Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
25 September 2015, 7 PM Kyiv time
- Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday towards Luhansk, a Russian-terrorist forces sniper fired on Ukrainian positions near Popasne. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Zaytseve (north of Horlivka). Russian-terrorist forces snipers fired on Ukrainian positions at Avdiyivka and Spartak. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Krasnohorivka. 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.
- Ukraine prohibits Russian airlines from flying to Ukraine; bans Russian software in government agencies
Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers reported that the Ukrainian government has banned flights of Russian airlines, “primarily Aeroflot and Transaero” to Ukraine. The government also prohibited transit flights of Russian airlines via Ukraine “if they contain military goods, dual use or Russian military manpower.” The State Aviation Service has begun informing Russian airline companies that have been sanctioned that they will not receive licenses for flights to Ukraine beginning on 25 October, the Ministry of Infrastructure stated. Ukrainian PM A. Yatsenyuk also stated that “there is a direct ban on the use of Russian software. He noted that it was particularly about Kaspersky Lab software. The Head of the Government instructed the State Special Communications Service of Ukraine to immediately disable the program’s updating, stop its acquisition as well as use in government agencies,” the Cabinet of Ministers reported.
- US and Russian Presidents to meet on 28 September
On 24 September, the US White House confirmed that US President B. Obama would meet with Russian President V. Putin on Monday, 28 September, during the UN General Assembly in New York. White House Press Secretary J. Earnest stated, “when the President sits down with President Putin, the top item on his agenda will be Ukraine. And President Obama will once again use this occasion to reinforce to President Putin the importance of Russia keeping the commitments that they’ve made in the context of the Minsk agreements. This is a message that President Putin has heard from some of our European allies who have raised concerns with the way that combined Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine continue to destabilize that country, and they continue to receive important military support from the Russian government. That is a clear violation of the territorial integrity of that sovereign nation.”
- US Defense Secretary reaffirms US commitment to Ukraine
US Defense Secretary A. Carter met with Ukrainian Minister of Defense S. Poltorak at the Pentagon on 24 September. Carter reaffirmed the US commitment to Ukraine and stated that Ukraine has made “a genuine effort to live up to its Minsk commitments, and has shown considerable restraint in the face of provocations and attacks.” Carter stated that the US is “adjusting its posture and investments to deter Russian aggression, and working with NATO and other security partners to do the same,” the US Department of Defense reported.
- Kremlin-backed terrorists ban humanitarian aid organizations from occupied Luhansk
The Kremlin-backed terrorist organization the Luhansk “Peoples’ Republic” has banned 10 humanitarian aid groups (including Doctors without Borders) and ordered them to leave occupied Luhansk by 26 September. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported that “The UN humanitarian affairs chief and emergency relief coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, said on September 24 that the ‘de facto’ authorities in Luhansk had ordered UN agencies and several international humanitarian aid groups to leave by September 26. O’Brien said that all UN agency operations in rebel-held parts of the neighboring Donetsk region had been suspended while a ‘decision by the de facto authorities in Donetsk on the UN’s future operations remains on hold. Some 150,000 people are not receiving monthly food distributions,’ O’Brien said, adding that the suspension of shipments is putting lives at risk and is ‘having a serious impact on some 3 million people as winter approaches.'”