Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
3 June 2016, 7 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 and Novozvanivka. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Zaytseve, Avdiyivka, Opytne and several other locations, firing over 250 mortar shells. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, Novotroitske and Shyrokyne. The RNBO reported that today, Russian-terrorist forces carried out heavy shelling of Krasnohorivka and Maryinka with mortars and artillery. Four buildings were damaged. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours no Ukrainian soldiers were killed and eight were wounded in action.
2. US, Ukraine sign $ 1 billion loan guarantee agreement
The US and Ukraine signed a $1 billion loan agreement. The US Embassy in Ukraine stated, “This guarantee reinforces the United States’ strong commitment to the people of Ukraine by strengthening the Government of Ukraine as it continues to institute reforms that reduce corruption, improve the business climate, stabilize the economy, and make the government more responsive to the people. […] The U.S. loan guarantee is part of a comprehensive international financial package. When issued, the loan guarantee will provide the Government of Ukraine with access to affordable financing from international capital markets, enabling it to provide critical services and protect the most vulnerable Ukrainians from the impact of necessary economic adjustments as it implements key reforms.”
3. US Mission to OSCE: Combined Russian-separatist forces have dramatically escalated fighting
Speaking at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on 2 June, US Permanent Representative D. Baer stated, “The United States is deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine. Combined Rus3sian-separatist forces have stepped up the violence, fired banned heavy weapons from civilian areas, and have continued to obstruct the work of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, including threatening monitors, shooting down an SMM UAV, and disabling SMM surveillance cameras. The situation is particularly troubling because just one week ago, Ukraine proposed a detailed disengagement plan, which, had it been implemented, would have contributed to a significant de-escalation of the conflict. Instead, Russia refused to engage in negotiations on de-escalation in a May 25 meeting of the Joint Center for Coordination and Control, and combined Russian-separatist forces dramatically escalated the fighting, causing Ukraine to suffer its worst casualties since August 2015. […] In the Permanent Council, we hear the Russian Federation call for 24/7 monitoring of hotspots, but the actions of the combined Russian-separatist forces stand in stark contrast to the words spoken here. These forces appear to be preparing the battlefield for further action while trying to prevent the SMM from observing the situation and reporting on it to the international community. […] It is also imperative that the Russian Federation put an end to imprisoning Ukrainian citizens on trumped up, politically-motivated charges. The release of Nadiya Savchenko does not relieve the Russian Federation of its responsibility to free Stanislav Klikh, Mykola Karpyuk, Akhtem Ciygoz, Oleg Sentsov, Aleksander Kolchenko, Yuriy Soloshenko, Olexandr Kostenko and all other Ukrainian citizens it has wrongfully imprisoned.”