Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
13 July 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. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions near Horlivka and Avdiyivika with mortars. At Luhanske village, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with grenade launchers. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions at Krasnohorivka with mortars and artillery. At Hnutove, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions with mortars and grenade launchers. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, one Ukrainian soldier was killed and four Ukrainian soldiers were wounded in action.
2. Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Senstov, illegally imprisoned in Russia, turns 40
Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, illegally imprisoned for over two years in Russian prison, turns 40 today. The Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, (KHPG) reported, “The Kremlin has sent him and Oleksandr Kolchenko as far from Moscow and publicity as possible. […] Both he and Oleksandr Kolchenko have, from the outset, remained true to themselves and unbroken. Sentsov’s steadfast refusal to ‘cooperate’ with the FSB, despite all the torture and threats, was the reason that he accused of having ‘masterminded’ a supposed terrorist plot and sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment. […] He asked for nothing from the court, saying that an occupiers’ court cannot, by definition, be just. […]Sentsov has consistently spoken of the torture he was subjected to and the threats that if he didn’t ‘confess’ to whatever they demanded, he would rot in a Russian prison. The FSB’s threats to make him the main suspect were carried out to the letter despite the lack of literally any evidence at all against the renowned filmmaker and solo father. There were no specific charges, nor anything directly incriminating him in any offence, terrorist or otherwise.” The full report from KHPG, including information on how to send letters of support to Sentsov and other Ukrainian political prisoners illegally imprisoned in Russia, is available at http://khpg.org.ua/en/index.
3. Ukraine’s Prime Minister instructs Ministries to start work on implementation of CUFTA
Ukraine’s Prime Minister V. Groysman has instructed Ministries to start work on preparations for the immediate implementation of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement after its ratification by Ukraine’s Parliament. The Cabinet of Ministers stated, “The Prime Minister has ordered First Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv to coordinate the work of the Ministries and departments in this issue. […] The Prime Minister pointed out that the Agreement must be ratified by the Verkhovna Rada [Parliament] of Ukraine. […] Groysman has also stressed the need to foster dialogue with Canadian business to attract investment in Ukraine. […]The Prime Minister said that he had a substantive conversation with Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau on possible areas of cooperation. According to him, Ukraine and Canada have a lot of directions for development, including: aircraft construction, railway sector, agricultural sector, IT sector, pharmaceutical market.”
4. NATO-Russia Council meets
The NATO-Russia Council met today. Following the meeting NATO Secretary General J. Stoltenberg stated, “Ukraine was the first item on our agenda. And this is important because Russia’s actions in Ukraine have undermined Euro-Atlantic security. Allies and Russia have profound and persistent disagreements on the crisis. There was not a meeting of minds today. But it was an opportunity to clarify our positions and to exchange views on the crisis in Ukraine. […] NATO Allies do not and will not recognise Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea. We should all work towards the settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine by diplomatic and peaceful means. Doing this would allow Ukraine to develop free from violent outside interference.”