Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
4 December 2015, 6 PM Kyiv time
- Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Luhanske village and Lozove with machine guns and grenade launchers. Near Novhorodske, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Near the Donetsk airport, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Avdiyivka, Opytne and Pisky. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Shyrokyne. There was no combat on the Luhansk sector of the front. The RNBO reported that one Ukrainian soldier was killed and five were wounded in a landmine explosion near Hnutove, Donetsk oblast.
- Japan provides $300 million low-interest loan to Ukraine government
The governments of Ukraine and Japan signed a loan agreement in the amount of $300 million, with a term of 20 years, a 6 year grace period, and an interest rate of under 1% per year. The Economic Reform Development Policy loan, is co-financing tied to the World Bank’s Development Policy loan.
- Russian official: Savchenko to receive “harsh sentence”
Markin, official representative of Russia’s Investigative Committee, stated that something tells him that the sentence of Nadiya Savchenko will be “harsh,” the Kharkiv Human Rights Group (KHPG) reported. This “obviously allowed him to flagrantly ignore fundamental principles of a fair trial and pre-empt the court in declaring Savchenko guilty. […]Markin’s remarks are not the first time that Russian officials have demonstrated that the proceedings against Savchenko have nothing in common with a court of law. Russia’s Justice Ministry has twice stated that Savchenko’s ‘extradition’ can be discussed if Ukraine recognizes the verdict passed by a Russian court and guarantees that she would serve her sentence in Ukraine. Ukraine’s Justice Minister P Petrenko responded by pointing out that a statement like this before a verdict has been handed down demonstrates one thing alone, that the verdict has already been written, and that it will definitely be a conviction,” KHPG stated. 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.
- Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs protests Putin visit to Russian-occupied Crimea
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine voiced its strong protest of Russian President V. Putin’s visit to Russian-occupied Crimea on 2 December. “We stress once again that the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, and the city of Sevastopol are and will remain integral parts of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. This is recognized by the entire civilized world, which has provided a proper assessment of the actions of the Russian side and continues to implement appropriate restrictive measures,” the MFA stated.
- Bellingcat publishes report on 2014 Russian offensive in Donbas
A team of investigators from the British group Bellingcat published an independent report, The Burning Road to Mariupol: Attacks from Russia during the Novoazovs’k offensive of August 2014, which concludes that “open source evidence shows that attacks on Ukrainian forces around Novoazovs’k came from Russia, and vehicles used in the conflict in the area were transported from Russia. This report adds to the growing body of evidence showing that Russia was directly involved in the Ukrainian conflict of 2014-2015.” The report can be accessed at https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2015/12/03/the-burning-road-to-mariupol/