Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
22 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 Novozvanivka with grenade launchers and small arms. Towards Donetsk Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Mayorsk with artillery. Near Avdiyivka, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with artillery and grenade launchers. North of Horlivka, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with artillery. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Maryinka, Krasnohorivka, Hnutove and several other locations. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, no Ukrainian soldiers were killed or wounded in action.
2. Nominee for US Ambassador to Ukraine testifies at US Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Testifying at the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on 21 June, M. Yovanovitch, nominee to the post of US Ambassador to Ukraine stated, “Ukraine has made more important progress on reforms in the last two years than it did in its first 23 years of independence. And I am especially optimistic about Ukraine’s reform trajectory this year, given several key achievements since the reformation of the coalition and government in April. Ukraine overwhelmingly approved constitutional amendments to strengthen judicial independence; raised energy tariffs to 100% of market rates ahead of the IMF’s schedule; and replaced a Prosecutor General who had lost the trust of civil society with one who has committed to reforming the PGO. […]These reform achievements are all the more impressive given that they have come in the face of Russian aggression. The best defense against Russian aggression is a successful Ukraine. But of course, much work remains to be done. […] Just as we stand firmly behind the Ukrainian people in their efforts to transform their nation, we stand with Ukraine as it seeks to reform its military, stop further Russian aggression, bring the conflict in the Donbas to a peaceful conclusion via the Minsk agreements, and end the occupation of Crimea. […] Ukraine has lived up to many Minsk commitments already. But Russia and the separatists have not. Violence has spiked in the past two months to reach levels we have not seen since August 2015. […]Finally, as President Obama has stated clearly, we do not and will not recognize Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea. We are working with the Government of Ukraine as well as our partners and allies to highlight Russian abuses targeting Crimean Tatars and others opposed to Russia’s illegal occupation as well as ensure that the costs to Russia continue, including through sanctions, until Crimea is returned to Ukraine.”
3. Ukraine’s President signs law creating more favorable conditions for foreign investment
Ukraine’s President P. Poroshenko signed a law amending several legislative acts regarding the abolition of mandatory state registration of foreign investments. The President’s press service stated, “The law provides for the creation of more favorable conditions for the attraction of investments through simplification of the order of their attraction. Such amendments will bring the Ukrainian legislation closer to the EU standards and facilitate the revival of the Ukrainian economy.” Ukraine’s Parliament adopted the law in May.