Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
10 May 2016, 7 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Popasne. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Avdiyivka. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Starohnativka and Shyrokyne. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and two were wounded.
2. Atlantic Council on IMF Mission to Ukraine, May 10-18
A. Aslund, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council wrote, “Just after the May holidays, a mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) plans to visit Ukraine from May 10-18. The Ukrainian government and the informed public pay great attention to this event, and rightly so. Ukraine is likely to obtain a much delayed credit of $1.7 billion by mid-June. […] When the next IMF tranche is disbursed, the United States may provide a loan guarantee of $1 billion, and the European Union another macroeconomic finance tranche of $650 million. […]. Altogether, Ukraine could receive credits of $3.5 billion in one package. That would boost Ukraine’s international currency reserves to some $17 billion, which would be sufficient to allow the National Bank to start liberalizing its strict currency regulations. […]The Ukrainian parliament needs to pass a package of nineteen laws, involving public administration, deregulation, corporate governance, extending the list of state companies subject to privatization, and elements of judicial reform, to satisfy the IMF. Prime Minister Volodymyr Groisman has promised to have them adopted and seems to have secured parliamentary support. The IMF greatly appreciates Ukraine’s energy reform. On May 1, the Ukrainian government finally unified both gas and electricity prices. After a quarter of a century, Ukraine’s influential gas traders can no longer buy the state through privileged arbitrage. No previous Ukrainian government policy has done so much to reduce corruption. Basically, this decision to unify prices should be sufficient for the IMF to offer the Ukrainian government a new tranche of $1.7 billion. Ukraine needs it badly to be able to start economic recovery.” The full article is available at http://www.atlanticcouncil.
3. Human rights group report on trial of Crimean Tatars in Russian-occupied Crimea
The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported, “Ali Asanov, a 33-year-old father of four, would not fit most people’s image of a political prisoner. He is, however, one of the Crimean Tatar victims of a politically motivated and legally grotesque case and could face an 8-year sentence for nothing. It is extremely likely that he and Mustafa Degermendzhy are being held in detention because of their refusal to provide false testimony against Crimean Tatar leader Akhtem Chiygoz. The charges against Chiygoz, Asanov, Degermendzhy and three other Crimean Tatars are over a demonstration which took place on Ukrainian territory and under Ukrainian law. Russia is breaching its own legislation as well as international law in persisting with prosecutions where it has no jurisdiction. There are fears now that the ban on April 26, 2016 of the Mejlis or representative body of the Crimean Tatar people could be effectively backdated with new charges brought against the men or organizing or involvement in an ‘extremist organization.’ […] Ali Asanov and the other prisoners were arrested over a year later [after taking part in pro-Ukrainian demonstrations in February 2014] as part of a mounting offensive against the Mejlis which had consistently opposed Russian occupation. Akhtem Chiygoz, by then the highest-ranking Mejlis leader not exiled by Russia, was arrested first and faces the most serious charge of ‘organizing mass riots’. The considerable video footage from the protest that day demonstrates that the contrary was true. Chiygoz and other Mejlis leaders actively worked to prevent violence and largely succeeded. […] Asanov and his family have reported from the outset that he was told very clearly that he would be freed if he denounced Chiygoz. Asanov (and Mustafa Degermendzhy) refused.” The full report from KHPG is available athttp://khpg.org.ua/en/index.