Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
14 January 2016, 7 PM Kyiv time
- Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday the number of violations of the ceasefire by Russian-terrorist forces increased significantly. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions south of Troitske and Luhanske, where Ukrainian forces repelled an attack. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Zaytseve with mortars and Mayorsk and Novhorodske with small arms and grenade launchers. Near the Donetsk airport Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars. Towards Mariupol Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Krasnohorivka and Maryinka. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, two Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in a landmine explosion. No Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded in action.
- Ukraine’s President: In 2016, Ukrainian sovereignty over occupied Donetsk, Luhansk must be restored
Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko stated, “In 2016, we must restore Ukrainian sovereignty over the occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The struggle for the return of Crimea is also a priority. We will offer to establish an international mechanism on the de-occupation of the peninsula. The optimal format is “Geneva Plus”: with participation of our partners from the EU, USA and, probably, signatory countries of the Budapest Memorandum. Such difficult tasks as the return of Donbas and Crimea should be solved by political, diplomatic and international legal means. Once again, I emphasize our firm commitment to the full implementation of all provisions of the Minsk agreements by all parties without exception. We will not allow the revision of the Minsk agreements!”
- Russia again “promises” ceasefire in eastern Ukraine
At Trilateral Contact Group (Ukraine-Russia-OSCE) talks in Minsk yesterday, negotiators “promised new efforts to enforce a shaky cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, an envoy said Wednesday. Boris Gryzlov, a former speaker of the Russian parliament who has been named a Russian envoy, made the offer during peace talks Wednesday,” the Associated Press reported. Russia has agreed to several previous ceasefires since its invasions of Eastern Ukraine, but attacks by Russian-terrorist forces on Ukrainian positions continue unabated.
- US Congressional Ukrainian Caucus again urges Russia to release Nadiya Savchenko
US Representatives S. Levin (D-MI), M Fitzpatrick (R-PA), M. Kaptur (D-OH) and M. Quigley (D-IL), members of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, called on Russia to release Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadiya Savchenko. “We continue to call on Russian authorities to immediately release Nadiya Savchenko from custody, now well into its second year. We are gravely concerned by recent reports of her ill health since the commencement of her hunger strike. […]We demand that Russia abide by its international obligations and the rule of law, and we join the international community in calling for Nadiya Savchenko’s immediate release,” stated Levin, co-chair of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus.
- Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs: OSCE security mechanisms must be strengthened
At a special meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council inaugurating Germany’s OSCE Chairmanship for 2016, Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs P. Klimkin stated, “Germany has assumed the Chairmanship at a critical juncture for the OSCE. Threats and challenges, that we had considered rested in the past, again emerged to haunt us 25 years after the Cold War ended. Flagrantly violating the basics – the Helsinki Decalogue of principles – the Russian Federation has shattered the very foundation underpinning European peace and security. As we meet today, Russia’s illegal occupation and annexation of Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol continues and the Russian military presence in Donbas, as well as its support to the illegal armed groups persists. By resorting to an unprovoked armed aggression against Ukraine, the Russian Federation committed a grave crime as defined by the norms of international law. Crimea and Donbas should remain a constant reminder for the Chairmanship and the participating States that restoring respect to the OSCE principles and commitments is critical for safeguarding the OSCE’s relevance and credibility. […] Given the limited effect of the OSCE crisis toolbox employed over 2014-2015 it is critically important to strengthen the OSCE security mechanisms, aimed at effective prevention and resolution of conflicts instigated by hybrid warfare.”
- Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom nominated for Academy Award for best documentary
Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, a documentary about Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity (Nov. 2013-Feb. 2014) has been nominated as one of five finalists for an Academy Award (Oscars) in the Documentary Feature category.