Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
13 April 2016, 6 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that yesterday towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Stanytsia Luhanska and Troykhizbenka. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions and residential areas of Adviyivka. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions along the entire Donetsk sector of the front with mortars – the most intense shelling was at Avdiyivka, Luhanske, Zaytseve and Mayorsk. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Maryinka, Novotroitske and Shyrokyne with mortars. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and eight were wounded in action.
2. Ukraine’s Parliament likely to vote on new government tomorrow
Ukraine’s Parliamentary speaker V. Groysman stated that negotiations on the formation of a new government are continuing today, and that on 14 April, Parliament should vote on the acceptance of the resignation of PM A. Yatsenyuk and the formation of a new government, Radio Svoboda reported. Groysman stated, “Today, we have to hold a meeting of the coalition, and tomorrow we should take a decision in Parliament, vote for changes to the Parliamentary leadership and a new Government,” Radio Svoboda reported.
3. Lithuania sanctions Russian officials responsible for imprisonment of Savchenko
Lithuania has banned 46 people from entering Lithuania for their role in the illegal imprisonment of Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadiya Savchenko and other Ukrainian citizens illegally imprisoned by Russia. Reuters reported, “Those blacklisted include Russian investigators, prosecutors and judges, as well as separatists from the Ukrainian rebel strongholds of Luhansk and Donetsk.” L. Linkevicius, Lithuania’s Foreign Minister, stated, “We blacklisted them to show our solidarity with Ukraine, and to focus attention on the unacceptable and cynical violations of international law and human rights in Russia. We are convinced that the court cases against those people were falsified. It would be more effective if the blacklist became Europe-wide. We hope to start such a discussion,” Reuters reported.
4. UK Minister for Europe calls on Russia to immediately end illegal detention of Nadiya Savchenko
United Kingdom Minister for Europe D Lidington, stated on 12 April, “I am deeply concerned by reports that Nadiya Savchenko’s health is seriously deteriorating. She has now refused food and water for 7 days in protest against her illegal detention in Russia, flawed trial, judgment and sentence.I call on Russia once again to urgently fulfil its international obligations, including under the Minsk Agreements, and release Ms Savchenko immediately. In the meantime, I urge Russia to show compassion and grant Ms. Savchenko’s request to receive urgent medical assistance from international medical teams.”
5. European Commission to go ahead with Ukraine visa liberalization
The European Commission plans to go ahead with its proposal for visa liberalization for Ukraine, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported. EU Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Commissioner J. Hahn told RFE/RL, “We have worked on this issue for some years. We have always argued that we are following a certain methodology. They have accepted it. They have delivered. Now I think it is a question of fairness to fulfill what we have promised.” RFE/RL reported that sources in Brussels stated that the visa liberalization proposal is likely to come by the end of April.