Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
18 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 attacked Ukrainian positions near Kryakivka. Ukrainian forces repelled the attack. West of occupied Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions with small arms, grenade launchers and mortars. There was no combat on the Mariupol sector of the front. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and one was wounded in action.
- “Leader” of Luhansk “Peoples’ Republic” testifies in-camera in illegal trial of Nadiya Savchenko
The “leader” of the so-called Luhansk “Peoples’ Republic” I. Plotnitsky testified in Russia’s illegal trial of Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadiya Savchenko today, Radio Svoboda reported. Savchenko’s lawyer Mark Feygin stated that the court has prohibited the defense from publicizing Plotnitsky’s “testimony,” and the hearing was held in-camera. Savchenko was serving in eastern Ukraine, when abducted by Kremlin-backed terrorists in June 2014 and taken to Russia, where she has been illegally detained and imprisoned since that time. Russia has ignored repeated calls from the international community for her immediate release.
- Bloomberg, Atlantic Council: Putin’s debt deal proposal not enough
Russian President V. Putin stated that Russia has proposed that Ukraine pay the $3 billion bond due in December $1 billion/year over 3 years, after refusing to participate in debt restructuring negotiations. A Bloomberg editorial stated, “The IMF should take this opportunity to demand that Russia accept a bigger haircut: This debt, after all, was taken on by a corrupt leader [former President Viktor Yanukovych] against the interests of the Ukrainian people. The more Ukraine pays, the more IMF money will go straight back out to a country that — by annexing Crimea and supporting a pro-Russian rebellion — played the central role in undermining its economy. At the very least, Russia should get the same treatment as private creditors[…] The least the West can do is ensure that an unbearable debt burden isn’t one of them.” The Atlantic Council’s A. Aslund stated that Putin’s proposal is unacceptable for three reasons. “First, this would give Russia much better conditions than the other bondholders that accepted a debt restructuring reducing the nominal value of their bonds by 20 percent, while receiving a guarantee that no other bondholder would obtain better conditions. Second, the IMF lending program, the Extended Fund Facility of $17.5 billion, is valid for four years, and it contains no financing covering the Russian claim. Finally, the West has no reason to pay for Putin’s attempt to keep Yanukovych in power.”
- NATO Deputy Secretary General: Russia has ripped up the international rule book
NATO Dep. Sec. General A. Vershbow stated, “In Ukraine, it is now almost two years since Russia deployed its ‘little green men’, denying their activities until Crimea was illegally annexed and brought fully under Russian control. Since then, it has continued to support so-called ‘separatists’ in eastern Ukraine with soldiers masquerading as ‘volunteers’ and ‘vacationers,’ with weapons – including heavy weapons – and with command and control. […] Russia has ripped up the international rule book which we had all worked so hard for so many decades to write: rules that ensured the sovereignty of nations and the sanctity of borders; that ensured that disagreements would be solved through diplomacy and negotiation and not on the battlefield; that stated that every nation had the right to chart its own course.[…] Deterrence is not a concept for a bygone age. It is as relevant today as it has always been. And by ensuring effective deterrence against a revisionist Russia, we will have a more solid basis on which to engage Moscow – to bring it back into compliance with international law and, in time, begin to rebuild the trust and partnership that Russia has destroyed.”