Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
20 June 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 Popasne and Novooleksandrivka with grenade launchers. Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Novozvanivka with mortars. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Zaytseve and Avdiyivka with mortars. At Mayorsk and Luhanske village, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions with small arms and grenade launchers. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Krasnohorivka with artillery, tanks and mortars, firing over 150 shells. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Maryinka, Shyrokyne and several other locations on the Mariupol sector of the front. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and two Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action.
2. Canada-Ukraine Business Forum – live streaming
The Canada-Ukraine Business Forum, organized by Canada’s Department of Global Affairs, Ukraine’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce and the Conference Board of Canada is taking place in Toronto today. Canada’s Prime Minister J. Trudeau will deliver remarks at the Forum at 4PM EDT. The Forum is being live-streamed at http://forum.cucc.ca/live.html
3. Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group on disappearance of Crimea Tatar activist in Russian-occupied Crimea
The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) reported, “Crimean Tatars gathered on Sunday evening in prayer for [Ervin Ibragimov], the prominent Crimean Tatar activist who was abducted on May 24. The occupation authorities did not, at least, obstruct the gathering, but they have also done nothing to find this latest victim of forced disappearances since Russia’s annexation of Crimea. […] 26 days have passed and hopes of finding the 30-year-old alive are fading. It remains imperative to highlight his disappearance and publicly demand that the occupation authorities take real measures to find those responsible. At present, the suspicious unwillingness to even accept the original report of his abduction and lack of any activity suggest either that the de facto authorities are well aware who carried out this latest abduction, or at very least that the ongoing atmosphere of terror suits them. Last week the EU extended its sanctions against Russia for another year. Clearly removing them would have been worse, but much more pressure is needed. This is not the first abduction and / or disappearance since Russia invaded and occupied Crimea. It can only be a question of time before the next person disappears while Russia and the occupation regime it installed are allowed to act with impunity.” The full report from KHPG is available at http://khpg.org/en/index.php?
4. Ukraine’s PM urges Europe not to ease Russia sanctions
Ukraine’s Prime Minister V. Groysman urged EU countries to maintain economic sanctions or Russia, stating “any softening or removal of sanctions may take place only when the aggressor returns national borders and stops violations of international law […] The economic impact of the sanctions on the European economies is negligible compared to the damage from the encouragement of the aggressor,” the New York Times reported on 17 June.