Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
26 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, Shchastya and Popasne. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Zaytseve and Avdiyivka. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Maryinka with mortars. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and five were wounded in action.
2. Court in Russian-occupied Crimea bans Crimean Tatar Mejlis
A court in Russian-occupied Crimea has banned the Mejlis, the Representative Assembly of the Crimean Tatar People. The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported, “There can be no understating how serious this move is. Oliver Loode, a member of the UN Forum on Indigenous Issues, has stressed that ‘if a representative body is banned, this is not just a hostile act towards a particular organization, in this case the Mejlis. It’s really an attack against the people, in this case Crimean Tatars.’ A recent resolution from the European Parliament recognized the Crimean Tatars as an indigenous people of Crimea whose right to self-government is protected under the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Mejlis as ‘the legitimate representation of the Crimean Tatar community.’ Russia through its puppet prosecutor and court called the Mejlis a ‘civic organization’ and has now banned it, claiming it to be ‘extremist’. Nobody is in any doubt of the real reasons for this move, namely the implacable opposition of the Mejlis to Russian occupation.” The full report from KHPG is available athttp://khpg.org.ua/en/index.
3. Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Russia’s illegal ban of Crimean Tatar Mejlis
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed “its decisive protest in connection with the decision by an illegal court of the occupying power in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea banning the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People […] The ban of the Mejlis – the organ of self-government of the Crimean Tatar People […] is yet another demonstration of the violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms by the occupation authorities […] This unprecedented repressive decision is more evidence of the systematic persecution of the Crimean Tatar People, in connection with the Crimean Tatar People’s principled position regarding the Russian occupation of Crimea. […] This situation once again demonstrates the urgent need for more action by the internal community in defense of human rights in occupied Crimea. […] We call on Ukraine’s international partners, particularly the key guarantors of its security under the Budapest Memorandum, to intensify efforts to establish an international mechanism regarding the de-occupation of Crimea.”
4. Canada announces further support to address aftermath of Chornobyl nuclear disaster
On 25 April, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs S. Dion announced that Canada will “continue to support international efforts dealing with the containment and safe storage of radioactive materials resulting from the 1986 accident at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, in Ukraine, with a contribution of $3.6 million. […] The Minister made the announcement ahead of the 30th anniversary of the April 26, 1986, accident and as international donors meet in Kyiv, Ukraine, to discuss the work to safely and securely store spent nuclear fuel.” For the statement from the Government of Canada announcing the additional support, see http://news.gc.ca/web/article-