Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing
25 July 2016, 7 PM Kyiv time
1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported that on July 22-23, six Ukrainian soldiers were killed and nineteen were wounded in action. In the last 24 hours, three Ukrainian soldiers were killed and three were wounded in action. The RNBO reported that yesterday towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Orikhove. Towards Donetsk, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions along the Avdiyivka-Opytne-Nevelske line with mortars. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions near Horlivka. Towards Mariupol, Russian-terrorist forces shelled Ukrainian positions along the Novohryhorivka-Starohnativka and Talakivka-Vodyane sectors of the front with mortars and artillery. Russian-terrorist forces fired on Ukrainian positions at Maryinka. On 23 July towards Luhansk, Russian-terrorist forces carried out massive shelling of Ukrainian positions at the Zolote-Troitske line, where Ukrainian forces also repelled several attempts to advance by Russian-terrorist forces. On 23 July, Ukrainian forces repelled two attempts to advance by Russian-terrorist forces at Maryinka, on the Mariupol sector of the front.
2. Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on the serious escalation of the situation in Donetsk, Luhansk
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, “On 22-24 July, militants supported by Russia fired on Ukrainian positions 189 times, demonstrably and blatantly using weapons which were supposed to be withdrawn from the contact line according to the Minsk agreements long ago. […] The purposeful escalation of the security situation is taking place in the context of a massive supply by the Russian Federation of military equipment, weapons and ammunition, and the deployment to the Donbas of new mercenaries and regular Russian army personnel. […] It is clear that armed provocations by illegally armed groups demand from the Armed Forces of Ukraine decisive actions in response, to force the terrorists to abandon plans to escalate the conflict. […] We demand that the Russian Federation, as a signatory of the Minsk agreements, immediately ensure the fulfillment of its commitments, withdraw its soldiers, mercenaries and weapons from the Donbas, and cease the illegal delivery of weapons and military equipment to the militants. […] We ask our international partners to increase political-diplomatic pressure on the Kremlin, in order to stop this dangerous escalation of tensions in the Donbas.”
3. RNBO Secretary: Russia testing new weapons in Donbas
The Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO), O. Turchynov, stated that the Russian General staff continues to use the occupied territory of the Donbas for testing new weapons. The RNBO reported, “Russian occupation troops in the east of Ukraine have not only increased the number and intensity of shellings with the use of heavy weapons prohibited by the Minsk agreements, but also conduct systematic tests of new models of weapons and military equipment.” Turchynov stated that “the use against our military of the new Russian mortar systems KM-8 ‘Gran’ with controlled 120 mm mines and portable means of automated fire control ‘Malachite’ was recorded in July”, adding that these systems are controlled solely by the regular servicemen of the Armed forces of the Russian Federation. Turchynov stated, “The use by the Russian occupation troops of ammunition with enhanced combat qualities prohibited by international conventions was also recorded. […] All this occurs in the conditions of significant increase in the intensity of attacks in the midst of demonstrative violation of the Minsk agreements by the Russian military.”