Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
20 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 Syze, Stanytsia Luhanska and Tryokhizbenka. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Avdiyvika with mortars. Towards Mariupol Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian position on the Krasnohorivka-Novotroitske line. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours one Ukrainian soldier was killed and three were wounded in action.
2. NY Times: Russia Is Trying to Wipe Out Crimea’s Tatars
Writing in the NY Times, Christina M. Paschyn stated, “Crimean Tatars still refuse to submit to Russian occupation. Most opposed the 2014 annexation, and their leadership continues to demand Crimea’s reunification with Ukraine. Russia has not taken kindly to this dissent. Russian authorities have shut down Crimean Tatar media. Russian forces have raided homes and mosques, and harassed and imprisoned Crimean Tatar activists, some of whom have disappeared or been killed. Russia has tried to block the Crimean Tatars from publicly commemorating the deportation and has even re-exiled Mustafa Dzhemilev, the Crimean Tatars’ political leader. According to Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, about 20,000 Crimean Tatars have fled the peninsula since the annexation. This is devastating for a people who spent 45 years banished from their homeland. Many thought they were done with Russia once and for all when the Soviet Union disintegrated and Crimea belonged to Ukraine. Few predicted that their nightmare would begin anew in 2014. If the Crimean Tatars are to survive, Western governments must do more to help.” The full article is available athttp://www.nytimes.com/2016/
05/20/opinion/russia-is- trying-to-wipe-out-crimeas- tatars.html
3. EBRD, EU to provide support to small and medium-sized enterprises in Ukraine
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the EU signed an agreement to provide up to 28 million Euros “business advice, information, training and other support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Ukraine. The assistance will include the creation of a network of business support centres across Ukraine. Thousands of Ukrainian SMEs will benefit directly from the new assistance programme, which will strengthen their competitiveness in domestic and international markets through in-depth advisory services, training courses and awareness-raising activities. The funding is part of the wider EU4Business initiative,” the EBRD stated.
4. US announces additional humanitarian assistance for Ukraine
The US announced “more than $28 million in additional U.S. humanitarian assistance to help the hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people affected by Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine and Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea. This announcement brings total U.S. humanitarian assistance since the start of the crisis to more than $112 million dollars. The funding announced today includes nearly $17 million from USAID. Of this, $12 million in USAID funding is from USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, which will be provided to UNICEF, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and a number of international NGOs for shelter assistance, water and sanitation programs, cash benefits to help displaced families, small livelihoods projects, and humanitarian coordination and information management. The remaining $5 million in USAID funding is from the Office of Food for Peace for the UN World Food Program,” the US Embassy in Ukraine stated.