Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
27 April 2016, 3 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, Troykhizbenka and Popanse. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces attacked Ukrainian positions at Avdiyivka. Ukrainian forces repelled the attack. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Avdiyivka and Luhanske village with mortars. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Maryinka, Hranitne, and Shyrokyne. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and five were wounded in action.
2. EU: Ban of Mejlis by Russian occupation authorities a grave attack on the rights of Crimean Tatars
Responding to yesterday’s decision by the Russian occupation authorities to ban the Mejlis, the Representative Assembly of the Crimean Tatar People, on 26 April the European Union stated, “Today’s decision by the so-called Supreme Court of Crimea to prohibit the activities of the Mejlis, a self-governing body of the Crimean Tatars, labelling it ‘an extremist organisation’, represents a grave attack on the rights of the Crimean Tatars as a whole. It constitutes a further very negative escalation in the human rights situation on the Crimean peninsula since its illegal annexation by the Russian Federation in 2014, including as regards the persecution of persons belonging to minorities.”
3. US Assistant Secretary of State encouraged by signs of commitment to reform of Ukraine’s new government
US Assistant Secretary of State V. Nuland stated that “she was encouraged by signs of commitment to reforms by Ukraine’s new government. Speaking at the end of her first official visit to Kyiv since the pro-European parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Groysman was confirmed as prime minister in April, Nuland said she is returning to Washington ‘optimistic that reform is back on track in Ukraine.’ She said she saw commitment from all political forces in Kyiv to continue and accelerate reforms. […] Nuland also said President Barack Obama is committed to fully implementing the Minsk accords and that there was unified commitment from U.S. allies to keep sanctions in place against Russia until Moscow meets its obligations under the Minsk accords,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported.
4. Ukraine’s PM: Government is setting a uniform gas price, will abolish taxation of pensions
Opening a Cabinet meeting, Ukraine’s PM V. Groysman stated that the government is setting a uniform price of gas for households and will abolish the taxation of pensions, noting that the decision to introduce a single price for gas meets Ukraine’s obligations under the IMF program. The government will also send a bill to Ukraine’s parliament that eliminates taxation of pensions from 1 May, Groysman stated.
5. National Bank of Ukraine: real GDP growth forecast at 1.1% in 2016, 3.0% in 2017
The National Bank of Ukraine reported that real GDP growth in Ukraine in the fourth quarter of 2015 increased by 1.4% compared with the previous quarter, and that real GDP is forecast to grow by 1.1% in 2016 and 3.0% in 2017.