentsov (they did not mention Gennady Afanasyev, unfortunately); Oleksandr Kostenko; Nadiya Savchenko; and Tair Smedlyaev; 2. Remove all restrictions on Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian media in Crimea; 3. Ensure unobstructed access to Crimea of foreign journalists and civic activists; 4. Stop all unwarranted administrative and criminal prosecutions of Crimean Tatars and other Ukrainian nationals in Crimea; 5. Remove the ban from their homeland on Refat Chubarov; Mustafa Dzhemiliev; Sinaver Kadyrov and Ismet Yuksel;” KHPG stated.
- Bellingcat investigative report on Russia’s military involvement in eastern Ukraine
Bellingcat released an investigative report, Russia’s Path(s) to War. It “examines one aspect of the Russian-Ukrainian war, namely, the alleged cross-border traffic of Russian forces into Eastern Ukraine. If it is possible to link cross-border traffic to Russia’s armed forces, this not only provides additional evidence for Russia’s involvement, it also allows for a better assessment of the extent of Russia’s involvement. This report, which primarily focuses on events in the summer of 2014, is solely based upon open source information; the identification and verification of border crossings was performed relying on publicly available satellite imagery. […] confirms that Russia’s armed forces participated in the war throughout the entire summer of 2014. Moreover, it is further shown that this participation by Russia decisively changed the course of the war.” The report is available at https://www.bellingcat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/russia_s_path_s__to_war.pdf