Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
28 September 2015, 7 PM Kyiv time
- Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Luhanske village and Lozove with small arms and grenade launchers. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Mayorsk. At Maryinka, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions for over an hour. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Novotroitske with grenade launchers. There was no combat at the Luhansk sector of the front. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and four were wounded.
- Ukrainian President meets with European leaders during UN General Assembly
Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko held bilateral meetings with UK PM D. Cameron, German Chancellor A. Merkel and French President F. Hollande during the UN General Assembly in New York. “We received clear support for Ukraine’s position,” stated Poroshenko. “Requirements for the de-escalation of the conflict, the withdrawal of Russian troops from occupied territories of the Donbas, and the liberation of Crimea were raised at every meeting.”
- US President at UN General Assembly: We cannot stand by when then the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated
Addressing the UN General Assembly, US President B. Obama stated, “…That same fidelity to international order guides our responses to other challenges around the world. Consider Russia’s annexation of Crimea and further aggression in eastern Ukraine. America has few economic interests in Ukraine. We recognize the deep and complex history between Russia and Ukraine. But we cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated. If that happens without consequence in Ukraine, it could happen to any nation gathered here today. That’s the basis of the sanctions that the United States and our partners impose on Russia. It’s not a desire to return to a Cold War. Now, within Russia, state-controlled media may describe these events as an example of a resurgent Russia — a view shared, by the way, by a number of U.S. politicians and commentators who have always been deeply skeptical of Russia, and seem to be convinced a new Cold War is, in fact, upon us. And yet, look at the results. The Ukrainian people are more interested than ever in aligning with Europe instead of Russia. Sanctions have led to capital flight, a contracting economy, a fallen ruble, and the emigration of more educated Russians. Imagine if, instead, Russia had engaged in true diplomacy, and worked with Ukraine and the international community to ensure its interests were protected. That would be better for Ukraine, but also better for Russia, and better for the world — which is why we continue to press for this crisis to be resolved in a way that allows a sovereign and democratic Ukraine to determine its future and control its territory. Not because we want to isolate Russia — we don’t — but because we want a strong Russia that’s invested in working with us to strengthen the international system as a whole.” Obama will meet with Russian President V. Putin later today.
- Ukraine delegation leaves UN General Assembly during Putin’s speech
Radio Svoboda reported that Ukraine’s delegation to the UN General Assembly left the hall during Russian President V. Putin’s speech. Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the UN Y. Sergeyev stated on twitter, “Our delegation has left the hall during comrade Putin’s speech. A Ukrainian flag from Ilovaysk was displayed on the balcony in front of him. Let him see it.”
- US Mission to OSCE: Russia is ultimately responsible for the conflict in Ukraine
Speaking at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, US Ambassador D. Baer stated, “this conflict is the direct product of military intervention by one OSCE participating State against another. Ukraine is the victim in this conflict, and Russian aggression is responsible. Amid all the complexities of ongoing negotiations within the Minsk framework, this simple truth must be remembered. […] without free and fair elections, in accordance with Ukrainian law and monitored by the OSCE, there are no legitimate representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk with whom Kyiv can work on the political reform measures laid out in Minsk. Separatist leaders signed the Minsk Package of Measures that committed them to uphold a process to end the fighting; it did not give them the authority to speak for those living in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk. That authority cannot be gained at gunpoint, but only from the ballot box in a lawful election. Sham elections will not change this fact. To the contrary, they will only cut off political progress through the Minsk Package of Measures and undermine prospects for a lasting peace. A second round of fake elections in the separatist-controlled areas would show that Russia and the separatists are not serious about resolving the conflict […] Russia continues to showcase absurdity in its justice system through show trials of Sentsov, Kolchenko, and now Savchenko. It should release all Ukrainians it continues to illegally detain. Those detainees are another reminder of Russia’s central role in this conflict. […] We must remember that the Trilateral Contact Group is so named for good reason. It must remain a forum for Ukraine, Russia, and the OSCE to find common ground on Minsk implementation. Any other formula would obscure the fact that Russia is ultimately responsible for this conflict.”