Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
4 November 2015, 8 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 Shchastya with small arms. At Tryokhizbenka, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions with grenade launchers. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions with small arms and grenade launchers at the Avdiyvka-Opytne-Pisky line. There was no combat near Mariupol. The RNBO reported that yesterday no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and five were wounded. The press-center of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) reported that today, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Maryinka with high-caliber machine guns. At Opytne, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions with anti-tank weapons and small arms.
- Ukraine will cease weapons withdrawal if Russian-terrorist forces do not stop firing on Ukrainian positions
Turchynov, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) stated that if Russian-terrorist forces do not stop firing on Ukrainian positions, Ukraine will stop withdrawing weapons from the frontline. Turchynov stated, “In the event of continuing provocations by the Russian occupiers, which threaten the lives and security of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians, weapons and military materiel will be immediately returned to their previous locations, and Ukrainian soldiers will deal accordingly with the challenges of the Russian occupiers.”
- Two Ukrainian Canadians sworn in as Cabinet Ministers in Canada
Mr. Justin Trudeau was sworn in today as Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister. Ukrainian Canadian Chrystia Freeland was appointed as Minister of International Trade, and MaryAnn Mihychuk was sworn in as Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.
- US, EU: Sanctions on Russia are tied to full implementation of Minsk
On 3 November, US Vice President J. Biden spoke with European Commission President J.C. Junker. “On Ukraine, the two leaders agreed that sanctions on Russia should be tied to full implementation of the Minsk agreements, and that Ukraine needed to move forward expeditiously with further economic and anti-corruption reforms,” the White House stated.
- US State Department official: Countering Russian disinformation an important part of promoting a Europe whole, free and at peace
B.G. Ziff, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, testifying before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Europe Subcommittee stated, “Kremlin sponsors these efforts with a sophisticated $1.4 billion-a-year propaganda apparatus at home and abroad, which claims to reach 600 million people across 130 countries in 30 languages. The Russian government also funds think tanks and outside organizations in its neighboring states to help achieve its goals of promoting the Kremlin’s false narratives; portraying the West as a threat; and undermining trust in independent media as well as Western institutions and values. In the face of the Kremlin’s attack on the truth, the free flow of reliable, credible information is the best defense. This is why the State Department has focused its efforts on supporting independent media; improving access to high quality, objective information; exposing false narratives; and building the capacity of civil society. After all, truth should be discovered, not dictated.[…]While rapid response counter-messaging is a critical element of our strategy, local independent voices and a strong independent media are the real answer to free and democratic societies throughout the region. […] We are also working with the EU to cooperate on supporting the creation of new regional programs to support Russian-language media, based on the European Endowment for Democracy’s (EED) Feasibility Study on Russian Language Media Initiatives. […]Ultimately, countering disinformation is a security issue, especially when the goal of Russian disinformation and propaganda is to destabilize, distract, and divide our allies. Addressing this problem is an important part of our diplomatic effort to promote a Europe whole, free, and at peace.[…]The combination of our diplomatic efforts ensures that the U.S. not only has a positive story to tell, but that others will be able to hear it over the Kremlin’s noise.”
- World Bank approves $560 million loan for road development in Ukraine
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $560 million IBRD loan to finance the Road Development Project in Ukraine on 3 November. The World Bank stated, “This new financing supports a number of measures to improve road network management, transport connectivity, maintenance operations and road safety for users on the Poltava to Kharkiv main road corridor.”