Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
24 February 2016, 7PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday, Russian-terrorist forces used heavy weapons against Ukrainian positions over 20 times. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Zaytseve, Novhordske and Avdiyivka. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Krasnohorivka, Maryinka and the Chermalyk-Talakivka line with small arms, grenade launchers and mortars. There was no combat on the Luhansk sector of the front. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and two were wounded in action.
2. Russian Military Command found to be linked to downing of MH-17
The investigative reporting group Bellingcat published a report that it provided to Dutch prosecutors investigating the downing of Flight MH-17 in July 2014, which links commanders of a Russian military unit to the downing of the aircraft. The report concludes, “The decision to send military equipment to the Russia-Ukraine border and to Ukraine was made at an even higher level – the level of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, where the top positions in 2014 were fulfilled by First Deputy Minister Arkady Viktotovich Bakhin, First Deputy Minister Valery Vasilevich Gerasimov, Minister Sergey Kuzhugetovich Shoygu, and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. Consistent with the probable conclusion that the Russian Buk missile launcher 3×2 downed MH17, the Ministry of Defense bears the main responsibility for the MH17 tragedy, shared with the military commanders and leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.” The full report is available at https://www.bellingcat.com/wp-
3. US company Cargill signs $100 million joint venture agreement on new grain terminal in Ukraine
US company Cargill and Ukraine’s MV Cargo signed $100 million joint-venture agreement on the construction of a grain terminal at Ukraine’s Black Sea Port of Yuzhny (near Odesa). Reuters reported, “Cargill, one of the world’s largest privately owned corporations, said construction of the terminal would begin this month and was expected to be completed by the spring of 2018.Odesa-based MV Cargo will finance the project with private funds as well as a loan, currently under discussion, from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Finance Corporation, a spokeswoman for Cargill said. The joint venture will operate the terminal and Cargill will be a major customer, but the facility will also be open to third parties, she said.”
4. EU publishes weekly Russian disinformation review
The EU’s External Action Service East Stratcom Task Force published its sixteenth weekly Russian disinformation review. “The main aim of this product is to raise the awareness about Russian disinformation campaign. And the way to achieve this goal is by providing the experts in this field, journalists, academics, officials, politicians, and anyone interested in disinformation with some real time data about the number of disinformation attacks, the number of countries targeted, the latest disinformation trends in different countries, the daily basis of this campaign, and about the coordination of the disinformation spread among many countries.” The weekly Disinformation Review is accessible at http://us11.campaign-archive2.
com/?u= cd23226ada1699a77000eb60b&id= 9e8da151e3