Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
3 November 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, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Avdiyivka and Pisky with small arms and grenade launchers. No Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded yesterday. The press-center of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) reported that throughout the day today, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Avdiyivka, Opytne, Pisky, Shchastya and Tryokhizbenka with small arms and grenade launchers. From 6 AM to 6 PM Kyiv time today, Russian-terrorist forces opened fire on Ukrainian positions 18 times.
- Russian occupation authorities continue repressions against Crimean Tatars
The home of L. Budzhurova, former director of the Crimean Tatar TV channel ATR, which was banned by the Russian occupation authorities was searched by FSB officers in masks with machine guns. The home of the father of Lenur Islyamov, the owner of the TV channel, was also searched, as were other businesses Islyamov owns. Islyamov is one of the initiators of the Crimean blockade, which began on 20 September. The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group reports, “Russia and its puppet regime in Crimea have been insisting that it is having no effect. Such denials are rendered especially unconvincing by the ever-intensifying attack and smear campaign against the blockade’s initiators. The first targets were veteran Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemiliev and Refat Chubarov, the Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, or representative assembly. Russia has also made ominous threats to ban the Mejlis as an ‘extremist organization’. Neither Sergei Aksyonov, installed as leader when Russian soldiers seized control, nor the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti have even tried to pretend that the enforcement bodies’ heavy-handed measures on Nov 2 are not linked with Islyamov’s role in initiating the blockade.” Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, “The Russian Federation openly ignores the demands of the international community to cease systemic violations of human rights in occupied Crimea. In its attempts to destroy any connection between the occupied territory and its homeland, Moscow is continuing large-scale pressure on the peninsula. Millions of Ukrainian citizens are suffering, above all Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians.”
- Shots fired at office of Ukraine’s General Prosecutor
At 10 PM Kyiv time on 2 November, three shots were fired at the window of General Prosecutor, V. Shokin’s office. At the time, Shokin was in his office. No one was injured; the window is bulletproof. Deputy Prosecutor A. Matios stated that the shots came from a sniper rifle. The Security Service of Ukraine has opened a criminal investigation and qualified the act as an assassination attempt against Shokin, Radio Svoboda reported.
- Trial of two Russian soldiers captured in Ukraine to begin 10 November
The trial of Russian soldiers A. Aleskandrov and Y. Yerofeyev, who were on active duty in the Russian military when taken prisoner in eastern Ukraine in May 2015, begins on 10 November, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported.
- Atlantic Council: Ukraine must not pay $3 billion Russia bond due in December
The $3 billion Eurobond issued by Russia to Ukraine in December 2013 is due on 20 December, 2015. Atlantic Council Senior Fellow A. Aslund writes, “Ukraine has no reason to pay. In February 2014, the Kremlin launched military aggression against Ukraine, first annexing Crimea and later pursuing military subversion in southern and eastern Ukraine. For more than a year, Russian-commanded troops with a mixture of volunteers and regular Russian soldiers have occupied 3 percent of Ukraine’s easternmost territories. Moscow’s war has caused major damage to Ukraine. […] Ukraine has no reason to pay such an aggressor; in fact, Russia ought to pay reparations to Ukraine. Putin negotiated this deal personally with former President Viktor Yanukovych to provide him with a lifeline. It was never meant to benefit the Ukrainian nation. […]The only reason for Ukraine to pay is that it could run the risk of not receiving further funding from the IMF, which is vital for Ukraine’s financial sustenance. The IMF has an old practice of not lending to a country in arrears to a sovereign, but that practice should not be applied in this case. […] The IMF is about to change its practice of not lending into arrears. This is easily done […] The IMF Executive Board can decide to change this policy with a simple board majority. The IMF has lent to Afghanistan, Georgia, and Iraq in the midst of war, and Russia has no veto right, holding only 2.39 percent of the votes in the IMF. When the IMF has lent to Georgia and Ukraine, the other members of its Executive Board have overruled Russia. […]Russia’s intransigence has convinced a board majority that the rules have to change fast. After that, Russia’s argument that the IMF should not pay Ukraine loses validity. The full article is available at http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/ukraine-must-not-pay-russia