Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
9 May 2016, 7 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine reported that yesterday towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Stanytsia Luhanska. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Luhanske village and Avdiyivka. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Maryinka, Taramchuk and Shyrokyne. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and four were wounded in action. The RNBO reported that on 6-7 May, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and four were wounded.
2. Ukrainian President’s Address on the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation
Speaking on May 8, the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko stated, “Long-awaited peace in Europe was established on May 8, 1945 after six years of war. Last year, Ukraine joined European countries in their celebration of the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation. […]Today, in eastern Europe, violations of the norms of international law, unprecedented from the times of Hitler and Stalin, are taking place. A predatory and voracious empire again ignores state borders. […] Ukraine is resisting again. […]Every Ukrainian can be proud of the fact that we have created a modern army in two years. […] As the Commander in Chief, I must take into account all factors: military, international, economic and other. That is why we are focusing on political-diplomatic means to return Ukrainian sovereignty to the temporarily occupied territories. […] Any step towards a political settlement must be preceded with tangible progress on questions of security. […] My goal is to return, through political-diplomatic means, all of the Donbas, and then Crimea. […] Glory to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard, volunteers, all those who are defending our homeland from the enemy attacks of the Russian Federation! Glory to Ukraine!” Poroshenko’s full remarks are available in Ukrainian athttp://www.president.gov.ua/
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3. Crimean Tatar Mejlis calls on EU to strengthen sanctions against Russia
R. Chubarov, head of the Mejlis, Representative Assembly of the Crimean Tatar People, called on the countries of the EU to strengthen sanctions against Russia, including an oil embargo and removal of Russia from the SWIFT international bank transfer payments system, Radio Svoboda reported. Chubarov stated, “Against the backdrop of increasing repressions against Crimean Tatars, our task is to persuade the international community to implement tougher sanctions against Russia,” Radio Svoboda reported. On 12 May, the European Parliament is expected to hold debates and consider a resolution on the issue of violations of the rights of Crimean Tatars, Radio Svoboda reported. On April 26, the “authorities” in Russian-occupied Crimea banned the Mejlis.
4. IMF predicts GDP growth in 2016-2017 in Ukraine
The IMF’s Regional Economic Issues – Central Eastern and Southeastern Europe report predicts real GDP growth of 1.5% in 2016 and 2.5% in 2017, with real export growth of 3.6% predicted for 2017. The report stated, “For Ukraine, critical reforms include anti-corruption and judicial measures, tax administration reforms, and reforms of state-owned enterprises to improve corporate governance and reduce fiscal risks.” The report is available at http://www.imf.org/external/