Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
9 November 2015, 8 PM Kyiv time
- Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday toward Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Shchastya with grenade launchers and machine guns. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces attacked Ukrainian positions at Mayorsk. The attack was repelled by Ukrainian forces after an hour of combat. Near Horlivka, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Luhanske village with small arms and grenade launchers. Near the Donetsk airport, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Avdiyivka, Opytne, Pisky and Krasnohorivka. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Shyrokyne with small arms. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed in action, and one Ukrainian soldier was wounded. One Ukrainian soldier was killed and 5 were injured in a truck accident at Kurakhove, Donetsk oblast. The press-center of the ATO reported at 7 PM Kyiv time that today, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Opytne and Novhorodsk with small arms and high-caliber machine guns. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Maryinka, Avdiyivka, Krasnohorivka and Troitske with grenade launchers.
- Holodomor Memorial unveiled in Washington
On 7 November, the Memorial to the Victims of the Holodomor was unveiled in Washington. A video address by President Poroshenko was played. Poroshenko stated, “The Holodomor Genocide is one of the worst crimes in human history. This crime against the Ukrainian people was perpetrated by the Soviet communist totalitarian regime, the reincarnation of the Russian empire. […] The Famine was an attempt to bring Ukrainians to their knees, to take away our dignity, destroy our national identity, kill the hope of our right to create our destiny on our land. In this way, the empire tried to destroy the basis of the freedom-loving Ukrainian nation, undermine our spiritual culture […] The Memorial in Washington opens at a time when Ukraine is defending her independence […] and resisting Russia’s aggression. Again the Kremlin, as in the time of the Holodomor, is trying to wipe Ukraine off the world map. […] I am firmly convinced that today, as 80 years ago, no evil force from Moscow can force Ukrainians to their knees, force us to give up Freedom, Independence, Dignity and Unity.” Poroshenko’s full address is available at http://www.president.gov.ua/news/zvernennya-prezidenta-z-nagodi-vidkrittya-u-vashingtoni-memo-36265.
- White House statement on Unveiling of the Holodomor Memorial
On the occasion of the unveiling of the Memorial to the Victims of the Holodomor, the White House Press Secretary stated, “Today we join Ukrainians here in America and around the world to remember the catastrophe of the Holodomor, and the millions of innocent Ukrainians who starved to death more than eight decades ago as a result of the brutal policies of Joseph Stalin’s regime. It was the Soviet regime’s deliberate seizure of Ukrainian crops and refusal to provide food relief that turned Europe’s breadbasket into a land of immeasurable human suffering. Despite decades of totalitarian rule,Ukrainians refused to abandon their drive for freedom and independence. And as the Ukrainian people face new threats to their territory and well-being, they have once again demonstrated their resolute commitment to human dignity. Ukraine’s modern struggle for freedom and democracy is a testament to the unbreakable spirit of its people and honors the memory of the many who perished under Stalin’s brutal rule.”
- EU Foreign Affairs chief visits Kyiv: Anti-corruption reforms key to trade and visa liberalization
- Mogherini, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy was in Kyiv for meetings with Ukraine’s President, Prime Minister, Crimean Tatar leaders, and civil society organizations. After her meeting with President Poroshenko, Mogherini stated, “we stressed the need to deliver on the anti-corruption reform, which is the key to the credibility and the sustainability of all the other reforms. I discussed this at length with the President, but also with representatives of the civil society. And that is going to be key also for the implementation of the trade part of the Association Agreement, it is also one important element of our discussions on Visa Liberalization Action Plan. I stressed the need to have anti-corruption bodies that can start the work soon, and I know the President is fully committed to that and with the trusted leadership selected through a credible and transparent process. We have also discussed, as you mentioned, public administration reform, judiciary reform and other crucial reforms, and we are and we remain ready to support you on all these steps in a very concrete way.”
- US Secretary of Defense: US will defend the principled international order
On 7 November at the Reagan Defense Forum, US Secretary of Defense A. Carter stated, “In Europe, Russia has been violating sovereignty in Ukraine and Georgia and actively trying to intimidate the Baltic states. Meanwhile, in Syria, Russia is throwing gasoline on an already dangerous fire, prolonging a civil war that fuels the very extremism Russia claims to oppose. At sea, in the air, in space, and in cyberspace, Russian actors have engaged in challenging activities. And, most disturbing, Moscow’s nuclear saber-rattling raises questions about Russia’s leaders’ commitment to strategic stability, their respect for norms against the use of nuclear weapons, and whether they respect the profound caution nuclear-age leaders showed with regard to the brandishing of nuclear weapons. We do not seek a cold, let alone a hot war with Russia. We do not seek to make Russia an enemy. But make no mistake; the United States will defend our interests, and our allies, the principled international order, and the positive future it affords us all.”
- EU Begins publishing Disinformation Review to counter Russian disinformation campaign
The European Union’s special task force StratCom East began publishing the weekly “Disinformation Review” on 4 November. The objective of the Review is “to show the European public the high amount of such disinformation attacks that target European audience every single day, to expose the number of countries targeted, and, thus, to explain to the European audience the breadth of this problem. The data and information collected would help to conduct a better analysis and, thus, be ready to counter and pre-empt possible misinformation attacks in the future.” The reviews are accessible athttp://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/ukraine/press_corner/all_news/news/2015/2016_11_04_1_en.htm